Annapolis is worth spending more than one night with. We just don’t have the time this round. As we pull out of the harbour the weather is cooperating with us, so far. The winds are low and the water is only slightly choppy. The winds are about 10 knots so the travel north is still a bit rocky but we are able to run 25 mph. The Chesapeake narrows around here. It is still a vast open space but you can see both sides now while you travel. We would have liked to have wandered around here more but we have a tight schedule for work so we push on.
Not much to talk about as we head into the Delaware/Chesapeake Canal. A canal that connects these two bays to the north. It’s quite large as canals go and very nice to pass through. We stop at Chesapeake City at a marina for a top up of diesel. There is a nice restaurant and marina right on the canal. It’s more convenient than trying to get into the basin at Chesapeake City. Do not attempt to dock at the free dock in Chesapeake City as the low tide brings only 2.5 feet of water. The entrance is badly shoaled and you have to hug the red really tight to find 8 feet of water. We didn’t go into the basin to anchor as it did seem tight but also we had only traveled for a couple hours to get here. We thought we would run down the canal to Delaware City at the other end of the 15 mile canal.
After entering into Delaware River we head a bit north to try Delaware City. When we see that we are at almost low tide we do also know that the water to get it in will be about 8 feet total water. With our 3.5 foot draft its a nerve wracking experience when you starts to see 4’s and 3’s on the depth guage. We get in to deeper water at about 10 feet toal water and see the free dock on sand. There is a 5 foot tide here and the dingy dock is out of the question even if you wanted to dingy over. The free dock behind the Police boats is completely full and we don’t want to travel down this skinny waterway to the marina where it would be difficult to turn around. So we do a quick reverse turn and go back out.
Now on the Delaware River, which is quite wide and deep, we are looking at our 3rd alternative for the day. Either we anchor over by Reddy Island with NW winds coming later at 20 knots and be mostly protected or we make the 3 hour more run down to Cape May. As we pass Reddy Island Scott makes the decision that he is up for the next 2-3 hours to drive today. That will make a 135 mile day. The good thing about this decision is that the Delaware River was giving us a nice tidal push of about 4-5 mph faster as the tide was going out. We were able to catch and stay with this big push for most of the way until we caught up with the incoming tide where there was some turbulence but we were still able to keep running at 28 mph. Heading toward Cape May there is a lot of fishing boats once again. Crab and oyster pots as well but not as bad as on the Chesapeake where you must keep an attentive eye for them.
There is a ferry at the entrance to the Cape May Canal that has the right of way and the canal is only half dredged on that side. Of course just as we are approaching the ferry is pulling out of its berth and heading out. We give it the passage it needs and head on up the canal. We were thinking of anchoring by the Coast Guard but made the decision to head to Utsch’s Marina where Scott can do some maintenance for the fuel filter change and a few other changes.
Utsch’s marina has everything. There is a harbour host here that leaves a truck for loopers to get around town. We must send a thank you to him when we get home. A full service deep water marina along with a ship’s store that has everything Scott needs and then some. He was able to replace our spare parts that he has used thus far and add to ones that he usually has on hand but hasn’t been able to find. We received a nice welcome package with homemade lavender soap and a bottle of home brew wine along with maps of the city. Bikes to ride to town are also availabl. The internet is full at all the docks. It has a reasonable rate for docking as well.
We are lucky enough to meet several other loopers here. We are all checking the weather over the next few days and there is a cold front coming through. We’ll have to make the decision to run “the outside” (on the ocean) to Atlantic City and be stuck there or stay here until it calms down. It’s a tough decision because tomorrow will be a nice day to travel and then have to be stuck in Atlantic City or stay here during a good travel day and be stuck here with all the amenities we need. We are not gamblers at all and wouldn’t care to go to the big casinos so the draw for us to leave isn’t there. But there is supposed to be a great beach and boardwalk. Decisions, decisions!