This post only makes sense after seeing this one: https:/shellerina.com/2022/04/30/dbofs/
Did my course down the east side of the Delaware River succeed in avoiding the strong 2+ knot northbound current?
This post only makes sense after seeing this one: https:/shellerina.com/2022/04/30/dbofs/
Did my course down the east side of the Delaware River succeed in avoiding the strong 2+ knot northbound current?
This 12 year old sticky note hangs on the chart on the wall above Tim Konkus’s desk.
If you have heard about the informative “Briefings” that are part of staying at this strategically located marina to set up for transiting Delaware Bay, you are not alone. This place is known for them!
I think yesterday we were part of the first “briefing” this season!
Tim gives the briefings here. He teaches us how to use the DBOFS to safely and efficiently get to Cape May or alternative ports like Lewes, Atlantic City, Hancock Marina, etc.
Google DBOFS and CBOFS and get familiar with these tools.
Example, a case study: Shellerina’s passage tomorrow. First, you need a good WIND weather window. We’ve been tied up here for five nights waiting for ours. Tomorrow is a good (hard to find) weather window to leave here and head south to Cape May on our overall northbound Loop trip. I could elaborate more on wind and sea state, but I’m not going to get into that for THIS post. I’m going to focus on currents and TIMING our departure time from this wonderful port, as well as strategically altering our route a bit to avoid opposing current.
Cape May is about 50nm from here. That’s 6 or 7 hours for us in our trawler. (( Mental note: 1/3rd of the way down is a security blanket on the east side: Cohansey River and Hancock Marina. Be ready for strong currents in that river if you need that lifeline. ))
OK… so lets see what is happening tomorrow for currents on Delaware Bay!
8:00am In the upper Delaware River area currents are starting to organize into Flood, northbound flow.
By 10:00 am we see PEAK flow northbound Flood in the upper Delaware “River” section of where we want to go. Again, most of that 2- knot current is on the west bank of the Delaware River.
Without getting into too much detail, we want to be at the entrance to Cape May’s canal by 5:00pm. The currents start to work against us down there by 6:00pm, plus we’ll start loosing daylight!
So given this scenario, what is Shellerina’s Float Plan?!?!
#1 We will exit the Delaware City Channel at 11:00am.
#2 We have plotted a course along the east side of the Delaware River (East & outside of the big ship channel). We are using +/- 20 feet of water depth as our guide. The currents against us are much milder on that side.
Some of our dock mates plan on leaving way before dawn in order to take advantage of southbound currents way BEFORE the 7:00am scenarios shown here. But, they’ll be navigating in the dark with that plan! Daring and adventurous.
Again, wind and weather come FIRST in selecting when to GO or NO GO. This post has been more focused on CURRENT which comes next (secondary) in your timing decision of when to push off. All are fun (and critical) to study for safe passages. Now that we have a weather window, timing the current becomes front of mind.
Tim Konkus’s “Briefings” here at Delaware City Marina will help you understand the very unique characteristics of the Delaware River and the Delaware Bay. It is very much part of the Americas Great Loop adventure to engage in this seamanship!
It is also important to note that the upper “River” part of this waterway is more significant to consider CURRENT compared to the lower “Bay” part of this segment of The Loop.
Every other week, this segment of the Delaware gives Loopers tidal advantages in the morning when winds are typically lighter.
You might try to time your arrival/departure from in Delaware City to be one of those weeks when morning currents in the Delaware RIVER align with lighter morning winds. We didn’t!
I think that our “innovation” not read before in cruising guides or forums, is that favoring the east side of the Delaware River is a good strategy of minimizing the effect of current here when you need to be in this waterway in less than ideal currents… at least for this passage tomorrow.
Agriculture / Farming also takes up a significant amount of the land use.
Nearby Bear DE has a major shopping center. It’s about a $25 Lyft / Uber ride.
There are several options for eating out, all walking distance.
How many of us live in a municipality where a marina’s TraveLift yacht handling equipment is allowed to occupy a city street for hours, without complaint or hassle? This marina is SO important to this community and REGION, it gets lots of special consideration, and RESPECT.
Thanks to my Looper Friend “Gene of Galene”He took my call today when I needed clarity.
Sometimes all the compass needles do not point in the same direction. We all like to poke fun at Navionics’ Auto Route. Here is my latest example of how it must be double checked..,. Triple checked even.
To give credit, there are cautionary symbols, which have no explanation. But this channel is un-navigable. Navionics’ “Dock-to-Dock auto-route algorithm should never have proposed this route.
There is a 6 foot vertical clearance bridge that does not open for boat traffic!
