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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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  #1  
Old 07-26-2011
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Annapolis to/from Cape May

It has been decided I am going to take the suggestion from Tempest to sail to Cape May and back.

Need input for more Challenge route & Destination

I hope I will get down to the marina at 7 pm tomorrow. and depart Annapolis at 8:00 pm sail/motor north to Chesapeake City. It should take me 12 hr to get there. At 10 am I will head out the Canal and sail and ride the current to Cape May.

I need to check bridge clearance, but it should be OK. I will sort out the detail on route. My children may be drive to Cape May and catch a ride to Annapolis, but I will see.

If we have time, we may go out Cape May canal at the atlantic side and loop back to Delaware river. I need to return the boat by Sunday morning. We should be fine.

Wifey said she will tag along but as always, she is just a passenger. :P I will have my full safety gears with me and will set up the jackline before departing.
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Old 07-27-2011
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Bridge clearances in Cape May Canal are 55'. There is a railroad swing bridge immediately after the first, westernmost bridge. As will all railroad bridges the bridge will be open unless a train is coming. Pass to the north side of the swing bridge to avoid the overhead power cable.

The bridges in the C & D won't be a problem.

Tod
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Old 07-27-2011
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a. Unless some wind shows up, it will be a boring engine run. Going with the tide helps. Going wind against tide sucks. Considerably worse than the Chesapeake.
b. The current in Cold Spring Inlet can be very strong at peak ebb (worst at the railroad bridge); try to avoid that.

These posts might be of interest:
Sail Delmarva: Trip Report - 2010 Delmarva Circumnavigation
Sail Delmarva: Trip Report - 2009 Delmarva Circumnavigation.


It will be new waters and a new expereince. Enjoy! But do take some time to smell the roses. Rent some bikes in Cape May (they will bring them to the harbor) and peddle the town.
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Old 07-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
I hope I will get down to the marina at 7 pm tomorrow. and depart Annapolis at 8:00 pm sail/motor north to Chesapeake City. It should take me 12 hr to get there. At 10 am I will head out the Canal and sail and ride the current to Cape May.
You posted right around midnight so I'm not sure whether you are leaving Annapolis Wednesday 27th or Thursday 28th.

It usually takes me about 6 hours to make Worton Creek (my usual staging spot for the C&D) and another 2 or 3 to West Inlet depending on wind and willingness to motor. 12 hours seems a bit long to make Chesapeake City.

Slack before flood at West Inlet (see Tidal Current Predictions and page down to July) is 0301 28 Jul and 0350 29 Jul.

Winds are currently N'ly but when the cold front hanging over our head passes it will switch to S or SW'ly. Don't get too engaged with the marine forecast. Frontal passages create local effects and forecasting just when it will pass a particular point is more art than science. From our perspective it will happen when it happens, sometime late Wednesday or early Thursday.

Forecast winds are 5-10 for the next few days, but can go very light and variable when the front passes or get a bit exciting if thunderstorms build up on the frontal line (not currently forecast).

As things stand now it looks like you could ride the current straight through the C&D and down the Delaware Bay. I presume your stop in Chesapeake City is to take a nap. That will put you a bit behind the currrent but won't be the end of the world if my time estimate is correct; if yours is closer you'll be bucking the current most of the way down the Delaware.

There is a railroad bridge over the C&D somewhat East of Chesapeake City. It is normally up but does close for trains. They broadcast their intent to close starting about 30 minutes ahead on VHF 13. Since commercial traffic also broadcasts entry to the C&D on 13 you want to monitor that channel anyway.

No sailing is allowed in the C&D; you must motor.

Have a great time.
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Old 07-27-2011
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you really dont want to go against the current all the way down the Delaware unless you are tired of having your wife along as a passenger when you cruise. Then by all means go for it.
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Old 07-27-2011
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Captains, thanks for the input and helpful tips.

Here are my answers chronologically as posted.

1. I think my Jeanneau 37 has 50'2" mast height, so I have a few feet to spare. I hope it should be OK.
2. Pass the north side is noted.

-------------
3. The trip objective is to chalk up experience with a minimal preparation. Trying to learn how to handle the unexpected in a relatively safe coastal water near home. I have less than two years to get ready to sail solo in the Pond and beyond. My son (22) may join me, but I can't count on it.

4. I have not worked out the details in passing through Cold Spring. I will play by my own instinct with Plan B in the back of my head.

5. Hahha, I have read you blog many moons ago. Good read

6. I try to get to Cape May as soon a possible. If we have time, we will take a slower pace in Cape may. We have fond memory from the past visit. It is too bad that there is no water taxi in Cape may and we have no dingy to shore. So we need to find an inexpensive way to dock my boat for a few hour or overnite.

-------------------
7. We will be departing Annapolis landing Marina at 8 pm today (wed, 28th) for Chesapeake City. It is about 50 nm, so 10 to 12 hrs trip as planned. Your Aston Martin 40 is much faster than my "rental" Yugo 37, .

8. I figure that if I can get to CC by 8 am, take it easy for a couple hr and check out all system before heading out the Delaware Bay. The high tide peaks at 10:05 am on Thursday at Delaware City.

