Sunday, July 6, 2008

06/30/08 Eastern Chesapeake and Delaware Bay

Thunderstorms in the evening was typical while in the Solomons.
A couple gave us exciting light shows.
The weather wasn't the only foul in the Solomons...also lots of fowl in the area.

Bob takes the dinghy out for occasional runs around the marinas looking for fellow Morgans.
We lingered at Solomons avoiding the weekend traffic. Just like the highways it can become quite busy so when you can travel during the it. Monday, June 30th came and we were on our way.

When moving, boaters keep their radios on channel 16 in order to hear any pertinent information and to call other boaters. We listened as these 3 vessels exchanged info for safe passing and we watched...tanker, sailboat and cutter as they merged.

A tense moment... you couldn't tell???
They passed safely and continued on...
You can always count on traffic in the Chesapeake.
Just before we enter our creek for the evening we catch one of those afternoon storms.
We secure everything, put on our foul weather gear and slow our progress hoping it passes before we have to find our way in.
We were in luck. It was very wet but short. It cleared for a nice evening
tucked in at anchor with a view of the William P. Lane, Jr Memorial Bridges and our destination.

The next day we pass under the bridges.
and head to the Eastern Shore of Chesapeake Bay.

We anchor in Turner Creek at the mouth of the Sassafras River and meet up with guess who??
A couple of Morgan classic boat owners.
After talking with a few sailors in the area we realize the 4th of July weekend's coming up and we do not want to be looking for a place to stay with all that additional holiday traffic.

All the excuse we need to venture up the Sassafras River that we heard so much about from our friends aboard Gypsy. We give Leon & Kim a call. We now have directions and a mooring in Gregg Neck. Leon will be at the marina a day or so working on Gypsy, but Kim has returned to the work force after their adventure to the Bahamas.

A bridge...
a few geese...

...and many, many boats.

We see our first water snake swim by.
Not warm and fuzzy like our ducklings, but
it reminds us that there is a good deal of wild life still on the water.

A weekend full of wild life...
Friendly boat load

Everyone is mulling about waiting for the start of the 4th of July Boat Parade.
Even Hakuna Matata is all decked out for July 4th Celebration.
Somebody seems to have a very comfortable spot to watch all the activities.

Time does pass and we're back on the water making our way North...sort of.
We'll be going North to the C&D Canal then East, South East, East.
Nobody said this was the direct route!
This was a surprise.
A very large community of what looks like dbl wides suddenly appears
It reminded us of some of the communities in Arizona...lots of people.
You would have to replace the water with desert.

Should you call a tug pretty or handsome?

We take the 14-mile-long C&D Canal to get from the Chesapeake Bay area to
the Delaware River and Bay. At one time the canal operated with a 4 lock system as the canals depths were not consistent. Numerous expansions over the years has increased its depth to 35' and 450' wide. You may encounter 2 to 4 knots of current, so you try to plan your trip with the current. There are a few standard procedures you need to know for safe passage: you must be under power - no sailing allowed, there is no anchoring allowed and you must yield to all commercial vessels. (No one had to tell us to yield to those big fellows when they come by!)

Last Fall we spent several great days at Chesapeake City in Engineers Cove.
Another pair of hard working tugs moving along a pipeline.

Birds love to sit on poles.
This great blue heron has reached new heights.

We pass between the two jettys
to anchor at Reedy Island off the Delaware River.
Traffic passing the island appears to be on land.

The cats are not allowed to roam freely at this anchorage.
He's just a little annoyed!
We begin to feel as if we have anchored in the rapids for a time as slack tide passes and now the waters are all trying to rush past the island and rejoin the river.
Hakuna Matata handles it well., but we don't sleep too soundly with all the water noises.
Even so, we do get up for any early morning start.

The Salem Nuclear Power Plant perched to the east on Artificial Island.

We certainly weren't the only ones with an early start.

Ship John Shoal Light
Like most people I have always liked lighthouses and have climbed a few for the view.
After this trip I have a new found love of these characters.

Delaware isn't a very big state but it has 86 nautical miles of shoreline-
Atlantic Ocean, Delaware River & Delaware Bay.
We are leaving all that shoreline and headed into the Cape May Canal.
New Jersey is our next stretch of water...

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