Monday, September 28, 2009

Heading North to Go South

There’s a joke in southern Florida that, if you want to get to the South, you have to go north. We’re feeling a bit like that now because, in our journey south, we had to head north from Cape May up Delaware Bay to get to Chesapeake Bay. In reality, you can head down the coast to get to the southern end of Chesapeake Bay, bypassing Delaware Bay entirely, but we wanted to be near Annapolis, at the northern end of the Chesapeake, so north we went. There’s a canal that runs through the Cape May peninsula, which our friends on Celebration took when they were here. We figured that if they made it, with their deeper draft and higher mast, then we could make it. And so we did, although to make the incoming tide that would push us up the bay, we had to get up at 3 AM and be off the hook at 4 AM. Anne stood on the foredeck with the Q-beam (spotlight) to pick out the channel markers and banks of the canal. Going aground is bad; going aground in the dark is worse. On the upside (according to Annie the Optimist, there’s ALWAYS an upside), our early start allowed us to arrive at the C&D Canal (between the Chesapeake and Delaware bays) about 12:30 PM, just in time to take advantage of the tide ebbing through the canal toward the Chesapeake. Woo hoo! Timing is everything. We anchored in the Sassafras River in northern Chesapeake Bay just in time for happy hour and dinner. More good timing!

Delaware Bay was busy during our transit, with many large ships, like those pictured above, traveling up and down the channel. At least they waited until day time, when they’re much easier to see. As much as we love our radar, actually seeing a behemoth bearing down on you in the light is more comforting than imagining it in the dark.

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