Delaware River May 2013 - Page 4 - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast
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  #31  
Old 05-03-2013
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Re: Delaware River May 2013

Safe trip...You have great weather although not much wind after today
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  #32  
Old 05-07-2013
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Re: Delaware River May 2013

Delaware River Cinco de Mayo 2013 sail

Departed Essington 8:00 AM Friday May 3rd on Ul-la in 2ft chop and 15+ gusting winds for the Cohansey River approximately 50nm. Take Five departed about 8:30.

We made good time sailing with the current and a good breeze off the port rear quarter, with Take Five passing me after the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

The tidal current was in our favor until Artificial Island, then the sea state picked up to a short period chop with 3ft breaking waves on the bow and a wind shift to directly on the bow. The last 4 hours to the Cohansey were by motor sail arriving just as the sun set about 7:30 PM, a long hard almost 12 hours at the tiller.

Saturday morning promised a light 10 to 15 kn breeze out of the NE and clear skies for a sail with the ebb tidal current to Miah Maull Shoal Light and return with the flood current, about 40 nm round trip.

The sail to Miah Maull was relatively uneventful but the wind started to die before Cross Ledge Shoal abandoned light house. Take Five tacked to the Jersey side then made good time with a wind shift out of the east to Miah Maull, I stayed near the shipping channel and made slow but steady progress to Miah Maull, rounding the light house as Take Five charged across the bay rounding the light as wind and sea state began building.

After rounding the light I made good speed to the upper end of Egg Island Shoal off Fortesque to pick up the flood current in the shallow water close to the Jersey shore.

As Take Five was hit by building seas and wind off Miah Maull, I was in 15 to 20 knot winds on the starboard beam with 3 to 4 ft short period breaking waves also off the starboard beam shifting to a following sea then alternating between beam and stern.

Winds and sea state kept building, jib was rolled up but I had no time or desire to go to the mast to set a reef. Set the mainsail in a fisherman's reef, a point of sail I had seen a Chesapeake Bay Skipjack restored oyster schooner use. The boom is set and kept adjusted to be in line with wind direction and held of the shrouds enough to maintain an airfoil sail shape; low pressure convex forward, high pressure concave to rear.
The boat shot up bay to Cohansey at 6+ knots not enough to out run the following 4ft breaking waves, but enough to hold the boat at not more than a 15 deg heel.

As I approached the Cohansey green entrance pylon Take Five was closing to within a few hundred feet. I shot through the river entrance within about 50ft of the pylon and made a sharp 45 deg turn to starboard to center the boat on the river.

Hurricane Sandy last year blew some holes in the salt marsh at the entrance, that combined with no protection from the wind over the wetlands made for an intense sail up the serpentine river controlling the fisherman's reef at each 90 deg river bend to stay centered on the river until a low tree line at the last bend before Hancock harbor provided enough shelter to drop the mainsail and motor to the marina dock with a swift flood current then turn the boat against the current for a gentle dock with the still strong wind.

Sunday came with a promise of 15 kn winds and a choppy sea state for our 25 nm trip up to Delaware City, leaving about 10:00 AM to sail; against about 3 or 4 hours of an ebb current then ride a flood current past Artificial Island to Delaware City.

Take Five took a course close to the Jersey shore line and made slow but steady speed in winds that had dropped to 5 to 10 kn in a calm sea state, I stayed close to the shipping lane hoping for more breeze in open water but could only manage progress of 1 to 2 knots against the current. Take Five passed Artificial Island at least 3 miles ahead of me, and by Artificial Island I started to motor sail to get to Delaware City before the flood changed to ebb at Reedy Point ( the current Reedy Point to Delaware City can be more than 5 knots).

I tied up at Delaware City about 5:00 PM about 1 hours after Take Five.

Checking with the marina office for Mondays departure called for a 5:00 AM departure in slack current before flood. Winds were forecast as light out of the NNE which would be directly on the bow, so this would be a day of motoring or motor sailing.

We departed in twilight at 5:00 AM for the 25 nm to Essington in a cloudy cool day. Wind stayed directly on the bow building above 10 knots with a 2ft chop building to 3ft all the way. I tied up at Fox Grove at 10:30 AM after a cool and lumpy 5 1/2 hour motor sail.

This was a good warm up sail to start the season and I invite others to go on a Delaware Bay 2014 Cinco de Mayo sail.
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  #33  
Old 05-07-2013
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Re: Delaware River May 2013

I was wondering how the trip went! I spent my weekend spreading mulch around; it sounds like you guys had much more fun!
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  #34  
Old 05-07-2013
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Re: Delaware River May 2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulladh View Post

This was a good warm up sail to start the season and I invite others to go on a Delaware Bay 2014 Cinco de Mayo sail.
How about a SailNet Cape May rendezvouz next time instead?
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  #35  
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Re: Delaware River May 2013

James
OK. Any interest in a Cinco de Mayo Cape May trip?
Colin
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  #36  
Old 05-07-2013
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Re: Delaware River May 2013

I don't think we would have made it to Cape May this time. ;-(
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  #37  
Old 05-07-2013
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Re: Delaware River May 2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulladh View Post
James
OK. Any interest in a Cinco de Mayo Cape May trip?
Colin
Yes, or some other weekend. I was there for July 4th and Labor Day last year. I expect to be there in late Spring this year.
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  #38  
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Re: Delaware River May 2013

This past Saturday would have been a very difficult sail for me to the Cape May Canal entrance, but the distance from Egg Island Flats to the canal entrance is about half the distance Cape May Canal to Cohansey River.

