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jameswilson29 09-08-2012 02:53 PM

Finally rode the current from Cape May, N.J., to Still Pond
I just completed a 10 day, solo, counterclockwise circumnavigation of the Delmarva peninsula, during which I was able to ride the current for 14 hours from Cape May, N.J., through the C&D canal, and down the Chesapeake Bay to Still Pond, photos:

and video:

chef2sail 09-08-2012 05:20 PM

Re: Finally rode the current from Cape May, N.J., to Still Pond
James, congrats on your circumnav. Current times and daylight hours the past two weeks have made conditions perfect for the run back up the Delaware to the Chessie..

We normally can get to the Sassafrass, but this year we set our all time distance reord. One week ago Sunday we were heading back from our annual trip o Long Ilsland Sound we left Cpe May at exactly 6AM. We were able to ride the peak current up the Delaware averaging 8.2 knots ( motorsailed our normal 2700 rpm which in no current equates to 6 knts) , and it the Camal entrance at 1:30. We rode the current at 8.8 knots through the Canall and dowvn the Chessie to Still Pond where it petered out and hit Still Pond at 4. We decided to solider on as the forecast for Labor Day sucked. We almost regretted our decision as we approached on home port (Rock Creek) on the Patapsco. We saw a T storm cell on the Bush River behind us and to port so we were ahead of it as it moved across the Bay behind us. We later learned that ad we looked back we may have seen the waterspout the clouds generated. We hit our dock at 7:30 as it was getting dark. 13.5 hours from Cape May which is a record for us.

It's always better comming north on the Delaware as you ave the current 6.5 hours or better and don't have to run against it like you do when you only have 5.5 hours on the ride south.

tdw 09-08-2012 07:46 PM

Re: Finally rode the current from Cape May, N.J., to Still Pond
Good stuff James. Well done. I guess with that much traffic about (going by Google Earth) you anchored or berthed each night though I noticed you did some night sailing, all night or simply a late arrival at stopover ?

Once you go through (under ? over ? ) the Lucius j Kellem Jr tunnel and bridge do you stay outside or is that some kind of inside passage ? Hard to tell from GE whether it is navigable for a sailing boat or not. Some of it looks shallow and swampy. Lots of stinkers. Annoying ?

Who the hell was Lucius J Kellem Jr ?


Andrew B

jameswilson29 09-08-2012 08:56 PM

Re: Finally rode the current from Cape May, N.J., to Still Pond
Lucius Kellem is no longer a household name in these parts. I am not sure who he is. There are swarms of flies from the marshes that will descend on the boat, even out of sight of land.

After leaving the North Channel of the bridge, I went outside on the overnight passage from Cape Charles, Virginia, to Cape May, New Jersey, a distance of about 140 n.m. or roughly 36 hours in my boat. I slept in the cockpit or on the foredeck on a beanbag chair with a kitchen timer waking me up every 20 minutes to scan the horizon for ships. I have done that offshore passage 4 times now, and I never get much sleep - maybe an hour at most.

The whole Delmarva circumnavigation is more than 400 n.m. I usually run late at least one night and stay over an extra night in one town - this time it was Cape May, N.J.

If you want to see some close traffic, here is a vehicle carrier while I was motorsailing up the eastern side of the Delaware River shipping channel:

tdw 09-08-2012 09:19 PM

Re: Finally rode the current from Cape May, N.J., to Still Pond
I confess I rarely get more than a nap or two at night when on passage even with crew. Couple of hours if I'm with the Wombet or someone else I really trust but that is best case. Mind you if it is cloudless and/or with a bit of moon I almost prefer being awake at night and napping through the day. When I am crewing on someone else's boat however, I can sleep like a log.

Botany Bay, which is Sydney's main container port and Port Kembla a bit further south for cars means we meet up with those behemoths on a regular basis but Newcastle (coal) is the most fun you can ever have. On one passage we counted 56 coal carriers, most anchored but every now and then you realise that one or two will be heading in or out of port and that is even more jolly. All you need is a pea souper and you have heaven on a stick.

Oh yes, I googled. Kellem was head of the commission responsible for the bridge/tunnel.

Ah yes, marsh/swamp bugs .... Only had them once, five miles out to sea and whammo .... bow to stern ..... we had to find a tin of insect spray and do the whole boat. We were motoring in a dead calm just on dawn so there was no escape for us other than insectocide .... funny thing was they were not all the same type of bug, from wee midges up to mean sob wasps. i suspect we solved the mystery of the Marie Celeste.

chef2sail 09-08-2012 09:41 PM

Re: Finally rode the current from Cape May, N.J., to Still Pond
Wow you were close to the channel. I saw the nuke plant in your utube video. Looks like you were around Cross Ledge when you took it. We stay far away from the channel except there. The tankers look far away but in 20 minutes at 27 knots thy come up quick. We generally ride the Jersey side after Egg Point where the Bay narrows to the over crossing over at the nuke plant ( Reedy Island). Kudos on he night trip solo. I don't like sleeping with no one else at the helm.


chucklesR 09-09-2012 09:52 AM

Re: Finally rode the current from Cape May, N.J., to Still Pond
I always have a hard time sleeping while underway.

Good vids and nice going James.

pdqaltair 09-09-2012 11:40 AM

Re: Finally rode the current from Cape May, N.J., to Still Pond
So where did you stop? I'm always curious how folks break this up. I just got back from the same trip with my family, but we always make it take longer, with more layovers.

2012 Deale, MD (start)
Solomons Island, MD
Tangier, VA (2)
Cape Charles, VA
Chincoteague, VA (5)
Assateague/Ocean City, MD
Cape May, NJ (7)
Chesapeake City, MD
Rock Hall, MD

jameswilson29 09-09-2012 05:00 PM

Re: Finally rode the current from Cape May, N.J., to Still Pond
Here were my stops this time:

Potomac River (start)
Indian Creek in Fleets Bay
Cape Charles
Cape May for 2 days
Still Pond
St. Michaels
Solomon's Island
Potomac River (end)

St. Michaels was a little out of the way, but I have not been there in 11 years and I use to go regularly. I wanted to see how it had changed. Frankly, I was someone disappointed, but not surprised, that the town has become even more sheshe (something is wrong with a town that has more spas than hardware stores).

Rockhall was a pleasant surprise - very authentic. I stayed at Sailing Emporium and had a great dinner at Harbor Shack. I met several transients who ended up taking more or less permanent residence at Rockhall.

mad_machine 01-22-2013 09:22 PM

Re: Finally rode the current from Cape May, N.J., to Still Pond
Nice.. I didn't realize you could make the C&D so quickly from Cape May.. good to know

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