Through the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Fri 10 Jun 2011 16:00

Position           39:30.45N 075:34.36W

Date                1700 – Friday 10 June 2011 (UTC -4)


It is recommended that the transit of the C&D Canal is done with the current as it sets at up to 2 knots and more if the weather conditions are right, or wrong depending on your point of view.  The benefit of this was a late start and the opportunity before we left of a walk around the village of Kentmore Park.



In the course of this we met the Chairman of the residents association and two yachtsmen, local residents but hailing from Gravesend and Southend respectively, received an invitation to dinner, to a pancake bake breakfast and the offer of the loan of a van to go shopping.  The natives were definitely friendly and hospitable.


We actually managed a bit of motor sailing, even if the wind was diesel generated on the way to the canal but even if we could through the canal for safety reasons sailing is forbidden.  The Pilot gives warnings of the amount of commercial traffic on the canal.  Perhaps we were lucky but the only commercial traffic that we saw was the pusher barge that followed us out of the far end.  The canal has seven bridges, only one of which has to open; actually it is the reverse, it closes when a train requires to pass.


You emerge form the eastern end of the canal into a different world, we had been warned.  The Delaware is an industrial river with few attractions.  In order to catch a tide that would enable us to make the 60 miles down river to Cape May in daylight it was necessary to find an anchorage.  Celia found something suitable in a pamphlet that she had that was not in the main Pilot.  If you are coming this way it is behind Reedy Island, 3.5nm south of the Canal entrance.  The gap in the dyke is marked by red and green markers and carries about 2m at chart datum.  Once in it is protected and has good holding in about 4m.  The view from the anchorage was pure Delaware River with the Salem nuclear power station romantically in the background.



The red entrance marker is on the left of the photograph.  Note the complete absence of wind, again.