Across the Delaware Bay 2000
September 3, 2000
weather pattern for past several days (weeks?) had been tropical in nature:
very humid, unstable air with thunderstorms and rain squalls popping up
randomly throughout the day and night. This is definitely not the kind
of weather that is wanted for a half-day open water event. Nonetheless,
at 5:15 AM, we decided to go ahead with the paddle; minutes later, a light
rain began to fall. Luckily, the Town Bank Fireboat was scheduled for training
this day and could help with transportation of two of the paddlers and
standby support. Bob Keith (1st crossing) and Joe Link (3rd crossing) traveled
to Lewes, DE on the boat. Bill (4th crossing), Al Ambler (1st crossing),
and Fred Sobotincic (1st crossing) traveled on the Cape May/Lewes Ferry.
At left below, Al and Fred with their kayaks on the Ferry. In the center
and at the right, our promotional kayak makes its first public appearance
on the Lewes town beach.
8:45 AM, the support boat appeared out of the fog; what a welcome sight
from the beach. In keeping with their training priority, the support boat
launched a diver from the rear platform. The two kayakers paddle in from
the boat in the third picture in the sequence.
the left and center below, the kayakers do some last minute chores. At
right, the formal portrait of the beginning of the event.
paddle started right on time. The conditions were excellent. Visibility
was an acceptable two miles, the Bay was calm, a cloud cover shielded the
burning sun, and the lightest of breezes accompanied the group. Not a single
ship was sighted moving in the vicinity. Al used his GPS and considerable
experience to guide the group with some nifty real-time navigation. The
crossing was 19.1 miles which took 4 hours and 17 minutes. At left, center,
and right below, the kayakers come into the beach at Town Bank.
kayakers were met by a large, boisterous group of family and friends. The
celebration on the beach was followed by a longer picnic/party which experienced
rain and thunder as the afternoon wore on. Lady Luck and Mother Nature
got together on this day to produce another successful paddle.
September 3, 2000
NOTE: This is not a sponsored or an
official event. We, as a group of independent kayakers, will paddle across
the Delaware Bay. Those who join us do so at their own risk.
Time: 9 AM (sharp!)
Site: Lewes (DE) Town Beach (Click
Site: Pinewood Road Beach, Town Bank (Click
Time: 4.5 hours
We are planning to carry our kayaks on
the 7 AM ferry from Cape May to Lewes. If you are planning to take that
ferry, we suggest that you call for reservations in advance (1-800-64FERRY)
since it will be Labor Day Weekend. We will assemble on the Lewes Town
Beach (see map) and leave promptly at 9 AM.
We will head for a point just on the north side of the icebreakers near
the breakwater (15 degrees magnetic). From there, we will follow a 50 degree
magnetic heading toward New Jersey. The three hours of flood current will
be in our favor and will carry us north of the 50 degree bearing from the
icebreakers. After slack tide, we will experience some southerly current
which will retard our progress slightly and put us back on course for Pinewood
(Click for chart
The physical requirement for the crossing
is the ability to paddle at approximately 4 mph for a period of 4.5 hours;
we take very few breaks from paddling.
We will make a go/no-go weather decision
at 6 AM on Sunday morning. Call 609-889-4911 between 6:10 and 6:20 AM if
you have any doubts about weather conditions.
from Previous Years: