Traveling 5-25-2017

IMG_2939Monday morning we woke to the sound of rain, which delayed our departure from Worton Marina, Maryland.  We finally left at 10:00 with a light rain and cool weather.  It was really easy to see the crab pots when we left the marina and the Chesapeake Bay was calm.  Kent said he’s going to travel every time it rains.

Elk river is on the Chesapeake Bay on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and on the northern edge of the Delmarva Peninsula.  It has served as one entrance to the C & D canal (Chesapeake and Delaware Canal) since the 19th century.

A vital link in the ICW system the C&D prodives for a safe, time-saving passage between Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay.  The 12-mile seal level cut has no locks and no toll, inviting a great deal of commercial shipping traffic.  Dutch mapmaker Augustine Hermann first proposed the canal in 1661, and won Benjamin Franklin’s support in 1788,  finally opening in 1829 with four locks and six mule teams to pull towboats through the canal.  This would reduce nearly 300 miles, the water routes between Philadelphia and Baltimore.  Today the C&D is 450 feet wide with a controlling depth of 35 feet.  The maximum allowable length of a self-propelled vessel transiting the canal is 886 feet.  Cargo ships and military vessels from all over the world pass through the canal.  There is no speed limit on the canal but mind right of way rules and use common sense.  A dispatcher at Chesapeake City controls traffic by using red and green flashing lights at Reedy Point and Town Point Warf.  You call the dispatcher on our VHF radio to find out if there are any ships in the canal and ask when you may pass through.

With the rain we had to watch out for sticks, it reminded us of the Mississippi river back home after it rains.

As we were approaching a corner around it comes the big ship Palmela, its 653 ft long by 105 wide and was navigating 10m/ph.  They look very big when they come by you that close.  This ship was empty as it sat high out of the water.

We wanted to stay at the Chesapeake City docks Monday night but due to low tide there wasn’t enough water for us to get to the dock.

So we navigated three more miles and stayed at Summer North Marina in Delaware.  This is a very big marina with a lot of empty slips and low water.  We had no help docking and a 1/2 mile walk to check in.

More pictures of the sunrise Tuesday morning as we left at 6:00.  We have a long 69 mile day ahead of us.  We are hoping the wind will not pick up as we have to cross the Delaware Bay today.

There are six bridges and an overhead gas pipeline across the C & D canal with the first the Chesapeake City bridge, which opened in 1949.  Conrail Lift Bridge with a 45-ft closed vertical clearance is the only lift bridge the rest are fixed high level span bridges.

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This is the end of the Chesapeake Bay and now navigating on the Delaware River.   The Delaware river is a major river on the Atlantic coast.  It drains an area of 14,119 square miles in five U.S. States, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware.  In 1609 the river was first visited by Dutch East Indian Company expedition led by Henry  Hudson.  Early Dutch and Swedish settlements were established along the lower section of river and Delaware Bay.

This ship that is entering into the C & D is Osg-Vision 699 ft. long and 105 wide navigating 12 m/ph.  We got really close to this ship the BW-Lara 740 ft. long and 98 wide it was navigating 16 m/ph.

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The ship John Shoal Lighthouse marks the north side of the ship channel in Delaware Bay on the east coast of the U.S. near the Bomby Hook National Wildlife refuge.  Ship John Shoal took its name from an incident in 1797 in which the John, captained by a Roger Folger ran aground while on the way from Hamburg, Germany to Philadelphia.  The cast iron superstructure was exhibited at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.  The lighthouse was completed in 1877 additional ripraf was dumped around the light in 1907 and a concrete platform to hold tanks.  In 1973 the light was automated and four years later the original Fresnel lens was remove and replace by a color powered beacon.  Its base is cast iron, 50 ft. tall with a 16 nautical mile range.  As we navigated by the lighthouse we heard the fog horn signal that goes off every 15 seconds.

We saw a whale on the Delaware Bay but couldn’t get a picture and then entering into Cape Mays canal we saw several dolphins.  Cape May canal is a 2.9 nautical mile waterway connecting Cape May Harbor to the Delaware Bay at the southern tip of Cape May County, New jersey.  The canal was finally constructed by the U.S. army corps of Engineers during World War II to provide a protected route to avoid German U-boats operating off Cap May Point and to become part of the ICW.  The canal was dredged as a wartime emergency measure in 1942 and was the final link in protected waterway intended to allow coastal shipping to travel along the coast with a greatly reduced risk of attack from German submarines.  This is the Cape May Canal Railroad Bridge which is not in operation and always open.

Since Monday morning we have navigated through three states Maryland, Delaware, and we are now in Cape May, New Jersey.

We are now staying at the South Jersey Marina until Saturday.  We hope the weather will be good so we can leave.  Want to wish all our family and friends a Happy Memorial Day and thank all the men and women that served to protect our country.

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