I’ve been a sailor/power boater most of my life and “I’m a son of, son of, son of a sailor”. When I was In Boy Scouts I learned to sail on a Sailfish. Growing up, whenever there was an opportunity my Dad would rent a sailboat to take our family out for a day cruise. In my teenage years, he purchased a 24’ wooden sloop which he kept on Middle River, which is where I gained a lot of experience sailing on the Chesapeake. After I was married and raising my family I purchased a 30’ Catalina sloop and kept it in a marina on Rock Creek in Pasadena, Md. After many years of sailing, we converted to power boating.
The Chesapeake Bay, immortalized by so many writers, artists, sailors, and naturalists, is a truly magical destination along the coastal shores of the United States. It is by far the largest estuary with the most coastline of any other b cay within our lands. In fact, its 11,600 miles of shoreline is more than the entire coastline of the US West Coast. It drains 64,000 square miles across six states. And although it averages only 21 feet in depth, it has deep channels that run to 100 feet accommodating the passage of submarines and commercial traffic of every description along its 200-mile length. Its width varies from 4 miles at the Bay Bridge to 30 miles at the Potomac. It has more than 150 rivers and streams feeding its rich grounds, and as much variety along its shores as any cruiser would wish to find.
The following are some of our favorite marinas and anchorages spots.
The Tides Inn Carters Creek off the Rappahannock River
On a private peninsula, surrounded by the splendor of the Chesapeake Bay, the Tides Inn is a timeless Virginia resort with sweeping waterfront views, lush native landscaping and a full-service marina. The Inn was opened in 1947 and is a jewel of the southern part of the bay.
The Tides Inn Chesapeake Bay Marina, with new floating docks, provides the beauty and tranquility of a secluded harbor along with the facilities of a world-class destination resort. Located on Carters Creek, 11 statute miles from Windmill Point, the floating dock marina accommodates up to 24 vessels ranging from small weekend cruisers to 150-foot charters.
Kayaks and Paddleboards
Spring Cove Marina Patuxent River/Solomons Island
Spring Cove Marina is considered to be one of the finest marinas on the Chesapeake Bay and a perfect family getaway destination. Our family enjoyed Spring Cove’s pristine, upscale facilities and our friendly, efficient staff. The well-kept facilities, a full complement of amenities and helpful staff allow you to feel right at home as soon as you arrive!
During our stay at Spring Cove one of our favorite activities was riding bikes to the Food Lion and restocking our supplies when we were out on The Bay for 2 weeks. Also there is a West Marine close by within biking distance.
Anchorage Worton Creek
The majority of the time we would anchor at the mouth of the creek for our watersport activities. With any impending thunderstorms, we’d anchor near the protected shoreline across from Worton Creek Marina.
Sunsets at the Mouth of Worton Creek
Often when we were on the hook we would use our hard bottom dinghy to visit the marine for boat supplies and eat dinner at the Harbor House restaurant. On one occasion I had a fuel line break and was able to get the parts from their marine store to repair my leak.
Fairlee Creek is known to be a tricky place to enter. There’s a nice big red marker and then a flurry of small red and green cans that end just before the pinch. The pinch being a 90 degree turn into a shallow spot between two beaches that are 20 feet apart. Make sure you keep a good speed going through the channel!
The Tiki Bar
Mears Great Oak Landing
Come for the boating – stay for the fun! With 350 boat slips, a 28-room lodge and 70 acres on
Located on the Chesapeake Bay overlooking Fairlee Creek, Mears Great Oak Landing Marina boasts 350 open slips, a 28-room lodge and 70 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds to offer boating families many options for food, fun and relaxation. d swimming are available for active guests. Our quiet beach, large pool deck and lawns overlooking the water offer a serene oasis. A Kids Club keeps the little ones busy all day long. Whatever you are looking for, Great Oak Landing has it.
Anchorages at Still Pond
Still Pond is one of our favorite anchorages and was once a well-kept secret on the Bay. There were many times we would be the only boat on the water. Unfortunately, a few years back it was written up as one of the best anchorages on the Chesapeake, so now you can expect large crowds on the weekends. Mid-week you’ll still find quiet anchorage filled with lots of soaring bald eagles, breathtaking sunsets and excellent swimming. It’s serenity and beauty never disappoint. Still Pond offers great protection from the south and west.
One of our favorite activities was to strap on our life jackets and wade into the Ebb tide, along the shoreline near the narrow channel, during which water flows away from the shore creating a lazy river for us.
On one occasion anchored in Still Pond was the boat owned by Jerry Herson of Herson’s Honda in Rockville. Purely Pleasure is an 85’ express cruiser. The Yacht has 4- 18 Caterpillar Engines for a total of over 4,000 HP, top speed of 45 knots and 4,000 gallon fuel capacity.