This is about the time of year start heading off to go around the Delmarva; there's enough wind, it's warm, and truly bad weather is short lived. I heard there was a group headed around from Herrington Harbor South in a week or so - I'm certain there are others.
I've gone around a bunch of times, always hunting for new places to stop and explore, and so every trip has been different. I love it, I started a blog mostly for the purpose of telling the tales, though it has turned into a more general forum. But there are trip logs, and I plant add another this year.
Sail Delmarva: Trip Report - 2009 Delmarva Circumnavigation.
So, are there any revisions to the basic route that are important this year?
* I understand the entrance to Chesapeake City is a bit shallow in the middle. It's noisy on weekends, anyway. The icecream is nice, though.
* The entrance channel to Chincoteague was moved last year to straighten it out... and reduce the potential for dredging expense too, I think. It still carried 8 feet at low tide, last year.
* The new bridge, north of the town dock opened in April, so hopefully the prior swing bridge is staying open and access to the docks is simpler, but I haven't been there yet, and they were still using the old bridge some last time I asked a local.
* Fishing the Ocean requires a free registration through NOAA for 2010. I'm sure a fee is in the works.
* Cape Charles (town, not point) is adding breakwaters this spring and I bet they aren't on the charts yet. I surmise they are over the shallows on the north side. ("Cape Charles Offshore Breakwater Project - The contract with Precon Marine for the offshore breakwaters was signed on 1/19 to construct two 400’ sections of breakwater. The entire west dock area will be utilized when Precon mobilizes to the area. The work on the offshore breakwaters is scheduled to begin in April is expected to be completed in June 2010.")
What do you have to add?
do you have an exact time you are heading south?
We generally go in mid-late August in order to synchronize with a family gathering in Cape May. I would go in June, given the the choice. August features spotty wind and hurricanes; twice we have had to maneuver around them, either waiting in a harbor for it to pass, or rushing home with rising winds on our tail.
Many people chose to convoy, but there is really no need, with due care. Watch the weather and have several alternate plans, get good maps and guides, and enjoy the solitude. There are no obligatory runs over about 45 miles.
Unfortunately, I can't make the trip this year, but was curious about why most others have chosen to do the Atlantic leg from Delaware Bay to the Chessy or vice versa, if Chincoteague is a reasonable stopping point. Many accounts I've read have indicated there was not suitable harbor (for a sailing vessel) between Cape Henlopen and Cape Charles.
The aproach scares many because the chart described the markers as "variable and not plotted." There is a CG station in Chincoteague and they move the markers as needed. That said, if you read my trip report (above), the last trip I made was in the wake of huricane and ALL of the other ports, including Ocean City, were breaking. Chincoteague was easy and wide. I would not try it at night.
You can always call the Chincoteague CG. There is no fuel available without special araingments (you can go to a gas station). The private marinas generally do not have the draft, but the town dock is deep. You will need to be good in currents to get between the pilings.
Mono-hull sailors that have been in Chincoteague in the past few years - please chime in!
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