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zz4gta 11-12-2008 10:18 PM

Delmarva 2009
Just as the title says. I wanted to gauge interest in doing a circumnavigation trip around the delmarva peninsula. I'd prefer to do it in my own boat and wanted to look for crew crazy enough to do it with me, or crew for a larger boat. Worst case would be for me to get a fleet of boats together for the trip which would greatly increase the safety factor. It takes about a week, allow 2 weeks for weather, rest, and a chance to visit areas along the bay. I've never done an offshore trip before. That seems to have me thinking twice about it, but I don't believe that its an unreachable goal. Most people I've talked to say that a spartan 25' boat has no business cruising the coast. If I'm crazy, please feel free to let me know, as I appreciate all advice and opinions. Merits have done trips to HI from CA and sailed back (single handed mind you) without incident.

If looking to crew for me, I'd be more than happy to explain the provisions (or lack there of) of the boat and my experience. Seems that the most difficult part of the trip would be from ocean city to the mouth of the bay. Its about 140 miles of coastal cruising and around 440 miles total.

Thanks for reading.

chucklesR 11-12-2008 10:26 PM

If the timing is right we'll join you on our boat for the Annapolis to either the Sassafras/Delaware Canal area or Norfolk leg, can't see taking two weeks off next summer.

badsanta 11-13-2008 12:01 AM

I have been thinking the same. I have a friend in the next berth that is also going and we were planing to follow each other. maybe this will lead to a flotilla of sorts. Maybe at the start or end of next years raft up. keep it going!!

Wayne25 11-13-2008 12:04 AM


Is this your boat? SPARTAN 25 (BUCHANAN)

My home port is at Indian River, DE and have also contemplated the circumnavigation in my Helms 25. From what I've read, you can go through the bays and channels inside to Cape Charles. You would have to research using local knowledge for water depth and some bridge heights. If you Google "Delmarva Circumnavigation" you can see some good reading. Here is an example
I have done the circumnavigation of Rehoboth Bay, Lewes/Rehoboth Bay Canal, Delaware Bay, Atlantic Ocean, Indian River Inlet, Indian River Bay loop. Its a full dawn to dusk trip in the spring for the longest daylight.
Feel free to PM me after you read some of the articles and books on the Delmarva Circumnavigation. I have a swing keel and would be very interested in taking the Chincoteague Bay route from Ocean City to Cape Charles.

CalebD 11-13-2008 12:38 AM

You are not 'crazy' although many will tell you that you are. People have done this in smaller boats. You are crazy if you stick to dates and timetables instead of waiting for whether windows though.
There is a really funny book about a guy, his boy and a cat sailing down the east coast in a boat smaller then yours in the early 1900's. The Boy, Me, and the Cat: Henry Plummer: Books
He sailed from MA to FL and back without losing his son, just the cat.
It is funny from the historical perspective. You might enjoy it as I did.
Good luck on you circumnavigation plans in '09.

badsanta 11-13-2008 01:23 AM

I hear it's all near impossible to get a sail boat into ocean city with the current and power boats. The people I have talked to that have done this make a straight run from cape May to Norfolk 30-40 hours, But i am still looking forward to it.

CrazyRu 11-13-2008 05:12 AM

I did the ocean side of Delmarva a few weeks ago, on my way to NY. I did it in 28 ft boat, I motored part of it "inside". Here is a link

There is 40 ft bridge and very shallow inside. My memory is fresh now and I have some GPS tracks, so PM me if you need more info


SailKing1 11-13-2008 08:56 AM


I have wanted to make this trip for many years. I tried many times before I sold my boat to get crew with no luck. It seemed no one could take the time off.

With that said If you need crew or any of the others that make the trip do, let me know. I generally take June and July off and would be available in that time frame. I live and have sailed the Chesapeake for years. but never made that trip. There is also a route plan in Shellenburgers, "Cruising The Chesapeake, a gunkholers guide.

zz4gta 11-13-2008 02:56 PM

Well I'm glad I'm not going to be committed to an asylum. Wayne25, I just finished reading that PDF, great info and detailed write up. The link you show isn't my boat, I have a Merit 25, more racer than cruiser.

Everyone, looks like we need to start posting up probably dates to take off, b/c my job (I'm sure is like yours) doesn't like losing an employee for 2 weeks w/o notice. Any suggestions on favorable weather?

Badsanta: A suggestion, if you and your friend want to start it off, I'll meet you in the potomac and start heading north.

Chuck: we can meet up with you as you proposed.

PS - I'm meeting potentially 2 others who are interested to talk about details, and timelines, but have a feeling they'll be looking for rides, and not supplying a boat.

Sailking1 - if you're not annoying, I'd be happy to pick you up coming in from the Atlantic. Or if you don't mind a drive, I sail out of the potomac about 6 miles from the bay. MD side.

PalmettoSailor 11-13-2008 03:31 PM

I've toyed with the idea of trying this trip next year, though I may have to do it more as either multi part trip, or a death march, cause I'm not getting 2 weeks off.

I was actually thinking of doing it as a single trip in 10 days or less, or moving the boat up north, close to the canal over a long weekend, then taking the 10 days to go from Chesapeake City down the Delaware, the Atlantic leg and back around to Deltaville with plenty of time to explore the lower bay on the way back up.

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