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This is the Choptank River, where we mostly cruise. From the boat in the marina (lower right) to Sharp's Island light, is about 16 nautical miles. With decent wind, it takes about 4 hrs to get to Sharp's Island light. At its widest, the Choptank is over 8 miles across. Even in the narrow section by the marina, it is over 2 miles across, so there is plenty of room to sail even our boat. As you can see from the routes posted, we cruise up into the many tributaries of the Choptank and nestled in those creeks are innumerable cozy little anchorages and beautiful spots. I hate to motor, so if the wind is light, which it often is during the summer, we may not make it out of the Choptank.

In 15-18 kt winds, typical spring and fall winds, we can make it to Annapolis or Solomon's Island in about 6 hrs. In light winds, it may take us 4 hrs to get to Oxford, which is on the Tred Avon River, straight north of the waypoint marked Castle Haven. In 10 kt winds, it will take us about 4 hrs to reach San Domingo Creek, which is St. Michaels' "back door." That's the route to the left of the one going into the Tred Avon. It goes up Broad Creek, then branches off into either the San Domingo or Leadenham Creek. To the left of that is the route to Dun Cove, one of our favorite spots on the bay.

Sharp's Island Light is at the mouth of the Choptank River where it joins the Chesapeake Bay. To the north is Annapolis, Baltimore, Rock Hall and Havre de Grace. To the south is Solomon's Island, Deal Island (where we go every Labor Day weekend for the skipjack races) St. Mary's City, Hampton and Norfolk Va.

The Chesapeake Bay is the largest Estuary in North America. There are more miles of shoreline on the Bay and its tributaries than there are on the rest of the entire East Coast of North America. Despite somewhat chilly winter temps, I try to sail year round. We truly live in a cruiser's paradise and though I yearn to travel the world, there is still plenty adventure to be found on the Chesapeake.


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