Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
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Re: Delmarva Circumnavigation
Ocean City is a popular bail-out point, because folks know where it is in and because it is easy to find. It is probably also the most prone to bad tides and breaking in on-shore conditions. It is NOT a good choise. I've done all of these in a variety of conditions, and OC is generally the scariest and least pleasant.
It's funny how guide books become gosple. the CG has a big station in Chincoteague (including a buoy tender), a number of 12-foot draft draggers call it home, and yet the guides state with pomp and authority that the entrance is undependable. I've entered with a 12-foot swell with my 16 year old daughter driving (I was spotting markers), and it was easy--EVERY other Delmarva entrance was breaking heavily. I find the situation funny.
And yes, draft matters. But do remember that the tide is about 4-5 feet, so there is a lot of water at high tide.
I did run the inside pasage once (different boat). THAT is some shallow water, though sections are managable with very shoal draft if you watch the tide. Really, that is centerboard territory ad you will still sniff the bottom now and then. But beautiful country, nothing like it.
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