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Old 17-07-2020, 06:14   #1
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Advice on passage from Chesapeake to New York

After cruising Chesapeake Bay for the past month or so, I'm getting ready to continue North. I am single-handing on a Hunter 410, and trying to plan out the next few stops. I'm planning to transit the canal into Delaware Bay, then out to Cape May, then up to New York. Because I'm single-handing and these are busy waters, I'm trying to keep each sailing day to 10-12 hours, and find opportunities to anchor each night.

The best plan I've come up with so far is this:
1. Head into the canal to Chesapeake City and overnight.
2. Long day out the canal all the way to Cape May, timing the current so that I enter the Delaware a bit before slack, and ride the outgoing tide for as much of the day as possible.
3. Anchor off Cape May overnight
4. Relatively short day up to Atlantic City
5. Very long day to New York?

I'm not totally happy with this plan, so looking for advice on how to avoid long days with no bail-out opportunities.

Specifically:
Chesapeake City to Cape May could end up being really long if I get opposing chop slowing me down in the Delaware. Is there anywhere to bail out into if it is going badly and I need a rest?

In order to hit the current right in the Delaware, I will likely have to leave before sunrise from Chesapeake City. How sketchy will it be trying to navigate the canal in the dark?

Is there anywhere better to stage for the run to Cape May? Somewhere on the Delaware side of the canal would be better, but I'm not finding much that's protected and deep enough for me.

The anchorage off Cape May looks pretty exposed. Has anyone used it who can comment on how safe it is? I don't fit under the bridges on the Cape May Canal, so the other option is to go out and around Cape May in order to tuck in at Cape May Harbor. This out-and-around would make a long day even longer though, so I'm not sure.

Any good advice on where to anchor in Atlantic City? I draw 5.5'

Is it viable to stop anywhere between Atlantic City and New York? Has anyone gone in at Barnegat recently? It looks sketchy on the depth.

When I do get up to Sandy Hook, what would be a protected spot that I could reach easily at the end of a very long day?

Thanks in advance for any advice on this leg!
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Old 17-07-2020, 06:41   #2
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Re: Advice on passage from Chesapeake to New York

One suggestion, if anchoring at Cape May isn't an option due to the wind you can anchor on the south side off Cape Henlopen inside the breakwater.

You can anchor behind Sandy Hook. On the north end it's exposed to winds from the S to W. Go farther in and the exposure is NW to N.

Another option, Coney Island Creek. A friend of mine anchored there and reported good holding and good protection.

OR, you can anchor right behind the Statue of Liberty. Good holding and easy access to time the trip up the East River if you're going that far.

Can't help with Atlantic City as I always made the trip straight from NY to DE Bay.
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Old 17-07-2020, 06:47   #3
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Re: Advice on passage from Chesapeake to New York

Another option on the Delaware Bay is the Cohansey River on the NJ side, about halfway. Sounds like a fun trip!
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Old 17-07-2020, 06:48   #4
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Re: Advice on passage from Chesapeake to New York

I hadn't spotted that anchorage behind Cape Henlopen, it looks super protected! Thanks for that one for sure!

Thanks also for the tips up around Sandy Hook. I will probably duck in right there depending on the wind, then move over and anchor behind the Statue of Liberty the next day, cause who can resist that photo op?
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Old 17-07-2020, 06:51   #5
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Re: Advice on passage from Chesapeake to New York

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1affiah View Post
Another option on the Delaware Bay is the Cohansey River on the NJ side, about halfway. Sounds like a fun trip!
Have you anchored actually up the river, or in the bay just outside the mouth of it? The chart makes it look super shallow, so I had written it off, but a chance to stop there would break up the first long day quite nicely.
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Old 17-07-2020, 06:58   #6
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Re: Advice on passage from Chesapeake to New York

From memory (2004) we were definitely in the river, maybe 1/2 mile or so in a Morgan 38 5' draft. Hopefully someone with more recent knowlege will jump in.
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Old 17-07-2020, 07:49   #7
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Re: Advice on passage from Chesapeake to New York

Quote:
Originally Posted by JebLostInSpace View Post
I hadn't spotted that anchorage behind Cape Henlopen, it looks super protected! Thanks for that one for sure!

Thanks also for the tips up around Sandy Hook. I will probably duck in right there depending on the wind, then move over and anchor behind the Statue of Liberty the next day, cause who can resist that photo op?
Yep. Great photo op.
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Old 17-07-2020, 08:19   #8
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Re: Advice on passage from Chesapeake to New York

You can shorten the Delaware Bay run by anchoring at Reedy Point entering at the red-green cut through the breakwater and taking a spot a bit north from that entrance. This is an excellent spot to wait for the favorable current out of the Delaware.

We have also anchored over night in the bay just south of the large power plant cooling tower on the NJ side part way down the Delaware if the weather is out of the north to east.

There's a tight entry way into rum creek on the north side of across from Atlantic City at Absecon Inlet with a sloping sand bar to starboard and a grass bank to favor to port. A tour boat frequents this entrance an you may be fortunate enough to follow it. Once inside the anchorage basin is roomy with good holding.

