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Northbound ’19 – Travel Day 24: Bear, DE To Cape May, NJ

Northbound ’19 – Travel Day 24: Bear, DE to Cape May, NJ

Conditions: Fog to start, overcast and cool (58°).  Winds E 5 – 10 mph, seas calm to light chop.

Distance traveled: 59 nautical miles (68 statute miles)

Time underway: 6 hours

Average Speed: 10 kts

Max Speed: 18 kts

Fuel used: 70 gallons

Another morning of waiting for the fog to burn off which was OK because the weather for the day looked to be fairly consistent and the longer we waited the more favorable the tide would ultimately be on our run down Delaware Bay (it started out fairly unfavorable).

Eastbound on the C&D Canal.

It was a straight-forward day on the water, our last with Captain Scott along for the ride as we worked our way to state number eight on our Northbound Adventure.  Once we were a few hours into our run down the Delaware, the glassy calm waters turned to a bit of a head sea but it wasn’t bad and it calmed again the closer we got to the Cape May Canal on the Jersey side (New Jersey is state number seven on or Northbound Adventure).  The bay can be absolutely awful in the wrong conditions so we had nothing to complain about. [Cruiser’s Note: There is plenty of deep water outside of the main shipping channel on the Delaware enabling you to run a much more direct route between the canal and Cape May and keep away from the commercial traffic.  There can be some fish traps in the shallower waters so be aware as always].

Damned fog!  It peppered the horizon for a time as we  made our way down the bay but it wasn’t half as bad as our ride the day before.

The Ship John Shoal Light which marks the north side of the ship channel in Delaware Bay. It was completed in 1877 and is named for a ship that was lost at that spot in 1797 (no ActiveCaptain back then).

When we arrived at the entrance to the Cape May Canal, four brand new Galeon boats were entering ahead of us (we later learned that they had just arrived at the Port Of Baltimore and were bound for a dealership in Brick, NJ).  We knew from their radio chatter that they were also on their way to South Jersey Marina so we knew we needed to hang back a bit since the marina staff would have their hands full settling them in.  We were also arriving at near dead-low tide (yet again) and the water as you enter the Delaware side of the canal is quite skinny.

When you first arrive at the Cape May Canal the depths fall off on the south side of the channel (to starboard coming from the Delaware) as you pass the ferry terminal so the general guidance is to favor the north side in that spot.  Of course, that’s just when the fishing charter boat Porgy IV was approaching us, headed towards the bay.  The Captain understood our need not to move too much to get out of his way and was appreciative of the passing arrangements we made.  He even  and gave us some depths as he approached us.  It’s always nice when you get polite responses from these busy charter boats.

As you’ll see in the video below, we were welcomed to New Jersey by a 50′ sport fish boat run by someone who had no interest in our slow pace and characteristically passed us closer than they should have with a good sized wake, without hailing us on the radio (which was probably not on).  They are the reason that sport fish owners have a bad reputation for being discourteous boaters.  We know of some that are most certainly the exception but unfortunately find them to be few and far between.

The wind started picking up and the current was running as we ultimately made our approach to our marina but we arrived without issue and began to settle in for what will likely be a multi-day stay.  As we enter the home-stretch, our next two legs are in the Atlantic and we will not take them on in anything but decent conditions so we’ll wait as long as necessary.   It’s a great little marina in a charming seaside town that’s very popular with cruising boaters and an easy place to hole-up if you have to.

The view from the back of OLOH. Cool air begins to descend as the day wears on and a storm lumbers its way toward the East Coast.

We are very close to home – which follows our next two stops of Atlantic City and New York City.  See you out there…

 

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And that concludes your OLOH instructions. M/Y OLOH back to 1-6.

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