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krozet 11-29-2009 11:16 PM

Chart Reading OR Sailors on the Delaware / Chesapeake
 
Hey all;

Let me start by saying I am still very much green and am looking for some wisdom from the sages here.

I am in the initial stages of setting up the trip from Annapolis to Canada. The first two days will be spent sailing up the Chesapeake to the C&D Canal, through the canal and down the Delaware. I have been using MapSource to plan out the trip by days and setting up way points. At this point I realize one thing, when I got my ASA certifications there was not enough time spent on map work... A couple questions if you will (I have tried Google with very limited success)

1)I understand that there are some restricted areas, there seem to be a lot of restricted areas in fact... The Aberdeen Proving Ground are obvious, I would like to stay well clear of them but there are things I don't understand. There are Oyster Grounds EVERYWHERE in the upper Delaware. Some come up with a note that says RESTRICTED when I mouse over them and some don't. In fact the main shipping channel seems the only option from the C&D Canal exit half way to Cape May. The other half is listed as Fishing Structures and RESTRICTED. In the attached picture the entire approach to Cape May Canal is Restricted???

http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/5599/chart1h.jpg

Can you sail in Oyster Grounds as long as you keep you're eyes open? Should you just stay in the main shipping channel? It seems odd that a sailboat would have to run on it's engine and compete for space (and loose) with much larger ships.

2) Where can I get a map legend??? I think the same thing (a line of pink dashes) means quite a lot of things. So far it is the boundary for a restricted area, a submerged cable, the boundary for fishing grounds and oyster grounds as well as other things. Would a legend even help? In this photo two maps come together but the boundary of the anchorage area are a solid line on one map and a dotted line on the next map...

http://img28.imageshack.us/img28/7354/chart2j.jpg

3) Has anyone used the General Anchorage areas on the upper Delaware? They seems pretty open and unprotected. I almost thing they are for large commercial vessels waiting to pass through the canal. Where do you anchor in the Delaware? My first day leaves Annapolis and sails through the canal to the first general anchorage area. This is a trip of 54 NM and I should be able to cover an extra 20 NM easy if there is a better place to Anchor farther south?

4) Speaking of where to anchor is there an online resource for anchorages in the Delaware? I have been able to get together info on marina's and such for emergencies and fuel if needed but I am just looking for a couple spots to drop the hook for a nights sleep before continuing. Would it just be easier to tie up at a marina as a transient for a night? Would the easy thing to do be too purchase a cursing guide? I don't plan to spend time cursing these areas other than 2 days and don't want to purchase a guide for such limited use. I have been reading the Coast Pilot 3 guide / Google for my info so far.

I am having a blast planning the trip and enjoying the experience so far. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Robert

JohnRPollard 11-30-2009 08:16 AM

Hi Robert,

Planning a trip like that sounds like a lot of fun -- something to keep you going through those long Canadian winters!:)

If you don't already have a copy, you should get hold of U.S. Chart No. 1 , which is indispensable when it comes to deciphering nautical "maps".

Incidentally, we usually refer to these "maps" as "charts". The distinction being that a map shows where you can go, and a chart only shows where you can't go.

genieskip 11-30-2009 08:23 AM

And don't forget that the most dangerous thing aboard a sailboat is a schedule. I also have a great time planning trips but I have learned through experience that If I try to adhere to my schedule no matter what the weather has to say I will regret the decision. Build into your schedule a day or two to stay where you are when the wind is howling and the rain coming in sheets, with lowered visibility etc.

wwilson 11-30-2009 10:12 AM

Some Delaware Bay Notes
 
Robert,

You need to provide the boat type/manufacturer, or at least draft and mast height for us to be any real help.

1) Oyster grounds notifies the mariner of aquaculture and not to anchor or otherwise drag the bottom and disturb. You can sail over them. BTW be sure that your boat fits through the Cape May Canal by draft and mast height. I try and stay out of the shipping channel, just parallel the marks just outside the channel on either side. Cross the channel quickly as needed. In fog use a Securite’ call on both 13 & 16 to let them know your intentions and relative position.

