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post #9 of Old 01-17-2009
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Crossing the Bay

It sounds like your boat is in Lewes as there are are no marinas in Rehoboth and Indian River Inlet has a 35' fixed bridge. I know the waters across the Delaware Bay very well since I fish there a lot. You need to study a chart of the area well. You will probably come out of the Roosevelt inlet at Lewes. The inlet is usually very easy to negotiate. There are submerged rock jetties on either side marked well by large markers. You will be taking the same route as the Cape May/Lewes Ferries. Its almost a straight line from Roosevelt Inlet to Cape May but with hazards on each side of your route. About 4 miles out from Roosevelt inlet you will be between The Sheers (a shoal) on your north and the rock piles (also known as the haystacks) and the mile long breakwater stone wall to your south. The sheers are fairly deep with the shallowest about 12' in a small area. The break water wall is marked, but the rock piles are not, but are 4' to 10' above the water. The Ferries go pretty close to these on their way to their docks in Lewes.
Next you'll go through the south end of the ship anchorage. There are usually several tankers anchored there waiting for pilots to take them up the bay. To your south at this point are bouys 8A and 8B. They mark the edge of the shoals that go across the mouth of the bay.
The main shipping channel going north up the bay will be next. The channel is not that wide and you'll cross it quickly. Brown Shoal will be to your north just before the shipping channel and runs north and south dividing the anchorage and the shipping channel. The lowest point on Brown shoal is about 10' and could have breaking waves depending on wind and tide, but you will be just south of brown shoal. After the shipping channel, is Brandywine shoal and has a light house a few miles north of your route marking the shipping channel's east edge. From there the shoals along the mouth of the bay will be on your south and you can sail into the Cape May Canal. I believe a bridge across the canal is 55', but check it out on the chart. Take my description above and locate all those areas on your chart. Once you have identified them you'll see it really is almost a straight run.
An important note. The tide will be running either north if its coming in or south if it going out. It runs fast at its peak, possibly 3 kts at some locations, so calculate for that in your navigation. I know from fishing the area, it takes about an hour for the tide to change direction and you'll have slack water for that hour. So an hour before change would be the best time to make your crossing.

Rehoboth Bay/Indian River, DE
S/Y KJ, Helms 25
1976 #552

Last edited by Wayne25; 01-17-2009 at 01:03 AM.
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