Moving Around Mobjack Bay!

Carters Creek to Mobjack Bay Anchorage

Mobjack Bay – Wednesday, 5/19

One of the places we wanted to revisit from prior years cruising on the Chesapeake was Mobjack Bay.  We were here in 2019 and saw how large this area was, with numerous coves and anchorages and wanted to return.  As we are waiting to connect with Denise’s family, we decided now was the time to go explore more parts of it.

Shortly after 9:00 am we left the anchorage at Carter’s Cove and headed towards the “Rapp”.  Out on the Rapp, we were once again greeted with a spectacular day on the water; oh please can these continue for a few more weeks!  We went under the Norris Bridge and in no time at all we were back on the Chesapeake Bay. We turned south (yes, south) to go to Mobjack Bay, near the York River. 

We passed a few sailboats heading north and a few fishing boats, but it truly was an uneventful passage.  Our only excitement was the school of small dolphins that played off the starboard side of the boat as we passed by.

Dolphins playing

By 11:00 we were turning into Mobjack Bay and navigating to one of the anchorages (Bryant Bay off the Severn River) we had picked out; the one with a reported very strong cell signal.  Once we arrived to the destination, we noticed a large number of crab pots in the cove, but they were spaced out sufficiently to allow room for anchoring.  There were no other boats here to contend with so we could choose a spot, and had the anchor down by 11:30.  We then made lunch and with a good cell signal we thought it would be a good place for the night.

Immediately we were infested with those darn midges again, and we hoped the wind would pick up a bit to keep them away.  Mark was getting frustrated, so we broke out our makeshift screen and put it up hoping to keep from having to turn on the generator and run the AC. After all, one of the reasons for anchoring is for the pristine landscapes and the absolute peace and quiet.  Surprisingly, the screen worked and most of the bugs were kept away.

Screen door

Mark spent the entire afternoon on conference calls and in a web training session; thus the need for a strong cell signal today. During this time Denise worked on this blog, and on checking on other work-related items.  She also noticed the wind had picked up and that the chop in the anchorage was getting worse.  Between Mark’s calls we debated if we should move the boat to another anchorage where we would be better protected from the wind, or should we wait for morning. This particular bay was wide open and the low lying areas offered little protection. We definitely need to move it for Thursday night, based on the forecasted wind direction out of the east.

By the time Mark got off his last call, the slap of the water on the hull in the bow was all that was needed to convince us to move.  It would have been too loud for a good night’s rest. So, we pulled up the anchor and headed to a spot that looked to offer more protection on the southwest branch of the Severn River.  However, once we found the spot and attempted to lay anchor amongst the crab pots, we did not like how exposed we still were to the coming winds.  So, we made the call to move again, only this time on the other side of Mobjack Bay.  While pulling up the anchor, we snagged a coiled line which we thought was a crab pot. Expertly, Mark was able to get it untangled, as it appears it was from an old pot and nothing was attached at each end of it.  Luckily, we averted disaster and were able to get out of the cove without hitting a crab pot.

We cruised all the way across Mobjack Bay and up the East River to a spot where it curves to the west and offered protection from the winds out of the south and southwest.  It is also just past “Put in Creek” where we spent time in 2019.  We became adventurous and found a cove across the river from the charted anchorage areas suggested in the Waterway Guide & Active Captain, and chose it for the night. We were far enough from any of the numerous crab pots, and stayed in water no less than 6’ deep.  Plus, there were houses and trees around us blocking any wind that would come our way.  It was a great spot and we were very glad we moved.

Island Office at East River anchorage

Feeling a sense of accomplishment, and liking our new surroundings we celebrated with happy hour, then proceeded to make a “grilled” pizza with ready-made dough we had in the freezer.  We have never attempted this before and must say we were delighted with our success, although we have some notes for how to make it better “next time”.

Grilled pizza

In evening, we looked again at the weather forecast, which seems to be holding for now.  We had originally planned to stay at anchor one more night. However, with coming winds and a desire for some time on terra firma, we decided to consider going to our week-long planned marina a day early, if they can take us.  Since it was past operating hours, we would have to call them in the morning before we could finalize this change in our plans. Until then we got to enjoy the beauty of this spot, including a half moonlit sky, and a great sunset through the trees.

When sitting at anchor in such great places, one of our preoccupations is to watch the wildlife, specifically the osprey. These large birds are considered fish-hawks, and can be found in nearly any body of water: saltmarshes, rivers, ponds, reservoirs, estuaries, and even coral reefs. They are known for building nests on poles, including channel marks in the ICW. So many places have man-made perches for these amazing birds to build their stick nests, and it is fun to watch their behavior while in the nest.  Today we were enthralled with this particular one near the anchorage as it had 2 adults and a juvenile calling it home.  You can learn more about these magnificent birds at the Audubon Society here.

Osprey and nest at East River Anchorage

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