2) Anchor (in settled weather) at the Reedy Island Anchorage 39˚30.15'N x 75˚34.14'W, good holding in sand, poor protection from wind, or take a slip at Delaware City Marina at 39˚34.36'N x 75˚35.40'W, full service $2.00/Ft. Within the C&D Canal is Summit North Marina at 39˚32.70'N x 75˚42.69'W, somewhat ramshackle and very "optimistic" of their alongside depth. Further back in the C&D Canal is the Anchorage Basin (Engineer's Cove) at 39˚31.65'N x 75˚48.65'W, no experience - not sure that my boat fits its draft.

3) No good anchorage on the way down the Delaware. Some have used the Cohansey River on the east side at 39˚20.46'N x 75˚22.09'. No personal experience - I have heard that it is deep (>10-Ft) and protected with good holding in mud/sand bottom

4) Probably no marinas on the Delaware that you could approach in a deep draft boat. Fuel and pump out at any of the four (?) full service marinas in Cape May. And again - be sure that you fit through the Cape May Canal. The following URL will let you browse the raster version of the charts - useful in that the notes are included.

---http://www.c-h-a-r-t-s.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/AtlanticCoastViewerTable.shtml---

Remove the hyphens in the word "charts" above then cut & paste the above URL to the address bar. If I try and use a proper link, Sailnet converts the word "charts" following the www to a sales link. Moderators, can you please ask the SailNet webmaster to skip the keyword-to-link substitution when it occurs within a URL?

Wayne

If any of my coordinates look wrong let me know I may have mistyped.

gstraub 11-30-2009 11:57 AM

For details on navigation regulations pertaining to restricted areas, etc., check the Coast Pilot for the area of interest. It will have all the navigation information regarding just about everything. The Coast Pilot is in various volumes for different areas and all are free for download from:

United States Coast Pilot®

Gerhard

escapaide 11-30-2009 12:09 PM

Try using the Active Captain website for infomation on anchorages/marinas. It is an interactive cruising guide, the link is ActiveCaptain - The Interactive Cruising Guidebook - Marina Reviews, Fuel Prices, Anchorages

priscilla 11-30-2009 01:10 PM

You should buy the Mid Atlantic Waterway guide and the Northern Waterway guide. Expensive, but there good for years and they have good data on marinas, anchorages, etc. The top of the Chesapeake there are good anchorages in the Sassafras and Bohemia rivers. 6 miles down the Delaware to starboard is the Reedy Is. dike, pass thru the marked opening for another anchorage. The Cohansey R. looks to far off course, it isn't. Anchor at the entrance or tuck further up river its a great spot. Plan carefully that river can become a nightmare in a very few minutes... or its like sailing on a pond. Try to keep the current with you and ease off the channel when a ship appears, you'll do fine! Also forget restricted, means nothing! Have fun.

krozet 11-30-2009 05:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnRPollard (Post 546700)
Hi Robert,

Planning a trip like that sounds like a lot of fun -- something to keep you going through those long Canadian winters!:)

If you don't already have a copy, you should get hold of U.S. Chart No. 1 , which is indispensable when it comes to deciphering nautical "maps".

Incidentally, we usually refer to these "maps" as "charts". The distinction being that a map shows where you can go, and a chart only shows where you can't go.

Hey JohnRPollard;

Yeah, gonna be a long, long winter with my boat 10 hours away... I didn't have a copy of the U.S. Chart No. 1 but it will defiantly be an asset.

Oh and I will update my vocabulary to start using Chart instead of Map. :)

I'll be sure to start posting more info on the planned trip as it develops, I already have the majority of the first 6 days done and that will put me at the start of the Erie Canal.

