Day 30, May 24, 2012: Monday, May 21st, was the first stormy day we have experienced since departing Charleston on April 25th. It was not a lost day! We spent the day tramping around downtown Baltimore, experienced the free Charm City Circulator, a bus system that reaches most areas of downtown, including shopping at a Whole Foods market.
Tuesday was still iffy but the weather had settled and the Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System reported calm winds and the sea surface data were favorable. We set out at sparrows for Delaware City at the eastern end of the C & D canal 65 miles distant, an entrance beacon to the canal, right. Conditions could not have been more favorable and ride up was very scenic, a view of the decommissioned Patapsco Light above. On the way out of Baltimore harbor we pass Fort McHenry where Francis Scott Key composed The Star Spangled Banner. A big party is laid on in Baltimore harbor next month for the 150th anniversary of our national anthem.
In Annapolis and Baltimore we have our own little party with visits from close friends.
Delaware City’s marina facility was adequate. The marina is tucked away in a side creek off the west side of the Delaware River opposite Fort Delaware. The channel is deep because it leads to the oil tanker terminal a quarter mile upriver. The marina’s floating docks are along one bank of the narrow creek. Dockmaster Tim is very helpful and accommodating, especially since the current at flood and ebb rips through the creek at a respectable 3 knots. Tim served us breakfast of fresh bagels and coffee in the marina store in the morning. His fuel prices were on the high side. We weren’t in need of fuel but topped off anyway in case Delaware Bay turned nasty. Delaware City is quaint. The waterfront is pleasantly buffed up and the little main street has a convenience store and a beverage shop one next to the other.
Morning dawned foggy—an advective fog from moist southerly breezes over cold water. We set out later in the morning than is usual for us for Cape May and promptly ran into a whiteout and not a breath of wind. Navigating required all of our available aids—GPS, radar, AIS, and sonar. Delaware Bay is one of the busiest commercial shipping lanes. We set our course to run the eastern side of the shipping route. Even so, we find that the huge ocean-going barges and tugs hog the channel and sometimes stray out of it. Fortunately, AIS transponders are required of all commercial shipping. AIS and monitoring VHF channel 13 keep us out of trouble.
We run down the bay at 24 knots. Within 200 yards of the entrance to the Cape May canal the fog lifts and the sun peeks through the haze. The canal is only a few miles long. Our destination is at its eastern end, the Canyon Club Marina.
We spent the rest of our travel day walking about in Cape May with its wonderful collection of Victorian homes and the open air mall resplendent with clothing shops, ice cream parlors, and eateries.
Our next stop is Atlantic City.