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  #1  
Old 06-04-2009
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atlantic city to cape may to d & c Canal

Looking to buy a boat just north of atlantic city. I need information about getting it to northern part of the chesapeake. I was thinking of going off shore from great bay to cape may because of my 45 foot height. I do not have offshore experience but do have chesapeake bay experience. What inlets are safe to use for cover in case of a storm between AC and Cape May. The charts only make reference to local navigation bouys and shoaling. Is is possible to anchor somewhere in the cape may harbor area overnight? (4.6 foot draft) Any advise on proceeding up the delaware bay? The anchorage areas around the mouth of the D and C canal are they only for large commercial boats? My intention is to anchor somewhere near the openning on the 2nd night. Then it should be a short motor through the D & C canal to more familar waters.
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Old 06-04-2009
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Between AC and Cape May there are no safe inlets. Nevertheless it is a DAY TRIP...you can wait for a good forecast leave in the AM and be into safe harbor well before evening. No big deal...just wait for the right weather! My recollection is that you can anchor just off the Coast Guard Station there in Cape May
You can go out the back side of Cape May with that mast height and save time going up the Delaware. Get a VERY early start as it will be a long day to the C&D and you will be fighting current for some portion of the trip. Stay just outside the shipping channel on the way up to avoid the big ships and the worst current....of course USE the channel when it is giving you a ride...but keep an eye peeled.
There is a small anchorage just north outside of the C&D. Stay near the shallows and no worries about the big boys!
There is also a marina near the East End.
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Old 06-04-2009
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A few more thoughts...

Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Between AC and Cape May there are no safe inlets. Nevertheless it is a DAY TRIP...you can wait for a good forecast leave in the AM and be into safe harbor well before evening. No big deal...just wait for the right weather! My recollection is that you can anchor just off the Coast Guard Station there in Cape May
You can go out the back side of Cape May with that mast height and save time going up the Delaware. Get a VERY early start as it will be a long day to the C&D and you will be fighting current for some portion of the trip. Stay just outside the shipping channel on the way up to avoid the big ships and the worst current....of course USE the channel when it is giving you a ride...but keep an eye peeled.
There is a small anchorage just north outside of the C&D. Stay near the shallows and no worries about the big boys!
There is also a marina near the East End.
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The Cape May Inlet (Cold Spring Inlet) can be nasty in on-shore conditions, so be careful if it is strong from the east. The Bay-side inlet (Cape May Canal) is all-weather.

Chesapeake City is also a good stopping point in the C&D. However, I don't recommend the C&D at night; if the visibility is good it is fine. If it is rainy, it is a nightmare.

As suggested, a very early morning with the tide. Wait for a weather window, if need be. No strong west or north winds. North wind against rising tide - very nasty, did it once.

Very straight forward, in fair weather.
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Old 06-04-2009
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You can definately anchor off the Coast Gaurd station at Cape May. Bridge height is 55 feet so you should have no problem. There is a marnia at the west end of the Cape May channel. The C&D is big and straight forward.

The Delaware is huge, you cannot see across it.

Gary
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Old 06-05-2009
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Atlantic City to Cape May is a day trip. Cape May to the C&D is a long day trip. If you don't want to anchor at Cape May you can stay at Utsch's or the Canal Club Marina (some people have said this place hates blowboaters but we were fine when we stayed there). If you enter the Delaware right at slack, you should be able to follow the flood almost the whole way to the C&D Canal. There are a couple of places you can anchor on the east side of canal if you want to stop for the night, or you can head to one of the marinas on the canal or the Delaware City Marina just north of the canal for the night.
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Old 06-05-2009
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South Jersey Marina in Cape May is also nice. Facilities are decent. There's a diner there called Dock Mike's that has an AWESOME breakfast menu. Try the orange zest pancakes, you won't regret it.

My mast height is 49 ft plus the VHF antenna and I had a serious pucker going under the bridges and powerlines. And when I wasn't looking up to see if I'd clear the bridges, I was looking down at my depth gauge. There's a box on the chart that describes the observed depths (source: Army Corps of Engineers) in various parts of the channel. Read that.

