Author Topic: C&D CANAL/UPPER CHESAPEAKE JOURNEY-INFO NEEDED  (Read 4194 times)

Offline Bob23

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C&D CANAL/UPPER CHESAPEAKE JOURNEY-INFO NEEDED
« on: November 20, 2013, 08:30:43 PM »
   Ok...so I just realized a few things: 1. - I'm not using my 23 up to her potential and she's not happy about that. 2. - I'm not getting any younger. 3. - Time is flying by faster than I ever imagined it could. So...
   The journey I'm planning next year will be to trailer the intrepid Koinoina to a marina in Salem, NJ where she'll be launched. I then plan to sail across the Delaware to the East end of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal where I'll motor through to the upper reaches of the Chesapeake. The ulitimate destination will be PeterG and Becky's house down a ways in Virginia.
(They don't know it yet but I suppose after reading this, my secret will be out.) I would then find a short term slip for the yacht and return in a few weeks with Tundra and trailer to bring her back to her home in NJ.
   I've never done a trip like this but I'm confident that with the right planning and time of year, it's entirely doable. So I'm asking for any information from guys here who have firsthand experience sailing in these waters about best time of year, anticipated weather conditions, wind patterns, etc. I may do it alone or if I can convince my son or brother or someone else foolish enough to sign on, convincing them that they most likely return alive, I may take on another person.
   Thanks in advance, mates for any and all info you may have on such a fool hardly adventure. Life's too short and the last thing anyone wants to do is regret what one should have done.
Bob23

Offline mikew

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Re: C&D CANAL/UPPER CHESAPEAKE JOURNEY-INFO NEEDED
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2013, 10:05:28 PM »
Bob, I did a trip like that years ago crewing on a Catalina 30 which had a small diesel aux. We left from Keyport,NJ and delivered the boat to a marina in Annapolis. The part from the Cape May canal- Delaware bay- C & D canal- Chesapeake Bay to Annapolis took about 28 hours of sailing/motoring with one overnight anchor stop. It was the first week in June and the weather seemed cold and damp- I wore a winter coat quite a bit. The sea conditions were not too bad, I remember a short steep chop on Delaware Bay which at times the boat would fall off wave tops and pound. I think if you pick your weather,the trip would be very nice and doable on your Compac 23.

Mike      
« Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 10:16:25 PM by mikew »

Offline crazycarl

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Re: C&D CANAL/UPPER CHESAPEAKE JOURNEY-INFO NEEDED
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2013, 10:12:46 PM »
I raise a mug of grog to ya Bob!

    I too have been contemplating another solo adventure.  I spent all of my teens touring the midwest by bicycle.  In my 30's I criss crossed the country on my motorcycle for weeks at a time.  Although I owned plans for a 16' sailboat since I was in high school, I purchased my 1st boat at 43.  Now staring at 54, I wonder if I'll have time to sail all those places I dreamed of before I'm too old to crawl around inside our 19.
 
    Oh sure, our plans for retirement is to purchase a live aboard.  However,  I really like the idea of small boat adventures.  The water doesn't need to be large for the adventure to large.   

    I lost my boat in the fifth storm of my first big adventure, but I don't regret it.  In fact, I miss the solitude,  hard work and all the hardships a solo voyage brings.  I can't wait to give it another shot.


Carl
   
Somonauk, IL  where the washing machine was invented and the local museum's most interesting exhibit is a two headed calf!

Man invented the slowest form of transportation - the sailboat - then decided to race them. - Philosopher Unknown

Offline capt_nemo

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Re: C&D CANAL/UPPER CHESAPEAKE JOURNEY-INFO NEEDED
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2013, 10:45:21 PM »
Bob23,

I could say, sounds like the beginnings of a well laid out PLAN! Or better yet, IT'S ABOUT TIME! I'm getting excited FOR you, since I have already experienced long distance cruising in both Sailboat and Trawler and know full well how exciting and rewarding it can be.

Don't know how much time you have available, but you might want to consider a circumnavigation of the DELMARVA Penninsula while you are at it. When you leave VA just continue out the mouth of the Chesapeake and turn north up the coast to Delaware Bay or wherever. Just a thought.

Since I've transited the C&D Canal a few times, recommend you check the local TIDE and CURRENT tables and diagrams for the most advantageous timing of your trip. The current can be strong, and you will want TO GO WITH THE FLOW as they say.

Launching at Salem you will not have to concern yourself with the tides and currents in Delaware Bay UNLESS you do the circumnavigation mentioned above.

