Rock Hall Landing Marina, Rock Hall, MD to Delaware City Marina, Delaware City, DE — May 30, 2014

01-Leaving-Rock-Hall-Harbor

01-Leaving-Rock-Hall-Harbor

02-The-Angry-Sky-Of-Chesapeake-Bay

02-The-Angry-Sky-Of-Chesapeake-Bay

03-If-You-Look-Close-You-Can-See-The-Chesapeake-Bay-Bridge-In-The-Morning-Gloom

03-If-You-Look-Close-You-Can-See-The-Chesapeake-Bay-Bridge-In-The-Morning-Gloom

04-A-Work-Boat-Ship-On-The-Cheasapeake-Delaware-Canal

04-A-Work-Boat-Ship-On-The-Cheasapeake-Delaware-Canal

05-A-Work-Boat-Ship-On-The-Cheasapeake-Delaware-Canal

05-A-Work-Boat-Ship-On-The-Cheasapeake-Delaware-Canal

06-The-Bridge-At-Chesapeake-City-With-The-Marina-On-The-North-Side-Of-The-Chesapeake-Delaware-Canal

06-The-Bridge-At-Chesapeake-City-With-The-Marina-On-The-North-Side-Of-The-Chesapeake-Delaware-Canal

07-The-Bridge-At-Chesapeake-City-With-The-Marina-On-The-South-Side-Of-The-Chesapeake-Delaware-Canal

07-The-Bridge-At-Chesapeake-City-With-The-Marina-On-The-South-Side-Of-The-Chesapeake-Delaware-Canal

08-Delaware-City-Marina-Note-The-Sun-Came-Out

08-Delaware-City-Marina-Note-The-Sun-Came-Out

09-Homes-Of-Delaware-City

09-Homes-Of-Delaware-City

10-Homes-Of-Delaware-City

10-Homes-Of-Delaware-City

Well it rained most of the day yesterday and was quite cool.  They are predicting a cool, cloudy start to today.  We are on our way to meet Humbug, Carol Anne and Off Leash before we travel to Cape May and up to New York City.

The winds were pretty light to start the day as we left Rock Hall.  We needed to back track about 3 miles to avoid the shoals at the entrance. After we turned North there was a little more traffic.  We had almost 40 miles before we entered the Chesapeake-Delaware Canal (C-D Canal). The tide was coming in and it gave us a nice boost.  About the lowest we saw was 9.8 mph with the high being about 12 mph.  The tide cut more than an hour off the trip.

As we moved further north on the Chesapeake the wind started to pick up from the north.  This set up some chop on the Bay as the wind was against the current (incoming tide).  The Chop was getting worse but we finally got into the Elk River and behind Turkey Point, so there was no place for waves to build.

As we were moving up the Elk River I could see a sailboat and a large trawler in the binoculars.  They were quite a distance on front of us.

The C-D Canal was originally dug in the 1800’s and was expanded in size twice.  It presently is 450′ wide and 45′ deep in the center.  A freighter leaving Philadelphia will save 300 miles not having to go out to the Atlantic and back up the Chesapeake to get to Baltimore. Chesapeake City is located on the Canal and there is one other Marina a little further east, Summit.  Not a lot of other development along the Canal. The Canal is 16 miles long and 4 road bridges and 1 railroad bridge cross the waterway.

We did pass the sailboat I had seen near the end of the C-D Canal but we pulled into Delaware City Marina right behind the large Canadian Trawler. We visited Delaware City Marina last year and the marina personnel were great.  Very efficient in the docking procedures because there is lots of current in the canal that the marina is located on.

We took a walk into town and the market, and I am using that word loosely, was nothing to write home about. The market was a glorified convenience store.  It was just missing the gas pumps out front.

The Delaware Bay can be a very tricky body of water.  The marina holds a discussion session at 17:15 each day because the NOAA projections are updated at 5:00 and 17:00 each day. We reviewed their projection for wind, tide and current.  The results of our review was that while we would check again in the morning that the conditions would not be good on the Bay tomorrow and it would be prudent to wait. We have about 20 nautical miles on the Delaware River to travel and then approx. 28 nautical miles on the Delaware Bay to travel to get to the Cape May Canal.

We had a good time with docktails on the back of Champ III with Humbug, Carol Anne and Fruitcakes.  Off leash had gone ahead to Cape May this morning.  Fruitcakes are Loopers that started their Loop about 5 weeks ago from just north of Myrtle Beach. A good time was had by all.

Harve de Grace, MD to Delaware City Marina, DE. — May 26, 2013

Cold morning today with 46 outside but the sun came up into a cloudless sky.  The wind was pretty light at 6:15 when we came out for Candy’s walk this morning.

I decided to fuel up at the City of Havre de Grace Yacht Basin this morning because the wind was down and the tide had been rising for the last 3 hours.  I called yesterday and they only had about 2′ of water in the channel because of the high winds out of the north.  Well with the wind down and the tide rising we had 4′-0″ of water under the boat today and the diesel was $3.60 per gallon, hard to pass up.  We had a minimum of 4′-0″ water under the hull.

We left the fuel dock at 9:00 headed for Delaware City Marina at the other end of the C&D Canal (Chesapeake & Delaware).  We had about 8 miles to retrace our route south to the Elk River entrance then about 6 miles to get to the start of the C & D.  The C & D was built back in the early 1800 and had 4 locks when it was built.  The locks are all gone because the Delaware River opens right to the Atlantic just as the Chesapeake Bay does. The C & D Canal is about 14 miles long and 450′ wide.  Approximately 15,000,000 tons of cargo transits the canal each year as this is a major shortcut to Baltimore from Philadelphia.

Being Memorial Day weekend I was hoping we would not meet any barge or ship traffic in the Canal.  Well we did pass two barges headed into the Chesapeake and there was one empty barge in front of us being towed at a much faster speed than we were doing so there was no real problem with traffic.

We did get to the North end of the Canal and the wind was blowing pretty good from the northwest but we only had 2 miles to the Delaware City Channel and it wasn’t that bad.  The Delaware City Marina is a little unusual in that it is one long dock along the side of the channel for the boats to tie to.  The channel is probably 150′ wide and I might be generous in that estimate. There are no slips and the channel had a pretty good current in it.  The dock hands were great and knew how they wanted us tied and how to handle the current and wind.

The marina was pretty full.  I had made reservations yesterday and they called us today to see if we were coming because they were full.  With the wind the last several days nobody had been leaving for the 51 mile trip down the Delaware River to Cape May New Jersey.

Just as we were finishing the tie up a boater came up and said hi to me and said I looked familiar.  I looked at him and said hi Mike, we met in Carrabelle last November.  Mike and Cindy are from Minnesota and are doing the LOOP.  They are in a 22′ sailboat with a 5 hp outboard and the only break they have taken is to go home for Thanksgiving.  I was actually surprised that I remembered his name and where we had met.  I can’t begin to count the number of people we have talked to and met along the LOOP.

We had a “Docktails” get together on the marina patio this evening and we got re-acquainted with Mike and Cindy.  We also had a chance to talk to a number of other Loopers that were in the marina.

There is going to be a big exodus from the marina tomorrow starting at 4:45.  Lenore and I will leave early but that translates to about 7:00.  We will have an outgoing tide for about 3 hours and then probably about 1 hour of slack tide before we have incoming tide to fight.  The trip at 8.5 mph is about 6.5 hours so it will not be a real long day.