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Cruising the Chesapeake: A Gunkholer's Guide Hardcover – June 4, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press; 3 edition (June 4, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071363718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071363716
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,098,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A copy should be in the hands of the fleet captains of every yacht club as well as in the library of every cruising yachtsman. It should be consulted each step of a cruise in much the same manner one checks his charts before getting underway." -- Eastern-Southeast Boating

"Great chartlets... plus a loving portrait of the bay." -- Criusing World

"Were it only a navigational aid, the book would be worth owning, but its introductory chapters and sidebars lift it into the realm of good travel writing as well." -- Mid-Atlantic Country --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

More than 200 miles long and 40 miles wide at its broadest, the Chesapeake Bay is the largest inland tidal body of water on the Atlantic seaboard. Sheltered from the Atlantic swells and resplendent with natural wonders, historical attractions, and more than a few cosmopolitan delights, it is also a cruiser's paradise.

A major part of the Chesapeake's charm derives from the numerous creeks, coves and inlets--gunkholes, in Chesapeake parlance--dotting its more than 3,000-mile shoreline. The difficulty of finding and entering many of these secluded hideaways discourages less adventuresome cruisers--or at least it used to.

Since 1990, Cruising the Chesapeake has been the guide of choice for sailors seeking to avoid the beaten path. No other guide to the region offers such complete, detailed coverage of virtually every point of interest on the Bay--from the secluded east fork of Langford Creek to the bustling hearts of Baltimore, Washington, and Norfolk. Nor does any other guide feature such an engaging, heartfelt evocation of the Bay, its shores, history, wildlife, and people.

Drawing upon his 30 years of experience cruising the Bay, as well as the latest navigational information, Bill Shellenberger tells you how to approach each spot covered, where to anchor, and what sort of dockage facilities and provisions are available there. He also fills you in on what has happened there in the past and what there is to see and do there now.

This third edition of the classic guide has been expanded to include an extensive section on the harbors of the mid-Atlantic coast from New York to Virginia, as well as the Delaware Bay and the Delaware River from Cape May to Trenton. It also now includes

  • A cruise planner with suggested itineraries for cruises of various length, supported by navigation charts
  • Aerial photos of key anchorages and tricky passages
  • A catalog of GPS coordinates
  • Updated information on piloting and shoreside facilities

A comprehensive cruise planner and navigation guide and a vivid celebration of one of North America's natural treasures, Cruising the Chesapeake is a book no Chesapeake boater will want to be without.

Gunkhole: A shallow cove of channel nearly unnavigable because of mud, rocks, or vegetation.

Gunkholer: A species of boater that is inexorably drawn to gunkholes in search of seclusion, adventure, wildlife--or just by an ungovernable urge to see what's around the next bend. Gunkholers are readily identified by their lack of concern at running aground and their well-thumbed copies of Crusing the Chesapeake: A Gunkholer's Guide.

"A copy [of this guide] should be in the hands of the fleet captains of every yacht club as well as in the library of every cruising yachtsman. . . . It should be consulted each step of a cruise in much the same manner one checks his charts before getting underway."--Eastern-Southeast Boating

"Shellenberger has perfected the art of gunkholing. . . . An excellent book for both those who enjoy weekend cruises and those who merely want to know more about Chesapeake Bay."--Daily Press (Newport News, VA)

"With more than 3,000 miles of shoreline, the Chesapeake Bay offers a treasury of cruising spots. Shellenberger's book provides the key to unlock it."--The Virginian-Pilot

"An 'insider's' look at the hundreds of places cruisers and weekend boaters love to hole up in. . . . It is also a loving portrait of the bay, its history, its people, its wildlife, and its environment."--The Mariner

"A truly monumental guide."--Sunday Capital (Annapolis, MD)


More About the Author

For over 40 years, the Shellenbergers have sailed the Chesapeake Bay and beyond as a family, from the time of their short-lived first boat, a 14-foot runabout, through three others, to their present 31-foot Westerly twin-keeled sloop. They have also made several excursions to the Caribbean and Down East to Maine.