We did New York Harbor to Cape May in under 20 hours in both directions, motoring one direction and motorsailing the other. We did Cape May to the Bohemia River in a long day, motorsailing. Same going the opposite direction. The Bohemia is a nice place to anchor if you don't want to squeeze into Chesapeake City. A lot of folks anchor just off the channel in the Elk a few miles below the canal, though you'll be rocked by a few tug wakes overnight.

The currents in the C&D can be fun. Eastbound, we had the current with us, so I opened the throttle to see what we could do. 11.5 kts over the ground!! On the return trip, we bucked a 1.5 knot current from Cape May all the way through to the last mile or so of the canal.

Last edited by painkiller; 06-05-2009 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 06-05-2009
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I did that trip in the opposite direction last June. I will reiterate the advice to plan for the current in the Delaware River. It would be slow going against it.



We made it (with the current) from the Bohemia River through the C&D Canal to Cape May via the Cape May Inlet in one day. Like the others have recommended, we anchored off the Coast Guard Training Center. It was fun to watch them march around, but it was not quiet.
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Old 06-07-2009
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We have done this trip 5 times in the last 5 years and will do it this year as we go from the Patapsco (Rock Creek) to Mystic, Conn. Atlantic City to Cape May is an enjoyable day sail. Having lived in Ocean City NJ for 18 years I would tell you no inlet in between AC and Cape May is a good one. I have been in Little Egg but I lived there many years. Cape May and Atlantic City are the two best inlets in NJ. We stay at Utsches at the foot of the bridge always on our trips and have always been welcome by them. The CG anchorage is a good one, but you will be up early with the wash of all the Head boats heading out for fishing. You can easily clear the 55 GS Parkway bridge so use the canal. Start early up the Delaware as no matter when you go you WILL face the tide demon at some time during the trip.

The advice to go to the Bohemia is good as thats where we inevitably wind up, but beware it is shallow. We usually wind up near the mouth on the north side as their is good water there and you are out of the wakes from the tugs and the S breeze. I would not stop at Chesapeake City in the canal as the anchorage is very small, ripping 2 knot current inside with people with shortened rodes (you will never sleep). A recipie for dragging and bumping. If you cant make the canal hole up behind Reedy Island. Its about 6 miles south of the canal on the Delaware side. You go through a small passage through two rock jetties and have space and protection behind it from tanker wakes. There is a good current there though so watch your anchor. We use Reedy Island as our destination for our first night stop on our trips dfown the Delaware. From there it is 8 hours to cape May (depending on current).

Fell free to PM me with other questions.

Dave
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Old 06-08-2009
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You can also anchor on the NW side of the entrance to the C&D Canal. I prefer to tuck up between the jetty and the shore if wind conditions allow, but have anchored between Pea Patch Island and the bar that runs along side the channel when I needed protection from the North.

With your draft you can anchor on either side of the Bohemia. I like to tuck into Veazey Cove on the south side. We spent our first night on the Chesapeake there. Beautiful sunsets.

We purchased our first east coast boat at Pt Pleasant, NJ and made a very similar trip. We went out Manasquan Inlet to Atlantic City, Atlantic City to Cape May and Cape May to the Bohamia River. If you can pick a day with an incoming tide that coincides with daylight hours, you can ride the current all the way. Enjoy your trip.
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Old 06-08-2009
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More detail on reedy island

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
.... If you cant make the canal hole up behind Reedy Island. Its about 6 miles south of the canal on the Delaware side. You go through a small passage through two rock jetties and have space and protection behind it from tanker wakes. There is a good current there though so watch your anchor. We use Reedy Island as our destination for our first night stop on our trips dfown the Delaware. From there it is 8 hours to cape May (depending on current).

Fell free to PM me with other questions.

Dave
Dave,

I just realized I was missing the chart that showed reedy island. When I look at it there is deep water on the south side (delaware side) of the island that I would have to get into well below the island when coming up the bay. Is that where the 2 rock jetties are or are you talking about the upper part above the island where it appears to get shallow? It seemed like your description was going the other way so I am guessing its the upper part just before the d & c Canal. I assume you would stay out of the cable area when anchoring there. Would you set 2 anchors one upstream and one downstream for when the tide flips?

General question,
What is the procedure for going through the canal? I seem to remember reading you have to call ahead 2 hours before you are going to arrive. Is that just a radio call?
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