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post #1 of Old 05-10-2007 Thread Starter
I'd rather be sailing
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What a day on the Delaware!

Just so everyone knows how Day 3 of our trip went.. we left Delaware City at 0530. Visibility was less than 50 yards due to thick pea soup fog. Entering the shipping lanes was a bit nerve-wracking at the start, but we got the hang of doing compass and timed runs using the GPS as backup to go from buoy to buoy. The GPS didn't adjust quick enough (I prefer the compass) when we needed to make slight course changes, but it was great for determining whether we were in the actual channel or not. It was freakey hearing 800 foot tankers bellowing their whsitles, smelling their exhaust and feeling their props turning only a 1/4 mile away but never actually seeing them. We had one tug tell us that "you don't get extra points for running in the fog. You should drop your hook!" We thanked him for his advice (in a nice way so he didn't drop HIS hook on US!). We listened to channel 13 the whole way down the Delaware which is the channel the commercial traffic uses.

The current was with us most of the way. While our boat speed was showing 5-6kts our SOG was 8-9kts. Our engine RPMs were at around 1400 for most of the day.

The pea soup stuck with us for the whole day, so instead of taking the inside route around Cape May, we struck out for the ocean buoy, rounded it, went around some shoals and then headed in to the ocean channel for Cape May. We saw a plethora of dolphins and a couple of sperm whales. Once again, we were enveloped by pea soup, and as I was feeling my way around looking for the opening (only a few hundred feet wide), two commercial fishers came zooming out of it at over 30mph, just barely missing us. They never called securite (which we were calling all day - and rarely heard anyone else calling).

Once we entered the harbor, the fog lifted and we motored through. Eerily, we saw one sunk sailboat with its mast sticking out of the water, forestay and backstay still attached. I don't know what the story is. The place we're staying at - the Canyon Club Marina - is right next to the canal's exit point into the harbor. It's pretty nice, filled with tens of millions of dollars of sport fishers and like three sailboats. While the facilities are nice (pool, jacuzzi (neither open yet), rest rooms/showers/laundry, diesel on EVERY dock, etc., our walk to the rest rooms seems like a mile long hike!

It ended up taking us approximately 12 hours of gut wrenching, teeth chattering, bone chilling powering down the Delaware to get here.
The amazing thing (other than the fact that we didn't die) was that we only used 9 gallons of fuel!! There is a god after all.

We ate at a phonemanal restaurant - the harbor view restaurant.
We leave tomorrow morning if the fog lifts.

s/v "Pelican" Passport 40 #076- Finished Cruising - for the moment -
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