Robert

krozet 11-30-2009 05:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by genieskip (Post 546702)
And don't forget that the most dangerous thing aboard a sailboat is a schedule. I also have a great time planning trips but I have learned through experience that If I try to adhere to my schedule no matter what the weather has to say I will regret the decision. Build into your schedule a day or two to stay where you are when the wind is howling and the rain coming in sheets, with lowered visibility etc.

Hello genieskip;

The plan is open ended with each day covering a range of 35 to 60 NM. If the day is going well I can cover more distance if I feel able. The only thing set in stone is the 3 day trip up the New Jersey coast. I have been researching and found that I need to take it slow and steady with no night sailing. The plan is three hops, the first from Cape May to Atlantic City, the second from Atlantic City to the Manasquin Inlet and the third from the Manasquin Inlet to the Hudson river. There seem to be a lot of inlets on the coast but everything I have read suggests that there are far to many hazards to attempt most of them. The research I have points to three safe navigable points on the coast and since I have no interest in sailing at night my route is pretty much set for me. I have 9 days to make the 3 day trip so I have time in case of poor weather.

I plan on making the passage between the third week of May and the first week of June. Weather should be pretty good that time of year.

Thanks for the feedback;

Robert

krozet 11-30-2009 06:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wwilson (Post 546724)
Robert,

You need to provide the boat type/manufacturer, or at least draft and mast height for us to be any real help.

1) Oyster grounds notifies the mariner of aquaculture and not to anchor or otherwise drag the bottom and disturb. You can sail over them. BTW be sure that your boat fits through the Cape May Canal by draft and mast height. I try and stay out of the shipping channel, just parallel the marks just outside the channel on either side. Cross the channel quickly as needed. In fog use a Securite’ call on both 13 & 16 to let them know your intentions and relative position.

2) Anchor (in settled weather) at the Reedy Island Anchorage 39˚30.15'N x 75˚34.14'W, good holding in sand, poor protection from wind, or take a slip at Delaware City Marina at 39˚34.36'N x 75˚35.40'W, full service $2.00/Ft. Within the C&D Canal is Summit North Marina at 39˚32.70'N x 75˚42.69'W, somewhat ramshackle and very "optimistic" of their alongside depth. Further back in the C&D Canal is the Anchorage Basin (Engineer's Cove) at 39˚31.65'N x 75˚48.65'W, no experience - not sure that my boat fits its draft.

3) No good anchorage on the way down the Delaware. Some have used the Cohansey River on the east side at 39˚20.46'N x 75˚22.09'. No personal experience - I have heard that it is deep (>10-Ft) and protected with good holding in mud/sand bottom

4) Probably no marinas on the Delaware that you could approach in a deep draft boat. Fuel and pump out at any of the four (?) full service marinas in Cape May. And again - be sure that you fit through the Cape May Canal. The following URL will let you browse the raster version of the charts - useful in that the notes are included.

---http://www.c-h-a-r-t-s.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/AtlanticCoastViewerTable.shtml---

Remove the hyphens in the word "charts" above then cut & paste the above URL to the address bar. If I try and use a proper link, Sailnet converts the word "charts" following the www to a sales link. Moderators, can you please ask the SailNet webmaster to skip the keyword-to-link substitution when it occurs within a URL?

Wayne

If any of my coordinates look wrong let me know I may have mistyped.

Hey wwilson;

My boat is a Contest 33. It has a draft of 5 feet 4 inches and a mast height of just under 47 feet from the water. I should have space to spare getting under the Cape May canal bridge. Yeah I thought that sticking to the shipping channel would be a bad idea. Since I have cleared up the issue about the "restricted" areas it should be an easier sail down the Delaware, I can stick to the east coast and keep an eye on the depth.

Reedy Island Anchorage was my second choice for anchoring so it is good to know that there are places on the way to drop the hook. I should easily make it down to Cape May on the second day, I was planning on a stop for fuel if needed at Fortescue State Marina or Hancock Harbour Marina which is on the Cohansey River. If the first day of sailing goes well I could moor for the evening at one of these harbours.

Thanks for the extra info;

Robert


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