Monday, October 8, 2018

St. Michaels

We get up at 6:00AM have breakfast and get the boat ready to leave. After we had first dropped the anchor I noticed some signs obscured by overgrown trees. A day later under closer inspection we read “Warning Cable Crossing”, great I hope we did not hook the cable. Anyways the anchor comes up fine and we just make the bridge opening following a Catamaran out of Spa Creek. We then pull into the Annapolis fuel dock about 30 minutes before they open. We tie up and fill our water tanks before the employees show up for the 8:00 AM opening. We fuel up and pump out and are good to go. We do not rush off the dock since the harbor is getting rather fogged in. It is suppose to lift by 10:00 AM so we slowly head out. 


Bright Ayes

We pass two boats moored/anchored in the outer harbor that we had met on our last trip “Minx”, Jay and Tanya on a distinctive Valiant 42 and “Bright Ayes”, Wayne and Betty on a Caliber 47, both blue water boats. Wayne and Betty have crossed the Atlantic on theirs, hard core sailor they are.

We have the AIS on and once we slowly clear the Harbor there was no fog on the open water, only on the shore around the harbor. 

Foggy morning leaving Annapolis

I should of realized that was the case, after seeing how fast the boats on the AIS were traveling out on the Chesapeake. With very little wind we motor south east to Knapps Narrows a dredged channel between the mainland and Tighman island. Last time through here, I overlooked that the navigation buoys switch sides once you pass the drawbridge half way through, “Red Right Returning” and narrowly missed running aground, leaving on the east side on the wrong side of “Red”.

Well, this time I do run aground entering on the west side, in the channel we traveled through 5 years ago without any problems. I foolishly follow my charts and not the channel markers. Even though the digital charts are updated quarterly my multiple navigation apps and plotters are all wrong. I violated rule number one, follow the channel markers not the charts. Even worst I did not read all the warnings on Active Captain (Trip Adviser for boats) like I normally do for the following days route. Anyways the Army Core of Engineers dredged a new channel last year and moved the new channel to the south. Changed a red buoy to green in the same position. Being confused by charts and buoys not agreeing I had the boat in neutral as we slowly came to a halt. Fortunately the shoal was mud and sand that filled in the old channel and we were able to power off. On the other hand I did pass the buoys on the correct side leaving to the east.

Aground in the old "Channel". Can see were we back tracked.

As you can see from our green track left to right we had to back track from where we went aground. And as with many electronic charts we do occasionly motor or sail over land.

We anchored Broad Creek just south of St Michaels. Later in the afternoon we dinghy to the public dock and walk into town for Happy hour at “The Blackthorn”. Again we are slightly disappointed they no longer have their Tuesday Happy Hour. But we do get one of Linda’s favorites, “Ruben Egg Rolls”. This time of year, on the weekdays, St. Michaels is nearly deserted. During the summer or on weekends it can be quite crowded.

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