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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Anchorages in Delaware River north of Cape May
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Thread: Anchorages in Delaware River north of Cape May Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-18-2007 05:32 PM
mpulaski good ancorage near the old "penn salem" marina. However, the only marina open there is barbers basin. They don't have diesel.

We're probably going to anchor near delaware city. We expect the trip (brick, NJ to Riverside) to take 4 days.
07-18-2007 11:07 AM
HerbDB
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trescool
If I were to wait it out with tides and such, would it be safe or even prudent to travel at all at night??

P.S. - Thanks very much for all the suggestions from everyone so far... this information in invaluable! Thanks!
I agree with most of the posters about this being a difficult body of water. I have made the trip at night twice. The first time was in a 32 footer with paper charts. a hand held GPS and no autopilot. It was a full time job for two people to navigate, avoid shoals and unlighted bouys while not getting run by ships moving at 20-30 knots. I would never do this again. The second time, I was in a 36 footer with autopilot, radar and chart plotter. This trip was easy for one person to manage.

For me the answer to your question about making the trip at night depends on how your boat is equipped.

I have anchored a number of times just upstream of the entrance to the C&D canal behind the island with the state park. Can't remember the name right now. This keeps you well away from the shipping channel. The holding is good but it is not well protected. You will spend a bumpy night if the wind is up.

North of Philly, you can shelter in Dredge Harbor on the NJ side (this was my destination on my trips because my Beneteau dealer is located there). You will need some local knowledge from one of the marinas there. The entrance channel was shallow the last time I made the trip and I had to wait on high water to leave (5'10" draft).
07-18-2007 10:47 AM
Ulladh Its should be OK to sail the bay at night outside the shipping channel, but up river from Newcastle DE the tugs and barges make night time travel scary. If you need to do the river at night I would suggest motor sailing.

4 foot tides in the bay, 5 to 6 foot at Philadelphia, 6 to 7 foot at Bristol. Larger tidal range, roughly equates to stronger current, with local conditions such as shallows and narrows producing localized variations. A two hour slot midway between high and low is when the strongest current runs.

Also watch the weather in the Catskills NY, heavy rain in the upper Delaware can increase the high tides at Philadelphia another 2 or 3 feet about 1 week later.

Saltwatertides.com provides about 50 tide location calculations all the way to Trenton and also moon phase. If you do plan on night sailing check for % moon visible.
07-18-2007 02:17 AM
Wayne25 If you have the time, you can look into the Delaware coast of the bay. Lewes is a very nice town with a town dock. You will need a reservation. It is accessed by the Roosevelt inlet which is also the mouth of the Broadkill (Kill meaning river). Then heading north there is the Murderkill, Mispillion River, St. Jones River, Smyrna River, Leipsic River all before the C & D Canal. Most of these are navagable for several miles to the first towns. But you'll need to check out the depths at low tide and for low bridges. Most of the Delaware Bay has a 4' tide.
07-18-2007 12:33 AM
Trescool
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulladh
If the wind and tide are in your favour, it should only be one stop midway at Reedy Island or Delaware City, but you could do Cape May to Bristol in 24 hrs. Once above Delaware City there is more commercial traffic so keep looking back for that tug and barge about to crush you.
If I were to wait it out with tides and such, would it be safe or even prudent to travel at all at night??

P.S. - Thanks very much for all the suggestions from everyone so far... this information in invaluable! Thanks!
07-17-2007 11:10 PM
camaraderie I'm puzzled at the recommendations to leave on a flooding tide heading up the bay. Since the ride for a Cat27 is at LEAST 12 hours...Trescool will bespending half the time being helped by the tide and the other half fighting the current.
Does it not make more sense to have the tide with him where the Bay narrows and the current is more of an issue than at the wide end where the tidal flow is weak?
07-17-2007 06:16 PM
Ulladh The Greenwich marina on the Cohannsey, has a very good resturant with local crab dishes, and it is possible to anchor in the river opposite the resturant.

The anchorage behind Reedy Island below the C&D canal is well sheltered from commercial shipping wakes.

Not very well protected, but you can also anchor off the municipal park in Newcastle DE.

Essington PA has protected anchorage behind Little Tinicum Island, and marinas under the Philadelphia International Airport approach.

