Cruiser's Net for Chesapeake & Delaware bays? - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-29-2011 Thread Starter
Morgan 33 O.I. Perryville
 
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Cool Cruiser's Net for Chesapeake & Delaware bays?

I'm having serious thoughts about making the Delmarva Loop this summer, something I've only done in power boats in the past. Also thinking about heading north to New England for about a month as well. The Cruiser's net has a wonderful site for those heading south via the ICW from Norfolk to Key West. Cruiser's Net All Florida Keys Anchorages I wonder if there are similar sites for Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay and points north of Cape May, NJ?

Cheers,

Gary
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-29-2011
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I did a Delmarva trip last year in ASA 105 course staring out from Rock Hall. We motored pretty much all the way to Summit North Marina just inside the entrance from Delaware bay. We waited for the proper current and tide to get us out. It is straight forward with proper weather window.

From Perryville, I assume you have to motor all the way until Delaware Bay. You can pick up Cape May canal if you want to NYC or make a right to Norfolk. Last year, we sailed south to Norfolk about 6-8 nm from the shore.

It was a good experience before doing ocean crossing.

BTW, my wife works in Perrypoint Good luck.


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post #3 of 7 Old 04-29-2011 Thread Starter
Morgan 33 O.I. Perryville
 
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Thanks for the info. I figured that if I had to find a place to duck out of the weather, there may be a possibility of going inside the manmade harbor at Brandywine Light. I've done that in a 21-foot center-console power boat and if I recall, there was about 6 to 8 feet of water available. The place is totally sheltered from most winds and there was a steel pier where you could tie up and wait for the weather or tides to improve. Has any been there lately?

Thanks again,

Gary
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-29-2011
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There isn't anything like the ICW Cruiser's Net for North of Cape Henry.

There are some good resources. ActiveCaptain.com is one. Tidal Current Tables is better than anything in print for current predictions through the C&D Canal and down Delaware Bay. Given your boat I'd try to hit the West end of the C&D Canal (Grove Point or even further South) right at slack before flood. The current will build behind you and sweep you all the way down the Delaware Bay. Even if you get behind the favorable current by that time you'll be way down the DE Bay and the foul current won't be too bad. Note that the directions of flood and ebb are different as you move through the Canal - read the header information on the current tables for each position carefully.

There is good information in Shellenberger's "Cruising the Chesapeake, A Gunkholer's Guide." It's worth having on any Chesapeake boat.

The few inlets on the Atlantic Coast of Maryland and Virginia are shallow and easily overwhelmed by weather. Anchor at Cape Henlopen and get a weather update. It's only a hundred miles to the mouth of the Chesapeake. There are some shifting eddy currents particularly as you get South so watch STW and SOG and prepare to shift in and out.

I usually dance with the 3 mile limit so I can pump overboard and also still get a cell signal. *grin* Just an Internet junkie.

There are lots of good anchorages a bit up the Chesapeake once you come around Cape Charles. If you want to tie up and congratulate yourself head into Little Creek just inside the Bay Bridge/Tunnel - much less out of the way than Norfolk or Hampton.

This summer (June-ish) slack before flood at Grove Point is midnight and early afternoon but you could be anchor-down at Cape Henlopen in eight or ten hours either early morning or early evening.

If you want to do hops I'd choose Worton Creek, Cape Henlopen, Little Creek, Solomons (although I'm not sure where you will start from). Straight through, again timed for the Canal current, is less than three days; that's short enough for a two-up crew running four-on/four-off watches.

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Last edited by SVAuspicious; 04-29-2011 at 12:15 PM.
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-29-2011
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Oh - next challenge is Bermuda. *grin*

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post #6 of 7 Old 04-29-2011 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tidal current link--it will come in handy.

As for the inlets between Cape Henlopen and Cape Charles, I've been through darned near every one of them at one time or another. Indian River Inlet, unfortunately, is out of the question because there's insufficient clearance at the bridge.

Ocean City is a piece of cake at slack tide, but can be a bit tricky with a NE wind and ebb tide.

Chincoteague Inlet is another that is easy during slack and incoming tides, but you don't want to try it on a hard ebb--the current really rips through there and can readily shove you on to one of the newly formed sand bars just outside the south side of the inlet.

Wachapreague Inlet has really silted in again during the past winter from what I'm told, but if you slide over the inlet bar at high tide you can make it inside.

Great Machapongo inlet, which is one on the best place I know for flounder fishing, is a slack tide ONLY inlet. Once you're inside, you'll find lots of locations between the back end of the inlet and Willis Wharf to anchor.

The best one is Sand Shoal Inlet, which is well marked and quite deep. However, you must follow the channel markers or you WILL run aground and the sand here is packed very tight. While it appears that you can travel due east out of this inlet, there is a newly forming island that is just two feet beneath the surface.

New, Ship Shoal, Little, Bungalo and Smith Island inlets are all heavily silted in and no longer navigable in anything other than a dink, therefore the next stop would be inside the bay at Kiptopeke Beach, where you can anchor in 10 to 12 feet of water behind the Concrete Liberty Ships that formed the old breaker for the Kiptopeke/Norfolk Ferry. It's a great anchorage, and protected from most winds. The nearby state park is a neat place to explore as well.

Thanks again for the tidal current link, and I sure wish there was another site like the Cruiser's Net that covered the bays and locations to the north.

Gary
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-30-2011
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Gary -

Thanks for the overview of Atlantic inlets. Cut and pasted into my notebook. Most of my experience along the coast there is on delivery with drafts of 6 to 8 feet. In addition to draft I am pretty conservative with other people's boats. *grin*

Have a great trip.

sail fast and eat well, dave
S/V Auspicious
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