Saturday, 1 July 2017

Chesapeake Bay to New York City - Just Cruising

The Lady Maryland, Sunrise Off New York City

We departed the city mooring field in beautiful Annapolis on Monday morning, heading north up Chesapeake Bay. The bay narrowed as we moved north, and we found ourselves surrounded by beautiful wooded countryside and rolling farmland, a sea of green.

Bridges On The C&D Canal

 At the top of the bay we turned to starboard, running east through the C&D Canal. As required, we lowered our sails for that section, concentrating on the (truly) beautiful scenery along the canal shoreline.

This canal carries quite large ships, car carriers, tugs and barges, traffic of all types, but we had a quiet passage and exited just in time to anchor in the Delaware River before dinner.

Where the canal exits, the Delaware River is a massive tidal estuary, at times miles across.  We set out at 5:00am with a run-out tide, seeing 9.4 knots SOG at times, and traveled over 50 nautical miles before reaching the Atlantic Ocean once again, right at Cape May.

The Delaware River - Tankers, Container Ships, Tugs & Barges, plus Nuclear Power Plants

Beautiful Cape May

Cape May has a fierce reputation as somewhere to keep well clear of, however we found calm conditions, sunshine and blue skies, and were able to cut across the (very shallow) inshore shoals at Cape May to hug the shoreline as we turned north towards New Jersey and New York City.

Charting Caution - Cruisers should note that the Navionics chart data card we purchased for our Raymarine chart plotter, only weeks ago here in the USA, was woefully incorrect through that area of shoals - clearly that sand moves around a lot. However the Navionics Sonar Chart data on our iPads was absolutely spot-on accurate. I really do need to update the chart plotter card with the latest data from the iPads ..... it seems that Navionics crowd sourced depth data, known as Sonar Charts, is paying dividends. It also seems that buying a new data card at West Marine, or any chandlery, doesn't mean the chart data will be "fresh".

Update, September 7, 2017 - check the story here for our updated (disastrous) experiences with Navionics Sonar Charts - we won't ever use them again!

From Cape May we continued north west along the New Jersey shoreline, passing Atlantic City and its network of high rise towers just before dinner time. Over night we motor sailed on, in company with the schooner Lady Maryland, arriving off the entrance to New York Harbour just after sunrise - it was a fine welcome to New York. After breakfast we motored in to the Sandy Hook Channel and found a very sheltered anchorage in the Shrewsbury River.