Cohansey River to Cape May Canal is doable but for my 20ft boat timing for slack at the canal entrance is critical. In Saturdays conditions even slack at the canal entrance would have been difficult.

Currently planning on a Lewes trip for late summer and if timing works will also go to Cape May via the inlet at slack, then the canal for my return trip to Essington.

Cohansey to Lewes is a long long day but the Roosevelt inlet is more forgiving of poor timing.
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Last edited by Ulladh; 05-07-2013 at 01:14 PM.
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Re: Delaware River May 2013

This was the sail down to Miah Maull. A long hypnotic or boring video, nothing will be missed by leaving the video early

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Old 05-07-2013
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Re: Delaware River May 2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulladh View Post
...The last 4 hours to the Cohansey were by motor sail arriving just as the sun set about 7:30 PM, a long hard almost 12 hours at the tiller...
I was genuinely worried that you would not make it in before dark. I relaxed once I saw this:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulladh View Post
...Saturday morning promised a light 10 to 15 kn breeze out of the NE and clear skies for a sail with the ebb tidal current to Miah Maull Shoal Light and return with the flood current, about 40 nm round trip. The sail to Miah Maull was relatively uneventful but the wind started to die before Cross Ledge Shoal abandoned light house. Take Five tacked to the Jersey side then made good time with a wind shift out of the east to Miah Maull, I stayed near the shipping channel and made slow but steady progress to Miah Maull, rounding the light house as Take Five charged across the bay rounding the light as wind and sea state began building.
I heard 5-10 on WX, with breeze dying in the afternoon. Based on this, I shook out the reef when we hit the lull. That proved to be short-lived, as things picked up significantly before I even made it down to Miah Maull. I had to pull the reef back in pretty rough chop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulladh View Post
As Take Five was hit by building seas and wind off Miah Maull, I was in 15 to 20 knot winds on the starboard beam with 3 to 4 ft short period breaking waves also off the starboard beam shifting to a following sea then alternating between beam and stern.

Winds and sea state kept building, jib was rolled up but I had no time or desire to go to the mast to set a reef. Set the mainsail in a fisherman's reef, a point of sail I had seen a Chesapeake Bay Skipjack restored oyster schooner use.
I can't do the fisherman's reef on a reach or run because of the swept-back spraeders. After I rounded Miah Maull I had two planned jibes, and as the swells kept pushing my stern around I had two unplanned jibes. I had rigged a preventer but never used it before and was not going to trust it in conditions like this. I also was worried that the preventer might backwind the main and spin the boat out of control, so I decided to eliminate the jibe risk by dropping the mainsail. I had my heart in my throat going forward with the boat heaving like it was, and was clipped in at two different places to ensure I could not get anywhere near the side of the boat.

The boat handled much better downwind with genoa alone, and was completely stable if I headed exactly downwind. The swells pushed directly behind the boat with no tendency to go broach. Only one problem - this bearing was taking me quickly toward the channel, which is a very bad place to be if you can't control your direction. So I had to bear off the tailwind by a few degrees, which meant I had to muscle the wheel to port every time a swell pushed my stern to port. Say what you want about how bad it is to have a wheel on a 25' boat, I was glad to have the mechanical advantage it provided. And there was certainly no shortage of weather helm. Somewhere else (can't remember where) I mentioned that I did some things to tighten up the steering system last year, and I am very glad I did because the chain would have been jumping off the sprocket without that improvement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulladh View Post
...As I approached the Cohansey green entrance pylon Take Five was closing to within a few hundred feet. I shot through the river entrance within about 50ft of the pylon and made a sharp 45 deg turn to starboard to center the boat on the river...
The day before the wind was blowing off the starboard beam and heeled my boat over on bare poles enough to cavitate the prop. This time I left the genoa up and sailed further in until facing into the wind, where the boat leveled out and I could use the motor into the wind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulladh View Post
Sunday came with a promise of 15 kn winds and a choppy sea state for our 25 nm trip up to Delaware City, leaving about 10:00 AM to sail; against about 3 or 4 hours of an ebb current then ride a flood current past Artificial Island to Delaware City.

Take Five took a course close to the Jersey shore line and made slow but steady speed in winds that had dropped to 5 to 10 kn in a calm sea state, I stayed close to the shipping lane hoping for more breeze in open water but could only manage progress of 1 to 2 knots against the current. Take Five passed Artificial Island at least 3 miles ahead of me
I actually managed to make 4-5 knots against the current for about an hour. I think the current must have been much weaker over in the shallows than it was near the channel.
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1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)
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