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post #11 of 42 Old 01-23-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Delaware River May 2013

Dave
Thanks for the current information the trip back up from Cohansey may be all motor sailing.

Slack before flood at Ship John is early afternoon on the May 4th, we will be at 90 deg to current until rounding Ship John then in the last hour or so of the ebb and maybe ride the flood to the C&D for the last few hours of canal current in our favor with Chesapeake City slack just after 7:00 PM.

This is Ben Davis Point Shoal August 2011, current and wind in my favor on my way from Cape May to Cohansey, the next day I was making no progress against the current off Cohansey and went to the edge of the shipping channel to escape the current.

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post #12 of 42 Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Delaware River May 2013

Yeah the current, especially in the Upper reaches up to the canal can be swift. I have gone north a number of times and actually seemed to see that damn nuke plant in front of me for 8 hours..

We take the Deaware up and back to Cape May every year on our trip to the LI Sound and playing the tides is the only way to go or you just waste time IMHO.

On the way down because you really only get 5 hours of tide we anchor behind Reedy Island and leave 1.5 hours before slack. We can make Cape may usually within 8 hours that way. The way back from Cape May to The Xhesapeake you get 7 hours of tide so its not as big a problem. We have always been able to ride it from the Cape May canal through ther C&D Canal to at least the Sassafrass ( 13+ hours). Last year we hit ecerything operfect for the very first time made it all the way back to our home port in 14+ hours.


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post #13 of 42 Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Delaware River May 2013

Ah, planning a cruise is nice therapy for our bitter cold weather.

Dave raises a couple of issues that we need to consider carefully. Since I need practice doing this myself, here area few things I saw in the current predictions this evening. This is probably stuff that you guys already considered:

Slack before ebb at Essington on May 3 is 0912. Slack before flood at Arnold Point (5 nm from Cohansey on my chart) is 1413. So we have 5-6 hours of easy travel (favorable current, slack, or mild head current), just like Dave mentioned, and around 2-3 hours of less easy travel.

My computer chartplotter estimates a little over 8 hours to Cohansey entrance if we average 5 kts (plus another 45 minutes to get to the Hancock Harbor). With favorable current for much of the trip we might do a little better than that, especially using motor assist if the winds aren't right. Since it looks like we'll have a few hours of fighting the current, I'd suggest leaving around 0730 and going against the slowing current at the beginning so we can minimize the accelerating current at the other end. Of course, once the current turns, it will help push us up into Cohansey River.

Ulladh - I know these currents are pretty much the same every year, and you've done this trip several times before. Have you made it to Cohansey in one day before, or is this a first for you?

Assuming we make it to Cohansey, slack before ebb on May 4 at Arnold Point is 0846, and slack before flood is 1510. So we either need to leave really early or pretty late. We may be pretty wiped out after 8-9 hours of sailing the day before, and there's some nice wildlife to see and maybe some opening day activities at the marina, so it's pretty clear that we should leave the marina around 1300 (if we want to go to Ship John) or 1400 (if we skip Ship John) to catch the flood up the river. That would put us at the canal entrance right around 1900, just as the current through the canal is turning in a favorable direction. But this is a lot of sailing on two consecutive days, so I'd be fine stopping at Delaware City for the night if we're growing weary after two long days.

That would put us at Delaware City on Cinco de Mayo, so if they have really good activities planned we could stay there for some of the inspiration that Ulladh found lacking last year. If not, Lori really loved Chesapeake City in 2010, and the currents through the canal would be timed perfectly for a run over in the morning, spend a few hours in town, and then a run back to Delaware City in the afternoon. We could play it by ear.


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post #14 of 42 Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Delaware River May 2013

Thank you for posting all of this out in the open like this, guys! It's nice so see all of the thought that's going into it. Hopefully I'll be able to join you one of these years.

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Re: Delaware River May 2013

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Thank you for posting all of this out in the open like this, guys! It's nice so see all of the thought that's going into it. Hopefully I'll be able to join you one of these years.
I might be looking for crew on May 3, if you're interested. I'm not sure my wife can get off work that day. You could leave your car at my house, sail down to Cohansey, then she drives your car down to meet us in the evening, and you drive home.

There's lots of time to plan. Keep it in mind.

If it doesn't work for you, that's fine. I can singlehand, and my son can drive her down later.


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post #16 of 42 Old 01-24-2013
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Re: Delaware River May 2013

Just a thought....the most you will be doing is probably motor sailing to keep you speed up, We have only had the oppertunity to sail a lot on the Delaware on rare occasions when the wind is strong enough as staying with the current to get to destinations there is so important.

Strong winds on the Delaware bring other issues. The Delware Ba south of Egg Point is some the WORST conditions I have ever sailed in including the ocean. The long fetch and shallow water are famous for setting up the infamoues Delaware square chop wave of 3 second intervals which can stop any boat in its tracks.

Dave


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post #17 of 42 Old 01-24-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Delaware River May 2013

This will be my 1st time attempting Essington to Cohansey in one shot, I usually stop over at Delaware City going both ways.

Dave
The lower bay below Egg Island point is a fickle place, worst with an out going current over the Egg Island flats and wind in opposition. I suspect the swift current off Arnold Point dumps onto the Egg Island Flats. The bottom changing from 16 to 20 off Arnold Point to 9 to 12 of Egg Island adds to the interesting conditions.
The upper bay funneling up past the flats off Bombay Hook to Artificial Island has a somewhat less turbulent character, but can still be interesting if the wind is just right.

Conditions in the Bay are always changing, the washing machine square wave cycle will last for only 3 or 4 hours, and by then it is either over or my little boat has moved into less turbulent waters.

Rick
I am all for an early start and in the event that we get off Cohansey earlier than expected (it could happen) we can round Ship John on the way.

Leaving Hancock Harbor on Saturday will be in the Cohansey ebb, then at 90 deg to current across to Ship John. We will probably still be in the ebb at Ship John but it should be the last hour or two.

The ebb current on the NJ side up to Artificial Island would make it a very hard slog so we do need to get out close the shipping channel to make progress. The difficulty will be timing our entry into the C&D to ride the current all the way to Chesapeake City.

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Re: Delaware River May 2013

Rick,
That could be fun! Let's see what happens with work, etc. Thanks for the offer!

- Jim
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Re: Delaware River May 2013

Sunrise on the Cohansey

1970 Havsfidra 20 by Fisksatra
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post #20 of 42 Old 01-24-2013
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Re: Delaware River May 2013

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Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
On the way down because you really only get 5 hours of tide we anchor behind Reedy Island and leave 1.5 hours before slack. We can make Cape may usually within 8 hours that way...
Dave,

So what are the tidal conditions leading to the Reedy Island anchorage? Are you able to ride the current through the C&D canal west to east? Is the Delaware River ebbing when the exit the C&D canal to go to Reedy Island?

The few times I went down the Delaware Bay, I anchored in Chesapeake City and made the run from there, heading east south of Mish Maull Shoal Lighthouse into the shallows to get out of the channel and current when the flood starts.
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