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Old 27-04-2010, 14:48   #1
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Rounding Cape May

Hey All.....
Does anyone have any input as to whether it's truly necessary to go WAY out (Out around the designated deep-water buoys which looks to be around 3 miles offshore) when going around Cape May. According to what we see on the charts, if one's draft is basically a shoal draft boat, that one could do it by navigating about a quarter to half mile off shore, while rounding Cape May.
Anyone ever done it, any thoughts?
When we were heading South, via the usual ICW route, of down coastal and then up the Deleware, etc., etc., we went WAY out, while rounding Cape May, and it added alot of time out in rather big and uncomfortable water.
Now that we're heading back North, we'll be heading back down the Deleware, round Cape May and then North to New York.

P.S., No we can't go inside via the Jersey ICW, as our mast is too tall, we've already checked out the bridges. Thus our question.

Thanks in advance to anyone who might offer their thougths!
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Old 27-04-2010, 15:13   #2
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In a cat, absolutely, done it many times. It can be rough over Prissy Wicks shoals, so watch the appearance of the water and stay about 1/4 mile off the beach, as you suggested. I would never go 3 miles out. It is consistently deep and without obstruction in the path you have described. I doubt if you will see anything under 15 feet. You will also enjoy a lovely view of the point and the Victorian buildings.

However, in strong (storm) on-shore conditions, I would go outside.

The tide will be strong right at the point, but it is deep there and not a problem, just fun to watch.

I wrote a guide to the Delmarva and there are a few trip reports on my blog:
Sail Delmarva

Enjoy.
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Old 27-04-2010, 15:21   #3
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It has been about a 18 months since we last went through there (so my recall may be a bit sketchy), but it seems to me that there's lots of scattered shoals just to the south of Cape May Point, extended a couple of miles towards Cape Henlopen.

I know we only draw 3.5' and we felt more comfortable giving that area plenty of room. (PITA though it seems)

By the way, one time we were in a big hurry to make Cape May as TS Hanna was right on our tail as it was coming up the coast. Even then, we didn't cut that corner. The pucker factor was starting to climb that day!

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Old 27-04-2010, 16:40   #4
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Quote:
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In a cat, absolutely, done it many times. It can be rough over Prissy Wicks shoals, so watch the appearance of the water and stay about 1/4 mile off the beach, as you suggested. I would never go 3 miles out. It is consistently deep and without obstruction in the path you have described. I doubt if you will see anything under 15 feet. You will also enjoy a lovely view of the point and the Victorian buildings.

However, in strong (storm) on-shore conditions, I would go outside.

The tide will be strong right at the point, but it is deep there and not a problem, just fun to watch.

I wrote a guide to the Delmarva and there are a few trip reports on my blog:
Sail Delmarva

Enjoy.
The tide scours a deep path near shore, year-in, year-out. The whale watch boats use this route many times every day, for over 30 years.

I don't believe any of the shoals go to depths a cat can hit, since we drift fish right over them. Just bumpy, depending on the swell. The shallow parts are well out, never near shore.
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Old 02-05-2010, 16:25   #5
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Thanks to all for your thoughts!!
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Old 07-05-2015, 14:55   #6
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Re: Rounding Cape May

Has anyone taken it close to shore with a 6.5' draft? Thinking the canal is too tight depth wise so thinking of hugging the shore line to get around.
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Old 07-05-2015, 15:05   #7
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Re: Rounding Cape May

Yes, 6'6". We took it three years ago. Wind bucking tide made it a bit snotty in places. We saw plenty of water.
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Old 07-05-2015, 15:10   #8
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Re: Rounding Cape May

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Yes, 6'6". We took it three years ago. Wind bucking tide made it a bit snotty in places. We saw plenty of water.
Thanks, did you hug the shore line?
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Old 07-05-2015, 15:30   #9
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Re: Rounding Cape May

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Thanks, did you hug the shore line?
Just followed the charts. It was dark.
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Old 07-05-2015, 17:51   #10
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Re: Rounding Cape May

I did it a couple years back, went right outside the shoal where it says Cape May Channel on the chart, the canal has a 55 foot fixed bridge so I went outside


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Old 07-05-2015, 17:52   #11
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Re: Rounding Cape May

Forget the inner coastal, powerboats run aground all the time



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Old 07-05-2015, 18:04   #12
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Re: Rounding Cape May

What wrong with going thru the canal and out the inlet? It's a lot easier.
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Old 07-05-2015, 18:26   #13
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Re: Rounding Cape May

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What wrong with going thru the canal and out the inlet? It's a lot easier.
Nothing, just hug the ferries and make sure you can clear the bridges.
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Old 07-05-2015, 18:59   #14
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Re: Rounding Cape May

Just did the inner passage in a 39' Pierson(4' 9") following a 40' ODay(6' ?". Saw , at low tide nothing less than 17'. There was a section of 13' in the bay before passing the Green "5".
Use the following AT YOUR OWN RISK. NO GUARANTY.

R 12
G 5
CM1 38 54 26.4
76 56 22.2

CM2 38 55 37.2
74 57 40.8

CM3 38 55 49.6
74 58 13.7

CM4 38 56 16.2
74 59 37.8
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Old 07-05-2015, 19:32   #15
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Re: Rounding Cape May

I've taken the near-shore path several times without problems with an 8 ft draft, but it was always in light winds. If its rough I go way out.
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