Start: Chesapeake City, MD
End: Delaware City, Delaware
Moving Time: 2:10
Distance: 14.5 NM
Average: 7 knots!!!!
First ‘docktail’ session with Don and Peg. They are 5000 miles and nine months into their Great Loop. And they are from Hudson, Wisconsin, which is 20 minutes from where I grew up.
New State: Delaware. By boat anyway.
We read on a a helpful historic sign in Chesapeake city that the C&D canal is the third busiest canal in the world. I assume that was true at the time of writing because our trip this morning was less than busy. We saw exactly one boat. And that was a small trawler. So we looked up top 10 canals in the world and C&D was not on the list. But it was still fun!
We awoke at 0600 and were on the canal by 0700 taking advantage of the flow to Delaware. And what a flow it was. Janny was at the helm and we flew at SEVEN whole knots.
Our 14 mile trip took two hours, a new speed record for S/V Serenity. While on the route, I got a phone call and caller ID said the call was from Hudson, WI. 20 miles from where I grew up. It was a fine gentlemen named Don who was just behind us and asking about Chesapeake City. He and his wife Peg were on the Great loop, though much farther ahead of us (by 5000 miles or so). More on them later.
We arrived really early to Delaware City and the D.C. Marina. The marina is on the old C&D canal. Being part of an old canal, it is (obviously) skinny and we made our way down to the marina. We were met, docked, got fuel, and then our helpful dockhand flipped our boat around to get us pointing the right way. It was worth the visit. It is now 10am.
Once in place we toured the city. That took until 11. The state park that had an old fort from the 1800s was closed. So to lunch at Crabby Dicks, a pretty tasty seafood place right on the Delaware Bay. Then AJ had school, Jan relaxed (cleaned) and I had teaching duties. While we were whiling away the afternoon, Don and Peg showed up in their sailing catamaran, a Gemini 105.
At 1700 we went to the marina office and Tim, the manager, gave Jan, I and Don the forecast for the weather conditions. He provided a detailed overview of the Delaware Bay, things to watch out for, and then pulled up the 1700 forecast for the next day. Tomorrow looks like light winds (<10 knots) out of the East. And tides? We will be leaving here at the crack of dawn. Like 0515 departure. That will set us up to make the best of the tidal flow down to Cape May, NJ. 48 nautical miles away. And we go slow. It will be a loooong day tomorrow.
After our brief, we met Don and Pat on our boat for Docktails. Docktails are eerily similar to cocktails, but are consumed on a boat or close to a boat that is at a (wait for it) dock. Or moored. Or at anchor. Really does’t matter, other than there are drinks served. Our first time. Don and Pat took 90 minutes and walked us through their trip through the Bahamas and also some of their tips for the Great Loop. It was really interesting and we are pumped up to hit the Bahamas. Assuming we actually make it around to that part of the country!!
Lesson done, we make up a big old of spaghetti and relax before our early rise tomorrow.