The current crew is usually composed of Bill, his wife Judy, and two Tibetan Terriers. The last two crewmembers (and their predecessors) may explain his apparent preoccupation with beaches and places to land. Their two grown daughters (and husbands), plus a granddaughter, occasionally join them on their expeditions. When they all do, four more dogs - two Scotties, a West Highland White Terrier and a Jack Russell - also add to the 4-legged crew. (That's not a crew. It's a mob!)

Bill is a retired electronics engineer, a Past Commodore of the Arundel Yacht Club, its newsletter editor for nearly two decades, and the author of numerous cruising and "how-to" articles in both local and national magazines.

"Cruising the Chesapeake: A Gunkholer's Guide," was originally published by International Marine in September of 1990. A second edition was released in January 1994 and a third (with greatly expanded coverage of the Atlantic Coast) in June 2001. The fourth edition is scheduled for release in mid-2012. Much more than just a pilot guide, this book also covers the natural and physical history of the Bay, its surroundings, its wildlife, and its peoples. It distills the author's 40+ years of experience cruising the path less traveled into an easy-to-use guide that is written with appreciation and respect for the Bay's fragile ecosystem. It is also the only cruising guide to address the Mid-Atlantic coast from Virginia Beach, VA, to City Island, NY, and the entire Delaware Bay and River to the head of navigation.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
We have used it for 5 years and finally have visited each of the 5-star rated anchorages. They were all worth the trip.
We could not have entered many of the best without the specific "local knowlege" this book provides, and have amazed friends when we entered a tricky entrance, making all the right turns as though it was our home port.
It's more comprehensive than any other guide and has no advertising. Get the other guides if you're primarily looking for restaurant reviews and the like, since he only mentions a few of the most outstanding "finds", but if you're looking for pristine anchorages, or where the closest fuel, food, hurricane hole or pumpout is, this is the book for you.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Nick spencer on January 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a very comprehensive and informative book for anyone interested in finding those hidden away spots in the coves. the author has obviously been in every nook and cranny and has done a fine job of accomplishing what he has set out to do in authoring this book. The maps contained within should be used as a general reference only, as they do not provide the detail needed to navigate adequately. This is not a pictoral book and, as a result, has very few pictures.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Luke Reissman on April 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In addition to telling you where facilities, anchorages, and other interesting local points of interest are, he supplies invaluable lessons only learned in the school of hard knocks. Valuable mariner lessons were included on weather prediction, inlet navigation, and other techniques tailored to use in the Chesapeake bay. The book was very well done, and I hope to set off on a cruise in the very near future.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David H. Skolnick on September 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have two copies of the 2001 edition: one aboard my sailboat in Annapolis and the second in my office. Most of my use of the book has been in the middle Chesapeake. In crawling up and down the Magothy, Severn, South, West, Rhode, Chester, Wye, and Tred Avon Rivers this book has provided helpful insight into what I would find. This book and the Maptech chart book are all you need to find your way to and through the backwaters of the Chesapeake.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Colorist on September 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After using the other popular cruising guide for several seasons we bit the bullet and bought this one. Throw the other one away, this one has better descriptions of the places to go, how to get into the anchorages, what's there waiting for you, and where to anchor. Worth the $$.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LG + family on August 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Seems to be a great resource. Well organized, with a trove of useful details. Have already learned about a few good places to anchor, etc. not very far from where our boat is docked that I hadn't been aware of. Only downside -- and it's pretty big -- is the age of the book. The latest edition was published in 2001, so the status of some business establishments listed in the book will have changed. For example, there's a rave review for a restaurant in our area that burned to the ground in 2003. Best to call ahead before heading out if you're planning on visiting a business establishment listed in the book that you're not certain is still around.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sam Blate on January 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Not to be trite, but this book is an absolute must for anyone who seriously cruises Chesapeake Bay including its approaches. Superb detail and illustrations compliment a clear, carefully worded text. I have and use two other cruising guides for additional information but always start and end with this book.
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19 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The book is very comprehensive so if that's what you want, this is for you. However, it is'nt in colour,and has a poor/non-exhistant mapping system so is not suitable for ordinary visitors to the Chesapeake. The Chesapeake Cruising Magazine's annual guide is a lot easier to use and has itineries to make life easy.
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