To New York - 21 - 23rd June 2011

Thu 23 Jun 2011 14:56
From Annapolis we headed north towards the Chesapeake and Delaware (C&D) Canal. We were approaching stronger tidal waters, so made an overnight stop in the Sassafras River before catching the tide the next morning to cross the C&D canal.
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Leaving Annapolis and approaching the Chesapeake Bay Bridge

The Chesapeake & Delaware Canal runs 14 miles long, 450 feet wide and 35 feet deep across Maryland and Delaware, connecting the Delaware River with the Chesapeake Bay and the Port of Baltimore.


The C&D Canal                                                 One of the 5 highway bridges crossing the C&D canal

The canal was privately built in the 1820’s and after several expansions, is one of the few fully sea-level shipping canals in the world and is the only major commercial canal in the U.S. that is still in use.   The C&D Canal provides a shortcut of about 300 miles for ship traffic between the Port of Baltimore, and the northeastern U.S. cities and Europe.

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  Passing a very large container ship in the canal          Starboard markers at entrance of canal

Once through the canal we knew that we would not be able to carry the tide right down the 50 miles stretch of the Delaware River to Cape May, so negotiated Nimue in between a marked dike and anchored in 2 knots of current behind Reedy Island.   The mosquitos were abundant, so I managed to concoct a tent like structure in Nimue’s cockpit out of fine netting, which enabled us to stay out and enjoy the cool breeze into the evening.

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Entering through dike at Reedy Island           At anchor behind Reedy Island       

We managed to cover the 50 nm in 7 hours down to Cape May and at one stage we were making  9.4 knots running with the tide.  A turn to port and we were spurted out into the Atlantic Ocean.  Next stop New York.  Not long after we left Cape May we were inundated with pesky flies, which didn’t leave us for the whole 130 miles to the entrance of New York harbour.  We called up Beez Neez who were also making the trip to New York and they too had been plagued by flies.  With fly spray and old fashioned fly tape we managed to catch 1000’s of flies. 

It was early morning as we approached New York harbour entrance, but it was cold, with thickening fog.  There were plenty of ships around, but also many fishing boats, who seemed to be oblivious of the hazards of fog, so we had to keep a sharp lookout for the odd idiot!
The Fairway buoy was the first sign of anything as we entered the harbour and only just visible in the fog.  From there we were guided by the entrance buoys to a safe harbour at Atlantic Highlands, where we hung on a buoy (which the Americans call ‘balls’ for $50 for the night!  We were able to use the friendly yacht club, where we had an excellent meal and the commodore made us very welcome.


Fairway Buoy at entrance to New York harbour –IN THICK FOG! 

One good thing, the cold and the fog did eventually kill the flies.  However, Manhattan was no where to be seen................