We woke up at 6 am to get an early start to transit the Delaware River and Bay in the morning before the afternoon wind would churn up the lower bay. An unfavorable 6 am weather report for the lower Bay gave us concern that the front had not passed through for the Northwest wind and favorable conditions we needed to go down the Bay. I decided to wait and check the latest report after breakfast at the Ship Watch B&B. I texted Dave for a better weather forecast on his Weather Works software on the Sojourn. He called back around 8am and said the front would pass through and we were good to go. Zan and I grabbed our stuff and rushed back to the “Miss Phyl” and cast off at 8:30am. Zan took us for a smooth ride heading East down the C&D Canal. As we caught and overtook “Sojourn”, we hailed them on the VHF radio and thanked Lynda and Dave for their hospitality and help with the weather forecast.
The C&D Canal was peacefully quiet; no one in sight as the current helped to push us along. The thunderstorms to the south looked ominous and we debated about rolling the window screens up to let more air in, which we did. The rain never came. We cleared Reedy Point at 9:30am and turned South down the Delaware River. The Salem Nuclear Plant in NJ slipped by our port side as the 15k NW wind helped push us along nicely at 16 knots. The thunderstorms we had seen were now well away from us and our ride continued smoothly.
Around noon, the the Bay widened considerably and the swells began to build to 3ft. We debated whether to stay in the ship channel or stay close to the Delaware shore, which was a more direct course for Lewes. We headed closer to sthore. About noon, as we were close to the Ship John Light, a large 4ft swell lifted our stern and drove us forcefully into he wave in front, swamping our bow past the forward seats. Our forward seats were under water! The boat came to an abrupt stop as water and supplies floated everywhere. The boat righted herself and Zan and I could start to breathe again. It was a tense, long 10 seconds until we knew we were ok. We assessed the boat and our situation. After about 30 minutes of putting the boat back together and letting the all the water drain out, we continued on our way cautiously and uneventfully to the Roosevelt Inlet.
We pulled into the Lewes Yacht Club at 2:10pm, gassed up and then stopped at the Lewes City Dock for lunch at Gilligans. After a good lunch and feeling grateful for a safe transit of the Delaware Bay, we cast off at 3:30pm and headed South through the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal toward Fenwick.
The low tide and current were not in our favor as we entered the Assawoman Canal for the final few miles of our trip. We pulled into our home dock at Farmington St in Fenwick Island at 6:20pm to a warm greeting and applause from our family and neighbors.
It is good to be safely home!
Thank God for safe passage.
Zan at the helm going to Chesapeake City, We left Georgetown Yacht Basin around 9 am, on Tuesday morning bound for Chesapeake City on the C&D Canal. Our trip only took about two hours to cover the twenty-four N Miles. along the way we stopped at Town Point , to get a picture of the Town Point farm house that Wayne and Edie Benner owned and where Phyllis and I had our wedding reception on March 31, 1963. The Great house sat on the point between the Elk and Bohemia rivers. We started to stop for gas at Shaffer’s fuel dock when we arrived, but the current was to strong to safely dock so we decided to come back later for gas. Across the canal we docked for the night at the Chesapeake Inn and Marina. We are staying at the Ship Watch B&B for the evening.
A quick lunch at the Chesapeake Inn, back to gas up after the tide changed and then a shower. The U. S. Corps of Engineers has a great Museum of the C&D canal in the original steam water wheel stone buildings built for the canal lock system which we really enjoyed visiting. The afternoon rain storm came around four pm, but not as bad as yesterday’s in Georgetown.
Around five pm we went to visit Dave and Lynda on “Sojourn” a Fleming 55′ Motor Yacht whom we had meet in Greorgetown. They had just returned from six weeks in the Bahamas and were on their way to NY. Dave showed Zan and I the engine room and explained all the systems and how the boat works.
Sojourn is a beautiful boat!
Hopefully and early start tomorrow and Northwest wind behind us will get us down the Delaware River and Bay to Lewes without and issues by early afternoon.
TUESDAY, JULY 15,2014 GEORGETOWN TO CHESAPEAKE CITY C&D CANAL — 24 N MILES
Becky helps get us going at South River.
Denee Daly ( Daughter) and Zan Wills (Grandson) arrive at South River Hertiage Harbor at 6:30 am. Zan and I move the boat to “Mikes ” on the South River where Becky and Denee meet and help us load the coolers and bags onto the boat. We leave South River at 7:30 and head out by Thomas Point Light by 8:30 am. Then we continue up the Bay under the Bay Bridge, Zan at the helm, into Worten Creek to refuel. Then on to Red “48” as we turn East up the Sassafras River.
What a beautiful river, ten miles of deep water and scenic shores to Georgetown Yacht Basin. We were docked by noon and checked into the Kitty Knight House for our overnight. Then caught the Water Taxi over to the Granary for a great lunch, and back to the B&B for a shower and a nap! 94 degrees is to hot to explore outside.
The 5 O’Clock weather warned of severe thunder storms from the West, we put extralines on the boat, then had a great dinner at Kitty Knight House as the storm passed over us.
Denee delivered Zan to continue the rest o the cruise with me.
A short run tomorrow Tuesday July 15, 2014 ( 24NM ) to Chesapeake City will make for a late start, but put us there by noon.
MINDAY JULY 14, 2104 SOUTH RIVER ANNAPOLIS TO GEORGETOWN YACHT BASIN – 60 N MILES
Up early at six am for an early cast-off, but heavy fog covered Crisfield. I walked down to the main street grill and ice cream shop for breakfast with the “senior” local watermen and farmers. back at the Capt. Tyler Motel I charted alternate routes if weather delays occur next week. At 9:30 the fog lifts and after getting two bags of ice for the food cooler, we are ready to cast-off but the motor won’t start! A quick check that the motor tilt works, but still not starting. Two calls to my Bob’s Marine and the local Yamaha Dealer – still no answers and no help. It’s Friday in July and everyone who works on boats is very busy! The Somers Cove Dock Master in Crisfield gave me the phone number of a local who works on outboards and might help me. Jimmy “Choppy” Baker happened to be rebuilding an inboard engine a few docks over from me at Somers Cove and offered to come over and help me. It turns out that the problem was a bad wire connector in the ignition switch and by noon I was on my way headed North to South River in Annapolis. The water was smooth as we weaved a path through thousands of crab traps in Tangier Sound. Twenty N Miles later I turned west across Hopper Straight into the Chesapeake Bay. Ten miles into the Bay as I started North at Hoppers Light and the wind was 10 -15 and on our nose and waves were 2 to 3 feet and very choppy! After a half hour of different tacks and speeds and water over the front, it was time to seek shelter. A quick look at the chart showed that Upper Hooper Island was our last chance to duck in, which we did and anchored behind Barren Island for the night. I set up the gas grill and had a fine dinner of gourmet hot dogs, Bushes baked beans and applesauce. After dinner I watched to sunset over the Chesapeake Bay as I sipped a Margarita then retired for the night as a full moon lit up the Bay.
Saturday July 12, 2014
Six thirty AM, we left Hooper Island the water was flat with a South wind behind me, as i picked my way through the crap traps and three hours later I turned into the South River, Annapolis. after stopping for gas at Liberty Marina, I docked at Heritage Harbour.
Crisfield MD to Annapolis – 77N Miles