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Old 18-11-2015, 06:59   #1
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Norfolk VA to Deale MD

A friend and I will be moving my new boat from Norfolk to Deale in early December. We're novice sailors. We've been studying charts non stop to prepare and have new electronics/plotter onboard.

We've plotted what I think will be an easy 3-day run from Norfolk to Deltaville, Deltaville to Solomons, Solomons to Deale. We will play it by ear whether to anchor or marina in Deltaville and Solomons.

Any word from the wise on this shakedown cruise?
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Old 18-11-2015, 07:44   #2
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Re: Norfolk VA to Deale MD

Seems pretty doable if you plan to motor when the wind is not cooperating.

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Old 18-11-2015, 07:55   #3
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Re: Norfolk VA to Deale MD

If your boat can make a steady 6 knots, doable. Deltaville to Solomons can be a long run, especially in a small boat. If you need a break, or want to do it in two days, duck into Reedville, 4 hours north of Deltaville and just south of Smith Point. There is a great anchorage just to the east of the Reedville marina, while the latter has the cheapest dockage. But be sure to get on the bulkhead--otherwise anchor.
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Old 18-11-2015, 09:01   #4
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Re: Norfolk VA to Deale MD

Should be easy enough. Watch forecasts for heavy weather before you pass the mouth of the Potomac.


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Old 18-11-2015, 09:11   #5
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Re: Norfolk VA to Deale MD

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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
Should be easy enough. Watch forecasts for heavy weather before you pass the mouth of the Potomac.


-Chris
Double that check for the Norfolk to Deltaville leg.

That will be where your biggest problem could occur especially if the wind is heavy N - NE
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Old 18-11-2015, 09:16   #6
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Re: Norfolk VA to Deale MD

Thanks for the recommendations, I'm taking notes!

I was thinking the first and last day would be "light" while the Deltaville to Solomons run would be the hard day.

It will be the first long excursion for the both of us, but we're preparing. Better safe than sorry.
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Old 18-11-2015, 09:38   #7
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Re: Norfolk VA to Deale MD

Winds out of the east make it a rough ride on the western side of the Bay. If you plan to go ashore, we like Reedville better than Deltaville. In Deltaville, it's a long walk on a rural highway for amenities. Watch out for crab pots.
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Old 18-11-2015, 09:59   #8
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Re: Norfolk VA to Deale MD

A guy I know near the mouth of the Potomac tells me it's been blowing pretty good down that way. He's a liveaboard so it's not making things very comfortable at the moment and seems wind coming from the East is pushing water in making for higher tides.

Hope you have a good trip. If you have doubts at any point, make a longer stop to get back up to Deale safely.
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Old 18-11-2015, 10:41   #9
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Re: Norfolk VA to Deale MD

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Originally Posted by mdfiasco View Post
Thanks for the recommendations, I'm taking notes!

I was thinking the first and last day would be "light" while the Deltaville to Solomons run would be the hard day.

It will be the first long excursion for the both of us, but we're preparing. Better safe than sorry.
The Atlantic Ocean enters the Chesapeake on that first "light" day so watching the conditions is important. East or North East Winds can produce some pretty large waves. Heavy North Winds sometimes a washing machine effect down here with the ocean waves mixed in

Also, it's best to try and sail with the tide. For you on day one, that would be maybe the last couple hours of the outgoing tide, slack tide, and then the full incoming tide.

If you happen to be sailing against the tide, stay out of the main deep water channels if possible further up. The current is stronger there
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Old 18-11-2015, 11:07   #10
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Re: Norfolk VA to Deale MD

Looks like if I leave around 0900, our planned departure, we'll have the incoming tide at our backs

December 3--Low 8:47 AM
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Old 18-11-2015, 11:17   #11
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Re: Norfolk VA to Deale MD

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Looks like if I leave around 0900, our planned departure, we'll have the incoming tide at our backs

December 3--Low 8:47 AM
Nice. You will just have to deal with the incoming tide until you get a ways passed the Thimble Shoal Channel at least using up a couple hours of your incoming...........
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Old 18-11-2015, 11:57   #12
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Re: Norfolk VA to Deale MD

I have a hard time remembering my last trips but...... IMO three days is a push for the trip, perhaps long days then finding your way into an anchorage in the dark. Wind out of the north and ebb tide will really slow you down. Weather this time of year could be crappy, wet and cold. Suggest you allocate 4 days, get started early ( sun rise ) and stop before dark. Have plenty of hot chocolate, coffee, tea, bullion , cup o soup to warm during the day... Rum of course to warm the eve!


If you don't have a full cockpit enclosure, get some canvas or even a cheap tent to cover your cockpit.


And.. Have fun!
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Old 18-11-2015, 12:10   #13
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Re: Norfolk VA to Deale MD

Luckily I do have a full cockpit enclosure, otherwise I'd be making other warmer plans.

I think we can do three days safely, but we have wiggle room of another 24 hrs before my friend leaves from DC Monday around noon.
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Old 18-11-2015, 12:56   #14
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Re: Norfolk VA to Deale MD

Also don't forget that some of the buoys are not lit (or lighted) so you may want to see where they are in case you do get caught out after dark.

I almost hit one a couple weeks back sailing at zero dark thirty.....but I was watching for it because I knew the water I was in and that there were a couple "dark" buoys in that area.
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Old 19-11-2015, 09:55   #15
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Re: Norfolk VA to Deale MD

Watch coming around the mouth of the Choptank River. Many fish traps some unmarked, and difficult to see in the morning and twilight. A couple of years ago, I had same issue outside Herring Bay. In that area, it is best to come in close to Can 81A then follow the channel markers in...Just my opinion...

As mentioned previously,
Watch out for crab pots. Though some have been taken up, there are still several out there.

I made the reverse trip from Mill Creek to Cambridge, MD. 62nm total. First 47nm took 8 hours. Great day.. winds blowing SE at 15kn gusts to 25. Then the wind died... Last 15nm took 5 hours...

All I can say is make sure your motor is in good working order as you get up into Rockhold Creek off Owings Beach. The winds can be unpredictable and channels are narrow.

Fair Winds!!!
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