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labatt 05-10-2007 01:45 AM

What a day on the Delaware!
Just so everyone knows how Day 3 of our trip went.. we left Delaware City at 0530. Visibility was less than 50 yards due to thick pea soup fog. Entering the shipping lanes was a bit nerve-wracking at the start, but we got the hang of doing compass and timed runs using the GPS as backup to go from buoy to buoy. The GPS didn't adjust quick enough (I prefer the compass) when we needed to make slight course changes, but it was great for determining whether we were in the actual channel or not. It was freakey hearing 800 foot tankers bellowing their whsitles, smelling their exhaust and feeling their props turning only a 1/4 mile away but never actually seeing them. We had one tug tell us that "you don't get extra points for running in the fog. You should drop your hook!" We thanked him for his advice (in a nice way so he didn't drop HIS hook on US!). We listened to channel 13 the whole way down the Delaware which is the channel the commercial traffic uses.

The current was with us most of the way. While our boat speed was showing 5-6kts our SOG was 8-9kts. Our engine RPMs were at around 1400 for most of the day.

The pea soup stuck with us for the whole day, so instead of taking the inside route around Cape May, we struck out for the ocean buoy, rounded it, went around some shoals and then headed in to the ocean channel for Cape May. We saw a plethora of dolphins and a couple of sperm whales. Once again, we were enveloped by pea soup, and as I was feeling my way around looking for the opening (only a few hundred feet wide), two commercial fishers came zooming out of it at over 30mph, just barely missing us. They never called securite (which we were calling all day - and rarely heard anyone else calling).

Once we entered the harbor, the fog lifted and we motored through. Eerily, we saw one sunk sailboat with its mast sticking out of the water, forestay and backstay still attached. I don't know what the story is. The place we're staying at - the Canyon Club Marina - is right next to the canal's exit point into the harbor. It's pretty nice, filled with tens of millions of dollars of sport fishers and like three sailboats. While the facilities are nice (pool, jacuzzi (neither open yet), rest rooms/showers/laundry, diesel on EVERY dock, etc., our walk to the rest rooms seems like a mile long hike!

It ended up taking us approximately 12 hours of gut wrenching, teeth chattering, bone chilling powering down the Delaware to get here.
The amazing thing (other than the fact that we didn't die) was that we only used 9 gallons of fuel!! :) There is a god after all.

We ate at a phonemanal restaurant - the harbor view restaurant.
We leave tomorrow morning if the fog lifts.

uspirate 05-10-2007 01:53 AM

sounds freakin awesome! as i sit here in a box watching M*A*S*H* reruns!

sailingdog 05-10-2007 02:32 AM


Polarfleece is your friend in weather like this. I'm glad it worked out, except for the heavy fog bit... which is really not much fun for a sailboat.

teshannon 05-10-2007 09:02 AM

Did you install radar on Pelican?
tom Shannon

Freesail99 05-10-2007 09:24 AM

I think the 3 sailboats in a marine may be an unwritten law here in NJ. Same thing at my marina and the one next store.

labatt 05-10-2007 02:08 PM

Tom - sure did and it was very handy. We wouldn't have done the trip without it. And I also installed Verizon broadband :) I'm typing this from 3nm offshore right now heading towards Atlantic City. The fog is still going so we don't want to do an overnight bringing us any closer to the NYC shipping lanes. We were going to anchor around Barnegat, but the wife decided she wanted to check out Atlantic City (I think at $4/foot!!)

teshannon 05-10-2007 03:03 PM

I put radar and a chartplotter on Orion also but have not had to use the radar yet. Atlantic City is a great place to put into. I kept my last boat at the State Marina there for about 5 years but it's been so long that that was pre casino days. Nice wide inlet. You can come right up to the inlet from the south but there are shoals on the northern side.
I've wanted to put Verizon broadband on also but am clueless as to how. What hardware do you need and how is it set up?
Are you able to sail or are you motoring. A friend called me yesterday from about 10 miles offshore of Ocean City and said the were about 8 foot rollers.

kptmorgan04 05-11-2007 07:48 PM

geez labatt, sorry that my hometown couldnt have greeted you with clear skies! Congrats on the successful trip though! I will be doing it the weekend of June 8th. How was the Deleware City Marina? I was planning on getting through the C&D canal and spending the night there before trecking down to Cape May, I have to check the tides first though.
Glad you had a good dinner in cape may, hopefully enjoyed some night life as well along the beach. I cant wait to get home! Let me know how your trip to AC went, I plan on doing that a few times once I get the boat to Cape May.

teshannon 05-11-2007 07:57 PM

Where will you keep your boat in Cape May? I sailed out of the many years ago and tied up a few times at Utchs. I want to relocate my boat to Cape May next summer (we have relatives in the Crest) and plan to check out the marinas over this summer. I'll be looking for a place that's sailboat friendly, can do haul outs and service( I know Utchs can) and has good water(I draw 5'10"). Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Tom Shannon
S/V Orion

Freesail99 05-11-2007 08:27 PM

I did call around a bit looking for a slip. I was getting prices from $2800.00 to $3800.00 a season for a 31 foot boat.

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