Currents in the C&D Canal - Page 6 - SailNet Community
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post #51 of 72 Old 02-04-2013
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Re: Currents in the C&D Canal

Skip Smith Island and Tangier. You can take a ferry to either island from the shore for a day excursion. Tangier is nice, quaint and underwhelming. There are submerged hazards in the area and it puts you in an undesirable part of the Bay for fast North-South travel. I would stick to the Western shore in that part of the Bay and jump from the Great Wicomico (or parts south) to Solomons Island (or parts north) or vice versa. Fleet Bay has some beautiful anchorages as well.

There is such a long stretch without good anchorages North from Solomons (except Little Choptank) and a long day's sail from Great Wicomico to the mouth of the Bay, where you can anchor at Cape Charles or Kiptopeake for the Northern Channel, that I would not stop anywhere in the vicinity of the mouth of the Potomac. I love the area for daysailing, but it is less than ideal for anything other than leisurely local cruising or travel.
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post #52 of 72 Old 02-04-2013
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Re: Currents in the C&D Canal

Further, I love Cape May, N.J., and would spend as much time there as possible, however, if you really want to make a fast Delmarva circumnavigation, stop at the breakwater in Lewes/Cape Henlopen instead of crossing the Delaware Bay and head up from there.

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post #53 of 72 Old 02-04-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Currents in the C&D Canal

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Further, I love Cape May, N.J., and would spend as much time there as possible, however, if you really want to make a fast Delmarva circumnavigation, stop at the breakwater in Lewes instead of crossing the Delaware Bay and head up from there.
I'm trying to talk my wife into taking our little boat down the Delaware River to Cape May for a week-long trip (this year or next year). If we time things right, I'm hoping to go two days each direction from Essington (stop off in Cohansey), and a few nights in Cape May. I assume Utsch's is the place to stay, right? Other recommendations?
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post #54 of 72 Old 02-04-2013
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Re: Currents in the C&D Canal

Check out
Delaware Bay and C & D Canal
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post #55 of 72 Old 02-04-2013
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Re: Currents in the C&D Canal

Utsches is great - very sailboat friendly. South Jersey Marina is nice too, more powerboat oriented, and a little more expensive - you are likely to be tied up alongside the main pier instead of in a separate slip.
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Re: Currents in the C&D Canal

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I'm trying to talk my wife into taking our little boat down the Delaware River to Cape May for a week-long trip (this year or next year). If we time things right, I'm hoping to go two days each direction from Essington (stop off in Cohansey), and a few nights in Cape May. I assume Utsch's is the place to stay, right? Other recommendations?
Cape May has really nice beaches, striking Victorian architecture, historical sites, a scenic lighthouse in a great state park, excellent and plentiful restaurants, a walking mall downtown, and a free trolley service.

It is such a great place to visit. You can walk many places.
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post #57 of 72 Old 02-04-2013
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Re: Currents in the C&D Canal

Utsches are friends of mine. We stop there twice every year. Nice restaurants close and town is a mile walk or a ten dollar cab ride. Nice ACME in town for provisions, Lots of great restaurants shops etc, Chance to go out into the Ocean for a few day sails or do Atlantic City which is 30 miles north, as CM inlet is easy although a combo of the Indy 500 and NHRA Winternationals.
You could make it from Essington in one long day and definately could go through the CM Canal at 55 ft max.

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post #58 of 72 Old 02-04-2013
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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.

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Re: Currents in the C&D Canal

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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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Re: Currents in the C&D Canal

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...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...
If I sailed down the river from Cohansey on ebb, I'd be arriving at the canal entrance near slack before flood, and would want to get into/though the canal as quickly as possible before the current started pushing too hard against me, right?


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1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
1994 Mason 44 Firefly on loan from my BFF (West River, Galesville, MD)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)
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