Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Swarthmore, PA
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Re: Currents in the C&D Canal
With a June/July pre-dawn departure from Essington with favorable currents and tides a one day dash to Cape May before sunset is possible but that strikes me as to much work.
I take an overly relaxing 3 days; Essington-Delaware City- Cohansey-Cape May, cutting out Delaware City would still be a relaxing 2 day trip.
A Cohansey departure can be scheduled to arrive at the entrance to the Cape May Canal near slack at the canal entrance. If arrival is early for slack and the wind is not out of the west then anchor off Higbee Beach until slack, or just power through the rock jetties. After the ferry terminal the canal is OK even with power boats zipping by.
Try to avoid the canal entrance on summer weekends when the power boats power up as they transit between the rock jetties. The entrance is a lot narrower than the C&D.
I'm waiting to see how our May outing goes first, but if we demonstrate that Cohansey is doable in one day, then I would shoot for 2 days to Cape May later this year or next.
On my charts it looks like Cohansey mouth to canal entrance is a perfectly stright shot - 29 nm on 140 true. And in case I were to get out of sync with the currents, my program predicts much weaker currents along that line. If I'm sailing with the ebb, that might be reason to get closer to the channel to get more of a push. Is there any reason not to do that?
I know Dave has mentioned severe chop off Egg Island Point. Is there a way to avoid that (head out to deeper water near the channel)? Or, once past the point, is there benefit to curving through the northeastern bay to reduce the fetch? It adds a lot of distance, but looks on the chart like it might be smoother if there was a southeastern breeze in direct opposition to the ebb current.
Just curious, since I've never done this. Thinking this through gets my mind off the current sub-freezing temps.
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1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)
Last edited by TakeFive; 02-04-2013 at 03:06 PM.