Atlantic Highlands usually has some open anchorage space east of the moorings just inside the breakwater..

We've also anchored in that passage on the south side of the Statue of Liberty, but it's not a favorite of ours.
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Old 17-07-2020, 08:43   #9
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Re: Advice on passage from Chesapeake to New York

The C&D to Cape May is going to be one long day, there are no real stopping points. Definitely wait for the tide! It is also a horrible bash if you are into a stiff wind from the south. This time of year the more likely issue is no wind at all and lots of flies, so spend the night at anchor and run down with the tide to Cape May.
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Old 17-07-2020, 08:52   #10
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Re: Advice on passage from Chesapeake to New York

Thanks for all the great advice so far! It sounds like I have a few options for shortening the trip up the Delaware: I like the idea of stopping behind Reedy Island at the beginning so I don't have to also do most of the C&D that same day.

Also the better protected anchorage on the south side of the Delaware near Cape May will be great if I get in late and the seas aren't calm enough for the anchorage outside Cape May.

Biggest remaining question for me is the leg from Atlantic City to Sandy Hook... Anybody think this is a doable day-sail? Any thoughts on trying to duck into Barnegat?

Thanks again for all the great input, you all are awesome!
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Old 17-07-2020, 09:37   #11
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Re: Advice on passage from Chesapeake to New York

Going into the cape may inlet will save you about 20mi compared to anchoring at Henlopen. Once inside cape may harbor, you can anchor off the coast guard station just to port after the inlet. It is a nice calm anchorage.


I have anchored at Atlantic City in the river west of Green 13, just off from the golden nugget. The current will swing you both ways, so you could Bahamian moor but I didn't have any problem with 1 anchor.


It's a bit over 80 miles to Sandy hook anchorages from AC. If you have a following wind and get going at first light, it is doable in daylight.



Barnegate is shallow and I have not attempted to go in with my 7ft draft. I would call the local sea tow or coast guard station for info on depths and channel markings going in before attempting. Also, review the soundings, which show good depth in the inlet on the north side, but unfortunately stop to early to see if you can get in much beyond the inlet itself.
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Old 17-07-2020, 09:46   #12
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Re: Advice on passage from Chesapeake to New York

Chesapeake City to AC is an approximate 14 hour motor sail, running around Cape May. It is a challenge avoiding a counter current while in Delaware Bay. AC to inside of the Atlantic Highlands is an approximate 10 hour run. I would bypass Barnegat Inlet.
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Old 17-07-2020, 09:48   #13
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Re: Advice on passage from Chesapeake to New York

If you anchor at Horseshoe Bay on the bay side of Sandy Hook, be aware that depending on the tide you could run aground. I did it and my draft is 4.5 ft. You can also anchor on the other side of the bay at Atlantic Highlands Marina.
Atlantic Highlands
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You can also rent a mooring from the Atlantic Highlands Yacht Club. Then you have use of the launch and can go into town for dining and supplies. Dock Phone 732 291 3232
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Old 17-07-2020, 09:58   #14
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Re: Advice on passage from Chesapeake to New York

Is your destination New York or is that a way point to places further north, and how much time to you wish to spend in NYC? If you are passing through to places further north on the coast, there are other places that will save you time as opposed to behind the Statue of Liberty. If however you are going up the North River (Husdons) or hanging around for a while then that is a good spot to anchor.


As far as the C-D canal goes, I have had little trouble going from Chesapeake City to Cape May in a day provided I caught the tide correctly. You may also wish to consider tying up in Delaware City. It is on the river at the end of the canal and will avoid the need to motor through it in the dark. Another option is the Summit North Marina which is closer to the river.


What is your air draft? If you can get under the bridge in the Cape May Canal, you will have a good place to stay the night in the harbor of Cape May.


From Cape May north you may wish to consider anchoring in Barnegat Bay. It is a good anchorage. It is roughly half way from Cape May to NYC and will make for a much easier trip the next day.


It is a great trip and I wish you luck.
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Old 17-07-2020, 09:58   #15
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Re: Advice on passage from Chesapeake to New York

I have done this trip numerous times and always solo. Anchoring at Reedy Island is always a must for me to rest as well as timing the current. I always bypass Chesapeake City. Always go through the C & D Canal with the current. No problem if done at night. If necessary before entering the canal, I will anchor at Veazy Cove at mouth of the Bohemia. I always go non stop through Delaware Bay and unless weather is bad will anchor near the inlet to the Cape May canal which I cannot go through due to the bridge. If weather is bad will round the Cape to Cape May. Have never anchored inside Cape Henlopen but could be a good alternative.

Otherwise after rounding the Cape I will go straight to Atlantic City and anchor just pass the entrance to the State Marina. Next is non stop to Sandy Point. Crossing Delaware Bay and passage along the Jersey coast are long days with some possible night time but doable as long as you work with the current, and motor sail at hull speed if winds are not favorable. Also do not attempt either of the long legs if there will be strong headwinds. Stay anchored as you will make little progress.
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