Join Date: Jul 2000
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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.