9.
Winds are currently N'ly but when the cold front hanging over our head passes it will switch to S or SW'ly. Don't get too engaged with the marine forecast. Frontal passages create local effects and forecasting just when it will pass a particular point is more art than science. From our perspective it will happen when it happens, sometime late Wednesday or early Thursday

Good to know Hopefully the S and SW wind will stay our return trip back to C&D canal.

10. We have sailed in the Canal in the past, it is our "backyard".... . But we used a much smaller boat (Catalina 14.2)
-------------------
11. No intention to go against the current in Delaware river this time. May be next time.
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Old 07-27-2011
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I hope you have a great experience. I also hope my thoughts and contributions contribute to the learning you have embarked upon. There is no substitute for experience in gaining experience. *grin* If I think you are going to die I'll tell you so, but otherwise getting out there and doing it is a great thing. Just go.

Presumably by "Pond" you mean the Atlantic. Please allow me to pontificate based on my experience bringing Auspicious from Sweden to Annapolis and more deliveries (mostly along the US East Coast and to/from the Bahamas and Caribbean -- all offshore).

Fuel management is an issue. You simply will not carry enough fuel to motor the whole way. This obvious observation has a number of implications. Unless you have other means of reliable electrical power generation fuel is a huge issue. Water consumption is a balancing one -- you can drift indefinitely at 1/2 knot until you run out of water or food. Cruising and passagemaking are generally not intended to be grueling. It should be pleasant. That means keeping the boat moving under sail in light air.

When we left the Azores headed for Bermuda with fuel and water pressed up and a lot of good food on board standing orders where to motor if boat speed got below 2 knots. If boat speed got below 3 kts the watchstander was to wake me. Mostly (not always) I could get another knot out of the boat. As we progressed two of the watchstanders learned to really move the boat in light air. That was great. I got more sleep. *grin* As we progressed and managed fuel appropriately the boat speed to motor increased since we had plenty of fuel (schedule was an issue albeit second to safety).

So why do I bring this up in the context of your plan to visit Cape May?

In my opinion, given your plans, learning to move a boat in light air is an important skill. Outside of the C&D where you must motor (the law), learning to move the boat under sail is an important skill. Can you keep the boat moving at half of apparent wind (up to about 7 kts boat speed in 15 kts breeze)? That should be your personal metric. If the wind is light and you keep the boat moving under sail to Reedy Island and back you will have something to be proud of. Sometimes it isn't where you go but how you get there that is important.

If I recall correctly you have to be back in Annapolis at 8a on Sunday. If you would like to chat over coffee at Leeward Market (or Ken's or where-ever) after that and you think I might have something to offer I'd be happy to meet you.

Regardless, my best wishes for a great sail. I'm always thrilled to see people serious about sailing boats over long distances. Just go.
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Old 07-27-2011
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U.S. Coast Pilot-Vol. 3

Print Chapters 6,7 & 8..covers the areas that you'll be transiting..if you don't have a full printed version on board..

United States Coast Pilot®

..besides it's free.
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Old 07-27-2011
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I also hope my thoughts and contributions contribute to the learning you have embarked upon.
Yes, you have indeed from many of your posts.

If I think you are going to die I'll tell you so, but otherwise getting out there and doing it is a great thing. Just go.
Hahha... good to know. But dying is least I worry about. I am not going out with an intention to kill myself, always with Plans B and C. But regrets though.

Please allow me to pontificate based on my experience bringing Auspicious from Sweden to Annapolis and more deliveries (mostly along the US East Coast and to/from the Bahamas and Caribbean -- all offshore).

Please do, I prefer to learn from others experiences. I like to analyze others mistake and their alternatives if any.

I heard about your voyage from HR factory to Chessy. Unfortunately, crews are not as reliable as it used to be. I would jump in both feet in a heart beat even as a slave.


That means keeping the boat moving under sail in light air.

This is the reason I have looked into a Jeanneau 409 v. a heavy displacement boat. It seems that having a light wind days are for more often than stormy days because we try to avoid them.

See my link for my logic of thinking:
Late or New Model Production boat can survie


So why do I bring this up in the context of your plan to visit Cape May?

In my opinion, given your plans, learning to move a boat in light air is an important skill. O

In my last crewing trip to and from Bermuda, we had a crew who is a Physics professor and avid racer. I picked up a lot from him. I am thinking to take some racing courses or find a racing crew position to improve myself. Recently, I picked up a book. By anyone's standard, it is way too technical. But it is right in my alley where I belong.

Amazon.com: High Performance Sailing (9780070057999): Frank Bethwaite: Books

If I recall correctly you have to be back in Annapolis at 8a on Sunday. If you would like to chat over coffee at Leeward Market (or Ken's or where-ever) after that and you think I might have something to offer I'd be happy to meet you.


Yes, we will be back in Annapolis on this Sunday. I would love to get salty whenever I can from the Old Salt; Let 's do breakfast or lunch, I buy.
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Old 07-27-2011
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Update:
Delayed departure to 11:45 pm on Wed, July 27. We will be non-stop sailing to Cape May if current and tides permitting. I think we will be OK.

My son is on route from CT (Sikorsky, maker of Black Hawk) to home. I will wait for him so we can sail together.

I miss my kids.
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