Fellow cruisers, the Vagabond Cruise was concocted by Lyons and me in response to our plan to circumnavigate the interior of the Chesapeake Bay, our desire to meet up with friends along the way, and our frustration with not being able to make destination deadlines on prior cruises because of the vagaries of wind and weather. We asked ourselves “wouldn’t it be nice to meet up with friends at nice destinations, but not be ruled by rigid timing and routes between those rendezvous points?” Hence, the Vagabond Cruise, a journey on the road less travelled to some of those out of the way places you’ve always wanted to see, but never had the time to reach. Participants are invited to join one or more, or all of the destinations below. Registering at the website tells us that you intend to attend all or part of the cruise, but in order to secure slip, event, and restaurant reservations you must email the following information to me at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 16th (we will be in Europe 4/17-26 and May is too late to wait for reserving most of these slips and events):
Destination 1: We will join the Patuxent Cruise group on 6/3/17, 6:00 pm at the FBYC clubhouse for an entree and wine courtesy of the Cruising Division. Side dishes, appetizers, and desserts will be supplied pot luck by participants. Both cruises will be reviewed and updated in an open skipper’s meeting following the dinner.
Destination 2: Gibson Island, 6/8/17. There’s no reason to go to Gibson Island if you don’t want a gourmet meal in an elegant setting. The new Gibson Island Clubhouse and members’ restaurant is now open. FBYC is assured of dockage at the private club marina (not moorings), access to the waterside lounge for cocktails (byob and appetizers), and dinner reservations at the new facilities, all representing a wonderful indulgence on our first rendezvous point.
Destination 3: Havre de Grace (pronounced Have-er-dee-Grayce by the locals), 6/10/17- 6/11/17. We have reservation at the Tidewater Marina, a basin protected from the wakes of outbound tugs, where we will have walking access to the town. Day one will be an afternoon of rest followed by shopping and dinner at the Laurrapin Grille or Tidewater Grille. On the second day we will visit the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum, Decoy Museum and the Concord Point Lightkeeper’s house, followed by private time, then topped by cocktails at the covered porch adjacent to the fuel dock, and dinner aboard or on the town by skipper’s choice.
Destination 4: Chestertown, 6/14/17-6/15/17. The 15 mile journey up the Chester River is rewarded by prime views of some of the most scenic tidewater estates , historic homes, and superbly renovated antique wooden boats on the Bay. Lyons and I did this motor sail 5 years ago and were stunned by the Chester’s beauty and serenity. We have reservations at the Chestertown Marina, but be warned that the Chester River at Chestertown has rapid currents during max flooding and be advised to seek marina access during slack current if possible, even if it means anchoring and waiting. We invite all for cocktails aboard REVEILLE the first night, with dinner location the skipper’s choice. On the morning of day 2 we recommend breakfast at the Lemon Leaf Cafe, followed by an en-masse walk to the Kent County Visitors’ Center to pick up walking maps of this original colonial village, a tour of the Carla Massoni gallery, and of the Historical Society of Kent County, all within short walking distance from the Marina. Following afternoon downtime, we will, for those who wish to participate at $30/person, board a 1920’s vintage classic 65 foot wooden motor yacht for a 2.5 hour tour of the Chester River at sunset with buffet aboard (included) and a cash bar. The tour starts at 1730 and ends at 2000.
Destination 5: Cambridge on the Choptank, 6/20/17-6/21/17. We have never ventured the 4 additional miles up the Choptank from our usual Oxford landings, and we are told that this has been a mistake. Cambridge is trying to shed her image as an old blue collar waterman’s town and is being aided by the establishment of a waterfront Hyatt Luxury destination facility several miles upriver, and a municipal investment to renovate the town’s waterfront. We have not yet decided whether to make reservations at the new town floating docks or at the nearby fixed docks of the Cambridge Yacht Club. The former has the advantages of accessibility and convenience, the latter the advantages of clubhouse ambience and more protection from wakes. Arrival day will include a vacation from cocktails, and dinner at either Leaky Pete’s Oyster and Wine bar, or Jimmy and Sooks, or the Canvasback Restaurant and Pub, all awaiting further research. Day two will include tours of the Cambridge Choptank Light Museum, Dorchester Center for the Arts and the Harriet Tubman Museum, with dinner to be discussed (if weather is good we would like to gather at an outdoor venue for cookout or potluck).
All routes and timing to and from these destinations will be determined by individual skippers and crew according to their boats’ capabilities. Following Destination 5, Lyons and I will continue our ambition to circumnavigate the Bay interior by visiting Solomon’s Island 6/22, Crisfield 6/23, Kilmarnock 6/24, Cape Charles 6/25, Hampton 6/26-27, and home to FBYC 6/28, a roughly 525nm adventure,. These dates may vary according to wind weather and fatigue. Any or all of you are welcome to join us on this unscripted second half of the Vagabond Cruise.