Unaware of these issues, once we got there, I didn’t think this west entrance to the Branch Canal looked very inviting. As seen from the C&D Canal (below.). So, I called my very experienced Looper Friend Gene Rutkowski of Galene. He and Patty have become new lifelong Looper Friends of ours, having met up in multiple Looper ports all year.
“You gotta go around! There’s a bridge down there that won’t open,” Gene explained.
There are some reports of shallow water at the entrance. To address that for everyone coming behind us, we recorded these bottom contours on our way in. See the explanation below.
This clearly shows a measured depth of 6 ft at the [navigable] east entrance to Delaware City’s Branch Channel. This was at 5:00pm EDT with 2-3 feet of water above mean low low water (MLLW). However my transducers are 24” below my waterline, So, coincidentally, those nearly offset each other. Therefore, at low tide we say you can expect about 5 feet of water at the entrance; it gets deeper once you are inside. Like stocks and bonds, “Past performance is no guaranty of future performance!” <wink>
As for the west end of this Branch Canal, it’s probably OK for an ambitious kayaker with strong arms to beat the current! … or one who knows how to time the tide’s ebb and flood.
The modest current in here will be “fun” for some to compensate for with their docking. It may not be for others.
We’ll certainly be back here this fall!
Their fuel was the lowest for miles around.
Lots of pollen in the water, on the boat, everywhere!
The final six routes are entered into the chart plotter and are shown below (not in order).
Total 242 nm, average of 40 nm/day. The next two legs will get us to Delaware City on the Delaware River. We will time both of those to get significant help from tidal current. Good weather windows will be important, as most of this is open water. April is also our end-of-quarter at work, which usually equates to more deal closing! The combination of work and weather makes it difficult to predict when those six travel days will take place.
This type of “interactive touch” monument invites youngsters and adults alike to touch and interact with the objects in the exhibit. Not pictured here was a group of kids who we saw hugging and climbing on these statues. One young girl was even kissing one of the statues of kids her age!
The fundamental message here is “pass it on” … study and pass on your heritage to future generations as the figure of Alex Haley is doing here!
I just took the helm after Shelly’s shift/watch. There are a whole bunch of ships showing up 5-10 miles ahead of us on the horizon.
Above, this is what they look like on the chart plotter with AIS. If I click on one of them, I can get their speed over ground (SOG), vessel name, and other info.
There is a total of six large cargo vessels all anchored in the area just outside of Annapolis, which is our destination for this afternoon.
It is most likely that they are all waiting their turn to go up into Baltimore to unload their cargo OR to make their way into the C&D Canal. That canal cuts across from the northern Chesapeake Bay to the Delaware River and Delaware Bay. We might be passing through that canal on Sunday!
Here are a couple of the ships to our right.
Here is Freedom, a gold Looper from Ann Arbor MI. Looks like she’s having another go at it!
Below is Thomas Point Shoal Light which was close to all this activity.
Here is a larger than average tow that we passed earlier on our way into Solomons MD.
Once in Annapolis Harbor, Shelly prepares to throw Steve a line at the fuel dock. We pumped out got some ice, and squared up for one night right in close to town at The Yacht Basin Company.
After securing last eve in Solomons MD, I started playing with my Raymarine’s RADAR. Doppler is not a setting that I usually use underway. I usually have it on chart plotter overlay. So the echos show up on top of the chart with ATONs and the land around us.
Here is a pic of what I saw in Doppler radar mode when I first turned it on.
Sure enough on my starboard quarter, there was a boat approaching us, going by us while we were tied up at the T-head dock.
After this boat got passed us, the radar echos from this boat turned green on our starboard bow. Green because he is a moving object but moving away from us.
You might ask, “What is the stationary (white) object on the other side of the channel, just forward of your starboard beam?”
In chart overlay mode this is what that ATON looks like up close… here doppler is off, and all echos are yellow or orange.
This morning I finally figured it out!
We have been stuck here in Crisfield MD for 6 days and five nights because it has been too windy and rough to cross the Chesapeake Bay and get to Solomons MD.
So I found out who the person is who is in-charge of the wind turbine and called him up on the phone. I simply asked him to slow down the wind turbine for a few hours so it wouldn’t be so windy. Problem solved!
Addendum… later in the day:
That worked; we are now out in the middle of Chesapeake Bay, and there is no wind! I’ll have call the guy to thank him!
Solomons MD here we come.
The golf carts ($25 /4 hours) are a bonus, as is the swimming pool (which will be opening in a few weeks.)
