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.