Delaware Bay

The morning started with me readying the dinghy to be hoisted onto the flybridge. I attached the dinghy hoisting harness and untied the dinghy and walked up to the flybridge to operate the crane. I no sooner had the crane control in my hand and I looked out to see the dinghy floating away. Apparently, I had attached the lifting harness to the dinghy and not connected the crane’s hook to the harness. Oops. I had to quickly start the engine, untie from my mooring and chase the dinghy down as it was blowing across the harbor. We caught up with it just in time and used a boat hook to grab it. Crisis averted.

As we pulled out of Annapolis harbor this father, son, dog team passed us.

Guy Son 1
Father, Son, Dog Boating at it’s best

A quick check of the weather showed the SCA (Small Craft Advisory) was going to stick around for a few days.

2 SCA.PNG
SCA

As we proceeded North up the last bit of Chesapeake Bay you see many structures like this.

3 Structures in CB
What is it? I dunno?

A quick check of the currents showed me that I better increase my speed to prevent an unfavorable current while transiting the C&D canal.

4 CD Currents.jpg
C&D Canal Current Table

Entering into the C&D canal you see many interesting sights.

When you study the charts you’ll see things that cross canals like bridges and overhead power cables. When I saw an “overhead pipeline”, I was intrigued.

I also so these lighted poles that I’m guessing make navigation easier at night. These poles will also generate radar pings in areas where the canal is shallow. Without these light poles, you could imagine a ship accidentally straying outside of the dredged channel in the areas where the shoreline extended far from the channel.

CD canal lights
C&D Canal Lights

Soon we exited the East end of the C&D Canal and we turned South down Delaware Bay.

South
It’s frustrating to spend two days heading South when you are trying to get North

As we approached our anchorage the sun began to set and I was so busy trying to navigate in the small cut on the West side of the barrier island that blocks the entrance to the Cohansey River. I was so busy at the helm, I could only manage a single picture.

Sunset
Sunset in Delaware Bay

Soon we were anchored in the Cohansey River and the waves of Delaware Bay were held at bay by the river’s banks. While the river has a strong current, the river bottom has proven to have good holding power.

Delaware Bay has some interesting facts. It is home to many horseshoe crabs and their numbers are dwindling due to horseshoe crab harvesting. Not for eating, though you can eat their eggs or roe but for their blue blood. That’s right, horseshoe crabs have brilliant blue blood due to copper that carries oxygen in their bloodstream. This is very similar to the red hemoglobin that carries oxygen in our human bloodstream. Research scientists in the medical field harvest their blue blood for it’s ability to react to the presence of bacterial endotoxins. This unique ability allows medical professionals to detect bacteria in many places.

Horseshoe-crab-blood-harvest-11
Harvesting the Blue Blood of Horseshoe Crabs

Delaware bay is also home to the Red Knot bird. The red knot has one of the longest migrations of any bird. Every year it travels more than 9,000 mi (14,000 km) from the Arctic to the southern tip of South America. The exact migration routes and wintering grounds of individual subspecies are still somewhat uncertain.

Red Knot
Red Knot – A.K.A. Calidris canutus rufa

Lastly, Delaware Bay is home to a phenomenon called “Sand Waves”. This is where the sand on the bottom of the bay forms a wavy bottom surface. The wave patterns that sets up are static and have reached an equilibrium. The sand waves cause larger water waves on the surface. It’s interesting to see on your sonar picture as you go over the top of these sand waves. We saw this very same sand wave phenomenon on our sonar at the mouth of Chesapeake bay.

Sand Waves Chart
Sand Waves Depicted on my Chart
Sand Wave SF Bridge
Sand Waves West of the San Francisco Bridge

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