Cape May was cloudy again this morning, but the winds were lighter than yesterday. Good news for our trip up Delaware Bay and River, through the C & D Canal and ultimately to Chesapeake City, MD. Still, NOAA predicted 10 to 15 knot winds on the Bay with 2 to 3 foot seas and calmer winds and seas in the River. We left Canyon Club Marina at 8 and scooted past the Cape May ferries before any of them were leaving and into the Bay. Some dolphins were feeding off to our right just as we entered the Bay. They were the first dolphins we had seen on the trip. I hoped that they would decide to play in our wake, but they obviously thought breakfast was more important than frolicking in boat wakes.
The Bay was fine as we started out, maybe 1 to 2 foot seas. These gradually increased to 2 to 3, but other than rocking and rolling some, they were no problem. We had the wind (about 10 knots) and the current with us, so that helped make for a more comfortable ride than it could have been. Visibility was fine. Even though there was a fair amount of commercial traffic on the Bay and River, we were able to run inside the shipping channel and avoid the crab pots that the crabbers just love to put just outside the channel.
About mid-way up the Bay I saw another dolphin leap out of the water. That is always such a special sight. I hoped that it portended an easy ride into Chesapeake City, and it did. Despite some congestion in the commercial traffic right at the Canal entrance, we had an easy run up the River and along the Canal. We were docked and securely tied up by 11:20 am at the Chesapeake Inn and Marina..
It was good to be back in Maryland; the first time in a little over a month. But as soon as we got off Sea BLyS we felt the Maryland heat and humidity. We had gotten spoiled by the cooler and drier New England weather that finally kicked in once we left Hyannis. I guess we’ll just have to spend more time in New England during the summer if we want to say good-bye to heat and humidity!
We hiked over to downtown Chesapeake City (all 5 or 6 blocks of it) for lunch and then decided to take in the C & D Canal Museum. It’s a relatively short walk from the town to the museum in the direction of the marina and then past that for about a half mile. We weren’t expecting much but were pleasantly surprised to find an interesting museum, run by the Army Corps of Engineers, about the Canal.
The museum is housed in the old pump house that had been used to help maintain the canal’s water level in its early years when the canal used four locks. Eventually the canal was widened and deepened and the locks were removed. But the pumps and the water wheel that were used to perform this job remain and can be seen in all their massive, mechanical glory in the museum. The placards and various displays were well done and informative. They also had an LCD screen that showed you the commercial traffic that was on the Canal in real time.
If nothing else, the pump house building was a pleasure to tour. It dates from the 1800’s, was constructed of stone and floored with beautiful wide-beamed hardwood. The roof is exposed wooden beams and the walls are plastered a simple white. If it weren’t a museum, the building would make a very handsome house.
We’re on the boat this afternoon, planning for our trip to Georgetown, MD tomorrow. We’ll have dinner at the Chesapeake Inn tonight and then head for our last stop before home in the morning.