The Chesapeake is a marvelous body of water that I sailed for nearly 20 years cruising its entire length in daylight and at night (with RADAR).

Summer (June-July-August) is too hot and humid often with very light to NO wind and strong thunderstorms. Winter is, of course, out of the question. Spring and Fall are quite nice on the Chesapeake. If I were considering such a trip I'd check the historical weather data again for around April-May and September-October-November and go from there.

Allow enough slack in your schedule for lay overs, at marinas or on the hook, on bad weather days. IF YOU ARE A SLAVE TO A RIGID SCHEDULE YOU'LL WIND UP DOING SOMETHING STUPID!

What you have in mind is definitely NOT a "fool hardy adventure", but rather an attempt to make a reasonable dream, nurtured by the strong lure of the sea, come true.

Bon Voyage & Bon Chance!

capt_nemo

Offline JD

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Re: C&D CANAL/UPPER CHESAPEAKE JOURNEY-INFO NEEDED
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2013, 11:18:43 PM »
Bob,
If it were me I would forgo the boring part of the delaware bay and the  canal to the upper bay. Not much sailing until you reach turkey point at the corner of the North east river. Preferably I would truck her to the Sassafras river at Galena Md.  Launch her there and enjoy the  9 mile scenic river. At the mouth of the river turn south ... Lots of gunk holing and good sailing with any west by north breeze. Late spring early fall. Late September would be great. I. Am on the sassafras with my newly purchased 27.
I would be glad to show you around the area or give you advice on all the best places to stop.  Not much to see on your first two days from jersey... Try not to enter the canal,at night..,   Gps only way to go . You can miss it very easily.
Regards JD

Offline Bob23

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Re: C&D CANAL/UPPER CHESAPEAKE JOURNEY-INFO NEEDED
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2013, 05:54:03 AM »
THANK YOU! for the speedy replies, gents. This is just the kind of info I'm looking for. But I wouldn't go raisin' no mugs of grog just yet....this scheme is just getting started.
   I don't plan on adhering to a rigid schedule. Heck, I do that every day at work! And I'm sure capable of doing something stupid without a tight schedule. This is supposed to be an enjoyable and challenging adventure so within reason, there'll be time to stop where I please. I may set tentative goals beforehand but they won't be cast in concrete. 
   I've been studying Elderidges; there's some good tidal info on the canal in there and I know I can't sail through. Motorwise, I plan to bring 2 outboards just in case. Cheaper for me to do that than call for a tow if Miss Nissan decides she's had enough.
   I had a hunch that late spring/ early fall would be ideal. If it were to be early October that would coinicide with the Annapolis sailboat show. Hmmm....
   Any other information sure would be helpful in the planning of a journey like this. Although many of you have sailed much farther than my planned route, for me this is a big undertaking. Might be some kind of mid life crisis or something. I try not to define these things...takes the magic out of the adventure. I just want to do it.
   My wife says I'm nuts for wanting to cross the atlantic by sailboat. (no, not my 23) and honestly, I may be nuts and that kind of crossing probably isn't in the cards. So we'll see what she says about this undertaking.
Bob23

Offline jthatcher

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Re: C&D CANAL/UPPER CHESAPEAKE JOURNEY-INFO NEEDED
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2013, 06:03:20 AM »
Hey  Bob, sounds like you got the bug for a sailing adventure - good for you!  :)   I have been reading a bunch of cruising blogs recently, many of which cover the territory that you are considering.  it sounds like you have already received some great advice  regarding the tides - that seems to be one of the major considerations in canals in general - certainly true of the pt pleasant canal and the cape cod canal along with the C and D

The trip sounds like a whole lot of fun..  if you can spare the time, the circumnavigation of the delmarva Peninsula sounds like a great trip!   

we are headed to vermont today to see my daughter in a concert  and to visit UVM.   my trip to toms river may be the end of next week..  i will be in touch.  jt

Offline Bob23

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Re: C&D CANAL/UPPER CHESAPEAKE JOURNEY-INFO NEEDED
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2013, 05:24:11 PM »
Thanks, JT.
   I will be around the day after Thanksgiving but on Saturday we have to go to the wedding of a family member...Linda's youngest sister, yeah- the wacko. Such fun.
   I hope this trip comes to fruition...I'm just in the beginning of the planning stage and realizing there's a few pieces of gear I'd need.
Bob23

