Our Kadey Krogen Trawler

Our Kadey Krogen Trawler

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hampton VA Hospitality

Hampton Hospitality
From Solomons MD, we hustled south with a couple long days to avoid the bay in windy weather and holed up in Chisman Creek for a few nights on the hook.  This gave us some time to catch up on chores without the distraction of WIFI before we visited Hampton VA for their Snow Bird Rendezvous.  This second annual event was a treat with special emphasis on good food, great seminars, and cruiser fun all at a bargain price. The town of Hampton hosts this event to show case their lovely downtown and waterfront. They pulled out the red carpet and made 80 or so cruisers heading south feel welcome with great food, prizes, and seminars. Our sessions included everything from essential electronics to the best frugal stops on the ICW and how to navigate the biggest trouble spots. Although we would not have stopped here but for this event, we have now become converted fans. 
Our Snow Bird program also included a trip to the National Maritime Museum in nearby Newport News which showcases the story of the Civil War battle of the ironsides – USS Merrimack/Virginia and USS Monitor. It seems only appropriate since this battle was fought in the waters of Hampton Roads at this strategic lower end of the Chesapeake Bay. The replicas of these historic armored battleships included crew cabins and the gun turrets plus artifacts from the Monitor archeology site.
The exhibit titled “Abandon Ship” was also interesting for those who live on the water – including the stories of ship wreck survivors and the best equipment and tools for improving the odds of surviving a disaster at sea.

From Hampton VA we will head south for warmer weather – wind permitting – with a stop next weekend in the outer banks.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Rendezvous Fun

Krogen Rendezvous 2014
Our first Kadey Krogen Rendezvous has been a rewarding experience in a variety of ways. This is the annual east coast gathering of Krogen boat owners or those who want to be Krogen owners.
We saw the Krogen docking ballet – 38 boats leafed into the docks at Calvert Marina in Solomons, MD. Krogen boats from 39 to 58 feet were masterfully nudged into place – mostly stern to the dock – for our five days here. The dock master for this carefully choreographed event has many years of experience and numerous helping hands.  Explicit instructions guide the captains and no boats are even bumped as this cozy mooring is accomplished.  This rendezvous is the place to see almost every Krogen available which explains why many attendees are Krogen wannabes.

We also attended many seminars from boat maintenance to how to cross the Atlantic or cruise to Cuba. In between we enjoyed many meals and hours of networking and boat visits. We also managed to find time for shopping and provisioning at shops a short bike ride from the marina.  Somehow our days vanished in fun and fellowship.….kind of the way of our cruising life. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Upper Chesapeake Bay Rivers

Upper Chesapeake Bay Rivers
It is a nice problem to have a few empty unscheduled days to explore the rivers of the upper Chesapeake Bay. This is even better when the weather is nearly perfect but for the odd drop of rain!

We began with the Sassafras and trip up to Georgetown.   Everyone said there was nothing there, but we found the trip up the river scenic and the secure anchorage restful.  There are several marinas although, it is true, not much of a town on either side of the river.  However, a short walk of a little over a mile leads to Galena a small town with a Sassy Market, several antique stores (sadly not open on Mondays) and other useful services.

Our next stop was in Worton Bay – a handy anchorage off the main bay with good protection from the prevailing winds.  From there we headed up the Chester River to Chestertown where there is another handy anchorage just opposite the town marina.  This cruiser friendly stop is both a charming town complete with brick sidewalks and a free dinghy dock for transients.  The choices of restaurants were also plentiful, and we found a natural food grocery and bakery all conveniently a short walk from the dock.  

One of our days here was almost a total washout – rain – buckets full – from early morning until late at night, so we were happy to meet our friends Michelle and Ron on Spirit Journey – another Kadey Krogen. Thanks to their hospitality, we had time to gather reflections and recommendations on their Down East trip and other boating tips. The generous spirit of other cruisers, such as the Halls, never fails to enrich our own journey and add to our projects.
We were also entertained by the afternoon sailors who braved the windy weather to practice – some needing it more than others!

Sailors we met in Havre de Grace pointed us to the next anchorage on Langford Creek (off the Chester River) behind Cacaway Island. It proved as scenic and relaxing as promised and empty but for the occasional passing sail.  We used some of the relaxation time to catch up on our boat keeping duties least anyone vision us napping away the weekend! (Sorry no pictures of EMPTY)

We crossed over to the western shore for a stop in the Magothy River where the beautiful Saturday weather provided an excuse for dozens of boaters to venture out.  The anchorage was roomy enough for the baker’s dozen small boats who spent the afternoon on the beach as well as the dozen plus larger sailboats and trawlers most of whom spent the night in this scenic spot.  We lingered with excellent TV reception to watch the Seminoles work their way into the lead against a very talented North Carolina State team. 

For some Sunday NFL action we hopped down to the West River and lunched at Thursday’s in front of the big screen TVs.  We visited here on our way north and again found it a quiet place to spend the night – not empty but with a strictly enforces NO WAKE zone – we experienced no wild rocking.
The Choptank River with the town of Cambridge was another new and convenient stop on our way south.  To reach this convenient and secure free wall in the Cambridge Creek, we again crossed the bay to the eastern shore. While the reviewers did not rave about this town, we found it has abundant signs of improvement as many of the downtown buildings have been or are in the process of being restored.  In addition there is a VERY accommodating local grocery store a short walk away that offer rides back to the boat as well as an onsite butcher shop. The Elliott's Bakery also on Race St is now open. Since the small maritime museum is only open weekends and Wednesdays, we will certainly have to return here.  All those crab and oyster restaurants and picking houses don’t hurt either…..

 next to our free dock! 

 Jimmies are males and Sooks are females

Finally, we plan to cross once more to the Patuxent River for one last anchorage on Saint Leonard’s creek – reportedly remote and serene – before joining the crowd at Calverts Marina in Solomons, MD. It is no wonder that many who live here never get to explore all the possible anchorages within a few miles of the major cities on the Upper Chesapeake.  Even with eleven nights on the hook, we have left much for our next trip.