We would have loved to have had some time to check out Cape May, but we were now racing to hide from hurricane Joaquin, so Jim got busy checking tide tables and currents. We had two issues to contend with. First of all, we were looking for low tide which was going to be our friend since there was a fixed bridge heading out of Cape May that we wanted to fit under without scraping the top of our mast! Not being able to make it under that bridge would mean adding about two hours to our trip going the other way around the cape. In addition to the bridge height clearance issue, we were also looking to leave at low tide so that the incoming tide would help push us up the Delaware Bay.
Turns out low tide was about 6:30am, so we got up nice and early and went under the bridge at daybreak, keeping our fingers and toes crossed as we did, because it sure as heck looked like we were going to scrape our antennas at the top as we went through. We squeaked by with less than two feet of clearance and started our trek up the Delaware. Our goal for the day was to head up the Delaware, go through the C&D canal, and then into the Chesapeake Bay where we hoped to find somewhere to hide from Joaquin.
Leaving at low tide was the best thing we could have done. Our timing was such that the currents were at their peak as we headed not only up the Delaware, but also across the canal and down the Chesapeake! We were moving as fast as we possibly could, but still weren’t sure where we were eventually headed. We really wanted to find somewhere we would feel secure if the hurricane did hit the Chesapeake, and we wanted to be there by the end of the day and not have to make another move the next day. We were in contact with a friend who was familiar with the Chesapeake and his first choice for a hurricane hole was a little further than we had hoped to travel that day, but we were pretty certain we could get there by dark, so on we went.
We ended up at Worton Creek Marina where we spent several days sitting out the cold and rain that the nor’easter graced us with and waiting to see what path Joaquin would take. We tied up, battened down the hatches…and waited. We had expected to be anchored somewhere up one of the many nooks and crannies in the Chesapeake, but were thrilled to be at the marina recommended by our friend (Thanks Captain Black!). We spent the days trying to keep warm and dry, and it was here that I FINALLY (only a couple of weeks late!) baked Jim’s birthday pineapple upside down cake.
Fortunately, Joaquin decided to head elsewhere and we were spared his fury. On October 5th, the sun finally came back out and we parted ways with the dock at Worton Creek and had an almost perfect sail to Annapolis, where we’d be attending the Annapolis Sailboat Show in a few days time. Believe it or not, the weather was so dreary (at many times matched by our moods) and we have NO pictures whatsoever to share from this time! Hence, the picture above, which shows the spaghetti plots of the many different projected paths for hurricane Joaquin! Thank goodness most of these projections were wrong!