Solomon's Island is a famous cruiser destination of which I had never visited! Many friends and other cruisers all mentioned it, telling me that I had to stop there before we left the Chesapeake Bay.
The entrance to the river was very well marked, but also rather narrow. The sides of the river are completely built up with marinas creeping out into the water on both sides, making it a little nerve wracking to tack through, as one missed tack might mean a collision with a million dollar yacht!
To avoid any close calls, we motor sailed our way up the river, using the slight thrust from the electric motor to keep us moving forward as we slowly short tacked up the narrow creek.
We anchored just past a mooring field near a sandy beach that only exists there at low tide and enjoyed the scenery around us. Solomon's Island used to be littered with decaying fishing boats strewn along the shores and dilapidated piers. The area has since undergone a massive revitalization to transform it from a dumping ground to a ritzy spot to stop.
The problem with fancy places is they want you to pay for everything, and when you are cruising on a tight budget, this can be a challenge. Walking Morty, our corgi, also proved to be a challenge. There was only one area of undeveloped waterfront, and luckily we were anchored in front of it. At low tide, Morty could run on the exposed sandy beach, but at high tide, this entire area disappeared into the water.
Anchoring in Solomon's also proved to be a challenge. We are using a 65 pound Mantus anchor that is well oversized for our boat with an all chain rode, yet we still had trouble getting it to hold on the bottom. The anchor never dragged, instead it just migrated along the bottom. Every few days, we would drift back about 300 feet, causing us to need to reset the anchor in a new position as we would drift back on the marinas around us.
Solomon's Island did have a very cool museum though, where they cover the history of the neighboring cliffs which used to be underwater a few million years ago. They also had a great exhibit on the history of the light houses in the Chesapeake Bay.
I am glad that I visited this little gem, but I am also in no hurry to return to this anchorage. If you do decide to go to Solomon's Island, you might sleep more comfortably with your boat tied up in a marina instead of anchored out, but you must be prepared to pay $2.95 per foot per day!