Wednesday, August 10, 2016

06-Aug to 08-Aug: From Pax River to Delaware Bay

Southern Star Leading the Way
On Saturday the 6th of August we pulled up the hook and departed the Patuxent River anchorage around 1000, continuing our journey up the Chesapeake, once again in formation with Southern Star. Our destination was originally a marina at Rock Hall, Maryland, on the east side of the Chesapeake, but we decided to divert to the west side of the bay and drop the hook again, this time at the Magothy River anchorage, just north of Annapolis.

Weaving Through the Weather
We got lucky with the weather, as a cold front dropped into our area from the northeast, but we somehow managed to stay in between the TRWs that it triggered.

We arrived at the Magothy River just before 1800, but had to take two shots at getting the anchor to set….on the first drop we fouled on a nasty collection of shells, trashed out ropes, and some other unrecognizable detritus, but the second drop found good soft mud and held well.  Jo and Robbie motored over to Ghost Rider in their dinghy and we enjoyed another happy hour together, as well as a spaghetti dinner.  We have thoroughly enjoyed their company.
Ghost Rider at the Magothy  River Anchorage...
Pic Courtesy of Robbie's Drone
Reluctantly we parted ways with Southern Star on Sunday morning (07-Aug) – they were heading to Baltimore to meet friends and family there, and we were making tracks further north and east in the general direction of Philadelphia.  As we were making our departure preparations Robbie fired up his DJI drone and took some good aerial photo shots.  I briefly thought about launching our drone and challenging him to a dogfight, but we needed to get moving, so passed up that opportunity.

Motoring Through the C & D Canal
On our Sunday cruise the weather was just fabulous. as the passage of the cold front brought in some drier air from the northwest, giving us temps in the mid-80’s on the water with 50% relative humidity.  We drove from the fly bridge all day across mostly flat water, finally exiting Chesapeake Bay and started a more easterly trek via the C & D Canal.  We were originally targeting our third consecutive anchorage in Chesapeake City, but there was no room there for us as that small inlet was jammed up with weekenders.  So we motored on for another 5 miles and slipped into the Summit North Marina for the night….roughly halfway between Baltimore and Philadelphia.
Summit North Marina

The entrance to Summit Marina is skinny water….even at a +2.5 foot tide we saw less than a foot underneath the keel at one point as we negotiated the entry….at a very, very slow pace….if we were going to run aground, we didn’t want it to be a cruncher and something we couldn’t power back out of.  But we made it to the dock without issue, went through our usual shut down and wash down routines, although we are now in the process of revising our game plan for the next few days – there is no way we can get out of here until mid-afternoon
Summit North Marina
tomorrow based on the depths and tides.  So we’ll make it a short day to an interim anchorage, though it also means we’ll lose a day off of the desired plan.

We slept in late (well, Rick did anyway) on Monday (08-Aug), and while waiting for a usable tide we reworked a portion of our mission planning.  In the end we decided we would make a short run today to an anchorage in Delaware Bay, and then on Tuesday skip Cape May completely – which seemed to hold more depth issues for us – and make an overnight run up to Atlantic City to arrive there early on Wednesday morning (10-Aug).  That would also allow us to beat some weather that’s predicted for later Wednesday and Thursday, and hey, Atlantic City, NJ isn’t a bad place hang out while waiting for bad weather to pass.

Continuing Across the C&D Canal
As we approached our target anchorage in Delaware Bay area around 1700 everything was looking good, but then the situation went to hell in a hurry....more on that in the next post.

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