So, I called the marina, and we will go back in and take a slip for tonight. I know our anchor would hold, and I could even put out a second anchor if we had to. But it will simply be more comfortable secured to a new floating cement dock system (with shore power) rather than bouncing about all night out here in the basin!
This is “pleasure boating” after all! It is OK to opt for comfort.
We are now secured at dock for the big blow!
We are safe. Bring it on!
The sun sets this hour to our stern. While a full moon prepares to come up on the horizon off our bow!
The timing of the first full moon after the spring equinox drives the annually variable dates for Passover and Easter each year.
Happy Holidays everyone. “This is a very special night.” … in many traditions.
Traveling to the freedom of The Promised Land both by day and by night under the full moon is at the root of this holy tradition.
My thoughts turn to our friends in Ukrane, some of whom I have personally done business with… one of whom studies with my nephew Adam in college in Maine. The quest for freedom is centuries old, and it is something to hold dear and protect for everyone everywhere.
The moon goes full for everyone everywhere on the planet. The tides respect this even on a cloudy night.
Being mid-April, it is very early in the crab season. So, the cost per pound is higher than it will likely be in the summer. We were glad to find plenty of good crab in any case, as this is our boat’s first trip into Maryland and Chesapeake Bay waters. It’s what we came here for afterall!
More about the Maryland Blue Crab: https://difference.guru/difference-between-male-and-female-blue-crabs/
This “gauge” tool is used to ensure one’s shellfish harvest is of legal size.
The two videos below give good perspective of what you’ll find in here.
The Maryland Crab Cakes and Oysters were good at the Fisherman’s Grille tonight. We’ll try Linton’s tomorrow at lunch to compare. (The marina rents out a couple golf carts to get around town. It’s early in the season so we think our chances are pretty good.). Uber is the backup plan.
We stayed on the hook last night to help recover from the re-fueling bill. 70F water temps here in the gator-less Chesapeake, and 80+F air temps inspired me to take my first dip of the season!
Shelly sporting her newest SPF T-shirt!
Cheap fuel isn’t the only happening thing here in Kilmarnock Virginia. This marina is putting itself “on the map” for Loopers and other transient cruisers by doubling the number of slips, all to go after the transient cruiser marketplace.
We anchored off last night just to save some scratch after yesterday’s fuel bill. There are several great spots to drop the hook nearby. But, we will certainly be stopping back here for our autumn migration to survey the progress!
Chesapeake Boat Basin in Kilmarnock VA has diesel for $4/gallon as seen in Waterway Guide. But you need to add 5.3% sales tax, making it $4.21.
We cross the Bay to Crisfield MD. Somers Cove Marina for 2 nights. We hear that town might serve up some crabs and oysters rather close to that marina. Also taking delivery of some Rx and Amazon “stuff”… the local stores will also get their share, to be sure! LOL
Here is more information about this marina and what they have coming.
Our cameras are mounted and aimed low to mainly show what is happening on the waters fore and aft. So, magnificent cloud formations at sunrise and sunset might get missed. What is interesting in these pics is the cloud formations show up in the reflected waters of this great anchorage inside Glouster Point VA.
Yesterday when we made Norfolk – Portsmouth VA we made it to the “beginning” of the Intracoastal Waterway (mile zero). The other end is in Brownsville TX.
It was also a day when our Great Loop trip odometer passed 5000 statute miles! 5008.2 to be exact.
It was a short trip from Atlantic Yacht Basin to Tidewater, but it followed a record-breaking 72-mile day on Saturday where we crossed Albermarle Sound 20 miles, then we kept going! Today is a day for Shelly to recover, do laundry, and take delivery of an Instacart order. (Not exactly rest!)
We try to pack on the miles on the weekends, as Ray still works during the week.
For almost 20 years, in three different boats named Shellerina, we have flown the US Union Jack from our bow. It’s uncommon on pleasure craft (PC), and its kinda like a trademark for us.
One other PC we met up with in Erie PA and again on July 4 last year flew this flag from their bow. https://shellerina.com/2021/07/05/fireworks-afloat-put-in-bay-oh/
The US Union Jack is flown from the bow of US Navy ships that are on liberty. (It is taken down when they are underway.) It was great to see several Navy ships flying this flag from their bow as we have for years now.
We usually buy new flags every year to put up for the 4th. https://shellerina.com/2021/07/04/new-ensign-for-the-4th-of-july/
Here is an alternative view, from the stern, of that same dock landing… in real time.
Soon after passing Atlantic YB and the Great Bridge bridge and lock, you’ll see Top Rack marina on the right.
