Re: Maiden Voyage Newbie Trainwreck
The accuracy of charted water depth is a function of how long ago it was surveyed and what silt has built up in the area or washed away. So give up river and down river ends of shoal areas a wide passage and keep an eye on the depth sounder. I usually make my turn shipping channel to bulkhead shoal close to the green off Newcastle or up river from the green.
Newcastle sailing club uses the green can as a race marker, give them a bit more room and enjoy the show.
The submerged dike is visible as breaking water close to low tide and can be visible at low low tide.
The shipping channel is dredged to 45ft+ so if you are in less than 40ft depth the only thing you have to worry about is their wake. Keep looking behind you and unless crossing stay to the side of the shipping channel.
I don't have AIS but that would let you know speed and course of the ships in the channel, after a while you will be able to guestimate how soon a ship will be close to your position and how much time you have to get to the side of the channel. Try to get out of the way in half the time you guestimate, and watch for traffic from the other direction.
Up river from the C&D it is probably wise to only be in the shipping channel when you need to cross, but on a quiet day without much shipping it can be fun to to go up or down river rounding a green, then a red, then a green...
1970 Havsfidra 20 by Fisksatra
On the Delaware River at Fox Grove Marina Essington PA