From the Delaware River to the Chesapeake Bay

June, 15 2013:

Kris and I took a week off from our busy schedules to enjoy a sailing trip on the Chesapeake Bay..We’ll post an entry for each day of our trip, and give you tips on navigating that leg of our trip (Navigation Tips) and write up a few specs on each place that we visit (Spot Specs).


We started out today at 9:00am, topped off the diesel on the boat and the gas in the dingy, and headed down the Delaware River. The current was with us, but the wind, sadly, was not.  Coming almost directly from the south, it was just off the bow most of the way. So we motored our way down, and put the main up for the occasional boost from the wind. Much of the trip down was spent avoiding collisions with the logs and flotsam in the river from the rainstorms we’d had earlier in the week. As I stood at the helm, I felt as though I was playing some odd reversed version of frogger, where the logs were deadly and undesirable and the space between was the only safe refuge. I’m just glad there were no alligators to be dealt with in this game!

We reached the C&D Canal around 2:00 and down came the main. The C&D is the canal that connects the Chesapeake and the Delaware Bays, up close to where they both begin to widen out from their sources. It can be a tricky one to navigate since the strong current that runs through it switches direction with the tides. The key is to go through the canal when the current is going in your direction of travel. We tried to time our arrival just so, and started just as the current was beginning to slow and turn from the Delaware Bay to the Chesapeake.

As we came around the bend, the water slowly stretched out before us and smiles lit up our faces. The bay! Now we could perhaps do what we’d came for: sail. We hoisted the main, unfurled the jib and adjusted the sails for a zig zagging series of tacks down the bay to the Sassafras River for the evening. We found a nice anchorage close to the mouth of the river, just outside of a little inlet and a long stretch of unclaimed sandy beach. A beautiful sunset painted the sky over the bay as we enjoyed hot dogs and sweet corn fresh off our little propane boat grill. It was a wonderful finish to long day. Kris and I will surely be sleeping soundly as the bay waves rock us gently through the night.IMG_2246

Spot Specs:

  • Restaurants: On the C&D Canal – Schaefer’s Canal House in Chesapeake City, MD. Located right on the canal to the north, Schaefer’s has a dock that you can tie up to! We have not tried the food here yet, but there is wonderful outdoor deck seating and live bands on the weekends. If you do stop in, let us know what you think!
  • Marinas: Delaware Bay, mouth of the C&D Canal – Delaware City Marina; C&D Canal – Summit North Marina; Chesapeake Bay, mouth of the C&D – Chesapeake Inn Restaurant and Marina