SAILS 1990 45 Florida Bay Coaster
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Viewing category: Jay
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Thursday, 9 May 2013
FL to CT Day 27
Chesapeake City, MD to Cape May, NJ
We departed late morning to wait for a favorable current in the C&D Canal as well as the Delaware River and Delaware Bay. I had determined that we should leave around 1000… this would give us a boost out of the C&D Canal and we would reach the Delaware River at just before it changed to ebb and we would be able to ride the ebb tide down the Delaware River and Bay for 6 hours… the current would switch to flood before we got to Cape May but this timing would give us maximum cruising time with the current pushing us.

We actually ended up leaving slightly early at 0945 and had a good boost of current as planned out of the C&D Canal… making over 8 knots most of the way… only slowing slightly when we reached the intersection of the canal and the Delaware River. We met with a flood tide against us slowing us to 6.3 - 6.5 knots… we had about an hour before the tide would switch to ebb… so we ran slowly for just about an hour… we had just passed the nuclear plant on the river when we started to gain some speed from the current.

Normally I run an almost straight line from the nuclear plant to Cape May…. Running down the northern side of the Delaware Bay… this time I decided to run out to the ship channel and run down… it was good decision as we got much more boost as soon as we hit the deep narrow ship channel… we ran most of the way down at 9.3 - 9.5 knots… it was awesome… but the ship channel takes a dog leg to the starboard and we left the ship channel at this point and made a straight shot to Cape May and it slowed us down as soon as we hit the shallower water… not bad though… still over 8 knots.

The weather could not of been any better… the Delaware River and Bay were almost glass smooth… well not the whole way… about an hour out from Cape May the wind whipped up a little and we started to get some 1-2 chop… just an aggravation at the end of the day.

About a 1/4 mile out from Cape May we were experiencing full flood tide and slowed to 5.5 knots and this remained our speed all the way to Cape May and Utsch’s Marina. We had called to make reservations and arrived after they had closed at 1800.

This marina is a little tough to get into… a straight shot down there outside bulkhead and then a 90 degree turn to starboard through a very narrow entrance… and it does not get any wider past the entrance… the fairway is the same width. We had been given our slip assignment but had no idea where it was located other than near the fuel dock, so we moved slowly down the fairway looking for slip #14… about half way down the fairway we found it and it was maybe 20 feet wide… we’re 18 feet wide… felt like threading a needle getting in... But we made it with no problems.

We were securely docked at 1815 at Utsch’s Marina located at N38°57.051’, W074°’54.317’. We traveled for 8.5 hours covering 54.2 nm averaging 6.4 knots.
Posted at 6:59 PM
Wednesday, 8 May 2013
FL to CT Day 26
Galesville, MD to Chesapeake City, MD
We departed slightly later than the planned 0600… departing at 0630. “Sanctuary” did depart at 0600 and was out of sight by the time we got back out to where we could see the Chesapeake Bay again. Although I think this was more due to the weather conditions… heavy fog and according to the radar showers all around us. Winds were way down and forecast was for 1-2 seas. Not ideal conditions but just having lower winds and seas was great.

As we passed under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge you could not see the span… only the concrete supports were visible and they disappeared into the fog that was now hanging over the bay like a blanket. It was a very eerie sight.

We had not gone another 2 miles and the fog just vanished and it was blue skies and sunny… amazing… it did not last for long but it did remain partly cloudy with the sun shining most of the day.

Quite a bit more boat traffic out today… one of the boats that had been in the Great Bridge Lock with us passed and they hailed us on the VHF… we exchanged some small world chit-chat and where each of us was going as they slowly passed us… moving slightly faster than we were.

We were not as luck with current today as yesterday and had it against us most of the day… early morning we had a little help… but as the day went on the current switched as was against us… 5.6 lowest and 7.2 knots were the extremes I observed.

We arrived to Chesapeake City at just before 1500 and proceeded to the town dock located at N39°31.624’, W075°48.671’. We secured “Sails” to the dock in the last available space between the tour boat and another trawler. We were securely docked at 1500. We traveled for 8.5 hours covering 56.8 nm averaging 6.7 knots.
Posted at 5:45 PM
Tuesday, 7 May 2013
FL to CT Day 25
Crisfiled, MD to Galesville, MD
We slept in till 0700… I had some computer work to catch up on so departed much later than we would of liked to… leaving the docks at Crisfield at 0915. We planned to go to Galesville, MD for the night… unless conditions were horrible. The forecast was for 90% chance of rain… winds were only suppose to be 10-15 knots… seas 1-2 feet.

“Sanctuary” departed with us and we headed out and north up Tangier Sound. As we entered the sound we were met with a fantastic boost from the flooding tide… pushed us over 8 knots. This current stayed with us almost the entire day… not always pushing us to 8 knots but never saw less than 7.3 knots until the last hours of the day. Then we dropped to 6.5 to 7.0 knots.

The waves and wind remained as forecast also until the last couple of hours… then the wind picked up and the waves also… plus we were more exposed loosing our break from the winds as we had while in Tangier Sound.

We crossed into the Chesapeake Bay via Hoopers Strait… you sort of backtrack as you go through the strait… running southwest for a short leg and then west but taking this route brought back in the Chesapeake Bay above the Potomac River. Where the Potomac meets the Chesapeake can be a nasty place and we wanted to avoid it… thus Hoopers Strait.

Just at the mouth of the Choptank we were hailed by a large ship “Tugela”… a 660 foot car carried… he asked if we could alter our course to the NW to allow more space for him to pass… no problem… we moved… :) As we passed each other he hailed again and wanted to talk about our boat… he had never seen one like it and wanted some details… pretty cool… at least I thought it was pretty cool… :)

It was shortly after this that the waves increased… instead of 1-2 we were seeing 3-4 with some larger ones occasionally… although it did not make the ride uncomfortable at all… it continued like this for a couple hours and gradually decreased as we got closer to Galesville and the Bay started to narrow down a bit.

We arrived to Galesville and proceeded to the town docks located at N38°50.546’, W076°32.344’. We secured “Sails” to the dock and “Sanctuary” rafted to us… we were not sure of water depth alongside the dock… so we opted to have “Sanctuary” raft to us. We were securely docked at 1945. We traveled for 10.5 hours covering 77.8 nm averaging 7.3 knots.
Posted at 8:31 PM
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