Monday, June 27, 2016

Up the Chesapeake, Down the Delaware

June 17, 2016

Thomas Point Light - Annapolis, headed north

We left Harness Creek sort of hastily, blowing off friends Bo and Joyce who were nice enough to try to arrange to meet us for lunch, and set out for the northern reaches of the Chesapeake Bay. We just couldn't sit anymore. We were headed to Ford’s Landing which is really nothing more than a place to anchor. 

Calm. Havre de Grace is way back to the left somewhere.
It was an uneventful motor-sail up the bay, back under the Bay Bridge again, and, finally, out of the Chesapeake and into the Elk River. We got a distant view of the town where I spent my early formative years, Havre de Grace, as we passed Turkey Point. During those formative years, I traveled by boat from Havre de Grace to this point in the Elk River. Now, having come all the way up the bay to this point,  I have, officially, seen every mile of the Chesapeake, head to mouth, in a

Ford’s Landing was as much anchorage as we needed. We saw eagles, osprey and deer. There were a few passing container and cargo ships coming from the C & D canal. Unfortunately, the beach where we expected to take Tilly was covered with ‘No Trespassing’ signs. I suppose that, technically, we could have landed anyway since property rights only extend to the high-water line. But, Tilly can handle most business on the front of the boat if necessary. And we didn’t want to get shot.

We had calculated the timing of currents and tides and determined that 2:00 pm was our departure time. Of course, we got bored sitting around and left at about 11:30 am. The trip through the canal was anticlimactic. It is just a long ride. No issues other than the wake from passing power boats. There is no specific speed limit and, left to self-govern, well – you know.
Just before entering the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal

Chesapeake City Bridge looking back to the west.

We popped out the Delaware side of the canal and into a new bay. The Delaware Bay. We turned south and caught the current of the outbound tide. We kept picking up speed until we were making over 8 knots Speed Over Ground (SOG). This rush of speed-induced adrenaline went to our heads. Our plan was to stop at an anchorage to wait for the next day to run the Delaware. But the anchorage was not very well protected and we were making good time and the weather was supposed to be pretty good and there was a full moon and etc, etc, etc. Short story – we decided to keep going south to Cape Henlopen, knowing full well that we would not get there until after dark and we would be dropping the anchor, in the dark, in a strange place.

Company on our way down the Delaware Bay

Creepy lighthouse

While this sounds like the beginning to a very bad story, it was not. By the time we reached the cape and the Breakwater Anchorage, the wind had dropped to under 10 knots, the moon was out, the anchorage was well marked and charted, huge, empty and plenty deep. We set the hook and went straight to bed knowing the ocean was just over the dunes.

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