Friday, June 27, 2014 (Onancock to St. Michaels, MD): We depart Onancock at 07:15 bound for St. Michaels. The day bears no similarity to yesterday. There isn't a breath of wind or a cloud in the sky. We amble out the creek, say good-bye to Mr. and Mrs. Osprey, and ease out into an oiled bay. At 30 knots we have good water and keep an eye out for fish weirs, easy to spot by the long stakes sticking up well above the surface. There is no other boat traffic as we zip past Tangier and Tilghman Islands where we have made stops on previous cruises of the Chesapeake. On into Eastern Bay and the Miles River we tie up in St. Michaels at 12:45 in time for lunch in town.
We have covered 100 miles today and had planned to stay two days but Old Man Weather has had his say. Hurricane Arthur looks like he will spin up the eastern seaboard. We want to get as far away from Cape Hatteras as possible in a safe harbor. We call ahead to Atlantic City, New York, and Long Island marinas. Up one of the rivers flowing into the Chesapeake is an option but in a really bad blow channels get moved and we could find ourselves up the creek, literally. There is no place to hide in Delaware Bay. New York City (Liberty Landing) and the hidden harbors on Long Island sound are jammed up for the Fourth of July. However, they welcomed us with open arms at The Senator Frank S. Farley State Atlantic City Marina behind the Golden Nugget Casino. We know the Nuggie! It offers three-sixty degree protection. The entrance to the Absecon River is enclosed in breakwaters and the channel into the harbor is against a bulkhead. We will give St. Michaels one day this time and run to Cape May then on to Atlantic City the next day. In the meantime we will enjoy St. Michaels.
The marina is well organized and clean. They tie us up alongside, which we like. Fuel and pompout services are at the berth and fuel prices are reasonable. The dock staff is efficient and helpful with hookups and information about the town. The marina doesn't look full but looks are deceiving. Folks all around us are grilling lunch or sitting on decks looking friendly. The real party is at the marina's pool deck where young families are hanging out.
The eateries along the docks were buzzing with business but the business thinned out away from the marina. We follow the ambiguous sign to the main street and happen upon a pub with a good selection of sandwiches. As it is early in the boating season for many and a regular workday for most the town is not crowded but there are plenty of people about.
Afterwards we stroll the main drag from end to end. The town is pleasant enough with an attempt at tourist kitsch but not overwhelmingly so. The colored shop fronts are a trifle garish. The town deserves more time than we can give it because of the approaching storm.
We make our Friday night supper on the boat and regret that we can't enjoy an off day in the town. However, we will not leave the weather and our floating home to chance. Tomorrow will be an early start.