On Saturday, I had what I consider my first lousy day of sailing. The short version is I got stuck downriver of a railroad bridge, beating into a light and variable headwind against a current. On my lovely Fiance's suggestion, I gave up after an hour or two, and decided to head downriver for a bit of non-frustrating sailing, and to give the tide some time to slack off.
But I Ran into the same problem a couple hours later. Sure the current was lighter, but so was the wind. Eventually, it died off completely and the sun was going down. I would paddle like a mofo, to make *inches* of headway, then I'd poop out and lose any ground I'd made. I eventually got a tow from a tender boat from the Hess tank farm. I was tired, achy, and embarrassed.
So, this encounter has totally convinced me that I need some sort of mechanical motivation, either in the form of an electric motor or a gas-powered outboard. Oh, and maybe some nav lights, too.
My boat is a 14' O'Day Javelin, and weighs about what, 750 pounds with gear and people aboard? Can anyone provide suggestions on power?
That's a lightweight boat, and a conventional outboard may trim you far down by the stern. Maybe an electric trolling motor?
Running lights--bring a battery-type red/green, and you can McGuyver a flashlight into a stern light with plastic wrap shaped as a mini-dome, taped on to the bezel, you can tape it on top of the tillerhead. Or two of 'em if you want a 'steaming' light too. Always bring duct tape or the clear tape that's similar, and you can tape down your lights.
Is the river tidal? If so, use the flow to your advantage!
Yeah, Denise! I'm actually on the Delaware, too. The bridge in question is the DelAir railroad bridge, just south of the Betsy Ross.
As for the flow: The tide slacked off a *lot* in the couple hours that we took to go down river, but my problem is, the wind did too. Once the sun went down, there was NO wind, and I was screwed. I really didn't have time to wait for the tide to head back up.