Hi...I'm in Delaware...

Trip Start Nov 06, 2010
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Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed
Chesapeake City Marina

Flag of United States  , Maryland
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We slept in this morning (7:30) and motored over to the South Jersey Marina to fuel and water up. Connor noticed that there was a marine supply store there as well as a little breakfast place. We decided to treat ourselves. On the way in, we met Kevin - he is delivering a sailboat south and is a captain for a living. We had heard in the weather report that it was supposed to blow for the next couple of days, so Connor chatted him up for some advice - should we risk going outside along the coast from Cape May, NJ, down to Norfolk, VA, or should we take the long way up the Delaware Bay, through the C&D (Chesapeake & Delaware) Canal, and down the Chesapeake Bay. He immediately suggested we should go inside the Bay as, once out in the North Atlantic, there are not a lot of places to pull in to safety if the going gets rough.

We had our breakfast, got a few necessary supplies, filled up on diesel, and we were on our way. We motored through the Cape May Canal to the Delaware Bay, turned to the north and started sailing. It was a nice long sail up the Bay, cloudy skies but not too cold. As we were heading to the C&D Canal, we knew we wouldn't have much trouble for our first time sailing after dark. Kevin had told us that we would see a big nuclear cooling tower when we neared the top of the Bay, and that would be our heads up that the C&D was coming up. We saw it on the horizon for several hours before we actually reached it, and it was just after dusk that we finally passed it. In general, navigating through the channel after dark wasn't too bad - there were bright range lights on shore, one taller than the other, and you knew that when they lined up, it was time to turn. We lucked out with not having too much traffic, just a little bit of rain, and only a brief period of gusty winds as we came to our turn into the C&D Canal.

The C&D Canal was lit up like a landing strip. The Canal is maybe 800 feet across, and the shoreline on either side is lined with lights. After a tug and tow that had followed us into the canal passed us up, we were able to move comfortably to the center of the canal and sail our way through it. With the tree-lined shores, the winds were definitely variable, but we were able to manage a pretty good speed throughout - even up to 7 knots a few times.

We ducked into Chesapeake City a bit after 10p.m., found an empty dock and squatted for the night. We knew we would be up early to get to the end of the canal and into the Chesapeake Bay. Steady winds with some heavy gusts are predicted for the majority of the day tomorrow, so we want to get on our way so we can put a reef in before getting out of the canal. Given the jagged coastline of the Chesapeake, we know there will be plenty of places to pull in if it becomes too rough and we need to go somewhere protected for a few hours.

~Ellie
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Comments

Anna on

We motored through that canal on the Cramer. It's definitely well marked! It was kinda neat seeing a photo of Ellie snoozing and immediately recognizing where you guys were (although I couldn't actually remember the name of the it at all). Happy sailing!! Love you!

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