Philadelphia has no anchorages, but Penns Landing or Philadelphia Marine Center are not bad for an overnight rest (not quiet).

Wiggins Marina operated by Camden NJ even less quiet when there is a concert at the Tweeter Center.

Dredge Harbour and Winters Marina in Riverside NJ, be really careful at low tide.

Neshaminy Creek State Park Marina at Croyden PA, and some anchorage area on the NJ side opposite the Marina, or Bristol PA, but you will be almost home any way.

If the wind and tide are in your favour, it should only be one stop midway at Reedy Island or Delaware City, but you could do Cape May to Bristol in 24 hrs. Once above Delaware City there is more commercial traffic so keep looking back for that tug and barge about to crush you.

Wait out the tide changes, there is nothing more dispiriting that having your knot meter show 5 or 6 knots and being stationary.
07-17-2007 05:04 PM
teshannon RichH is right about the bugs!! I think I lost a pint of blood each time I made the trip, especially this time of year. Make sure you have screens on board.
Tom Shannon
07-17-2007 04:57 PM
sailingdog RichH-

You make the Delaware Bay sound like such an inviting place to visit... I'll just have to drop by and see it... NOT!...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichH
Strong thunderstorms on the Del Bay are 'traditional' and NOAA has the habit of forecasting them only once they are over. Just look to the Delaware shore and if you see large 'thunderheads' or convecting clouds 'growing', begin to head closer to a shore no matter what NOAA is broadcasting.

The Delaware Bay is the focus of all biting flies on this planet. If the winds are light expect to be eaten alive by green-heads, biting house flies, black flies, horse-flies, gnats, no-seeums, etc. etc. etc. ... and then the pidgeon sized mosquitos will get ya after dark. If the winds are low/absent be sure to bring along some Noxema Skin Cream (Blue Jar) and simply lather up with a 'paste' of Noxema to keep the biting-flies from 'sucking away ALL your blood'..... and thats the reason why the Delaware Bay area has no marinas, no people, no houses crowded next to one another along the shoreline .... and it still remains a wonderful 'wildnerness'.
07-17-2007 04:37 PM
RichH
Anchoring on the Del Bay

The Maurice River is the first available anchorage going north from Cape May. It is way off the beaten track, drains vast swamps, is narrow, and is a 'biting-fly/bug' paradise.
Next up is the Cohansey ... either the River itself or the Cohansey Cove just south of the Salem Nuclear Power Plant.
Other than that there are NO anchorages on the Del. Bay .... although sometimes I simply feel my way towards a shore and anchor ON the bay (bahamian moor because of the current/tides) far away from the ship channel when the weather is very good.

Strong thunderstorms on the Del Bay are 'traditional' and NOAA has the habit of forecasting them only once they are over. Just look to the Delaware shore and if you see large 'thunderheads' or convecting clouds 'growing', begin to head closer to a shore no matter what NOAA is broadcasting.

The Delaware Bay is the focus of all biting flies on this planet. If the winds are light expect to be eaten alive by green-heads, biting house flies, black flies, horse-flies, gnats, no-seeums, etc. etc. etc. ... and then the pidgeon sized mosquitos will get ya after dark. If the winds are low/absent be sure to bring along some Noxema Skin Cream (Blue Jar) and simply lather up with a 'paste' of Noxema to keep the biting-flies from 'sucking away ALL your blood'..... and thats the reason why the Delaware Bay area has no marinas, no people, no houses crowded next to one another along the shoreline .... and it still remains a wonderful 'wildnerness'.

Plan on leaving Cape May about two hours before low tide so that the tidal 'wave' will flush you most of the way up the bay/river. Dont go 'up' the Del. Bay if a strong Nor'wester is forecast (nor a strong Sou'easter) as you dont want to be in the Del. Bay with an adverse tide and a strong wind from the NW or SE which ----- will develop some seriously large 'trochoidal wave chop'. If at night contact the 'commercial' traffic in the channel on Ch13 ... and let them know where you are and that you're outside of the channel, etc. That radio contact will be well appreciated. Watch out for the unlighted buoys on the Jersey side near the nuclear plant ... they are very hard to see at night in contrast to the bright lights of the plant.

Have a good trip.
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