The next day we cruised through Kent Narrows and up Chestertown River, and I felt like we had the waterways all to ourselves—not a typical experience in these parts. We passed a dozen boats at most on the slow and scenic trip up to Chestertown. We even got practice docking with the Cruisers’ bow thruster once we arrived, as there was no one on the water to disturb. Afterwards a stroll through town made us wonder whether this was a ghost town, but dinner at the Blue Heron Cafe dispersed that theory. We toasted Ciuchta’s last night and celebrated the surprisingly quiet solitude we’d enjoyed because Baltimore was our next stop, and it was Preakness week. The city would certainly be hoppin’ with horse-racing fans.
We entered Baltimore harbor the next morning with Ciuchta as our personal tour guide. This is his hometown, and it was obvious that he’d missed it. He took us by Fort McHenry, Federal Hill, Cross Street Market, and Camden Yards before catching his train back to New York—first pointing us in the direction of the elegant Louisiana restaurant in Fells Point, where, again, Ciuchta’s local knowledge did not disappoint and neither did chef Chris Boehme’s French/Creole cuisine.
But realizing that our time for poking around had come to an end was a disappointment. The crew of leg three was expecting us in Cape May, New Jersey, in two days, which obviously meant we’d have to pick up the pace a little. However, this time I thought, at least I had a chance to stop and smell the roses.
This article originally appeared in the December 2006 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.