Monday, May 7, 2012

Solomons Habor Marina - At anchor just off the docks

At anchor in the Solomons
Suspecting the winds were going to pick up in the afternoon, we left Onancock at 7:15 this morning bound for Solomons Island. Sure enough, the calm winds of the marina gave way to 15 to 20 kt winds once out on the Chesapeake! We've found the anchorages in the Chesapeake to be very deceiving. It may be calm but you'd better believe the forecast by NOAA for the Chesapeake Bay. Last year we did not believe and headed out twice when the winds in the anchorage were 5 to 10 but found the forecast for the bay to be accurate at 20 to 30 kts! This year we no longer dispute the bay forecasts, it's usually worse than predicted, not better. Along the way we saw a sailboat headed south! Now that was into the wind and the waves, I took the opportunity to shoot a video of his progress, you can see it here.  Pardon me for the shaking of the camera but it was a little rough out there.

We first met "Nessie" in the Dismal Swamp lock

Today we had winds and waves on the aft section which made for an unstable ride. The autopilot could not keep up with the motion so we had to hand steer most of the way. After a 55 nautical mile trip, we made it to Solomons, MD just as the Coast Guard issued a small craft advisory. Solomons Island is a major destination for boaters in the Chesapeake but we're early in the season so it's not so crowded now. There are lots of marinas but also lots of places to anchor. With the weather forecast not so good for the next few days, we'll spend at least the next four days here. At least it's free here in the anchorage except for the $2 daily fee for use of the dinghy dock at the Solomons Harbor Marina. The winds for the rest of the week are projected to be 20 to 30 kts, a bit much for northing so we'll sit it out for awhile.

Our next destination, when we get the chance, will be either Annapolis or Rock Hall, depending upon the wind direction. Meanwhile, we'll rest up and catch up on movies from the nearest Redbox.