September 14-20, 2022
Members of the West River Sailing Club’s Cruising Fleet enjoyed a week-long cruise exploring various destinations. The flotilla included: m/v Otter (Casey), s/v Outward (Sutherland), s/v Vasa (Gibson), and m/v Festina Liente (Dawson). The short summary: much good fellowship; low and/or contrary winds and tides; no storms; much good food; eagles a-plenty; beautiful vistas and destinations; and upwards of 140 nautical miles sailed.
Wednesday (14th) thee flotilla sailed north to Swan Creek behind Rock Hall Creek and docked at Haven Harbor Marina. The approach marked by 6ft MLLW was challenging to Vasa’s 6’ water draft, and Vasa’s Captain accepted the challenge. All parties arrived without issue. The evening was spent sitting by the waterside and then adjourning to the Blue Heron restaurant for a very fine dinner (caution: if you order the incredibly generous lump crab meat special be prepared to share with 4 or more persons. Recommendation: If you want to visit a first-class marina, Haven Harbor is one of the best on the Bay.
Thursday (15th) Otter and Festina Liente headed to Worton Creek Marina while Outward attempted to sail against a strong ebb tide and headwinds. Outward opted to anchor outside Worton Creek. Vasa’s small folding prop was struggling against the aforementioned weather so after a valiant attempt to continue north, Vasa headed back to Haven Harbor. Worton Creek Marina was best described by another boater as a “quiet place” and it was. The marina is very much a working yard with a collection of Burger yachts (very large power boats in various stages of ‘flipping’ for resale), a very decrepit WW II PT Boat and massive molds used to build large (50’+ power boats). The staff was wonderful and accommodating. The morning was marked by some serious ordinance testing across the Bay at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds.
Friday/Saturday (16th - 17th ), Otter and Outward motored north to Havre de Grace (HdG). Festina Liente headed south for the Log Canoe Races in St. Michaels (see picture below.). Surprisingly light commercial traffic – one southbound bulk carrier. The waters on the western shore were strewn with crab pots. The Susquehanna River was thick with sea grass--good for Bay-water health; not necessarily good for boats making way through the floating grass. Tidewater Marina was our destination – a good although very ‘compact’ marina with excellent staff. HdG is, charming. HdG has great community spirit and is an easy walking town with lots to see. The promenade, extensive duck decoy museum, great shops, homes reflecting owner pride, Friday night racing, and a wine-bar restaurant to top it all off (Vineyard Wine Bar). Adding to the ambiance, every train – freight and Amtrak – moving north/south passes within 1⁄2 mile of the marina as they cross the Susquehanna. On Friday, Vasa continued North to Worton Creek anchoring in the outer bight. On Saturday, Vasa turned South, anchoring off the western shore of Hart Island. Hart-Miller Island is a State-Owned recreation Island. The Island was formed by joining two natural islands (Hart and Miller) with landfill from Patapsco River dredging. Lots of boat traffic but good protection from the East and South.
Sunday (18th), Otter and Outward departed HdG and Vasa departed Hart- Miller Island all bound for the Maryland Yacht Club (MYC) located in Rock Creek off the southern shore of the Patapsco River. The run south was marked by a stronger-than-expected wind from the south and an opposing ebbing tide. Outward reported steep 3’ to 4’ seas which finally calmed as
we neared Baltimore waters. As you may know, the entrance to Rock Creek is marked by the White Rocks, an outcropping in the Patapsco River. A bit of research reveals that the Algonquian dialect name Patapsco translates as White Rocks. The WRSC crews exchanged burgees with the MYC Commodore and later shared a feast by the waterside overlooking the Patapsco.
Monday (19th), Off to Eagle Cove, nestled in the Magothy/Gibson Island. Eagle Cove is a quiet anchorage with eagles and a horse farm. We rafted, did some boat chores and gathered for a shared feast and lots of chatting about boats and sailing. This marked that last day of the Cruise North. Tuesday, all boats returned safely to home port marked by a bonus. Outward experienced a vexing fresh water tank leak that defied being located. Upon arriving home, Outward announced that the source of the leak (a foot pump) had been found.
This cruise marked the post-COVID return to cruising. Stay tuned for information on the Fall rendezvous in Dividing Creek (Wye River) on the last week of October.