Whirlwind Tour – North Chesapeake, C&D Canal, Delaware Bay

9 Jun

We left early in hopes of getting through the C&D Canal. Our tour of the Chesapeake has been a bit like “Europe in 8 Days”, but we got a taste of Chesapeake cruising – we were a day up to Deltaville, a day to Solomons Island (with an extra day due to weather), then a day to Annapolis (plus 2 extra for Tropical Storm Andrea), then a day up to and into the C&D Canal. We did get into the Canal with the right current but the water pump went on strike so we pulled into a marina partway along with 8′ depth – NOT! Barely into their channel we went hard aground, deep in mud. I guess that heron standing in the water up to his ankles just by the channel buoy should have been a warning! So we threw a line to a nearby dock to sort of secure it and David dove into the bilge to replace the water pump – good thing we got the spare one in Annapolis!
A few hours later we rose out of the mud in the rising tide and got the boat turned around for a speedy exit early in the morning.
Early it was – 0445 – yikes! But we did manage to push our way out through the mud before MLW. Sporting our new water pump, we set off through the rest of the canal and then off down Delaware Bay. Forecast was for SE 5-6 knots – and as the guy at the marina said “it doesn’t get much better than that!” One highlight was a group of dolphins up to something and very active which was wonderful to watch. The bay water was uncharacteristically quite smooth and though the current was against us part of the time we plodded along. No sail boost today as the wind was on the nose. Lots and lots of little fishing boats out on the Bay – anchored in the shallows, nose into the current. A word of caution – should you be dawdling down the Delaware Bay some day with lovely calm seas, DON’T be lured into considering the coastal approach along the cape – I can attest that it is a washing machine! We tried that then turned and sailed out to deeper and more settled seas, a much longer approach but kinder. The channel into Cape May was a jumble of waves and currents but we trundled in and set anchor – next to Deep Blue II (Dave and Theresa) while we joined in the Bahamas for a week. The two boats haven’t been together since Wrightsville NC last November. We shared dinner and had a good catch up of sailing tales and escapades.
Tomorrow we will sit out the fog to explore Cape May and then on up the coast – Atlantic City then New York.

nearing Cape May

nearing Cape May

IMGP3745

C&D Canal

C&D Canal

Bridge across the Chesapeake

Bridge across the Chesapeake

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