The Captain and The Admiral decided to take a week and explore the Chesapeake aboard
the Good Ship Tabasco. We had originally planned to go as far north as Chestertown, but
the weather didn't cooperate in this effort. Instead, we found many places to hide away along
the edges of the Bay, and had Great Adventures There.
The first night out of our home in Herrington Harbour, we went to the Rhode River, between
Galesville and Annapolis, and joined all these other intrepid travellers on anchor in a quiet
cove. The Captain secured the anchor, and we had dinner under the stars on our first night.
We woke at daybreak, and had coffee made with a french press and water boiled in a pink pig
teakettle. Our alcohol stove was very efficient, and the scrambled eggs and bacon were a
great way to start the day!
We then left the Rhode River, headed across the bay to Eastern Bay, then around Tilghman Island to Shaw Bay in
the Wye River. We had visited Shaw Bay before and knew it to be a secure harbor and a pristine environment. So
lovely that we forgot to take any pictures of it... The Captain fired up the grill, and cooked some salmon for dinner,
and some burgers for reheating later on. Both were quite wonderful.
We motored down from Shaw Bay into St.
Michael's, a very quaint touristy spot popular with
both boaters and weekend drivers from
Washington. St. Michael's has kind of a
New-Englandy feel, with little colonial clapboard
cottages covered in vines and roses, going for a
million dollars a pop. We tied up at the town
dock, which offered many amenities including
free wifi, and two restaurants off our bow. No
When we were off the grid and on the anchor,
cooking was all done on the alcohol stove, which
was basically very fine, with some quirks... I
managed to burn a spot in one of my pans
because the whole flame was concentrated in
only one spot. Our refrigerator became a fine
icebox with a 20 lb block of ice dumped in the top.
We had to pump out the bottom of the
refrigerator a couple of times each day from the
When we were in a marina and had electricity, we
have a microwave, and a small electric griddle
perfect for making breakfast (pancakes, eggs,
bacon, even warming up burger patties), and our
refrigerator works grandly, with the added benefit
that it is not frost-free, thereby building up a large
block of rime ice on the cooling element which
serves to cool the box for a day or so after it is
While in St. Michael's, we walked over to the
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, where they
have (surprise!) boats. They have a school
where they teach the crafts of building and
maintaining traditional Chesapeake fishing,
crabbing and oystering boats, the Log Canoe
(which isn't a canoe in the sense most of us think
of) and the skipjack. They also had examples of
1950's ChrisCrafts, all manner of small sailboats,
and waterfowl hunting boats like the sneakbox.
They also have the lighthouse from Hooper
Strait, which gave us sentimental pleasure.
Morning in St. Michael's dawned cool and clear with a steady
wind. We sailed out, the length of the Miles River to Eastern
Bay, where we could see the Bloody Point Lighthouse. We saw
the Bloody Point Lighthouse all Bloody Day Long, because the
wind died down, making the Bay a glassy wonder. But not very
good sailing. We motored back to the Rhode River, instead of
going to Annapolis. The Rhode River is always a great place,
so it was no loss, other than not being able to discover a new
The Captain decided we should go for an adventure (or as my
brilliant nephew says, a 'binture) so we lowered the Wild
Tchoupitoulas, attached her 53 year old motor, and started
across the inlet to a partially sunken island. It wasn't as sunken
as the Captain had hoped, because we heard the snap and ring
of the sacrificial shear pin breaking as he ran the propeller into
the mud under the six inches of water flooding the island. He
recognized the sound from race memory, of his forebears trying
to go too shallow with the same motor in Florida. Fortunately,
he had brought the oars and rowed us back to Tabasco, using
the full range of his Camp Alpine skills.
Breakfast for Mr. Gull. Curtains
for Mr. Fish.
On our way to the Rhode River,
we saw many commercial
shipping vessels coming and
going from Baltimore Harbor.
We left the Rhode River on a blustery and overcast
morning, and decided to motorsail (that is, sailing
only the headsail and motoring) to Rock Hall, north
of the Bay Bridge. This was our first transiting north
of The Bridge. The Captain was skeered. He got
over it as soon as we went under The Bridge.
We saw lots of lighthouses. Above is
Thomas Point Lighthouse, the first
south of the Bridge.
Below is the Bloody Point Light, named
so because the water is 100 feet deep
on the bay side, and 5 feet deep on the
land side, and it isn't a gentle slope.
Bloody awful in some opinions.