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Old 07-23-2019, 02:31 PM   #21
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It is a chicken vs egg problem. If we went with the Spring window, we'd start in the south and work north and vice-versa if we took the mid-August to end-October window.
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Wow fantastic feedback for a non-local...thank you all very much for taking the time to comment. I'm persuaded by the arguments in favour of a late Fall schedule.....which will mean we put the boat away for winter at the end of our cruise, which is convenient. I'll bounce back to you folks with a draft passage plan as our dates firm up.

Likely stops up here in the north are Annapolis, Baltimore, Havre de Grace, Chesapeake City, Georgetown, Rock Hall, maybe Chestertown, Kent Narrows, St. Michaels, Knapp's Narrows, Oxford, Cambridge, Solomons Island, Deale, maybe Chesapeake Beach, Galeseville...

And a bazillion anchorages in between. If you intend to anchor out a fair bit, you could look up a copy of "Cruising the Chesapeake, a Gunkholer's Guide" (something like that) by Bill Shellenberger.

-Chris
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Old 07-24-2019, 12:40 AM   #22
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At 16-17 C

A Floridian is putting a jacket on.

....
and a hat...

and a scarf...

and gloves....

and still complaining of the cold.
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Old 07-24-2019, 06:23 AM   #23
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At 16-17 C

A Floridian is putting a jacket on.

A New Englander is taking a jacket off.
An Australian family is putting a jacket on....but enjoying the novelty of meeting the t-shirt clad New Englander !
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Old 07-26-2019, 12:48 PM   #24
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September & October are our favorites.
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Old 07-26-2019, 12:50 PM   #25
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Spring

Spring is way more reliable weather. Fall bring unpredictable storms and winds. Just plan your stops early for fuel etc as some marinas dont open until April or early may.

Summer is hot but less so than most of Australia as I used to live in Melbourne to know. But summer also brings crowded Anchorages and lots of tiny boaters zipping everywhere.
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Old 07-26-2019, 02:39 PM   #26
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Chesapeake Bay

I have lived on the shores of the Chesapeake my entire life. I would recommend September and October. As others have said July and August are very hot. In the fall the water is warm and the nights are cool perfect for cruising.
If a tropical system threatens you have plenty of notice.
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Old 07-26-2019, 03:51 PM   #27
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Before you plan a Fall trip let me add this... I love doing fall trips but for the last several years there have been hurricanes. It does not take a direct hit, just 30 knot winds that last a week or more heading north up the coast to make cruising difficult. If you don't mind possible delays then yes, fall is best. But May and June are glorious too.
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Old 07-26-2019, 04:00 PM   #28
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I also agree the Fall can be much nicer.... Sept to Mid Oct at the north end...


Rule of thumb for Mid-Atlantic cruisers I know... be in Norfolk by 1 Nov.



Sure you will get some blustery cold fronts but it warms up quick where April and early May can stay cool for days... have seen snow in early April back when I bought my boat and was bringing her to Jersey.
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Old 07-26-2019, 05:03 PM   #29
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We love the Chesapeake for its almost unlimited gunkholing and tributary exploring and charming small towns. While far from a scientific sample, we always ran into the worst, as in "pretty bad" weather in October. But overall, I will defer to the locals.

Our favorite cruising guide is Chesapeake Magazine's. We're not afraid to use a generator and air conditioning, so I'd throw July in there with April, May and June. We bought our boat in Baltimore one July and spent the rest of the summer fitting it out and learning to cruise it... delightful. Rest of visits were as slowly moseying snow birds to and fro.
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Old 07-26-2019, 05:15 PM   #30
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Iíve kept my sailboat in Galesville, MD, where (except for one summer sailing to and in Maine) itís remained since 1986. The older I get, the more the heat bothers me. The cool, dry fall air is by far my preference. Our hot temperatures are exacerbated by high humidity, which can be truly miserable. One of the reasons Iím looking at trawler-type boats is the ability to use it through November.
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Old 07-26-2019, 06:53 PM   #31
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Best time for an extended cruise.
Weather's nice
Lots of food on board
Fuel tanks full
Water tank full
holding tank empty.
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Old 07-27-2019, 07:42 AM   #32
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As much as we grumble about the brutal heat & humidity in July and August, the weather for most of this past week has been absolutely perfect!
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Old 07-27-2019, 01:06 PM   #33
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Having kept a boat in Rock Hall for 10 years, my selection would be September and October. Additionally, many years we enjoyed Thanksgiving on the boat as well. The traffic is gone and the fall foliage is beautiful. there are an unlimited number of creeks, gunkholes, anchorages and towns to explore. Bring your bicycles and enjoy the special culture of the bay shore inhabitants. In ten years, I was not able to see it all.
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Old 07-27-2019, 02:57 PM   #34
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Some time in 2020, we hope to have 12-16 weeks to spend on and around the Chesapeake. Apart from the on-water experiences, seems like there are great landside trips and sights as well.

If your timing was un-constrained, what is the optimal window you would shoot for having regard to weather conditions? Note though....we don't do really cold weather!
Mid Sept thru Oct is nice most everywhere.
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Old 08-09-2019, 06:42 AM   #35
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It occurs to me... since we've had 42 (or maybe 43, now) days of temps in the 90įsF... with most of August still left to go...

That maybe it's also useful to mention that AC (aircon) fixes things, at least for "indoor" activities... and mornings and evenings outdoors can be decent anyway...

We haven't found ourselves not doing boating activities, just because of the heat. We don't usually anchor out in July or August -- unless conditions are more benign than usual -- but that doesn't at all mean we can't be onboard and going places whenever we feel like it.

-Chris
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Old 08-09-2019, 07:02 AM   #36
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Hopping over to the coast give some relief.
This summer I an in Myrtle Beach area and there is no comparison to the cooler sea breeze off Maryland, Delaware and Jersey Atlantic shores.
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Old 08-09-2019, 07:57 AM   #37
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We used to live in Arnold (next to Annapolis) and one of the great ironies of the Chesapeake is that you have one of the greatest boating areas, with one of the shortest enjoyable boating seasons. I think we only boated a lot about three months out of the year. The rest of the time, it was too hot, or (mostly) too cold. You do see the "Frostbite Sailors" out all winter, but I couldn't do it!
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Old 08-09-2019, 08:50 AM   #38
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For you locals, how are the nettles this summer? How far up are they?

We found them a drawback a few times when we wanted to dive off the boat for a quick dip.
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:16 AM   #39
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For you locals, how are the nettles this summer? How far up are they?

We found them a drawback a few times when we wanted to dive off the boat for a quick dip.
I have not seen any so far this season. Last time I was on the water was Sunday, August 4th on Herring Bay.
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:18 AM   #40
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We used to live in Arnold (next to Annapolis) and one of the great ironies of the Chesapeake is that you have one of the greatest boating areas, with one of the shortest enjoyable boating seasons. I think we only boated a lot about three months out of the year. The rest of the time, it was too hot, or (mostly) too cold. You do see the "Frostbite Sailors" out all winter, but I couldn't do it!
Really? When we stick around here for a whole year, we run from (usually mid-) March through (usually mid-) November. Latter mostly because holiday travel starts to interfere...

But then again, we've got two ACs and a genset... and I'm not afraid to use 'em.


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For you locals, how are the nettles this summer? How far up are they?

We found them a drawback a few times when we wanted to dive off the boat for a quick dip.
Haven't seen any nettles here near Annapolis yet this year.

Our cockpit shower has been an occasional solution in the past.

-Chris
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