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Old 14-06-2018, 04:14   #1
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C&D Canal Trip Timing

Just wanted to make sure I am right about this - here is what I am planning

Leave Chesapeake City for Lewes Monday June 18 at 7:41AM (2hours before Low tide)

Option 2: Leave Chesapeake City for Lewes Sunday June 17 at 6:44 AM (2hours before Low tide)

Leave Cape May Thursday June 21 8:13 AM (1hr before low tide)

Option 2: Leave Cape May Friday June 22 9:08 AM (1hr before low tide)

I have also heard leave Cape May 1.5 before low tide? FYI I am taking the Cape May canal.
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Old 14-06-2018, 05:16   #2
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C&D Canal Trip Timing

Not looking at the tables, Iíll just say you want to ride the ebb down the Delaware as much as possible. Itís even more important going up river as youíre fighting the river current. Donít worry so much about the current in either canal, certainly not the Cape May one. Itís a long trip on the river and thatís where you want to focus your timing.
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Old 14-06-2018, 05:52   #3
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Re: C&D Canal Trip Timing

The best current prediction site for the C&D we've found is:

Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, Maryland/Delaware Current Predictions


For a good write-up of the ins & outs of transiting, this our favorite:
Chesapeake and Delaware Canal - Navigation Information


You can easily time your transit thru the canal to have favorable current all the way thru (quite a bit, in fact!). Unless your boat is pretty fast, however, you're going to face adverse current somewhere in Delaware Bay no matter how you time it


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Old 14-06-2018, 05:56   #4
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Re: C&D Canal Trip Timing

Thanks - just to be clear, these timings are based on riding the current both ways - from all the prior postings it seems like from Chesapeake City I want to leave going east 1hr before low tide and leaving Cape May going west 1 - 1.5 hrs before low tide. Thanks
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Old 14-06-2018, 05:57   #5
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Re: C&D Canal Trip Timing

Great sites - thanks so much
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Old 14-06-2018, 06:51   #6
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Re: C&D Canal Trip Timing

This whole process makes me feel stupid but I am trying to learn. Sorry for being a dunce.

Based on the linked site - so it looks like Monday June 18 low is 9:30AM; slack water ebb begins 1:30AM, which according to the information below would time me leaving at about 2AM - that does not sound fun for my first time through the C&D. (it is a little hard to tell if these times below form the site linked above are for Chesapeake City, but i assume they are correct). I don't really see a great solution. FYI I have a Grand Banks 36 with a 120 Lehman.

I understand what I am really aiming for is exiting the canal 1 hr before full flood to ride the current down the bay? I have seen that posted as well. Taking the NOAA predictions, flood is at 4:11AM on the 18th - so when is "max flood"? 7:11am or so? So I would want to exit the canal at 6:11AM? That puts me leaving C&D at around 4:15 (if I can travel around 7knots)?

Why am I not getting this right? Leaving Chesapeake City at 2AM vs 4:15AM is a huge difference to me.

2018-06-18 Mon 1:30 AM EDT -0.1 knots Slack, Ebb Begins
2018-06-18 Mon 5:05 AM EDT -2.2 knots Max Ebb
2018-06-18 Mon 5:35 AM EDT Sunrise
2018-06-18 Mon 8:44 AM EDT 0.1 knots Slack, Flood Begins
2018-06-18 Mon 11:56 AM EDT 2.3 knots Max Flood
2018-06-18 Mon 3:23 PM EDT -0.0 knots Slack, Ebb Begins
2018-06-18 Mon 5:58 PM EDT -1.7 knots Max Ebb
2018-06-18 Mon 8:33 PM EDT Sunset
2018-06-18 Mon 9:34 PM EDT 0.0 knots Slack, Flood Begins

Interesting - so Chesapeake and Delaware Canal - Timing Your Passage says the following:

Regretfully, there is no grand solution if you are southbound for the Delaware Capes or Cape May with a low powered vessel. You will have to decide whether to battle a foul current in the C & D or fight the fight when you are outbound the Delaware. The obvious choice, at least to me, would be to take advantage of the 1 to 2 knot push in the Upper Delaware for the trip to the Capes. Even so, a 7 knot boat will likely run out of the fair current in the vicinity of Miah Maull Light. At 15 knots however, you should be able to make the entire transit to the capes with a fair current. To make best use of this, a 7 knot vessel will want to enter the C & D eastbound approximately 37 minutes after slack water ebb begins at Chesapeake City or 2 hours and 56 minutes before slack water ebb begins in the shipping channel off of Reedy Point.

