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Delaware Bay

The winds and currents on Delaware Bay are of mythic proportions. Our first encounter with the Bay was on our trip to Baltimore in 2000, after purchasing No Boundaries in Toronto. We were not prepared for the discovery that we made less than 2 knots against the combined river current and ebb tide on our way to the C&D Canal.

On our trip this time, it was delightful to whiz down the Bay under sail at 10 knots due to the happy confluence of wind and current that day.

Cohansey Cove

This cove is conveniently located just downstream in Delaware Bay from the C&D Canal entrance. After a transit out of the Chesapeake, this is a good place to take a breather, or wait out the tides here before passing into the Chesapeake.

The path to Cohansey is convoluted because of shoals in Delaware Bay. Staying on course is challenging due to the powerful currents and the almost non-stop wind on the Bay. It is worth the effort.

Once you arrive, pick your spot carefully, because the depth is quite variable. After you anchor against the wind, you will likely see your boat turn to point with the current instead. Expect that the wind and currents may combine to reduce the depth at low below the charted depth. We anchored at high tide, in a depth of 16 feet,charted at 10 feet, right next to a hole more than 30 feet deep. The next day at low tide, our keel rested on the mud in a depth of only 6 feet. A mud bottom and 6 feet of water was not unsafe for us, but a little disconcerting. However, the high tide floated us again and we left at the start of ebb the next morning as planned.

Some boaters choose to go up the Cohansey River, indicated in the photo below by the blue arrow. The river's depth is not reported on our charts, and we chose the cove instead, but we saw a lot of sailboats pass by in the channel.