Friday, September 14, 2012

Cape May on the bubble, updated

I'm home  today on injured reserve, fighting off a flu bug. The CDC lists my state as having "sporadic" incidents of the flu, but I just came from spending five days with people from all over the country (with several states having outbreaks).  I'm glad to get the bug out of the way now.

I made some use of my down time going over the track, charts, satellite images. 

Visiting Cape May, which appeals to us for a few different reasons, may be dropping a little lower on our list of goals.  Why?  It would add about 40 to 50 miles to the trip, including a 17 mile crossing of the mouth of Delaware Bay.  Looking at the tide forecast we might be crossing the bay with a 2.5 kt incoming tide.  If the wind were out of the N or NW, it could get very lumpy out there.  I'm not sure we want to cross the bay and deal with all the shipping traffic under those conditions.

I wish we could visit the "Jersey Shore", but we might be better off tracking the western (Delaware) shore of the Bay, sticking with the shallower water and avoiding the wide mouth of the bay.  Safer, simpler and less likely to have weather issues.  And this would be following the path of Washington Tuttle, which was our goal in the first place.


ps - After having made the above post I decided to check my references on small boats crossing Delaware Bay.  The four written records I have - Nathanial Bishop's Voyage in a Paper Canoe, Frank Dye's Sailing to the Edge of Fear, Lee Hughes' The Biggest Boat I Could Afford and of course Washington Tuttle's recollection - all show the small boat voyagers crossing Delaware Bay near the eastern entrance to the C and D canal where the Bay - really a river at that point - is a couple of nautical miles wide.  If avoiding the wide mouth of the bay and ocean currents was good enough for them, it is probably good enough for us too.

I'm tempted to say "discretion is the better part of valor" but there is no valor here - just a couple of guys having fun on a small boat.


Tillerman said...

We sailed the 1995 Sunfish North Americans on those waters if that's any consolation.

Steve said...


where did you sail? Cape May? Lewes?


Drew Frye said...

You can also follow the Jersey coast, which has plenty of duck-ins (Cohonesey River, Maurice River, Bidwell Creek). Yes, you have to cross the Delaware, but you can do that at the tip where it is narrow and easy in fair weather.

Quite the adventure! The first time I did the Delmarva trip I had a 1200 pound catamaran and a 10 year old for crew (daughter). It was wonderful.

There is lots of Delmarva stuff on my blog.