Make The Most Of Your Summer - Get Out On The Water!
Easy Ways For Those Without Boats To Enjoy Our Local Waterways
By Peter Crispino
Each summer, the waters of the Chesapeake and its tributaries swell with swarms of sea goers enjoying the cool breezes and salty air from the decks of their boats. But what about the scores of area residents who neither own nor have access to a boat to take out on balmy mid-summer weekends?
A vast array of nearby options ranging from sailing school to kayak tours offer plenty of unique ways for land-locked locals to make this the summer they finally get their feet wet.
The easiest way to get out on the open waters is to visit one of the many local cruises, which can range from a short jaunt around the Inner Harbor to an all-day sightseeing tour around the bay. Watermark Cruises in Annapolis offers a number of options, including expeditions to St. Michaels and cruises exploring Thomas Point and other local lighthouses.
They also offer Friday night Cocktail Cruises to the Inner Harbor, and special Rock N River cruises which feature live onboard music in partnership with 103.1 WRNR. Also in Annapolis, the Schooner Woodwind features daily two-hour cruises, plus unique themed voyages such as history tours, racing trips, beer and wine tasting and themed dinner cruises. The Schooner Woodwind also plays host to Boat & Breakfast an overnight stay on a 74-foot sailing yacht. Rates and information can be accessed at www.schoonerwoodwind.com.
Over in Pasadena, Atlantic Sailing Experience takes groups of six or fewer on intimate brunch or dinner cruises. They also offer personalized chartered tours around the bay. For more information, visit www.atlanticsailingexp.com.
For aspiring privateers, the Chesapeake Pirates of Annapolis (www.chesapeakepirates.com) lead daily 75-minute swashbuckling adventures with face painting and costumes. Baltimores Urban Pirates (www.urbanpirates.com/web) take young buccaneers around the Inner Harbor and teach them how to sing, dance and shoot onboard water cannons in true pirate form. Urban Pirates also offer adult Bring-Your-Own-Grog cruises every Friday and Saturday night.
For those looking to hoist the sails themselves for the first time, public and private instructional sailing courses can be found all over Marylands Western Shore, although such classes can be expensive for those only looking to enjoy a few trips out to sea. Such would-be mariners may consider the stress-free, no-experience-needed Duffy Boat outlets in both Annapolis and Baltimore. Rookie boaters can rent and pilot the 10-passenger electric boats, which the Koch Duffy Boat Rentals staff says are as easy to drive as a golf cart.
Seeking a more thrilling experience on the water? South River Boat Rentals in Edgewater has all the tools and supplies youll need to go tubing, including powerboat rentals. Nearby Sun Rise Boat Rentals also offers the essentials for tubing, as well as waterskiing and wakeboarding. Sun Rise Boat Rentals also offers jet-ski rentals by the hour.
Finally, Kayak Annapolis offers casually paced guided tours of the Annapolis harbor and the Naval Academy. In addition, the Patuxent Water Trail offers 110 miles of kayaking and canoeing throughout Maryland, with car-top boat launches at Davidsonville Park and Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary.
With options ranging from relaxing to heart-pounding, all accessible within a 20-minute drive, local landlubbers have everything they need to experience the sounds, smells and scenery of the local waterways this season.