Anchorages in Delaware River north of Cape May - SailNet Community

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Old 07-16-2007
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Anchorages in Delaware River north of Cape May

I'm still in the works trying to figure our my timeframe of taking my new Catalina 270 from Bay Head, NJ to Tullytown, PA.

Possible anchorages so far for this trip:
Atlantic City
Cape May

I still need to figure out relatively easy and safe places along the Delaware River north of Cape May. Tides are a challenge I hear and I need to plan accordingly.

What experiences has anyone had of the anchorages along the Del. River?

Thanks!
Tres
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Old 07-17-2007
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Tres,
I've not anchored there but was forced to run up the Cohancey? river once because of bad weather. I may have the spelling wrong but it is south of Salem and was well protected with a marina a few miles up. That was long ago so maybe someone can weigh in on what that river is like now.
Tom Shannon
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Old 07-17-2007
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Are you planning on taking the Cape May Canal ? Be sure to check your mast height. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any place to anchor off of Cape May or Atlantic city. There are a bunch of places to rent a slip for the night .... Have a safe trip.
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Old 07-17-2007
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North of Cape May, is the Delaware Bay (not river) for several miles. It is very wide (around the size of a Great Lake)and open to the weather. It is shallow along a lot of the coast line with marinas and or ports far and few between. I've spent a couple years on it, although no under sail. Do some research (via Goggle) and be very knowledgable before transitting the bay.
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Old 07-17-2007
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mast height for the Cape May Canal is 55 feet so no worries on a Cat27.
I would just plan on getting underway at dawn and making the 75 miles to the C&D canal in one long day. You will be best staying to the shallows when the current is against you and going deep when you have a following tide.
Suggest leaving with the tide slack and about to turn against you if possible and then you will get more lift in the narrower sections of the bay up north after your first 6 hours.
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In 1969 I lived on Delaware Bay here:
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Nice front porch!
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Trescool,
Its a good 8 to 10 hours from the C&D canal to Riverside NJ. Dredge Harbor is in Riverside, and there are a few marinas in there that take transients. I brought my boat down to the Chesapeake from Riverside Marina. The tide in the Delaware is pretty strong,so plan to go with the tide. When I came down going with the tide ment waiting till noon, so depending when you make the trip you may have to travel some at night, or early morning when its still dark. If you haven't been out at night before be prepared.

Good Luck
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Old 07-17-2007
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Anchoring on the Del Bay

The Maurice River is the first available anchorage going north from Cape May. It is way off the beaten track, drains vast swamps, is narrow, and is a 'biting-fly/bug' paradise.
Next up is the Cohansey ... either the River itself or the Cohansey Cove just south of the Salem Nuclear Power Plant.
Other than that there are NO anchorages on the Del. Bay .... although sometimes I simply feel my way towards a shore and anchor ON the bay (bahamian moor because of the current/tides) far away from the ship channel when the weather is very good.

Strong thunderstorms on the Del Bay are 'traditional' and NOAA has the habit of forecasting them only once they are over. Just look to the Delaware shore and if you see large 'thunderheads' or convecting clouds 'growing', begin to head closer to a shore no matter what NOAA is broadcasting.

The Delaware Bay is the focus of all biting flies on this planet. If the winds are light expect to be eaten alive by green-heads, biting house flies, black flies, horse-flies, gnats, no-seeums, etc. etc. etc. ... and then the pidgeon sized mosquitos will get ya after dark. If the winds are low/absent be sure to bring along some Noxema Skin Cream (Blue Jar) and simply lather up with a 'paste' of Noxema to keep the biting-flies from 'sucking away ALL your blood'..... and thats the reason why the Delaware Bay area has no marinas, no people, no houses crowded next to one another along the shoreline .... and it still remains a wonderful 'wildnerness'.

Plan on leaving Cape May about two hours before low tide so that the tidal 'wave' will flush you most of the way up the bay/river. Dont go 'up' the Del. Bay if a strong Nor'wester is forecast (nor a strong Sou'easter) as you dont want to be in the Del. Bay with an adverse tide and a strong wind from the NW or SE which ----- will develop some seriously large 'trochoidal wave chop'. If at night contact the 'commercial' traffic in the channel on Ch13 ... and let them know where you are and that you're outside of the channel, etc. That radio contact will be well appreciated. Watch out for the unlighted buoys on the Jersey side near the nuclear plant ... they are very hard to see at night in contrast to the bright lights of the plant.

Have a good trip.
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