There is a large shopping center for provisioning located just 0.4 miles from here. Definitely walkable. There is “potable well water” available on the docks. Bathrooms and showers were simple but clean and they worked! (As stated in earlier posts, we take nothing for granted!) LOL
The water looks exactly the same on both sides
This morning’s sun hit the starboard side of a Mainship with the same name as we met up with them at the Alligator River Bridge lined up for a crossing of Albermarle Sound.
A couple hours later we parted ways as they headed to the nice anchorage in Broad Creek. We will press on to Chesapeake VA, and tie up at Top Rack Marina for the night.
Change of plans, we tied up at Atlantic Yacht Basin (mm 12) instead of “chancing it” at Top Rack who is a first-come-first-serve place, and reportedly, not all their slips have shore power. Temps are heading into the low 40s tonight, and we’d like to have heat!
A big piling came by and hit our dinghy this morning. See it on the videos below.
Our neighbor left before sun up. (Click to see the video.). Hard to believe this is the same body of water here at Dowry Creek Marina as we came into last evening.
Pool opens May 1.
Nice Place. Outstanding. ICW mm 173
Very well protected harbor.
The rest of the property is similarly very impressive.
I may have neglected to mention a hot tub open 12 months a year, kept at over 100F. It’s fun to have someone to share it with.
Plus a courtesy vehicle… all for $2.25/ft/night. Worth treating yourself especially if there is some nasty weather coming through. Like tonight for us.
River Dunes is a home owner’s development community, whose marina has fuel and transient slips.
8 miles away…
The village of Oriental… a commercial shrimping port with a hardware store and more!
There is a lot going on around us … fun to tune into if you pay attention.
I need to re-examine these pics with my app’s time stamps. I now think the pics show both clusters + Venus. Details to follow.
These three lights all ascend in unison on the same trajectory as the sun coming up behind them. Pretty Cool.
All the pics were taken with the Wyze CAM v3, with an optional 32 GB micro SD card which records about 48 hours of what it “sees.”
The planet-star alignment calcs and pics are all from Star Walk, an app on my iPhone.
Nicely protected marina carved in out of the bank on Adam’s Creek. Transients get to tie up on the fixed docks on your way into this nice hurricane hole before the fuel dock. There IS room to go in and turn around for an easy morning departure. Fender boards will come in handy.
This marina is owned by a local homeowners association. (The homes are beautiful!). The marina doubles as a locals “hang out” in the afternoon and reportedly there’s a 7:00am coffee club. Nice folks! Very friendly. 50A worked, but spigot near us was not working. Also, both ice coolers were EMPTY?!?! What’s up with that? Lack of attention to some of the business basics.
“Rough around the edges, but has some redeeming qualities.” e.g. free from current compared to many spots around here. No need to fret or time your arrival with slack tide!
We came in at dead low; 5 ft of water in the skinniest spot.
This is all west of Beaufort NC, which we will pass through this afternoon without stopping.
BOW-firt NC should not be confused with BEE-U-ford SC… (This how the locals pronounce their city-names which share the same spelling.)
A good Frenchman pronounces them both BOW-fouR… being sure to roll that “R” on the end! LOL
We entered Mile Hammock Bay at dead low tide yesterday afternoon. We had 8 feet of water in the shallowest spots. Great anchorage. Plenty of room for all.
Below: April 4, 2021
THANK YOU, JON!
The campground can be seen in this Google Earth pic just west of Shallotte Inlet in NC.
NEBO is the technology that gives you THIS when you click on Where is Shellerina in the blog’s menu. It also gives us reports and maps like this one showing our passage today.
Here is today’s passage report, as well as a Summary Report for all of March.
Yah… NEBO is pretty cool. We don’t just have the app on our smart phone. We actually have the NEBO mini-appliance which has a SIM card and GPS receiver to increase the reliability over just an app on one’s smart phone.
Ray pulled out his online charts and calculator tonight. We have 18-20 full “travel days” before we finish the Great Loop. With today being April 1st, that means we’ll finish sometime in early or mid May. Work schedule and weather (and rest) are the two driving factors. Then we hope to make Mystic CT, Salem MA, and several points in Maine this June. There are so many loved ones on Long Island NY and New England. We can’t wait to see everyone again!
Shorter term Float Plan:
Tomorrow night we will anchor at Mile Hammock NC (mm 244.5). Then we’ll make Sea Gate Marina (mm 194) for Sunday night. We should land in Grace Harbor River Dunes (mm 173) early Monday morning and stay put for a stormy week and focus on work. That port offers impeccable protection from the elements.
30 mph winds expected in this area Wednesday afternoon.
Close to the State Park Marina… *almost* walking distance. Also got a Rx filled at CVS across the street from Michael’s Seafood.