While coastal cruising from the Hudson River south along the NJ coast to Cape May, the D&C Canal, and to Solomon Island, where are the best anchorages and the most sheltered harbors?
Sue & Larry respond:
The route you describe is full of sheltered areas in which to anchor. Although we usually do the trip from New York to Cape May, NJ, in a single, overnight sail, many cruisers choose to break the trip down into several hops. From Sandy Hook, a popular stop is Manasquan Inlet in NJ. Here you can tie up overnight for free at the Shrimp Box restaurant if you buy a meal. From Manasquan, the next stop is the Abescon Inlet (Atlantic City), then down to Cape May, the southern tip of the Jersey coast where cruisers frequently anchor by the Coast Guard station.
Going up the Delaware, we highly recommend a stop at the Cohansey River. Although you can anchor at the mouth of the river, it’s much more interesting to continue winding your way into the river until you reach a charming area with a couple of very friendly marinas. You can literally anchor anywhere in the river.
Once you're in the C&D Canal, many cruisers stop at "the hole in the wall" in Chesapeake City.
After you’ve reached the Chesapeake, your anchoring options are virtually unlimited. Hundreds of cruisers spend the entire summer in this area exploring the beautiful pastoral settings and wonderfully protected harbors.
You may want to consider including the following guidebooks to help you plan your trip:
Waterway Guide, Northern Edition – This guide book will take you south along your proposed route as far as the C& D Canal.
Waterway Guide, Mid-Atlantic Edition – Takes up where the Northern Edition leaves off, and covers the entire Chesapeake Bay and the ICW south to Florida.
Guide to Cruising the Chesapeake Bay – The title says it all.
Skipper Bob’s Anchorages Along the Intracoastal Waterway – This gem covers territory from the Hudson River to Key West, FL.
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