Sunday, October 22, 2006

Cape May Canal, Delaware Bay, and the C & D Canal 10/18-10/19

Before we started this trip, I was most concerned (based on material read) about the trip along the New Jersey coast and the journey up the Delaware Bay. Well, this morning those are both behind us and we ae probably half way to The Bahamas.
We started at 8:30 Wednesday morning and motored nervously under the lowest fixed bridge on our trip (55 feet) and then proceeded through the Cape May Canal, entering the Delaware Bay. The Bay was foggy with rollers coming in off the Atlantic rolling the boat moderately. The conditions smoothed out, the fog burned off and we moved slowly north into the tidal current most of the day.
We arrived at the entrance of the Chesapeake and Delaware (C & D ) Canal just as the sun set and started against another, and very strong, tidal current. The C & D connects the Delaware Bay with the Chesapeake and allows boats and ships to avoid a long passage (200 miles) outside in the Atlantic.
We were heading for an anchorage 10 miles up the very clearly marked canal at Chesapeake City. We were almost there and I thought I could see a city ahead. I had just raised my binoculars when the “city” I was examining blew a loud horn. The “city” suddenly assumed the shape of an 800 foot freighter covered with white lights. I zigged farther to the side and we passed clearly.
I share this anecdote even though it will strengthen my brother, Eric’s belief in my basic incompetence. The lesson? Stay alert at night and if a city seems to be moving, give it a wide berth.
This morning Mary Ann and I are sitting in the cockpit in the Chesapeake City Anchorage watching the cormorants and herons fish.
I strikes me that some of you may not have an atlas with you as you read this, so I’m including a small map above) illustrating our last four days travel.