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jimgo 07-18-2013 12:08 AM

Trip planning
 
When I spoke with the marina earlier this week, they said they expect to have all the parts for Dragon Wing some time this week. They didn't say she'd be ready for this weekend, but they didn't say she wouldn't be, either! With any luck, I'll be taking her out for a spin this weekend. If not, well, I still need to start planning how I'm going to get her from Rock Hall, MD to Forked River, NJ. My current plan is to do it over 4 days:

Day 1: Rock Hall to Delaware City, DE
Day 2: Delaware City to Cape May, NJ
Day 3: Cape May to Atlantic City, NJ
Day 4: Atlantic City to Forked River.

I would LOVE this to be 4 consecutive days, but I'm realistic enough to know that it may not happen. That's why I'm trying to be somewhat conservative on these legs. Delaware City will be a nice day from Rock Hall, without really pushing it. The Cape May to AC trip shouldn't be too bad, either (prevailing winds should be with me, with any luck). And the trip up to Forked River from there shouldn't be TOO bad, except for having to cross Barnegat Inlet. That's part of why I was planning to stop at AC; I can set my departure time such that I can catch the inlet at slack tide on a day with good weather.

The big key to the whole trip so far will be timing the transit down the Delaware River. From what I can see in the tide tables, it looks like my best bet would be to try to be in Delaware City around July 30. Any sooner, and the tide ebbs too late in the day and I run the risk of hitting pop-up afternoon thunderstorms during the trip across the bay.

Does that sound right so far?

Tempest 07-18-2013 04:36 AM

Re: Trip planning
 
Jim, I think the ebb timing for an early start from Delaware city actually improves for you on departures before the 30th..

But, as it is it looks like the current turns in your favor around 8:20 am or sooner. from Delaware city...on the 30th . Is that what you're seeing? delaware bay entrance + 2:55

jameswilson29 07-18-2013 07:24 AM

Re: Trip planning
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jimgo (Post 1060866)
The big key to the whole trip so far will be timing the transit down the Delaware River. From what I can see in the tide tables, it looks like my best bet would be to try to be in Delaware City around July 30. Any sooner, and the tide ebbs too late in the day and I run the risk of hitting pop-up afternoon thunderstorms during the trip across the bay.

Does that sound right so far?

According to 2013 Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book, p. 143, on Tuesday, July 30, 2013, the current turns to the N.W./flood starts at the Delaware Bay entrance at 10:58 a.m. and 11:46 p.m., with a projected speed of 1.8 knots after the a.m. change. The current turns to S.E./ebb starts at 4:26 a.m. and 5:16 p.m., with a projected speed of 1.7 knots.

Adjusting the Delaware Bay entrance to Bulkhead Shoal Channel off Delaware City on p. 28, you add 3 hours and 15 minutes for flood, projected to be 2.1 knots at 308 degrees, and 2 hours and 55 minutes for ebb, projected to be 2.1 knots at 138 degrees.

Consequently, at Delaware City on the 30th, the ebb will start at 7:21 a.m. and flood will start at 2:13 p.m. You probably need to start an hour or 2 before ebb to make maximum speed down the Delaware River and Bay. It appears you have about a 50 n.m. trip from Delaware City to Cape May. You will be fighting an adverse current for some portion of the trip if that is your departure site. You might instead take Chef2sail's frequent advice to anchor at Reedy Island and wait for a favorable current, which puts you that much closer to Cape May for an easier shot.

On Monday, July 29th, p. 151 of Eldridge shows the east flood on the C&D canal at 10:02 a.m. and 11:07 p.m. with a current of 1.9 knots after the a.m. change, and a west ebb at 4:24 a.m. and 4:07 p.m. with a 2.0 knot current after the p.m. change, so you may have a late night transit of the C&D for your best advantage, with a stop at Chesapeake City for rest.

Having transited the Delaware River/Bay to Cape May 6 times now, my only advice is to make maximum speed by motorsailing and spend as little time there as possible. As Schellenberger writes in the classic Cruising the Chesapeake:

"Few people cruise the Delaware Bay for pleasure. It is normally something to endure in order to reach the Chesapeake Bay or, conversely, Cape May, in preparation for the Atlantic passage north."

"...if your timing is good you can take advantage of the current to give you a boost either up or down the Delaware Bay. If your vessel can make 6 knots or more, you can ride the current most, if not all, of the way from Cape May to the C&D Canal to maximize the boost and minimize the adverse current, especially in the upper reaches."

