Friday, May 2, 2014

Monday, April 28, 2014 Down the Delaware Bay to Cape May, NJ

Last night we decided we needed to get down the Delaware Bay today.  If not, we will be anchored at Chesapeake City for 3 or 4 days because of the weather forecast...really high winds and rain....just like in other parts of the states.  I'm going to call Utsch's Marina once we're out in the Delaware River to make reservations for our two boats.  This way, we will be able to get off the boat and walk around even if it means walking in the rain!

We hauled anchor at 6:30 am, if not before, with enough water to crab-walk Happy Hours II across the narrow cut from the Chesapeake City Harbor into the C&D Canal.  Whisper was following close behind.  Wow, as soon as we got into the canal we took off.  Between motoring and the current, we were traveling at 10 mph...directly into the sun!  Boy, is it hard to see with the glare from the bright sun!!   The tides seem to be perfect for our journey today...incoming tide for the 13 miles of the C&D all the way to the Delaware River at Reedy Point.  We knew once we got to the river and turned southerly we would be fighting the last 2 hours of high tide.  From there, I thought we'd have a falling tide for 6 hours and have a fast cruise out the Bay!  Well, that did't happen.  The Delaware Bay is crazy with its tides.  There is a 4 hour difference in low tide form the top to the bottom of the Bay. Believe me, it's much easier to ride the tides north than south. We really didn't get much of a push until we were 3/4 of the way down the Bay.   Favorable winds were short lived for us also as well as the sun.  We knew it was to start to cloud over in the afternoon and rain was predicted later in the evening.  It was still cold outside but our 'hothouse' kept us nice and cozy!  Chuck actually had only a t-shirt on for the better part of the trip....and a long trip it's going to be.  We figured at least 12 hours.

Once we got to day marker R24, sv/Whisper broke away from us and headed to the Cape May Canal. We continued toward the ocean and around the tip of the Cape.   The canal saves not only time but having to go out into the ocean.  We wish we could go that route but our mast is too tall to pass under the 55 foot bridges on the canal.  It's going to take us 1.5 -2 hours longer than David and Rita!   But, we have to make the best of it and the waves on the ocean are only suppose to be .8 meters high....not too bad.  I checked the charts and found some deep water from R4 that should save us some time getting around the shallows that lie off the coast of the Cape.  Once we got into a section of the Cape May Channel, we got in the midst of some confused waves.  They were coming from all directions. All of a sudden, we hit bottom!  Yikes!  The charts read 25-35 feet of water.   Bump, we hit bottom a second time!  This could turn serious!!!! Both times the waves lifted us up and on our way. It sure got our adrenaline pumping...and a little gun shy about my route cutting between the shoals.  So...we headed further out into the ocean to get into deeper water before we made our turn toward the Cape May Inlet. About 5:30, we started to get cold and cranky! At least now, we can fly our headsail which will increase our speed.

The approach into the inlet was a bit hectic.  Guys are fishing on both sides of the jetties and we're coming in fast...10.8 mph!    The rain clouds have finally caught up to us and it seems later than 6:00. Rita and David called to see what our ETA is.  They wanted to see if they had time to shower before helping catch our lines.  Yes they have time since we won't arrive until 6:30...they docked at 5ish. Looking back, we really had a good trip out and around into the ocean.  It could have been much worse.  Once we had our lines properly set, we both needed to walk.  We went to Cappy's for a pizza-steak sub.  We ate there in the fall and their subs are excellent.  The pizza/sub shop is about 10 minutes away from Utsch's  Marina.  So, it didn't take us long to get there, eat, and then back to the boat to gather our shower gear and hit the HOT showers.  Our 12 hour day was very tiring, so it's going to be an early night....

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