Prior post on this forum say the following:

Post 1: Leave the Engineers Cove at Chesapeake City 2 hours BEFORE low tide at Chesapeake City ... maintain 6kts. and ride 'the wave' all the way down the Del. Bay

Post 2: Position yourself to be at the Delaware side 1 hour before Full Flood tide.
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Old 14-06-2018, 07:19   #7
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Re: C&D Canal Trip Timing

Anchored in Cape May as I write.

Suijin is correct - you cannot make the entire trip with a favorable current at the speeds we travel (sailboat) - time it for the trip down the delaware & donít worry too much about the C&D. It took us about 9hrs from Reedy Island to Cape May and we canít come through the Cape May canal (64í mast) so had to head out quite a bit to get a good angle into the harbor adding about 1.5 hrs to the trip.

Safe travels,
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Old 14-06-2018, 07:31   #8
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Re: C&D Canal Trip Timing

Quote:
Originally Posted by parobellum View Post
Prior post on this forum say the following:

Post 1: Leave the Engineers Cove at Chesapeake City 2 hours BEFORE low tide at Chesapeake City ... maintain 6kts. and ride 'the wave' all the way down the Del. Bay

Post 2: Position yourself to be at the Delaware side 1 hour before Full Flood tide.

I'm pretty sure that they meant "slack water flood begins" just to be consistent.

It's @ 12 miles from Chesapeake City to the Delaware. So that's where the two hours comes from.

Remember, the recommendation about when to start on the referenced website is based on ENTERING the C&D canal; if you're at Chesapeake City, you're roughly halfway through it. So adjust your calculations accordingly.

The referenced site is a bit confusing:

Eastbound Vessels

Quote:
For an eastbound 7 knot vessel bound north on the Delaware River you will want to enter the C & D canal at Back Creek about 1 hour and 16 minutes (Ī10 minutes) after slack water flood begins at Chesapeake City. This will provide you with a fair current thru the canal and put you in the shipping channel of the Delaware River just as Slack water flood begins off of Reedy point. This should give you about 6 hours of fair current inbound on the Delaware River.
I think he has north and south confused. If you're eastbound, you're heading south on the river. In any event, you're entering 1:16 after slack water flood begins.
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Old 14-06-2018, 09:23   #9
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Re: C&D Canal Trip Timing

I’d rather “fight” the canal than the Delaware (again), but considering you’ve got a powerboat to ease the pain...
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Old 14-06-2018, 09:44   #10
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Re: C&D Canal Trip Timing

Fyi, the C&D ebb/ flood start times and current can be quite different than the table predictions. Its the height of the water at the ends of the canal that drive direction/ current through the canal. While the Moon has its predictive force on both the Delaware R and Chesapeake... those two long narrowing bodies of water can actually have fairly significant amplified pushing up of water height differences at their respective canal entrances, especially if there has been a strong slow moving W-E wx front resulting in a long duration wind event affecting the two driving bodies of water differently. The base tables donít take into account these effects into their formula and the actual time of ebbs/ floods timing/ currents can be interestingly different from the tables from time to time, especially just after such an occurrence.
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Old 14-06-2018, 10:00   #11
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Re: C&D Canal Trip Timing

The key to the C & D transit and going down the Delaware Bay is timing your canal exit as close to the Reedy Point High tide and slack on the canal. Worst case exit the canal with an hour or less before Reedy High. That will give you a minimal foul flood and max ebb down the bay. JMHO
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Old 14-06-2018, 10:41   #12
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Re: C&D Canal Trip Timing

Thanks for the help - I guess I am going to shoot to exit the canal at high tide (reedy point) on Monday the 18th - which seems to be 3:34 to 4:11 depending on the source.
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Old 14-06-2018, 11:12   #13
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Re: C&D Canal Trip Timing

I transited the C&D Canal with my IP-31 drawing 4 feet against the current by keeping about 50 feet off the north bank with little current effect . Had 10 feet below keel.

The comments are correct, focus on the Delaware Bay currents since you can not make both with favorable currents.
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Old 14-06-2018, 12:55   #14
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Re: C&D Canal Trip Timing

Be careful, the tide and current don't always coincide. OpenCPN shows the current.
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Old 14-06-2018, 15:54   #15
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Re: C&D Canal Trip Timing

Just a little of my experience as you head south on Delaware Bay you won't have 6 hours of good tide to push yourself along since the tide has already reversed at the mouth of the bay. Once that happens it is helpful to stay in the shallower water where the currents aren't so swift. On the way back try to be at Brandywine around low for a long ride with the flood. Any wind against tide will create chop that will slow you down.
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