Here is my video from last summer capturing the beauty of the Delaware Bay/River area:


Tempest 07-18-2013 07:40 AM

Re: Trip planning
 
yup. James has it, @ 7:21. I mis-counted, which goes to show that I shouldn't do 'rithmatic at 3 a.m.

jimgo 07-18-2013 09:57 AM

Re: Trip planning
 
James, Delaware City is just behind Reedy Point. That's going to be my first night aboard, and I was leaning toward the docks there just to make things easier, since I haven't tested the anchor.

deniseO30 07-18-2013 10:03 AM

Re: Trip planning
 
Chesapeake City would be my choice Jim! Free too. Tie up to the dock or drop the hook, walk up the hill to the "Tap Room" in the morning up to the "Bakery" for breakfast. Leave there at or just before flood tide, ride it all way down to the Cape May Canal! (I've not done it in my boat yet LOL)

jameswilson29 07-18-2013 11:08 AM

Re: Trip planning
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jimgo (Post 1060985)
James, Delaware City is just behind Reedy Point. That's going to be my first night aboard, and I was leaning toward the docks there just to make things easier, since I haven't tested the anchor.

Reedy Island is south of the C&D canal, opposite the Salem Nuclear Power Plant to the northwest - it is probably 10 miles farther south than Delaware City. Ten miles can make a big difference in a body of water with the currents of the Delaware Bay and River.

jameswilson29 07-18-2013 11:22 AM

Re: Trip planning
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by deniseO30 (Post 1060991)
Chesapeake City would be my choice Jim! Free too. Tie up to the dock or drop the hook, walk up the hill to the "Tap Room" in the morning up to the "Bakery" for breakfast. Leave there at or just before flood tide, ride it all way down to the Cape May Canal! (I've not done it in my boat yet LOL)

Can you do this?

The C&D runs according to the flood and ebb of the Chesapeake, so it floods east and ebbs west, which is different from the N.W. flood and S.E. ebb of the Delaware River. You can ride the N.W. flood current up the Delaware River to the C&D, and catch the westward ebb of the C&D and ride South down the Northern Bay for a while.

I believe riding the C&D on a flood will put you out in the Delaware River on a flood.

For example, on July 30th, the west ebb on the C&D starts at 5:26 a.m. With the most favorable timing, if you exit the C&D precisely at this time, you will still have an hour of weakening Delaware River flood, before an hour of slack, and the ebb that starts at 7:21 a.m. The Delaware River current is challenging to your spirit. You will spend hours looking at that dang Salem Nuclear Power Plant.

(The other mistake my family made was going up the Cohanssey River for fuel. Make sure your tanks are full before you head down the Delaware River!)

deniseO30 07-18-2013 11:36 AM

Re: Trip planning
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jameswilson29 (Post 1061044)
Reedy Island is south of the C&D canal, opposite the Salem Nuclear Power Plant to the northwest - it is probably 10 miles farther south than Delaware City. Ten miles can make a big difference in a body of water with the currents of the Delaware Bay and River.


Hi Jim :)

That submerged seawall could make for a very bad day.

From Active Captain

"Reedy Island Dike"
Approach through the marked opening in the dike between G1 and R2. The G1 light was not working (July 2012). There is a small island south of the entrance and is part of the dike that is not shown on many charts.

"Anchor behind the Reedy Island dike near Augustine Beach. The center between the dike and shore has about 20 feet of water. Current at mid tide is strong.The entrance depth is better than 6 feet. The dike is visible at low water and not visible at high water.

http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/e...psc7f1b6d4.png

chef2sail 07-18-2013 11:42 AM

Re: Trip planning
 
James advice and figures are spot on and sound. You want to be to the Miah Maul area by 11:23 when the current changes and heads against you.

Anchoring behind Reedy is easily done, however I would not enter this anchorage after dark if you have never been there as it is narrow and unlit between two rock jetty's. Assuming you leave Rock Hall in the AM this should not be a big deal as it is only 58 miles or 11-12 hours, I would go for this approach as you will have a quick ride on the "Express" the following day and Make Cape May Canal Entrance ( 44 nm) by 1 PM.

I would suggest leaving Reedy at 6- 6:30 as the flood has 1 more hour and run into the ebb. You get about 5.5 hours of ebb averaging 7 knots under motor sail.

Your boat fits easily under the bridges in the Cape May Canal ( 55ft) saving you another 2 hours. You should be tied up at Utches at 2-3 PM giving you plenty of time to clean up, and have a few cold ones.

As we previously discussed the run to Barnegat can easily be accomplished in 1 or two days ( 30 miles to Atlantic City and 65 to Barnegat). I would not be concerned about the current direction too much unless there is an NE or E component in the wind. Breaking it up will certainly be more leisurely and giving yourself some daylight time to go through the very winding shoaled Sedge Island channel to the Barnegat Bay in good day light is a good idea.

Your plan is a good one Good luck


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