boat cruise Chesapeake Bay Bridge



What’s it like cruising under one of the “scariest bridges in the world”? Watch this 60 second boat cruise under the Bay Bridge!

Chesapeake Bay is home to the beautiful Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland (also known to many as just the “Bay Bridge”). The bridge serves as a vital link, connecting the state’s rural Eastern Shore region with the more urban Western Shore and is one of the few ways to get around the bay.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is also known as one of the “scariest bridges in America” because it spans the entire width of the Chesapeake Bay. Driving over the bridge is 4.3 miles from end to end and it is one of was the world’s longest continuous over-water steel structures.  Crossing the bridge by car is positively frightening to some people because of its height, the narrowness of the spans (there are no hard shoulders), the low guardrails, and the frequency of high winds. The Maryland Traffic Authority even contracts with private companies to provide transportation across the bridge for nervous drivers!



Cruising by Boat Under the Bay Bridge

As a longtime boater on the Chesapeake Bay, I have to say that sometimes cruising under the Bay Bridge can be a bit nerve-wrecking too. We hail from the north end of the Chesapeake Bay on the Sassafras River and must cruise under the bridge if we want to go south of Baltimore or Rock Hall, MD. There have been times when the water is rough on the bay and it seems to be extra rough as you approach the bridge.

What’s our cruising strategy when it comes to the Bay Bridge?

We are power boaters and we are not fond of wind – so like to cruise in the earlier part of the day when it is not as windy. We also approach the bridge toward the center where the underpass openings are the widest. When you are approaching the bridge it seems like it takes forever to get there because you see it ahead of your boat for miles on the water. But if you are cruising at a good speed (20 knots or more) it should only take you about 1 minute to cruise under the full bridge (the two full sections of the bridge).

bay bridge water view

When the tide is with you and the winds are low it is an absolutely beautiful view cruising under the bridge. It really is an amazing structure and from the water it is quite a sight. My favorite moment is when you are directly between the two bridges. Then, as you pass under the bridge, you get a beautiful view from the stern of your boat. You get a great perspective from this angle and can really see just how long it spans.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge water view

Chesapeake Bay Bridge Video

We recently cruised under the Bay Bridge on a cruise to Annapolis (one of our favorite destinations on the Chesapeake) and experienced super calm water all the way (best cruise ever really!).

Here is a quick 60 second video of a recent cruise we took under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge:

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Diane Seltzer

Founder & Editor at My Boat Life
Diane is the founder of MyBoatLife.com as well as the boating lifestyle site for kids BoaterKids.com. She is also active in the boating industry, serving as the marketing director for a marine sunshade product, SureShade, and founder of Marine Marketing Tools, a collaborative site for sharing marine marketing best practices. Diane is also the author of the children's book The Amazing Adventures of Boat Girl.

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