Miles Today: 64 SM; Total Miles: 1,306 SM
Locks Today: 0 ; Total Locks: 7
This morning we left the dock at Deltaville at o’dark thirty (well, actually 5:50 a.m.) and headed out into the Rappahannock River, then into the Chesapeake Bay. We are leaving so early because it is a 65 mile run to Solomons Island, Maryland and the Chesapeake can be one, rough rascal if the winds and tides aren’t just right. The forecast called for 5-10 knot winds out of the NW with one foot seas. Of course anyone who has read any of NOAA’s Marine forecasts knows that the wave prediction can be significantly different than actual conditions. We were fortunate that we had following seas for most of the day because the waves ranged from one footers to 2-3 foot at times. So overall it was a good travel day.
We were surprised that there was so much commercial traffic. There were seven commercial vessels including a tanker, 2 barges and 4 container ships. We stayed away from the main shipping channel which meant we were dodging crab traps all day. Some of these ships were over 300 feet long and traveling 15-25 mph (we know this because our AIS tells us so).
At 9:30 a.m. we crossed the state line into Maryland, our sixth state on this trip. A few minutes later we crossed the Potomac River. There is so much to explore in the Chesapeake that it will take another trip for us. The Potomac River is one of those places that we’d like to explore but we’ll save it for another time.
There are large, lighted markers at many “points” and inlets to keep mariners away from the shoals. The one in the picture below is an example of several we’ve seen in the Chesapeake so far. These lighted markers are over 50 feet high. Hard to miss.
Our destination for today was Calvert’s Marina at Solomons Island, Maryland on the Patuxent River. About 1680 the island was known as Bourne’s Island, then Somervell’s Island (1740- 1814) and Sandy Island (1827- 1865), and in 1865 it became Solomons Island when it was sold to Isaac Solomon. Tobacco farming brought the first settlements. Benefiting from its location at the mouth of the Patuxent River, the town quickly built a reputation as a center for shipbuilding and repairing, seafood harvesting, and the provisioning of sailing vessels engaged in the oystering business. As years passed and economic conditions changed, the area remained focused on the water but developed a tourism and hospitality industry that prospers today.
We arrived at the Marina about 1:00 p.m. We borrowed the marina loaner car (now that’s another story), and toured the Island. There are many fine, old homes and churches lining the downtown. Newer restaurants and shops have been blended. The restaurants were packed since it was Mothers Day. We enjoyed a nice walk and since the restaurants were full, we returned to the marina and had a nice fish dinner at the nearby Solomon’s Pearl Cafe.