We left San Domingo Creek for an early twenty-two mile trip to Cambridge, Maryland. Its bigger than St. Michaels and is not as "quaint". The inner harbor is spacious and well protected with the town being built up to the water's edge. There are also quite a few commercial fisheries along the shore. There is a very sizable municipal marina out in the Choptank River right at the entrance to the harbor but that was not our destination. Smack dab in the harbor itself is a free wall! Now you non-boaters may not understand the signifigance of that but a free wall is a wonderful thing to a cruising boater. You get all the security of a marina (with varying degrees of amenities) and the freedom and FREE price of an anchorage. When we arrived the three-hundred-plus foot wall was empty. We easily pulled up and tied up. As to the varying degree of amenities this wall unfortunately scores very low. There are no bathrooms, no water, no electricity, just some good cleats every ten feet and a small grassy area along side. There is plenty of water depth and it is a good secure location. In this lifestyle anything that is free is a good thing! (Boaters - see my comments in ActiveCaptain for some details on how to stay at this location. Helpful hints galore.)
We stayed three nights as there was a incessant rain most of the time. The winds were not high but it was wet. The rain kept us from exploring the town at all until our last day there. Unfortunately the gloomy conditions that we had for weather reflected in the little downtown area. There is one main street and it was actually a bit depressing. Probably less than half of the storefronts had any kind of business in it. The street was empty of pedestrians. To make matters worse this town has had a rash of arson fires and some of the building fronts were burned out and empty. Some of them had just the outer shells standing. We could peek in the windows and see that the guts of some of the buildings were totally gone. It was sad. Our tour of downtown Cambridge lasted only about thirty minutes. There was nothing to see.
There are though some pluses to Cambridge. The harbor is kind of kick to watch. There was a good amount of boat traffic and a drawbridge just on the southside of the main harbor pool that opened on request so it was opening and closing pretty frequently. Also Snapper's Restaurant is pretty darn good! I have to tell you about one menu item. Now I love French Toast in the St. Louis style, that is with a milk, egg and cinnamon batter griled nice and gooey. Then throw about a pound of butter on each slice and heap on some powdered sugar. Mmmmmmmm! Snapper's take of French toast is to use a milk and butter batter, dunk the bread then cover it with a layer of crush Captain Crunch cereal. I have to admit I was kind of psyched about this so on our second day we went for breakfast and I ordered up a batch. Well, it tasted...different. Not bad, not great but different. I think I will stick to St. Louis style french toast.
We got an awesome day to depart Cambridge. Now, this is for all the boaters. If you can believe this the conditions on Chesapeake Bay getting from Cambridge to Mill Creek at The Solomons were PERFECT!!!!! And I am not exaggerating!!!!! There was zero wind and zero seas. It was like glass. The only waves we felt at all was the wake from a cruiser that passed us about a quarter mile on our starboard side. And the temperature was only in the upper sixties. It was magnificent. Because the conditions were so calm Why Knot perked along very happily at nine miles per hour the entire way. We arrived at our anchorage on Mill Creek two hours sooner than I estimated.
Speaking of The Solomons, reaching here was a bit of a milestone. It is the first destination that we have arrived at three times.
After anchoring out one night on Mill Creek we decided to pull around to Calvert Marina for a few nights. The weather was not cooperating. There was a bit of instability in the air that drives me nuts! Friday's weather predictions were of that ambiguous nature that I really couldn't decide whether it would be a good or not so good day to go out there. Wave heights were forecast to be two feet which I really hate. Technically they could be nothing or could be as high as four feet. If the forecasts for less than two feet or one to two feet, or for more than two feet it would be easier to decide to go or not go. But the National Weather Service saying wave heights would be two feet is like them saying, "We really don't any idea what it will be like." So we stayed. For Saturday the forecasts were clear - wave heights would be three feet...that's an easy one...we stay. Sunday looks good with a stormy front passing on Saturday the forecasts are for almost calm conditions and low seas. So I will take care of all of the maintenance issues here that I was planning on doing in Deltaville so we can keep on track after going to Smith Island and Onancock.