Offline jthatcher

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Re: C&D CANAL/UPPER CHESAPEAKE JOURNEY-INFO NEEDED
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2013, 09:15:42 PM »
hmmm,  needing some gear.. that makes things even more fun.. shopping with a purpose!    it will be interesting to chat about your list!  jt

Offline Craig

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Re: C&D CANAL/UPPER CHESAPEAKE JOURNEY-INFO NEEDED
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2013, 10:45:20 AM »
Bob, You will have fun no matter which itinerary you choose. The upper Bay was my home for many years. If you do transit the canal from east to west, the anchorage basin at Chesapeake city is a nice overnight: free anchorage, good restaurants in walking distance and you never know who you will run into(I met Walter Cronkite and Graham Kerr,The Galloping Gourmet when I had my slip there). Another good anchorage is Cabin John Creek near the mouth of the Elk River. Can be a little crowded on weekends but is usually empty during the week. Many great anchorages on the Eastern Shore and not too far apart to be a comfortable sail. Worton Creek,Fairlee Creek, Rock Hall are all great and are good jumping off points for Annapolis and the Inner Harbor to the west. The Chester, Miles and Wye rivers are beautiful and fun to explore. Shaw Bay near where the Miles makes a turn southward is one of my favorite places. St Michaels, on the Miles is the home of the Chesapeake Maritime Museum and one of my favorite places in the region! :) Have at it! There is no better place for a leisurely relaxing cruise!  ;D
Craig, Horizon Cat "Kailani"  Punta Gorda, FL

Offline Bob23

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Re: C&D CANAL/UPPER CHESAPEAKE JOURNEY-INFO NEEDED
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2013, 06:32:20 PM »
Thanks, Craig:
   Although this is just in the infancy planning stages, I had planned to trek through the canal at one shot, but I have a lot to learn. I've been to St. Michaels a number of times...love it! Years ago an old friend and I attended the WoodenBoat festival there and more recently, the Traditional Small Craft Festival. A good town to have a bicycle as transportation.
   I will certainly be picking your brain, Craig!
Bob23

Offline Bob23

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Re: C&D CANAL/UPPER CHESAPEAKE JOURNEY-INFO NEEDED
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2013, 08:09:08 PM »
   As I look further into this plan, it seems that revolving this around weddings, birthdays, etc, a late August/ early September departure seems to work. For you experienced Chesapeake Bay cruisers, is this a good time to be on the Bay? From what I can tell, it's ok- maybe the very beginning of the fall weather patterns.
   If not then, it might have to be middle to late October but I'd rather have long days to sail.
   Again, any and all info is appreciated. And a special thanks to Pedro (PeterG) who sent me 3 of his old cruising guides to the Chesapeake. I raise a glass of Gosslings to ya, p23!
Bob23

Offline capt_nemo

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Re: C&D CANAL/UPPER CHESAPEAKE JOURNEY-INFO NEEDED
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2013, 10:00:18 PM »
Bob23,

As I vaguely recall, from many years sailing the Northern and Middle Chesapeake, August can still be  hot, humid, sticky (uncomfortable sleeping aboard), with light winds and summer T-Storms. September the weather STARTS to moderate, if you're lucky. The further into September the better. OTHERWISE, your October window would be much better IMHO. Fall can be absolutely wonderful on the Chesapeake!

As for those shorter daylight days - just set your alarm, get up at first light, proceed onward, and remember, as John Wayne (my hero) would say, " You're burn'in daylight!"

capt_nemo

P.S. Thinking of stowing away onboard for the voyage.

Offline tmorgan

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Re: C&D CANAL/UPPER CHESAPEAKE JOURNEY-INFO NEEDED
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2013, 04:40:49 PM »
September 15 to October 15 time frame has given me serval good trips on the Bay.  I just watch the weather forecasts for tropical systems that might impact the area the week before a planned trip.

Offline Bob23

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Re: C&D CANAL/UPPER CHESAPEAKE JOURNEY-INFO NEEDED
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2013, 05:07:56 PM »
Thanks, mates!
   My original plan was for Sept/ Oct but some family members have the gaul and audacity to have birthdays and weddings during that time frame. What nerve! Otherwise, a mid October departure might work. That might be better. It would be fun to sail to the Annapolis show!
   Nemo: I'd be honored to have you aboard! Right now from where I stand, I could probably con my brother or son for the first leg from NJ through the canal. This voyage is still in it's infancy; heck it's still an embryo- ain't even hatched yet! After the new year starts, the planning will begin in earnest...now I gotta do some Christmas shopping sometime.
Bob23