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Do you time departure to catch a favorable tide, and if so, what is your target point?
I have felt the effect of tidal current in the C&D canal and have heard that it's also an important factor in the Delaware between the canal and Cape May. I was in the Summit North marina, in the canal, last week and would have liked to do a daylight run to Cape May the next day, last Wednesday. According to the tables, high tide at the approximate vicinity of Summit North would occur at 11:00 AM that day. If I postponed departure until, say, 10 AM to avoid an adverse flood tide in the canal and the river I'm not sure I'd have had enough daylight hours to get to Cape May before dark. A guy at the marina said that if you time your departure right you can ride a fair tidal current all the way. That might be true for power boaters but not for me in my 30-foot sailboat with its 16-hp diesel. I wouldn't have had six hours of fair tide after 11:00, because the time to the next high tide gets shorter as you go east. (Predicted high tide at Cape May last Wednesday was around 3 PM.) Possibly in an excess of caution, I ultimately decided to go elsewhere instead and leave Cape May for another occasion.
So what is the best strategy for going from a stopping-place in the canal to Cape May in a smallish sailboat at a time of year when daylight is on the short side? Leave at first light or tide-synch?
Last edited by wumhenry; 10-15-2007 at 06:56 PM.