Rodney Scout Reservation
27 July through 2 August 2014
Ship 461 held its 2014 Long Cruise on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland with our base at Rodney Scout Reservation, located near the town of North East, Maryland. We shared a camp site with Boy Scout Troop 1530 from Fairfax, Virginia, who appeared surprised that Sea Scouts even existed. By the end of the week, they were well-acquainted with the Sea Scout program. Our particular campsite was named "Pioneer" and it was located near a forty (40) foot cliff overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. The campsite included four (4) Adirondack shelters that could hold six (6) persons each as well as a number of wall tents that could hold two (2) persons each. The adult leaders were housed in a cabin that also served as the site headquarters. The adult cabin housed twelve (12) adults and easily accommodated the adult leaders from both Troop 1530 and Ship 461.
The Pioneer campsite was located near one of the several shower houses set throughout the Reservation which was a hit with both our Scouts and leaders in that it offered both indoor plumbing as well as hot showers. We were also situated about a five (5) minute walk from the dining hall, which was nice since we drew the first meal seating that meant that breakfast started at 0700 each day. The Scouts and adult leaders from our two units got along quite well and by the end of the week a number of friendships had been formed. The photo below left shows one of our crew members interacting with some of the Scouts from Troop 1530 prior to one of the evening retreats. The photo below right pictures the dining area and trailers from Harleysville Troop 91, the unit with whom we were originally to share a campsite. Things never really work out as planned and they were in the campsite next to us, along with a Boy Scout Troop from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. So, we were able to interact with them during the week as well as with the members of Troop 1530.
We were able to park our sailboat temporarily at our campsite while we made arrangements to launch it at nearby Elk Neck State Park. Unfortunately, there was no launching site suitable at the camp so we had to launch our 22 foot Tanzer sailboat at Elk Neck State Park and sail it back to Rodney. Getting the Tanzer back to Rodney was itself a chore, requiring two (2) attempts to complete. The photo immediately below left shows the Tanzer on its trailer at our campsite. The photo immediately below right shows us preparing to launch the sailboat into the Chesapeake on Monday at Elk Neck State Park.
We initially launched our sailboat on Monday morning at Elk Neck State Park and headed off to Rodney under motor power. It was a rather windy day and once we got out into the bay we were met with swells reaching two (2) feet in height. The winds were such that we were hesitant to raise our sail and attempted to get around Turkey Point, which is the end of the peninsula on which both Rodney and Elk Neck are located, albeit on opposite sides. After more than an hour of making some, but not much, headway towards Turkey Point, we decided that discretion was the better part of valor and returned to the state park to try our luck another day. What convinced us to turn around was the fact that, as we approached Turkey Point, we were making absolutely no forward headway, despite having our outboard motor running at full throttle. It was only later that we discovered that there was a Small Craft Advisory issued for the Bay. No such warning flags were flying at the Elk Point Marina when we launched or recovered the sailboat.
The photo below left depicts Paul Coache at the helm of our sailboat as we depart the Elk Neck Park Marina on our way to Rodney. Notice how calm the water appears. The photo below right was taken a short time later, after we got out into the channel. Note that the water appears a bit more choppy at this point.
The photos immediately above give you some idea as to the swells that we were facing on Monday as we attempted to round Turkey Point and make out way to Rodney Scout Reservation. Compare the horizon of the two photographs with the bow of the boat. On the photo immediately above left, we are on the downward side of one swell heading into the trough. In the photo immediately above right, we are cresting on a swell just before we drop into the trough.
Rodney Scout Reservation served as our home port for the 2015 Long Cruise. We took our meals in the camp dining hall when we were on shore as well as participated in a number of camp-wide events.
This page last updated on Monday, 01 December 2014.