Home Port; on the Delaware River at Fox Grove Marina Essington PA.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

August 2011

August 28, 2011

August 26, 2011
Waiting for Hurricane Irene

August 13, day sail with a return to gentle breezes and occasional gusts.

August 4, 5 & 6 Cape May to Essington (write up in progress)

Depart Bidwell Creek Cape May Thursday August 4 at about 8:30 AM in light rain just after low tide when my keel could slip enough in the mud at the marina entrance to get out.

Winds out of the ENE 10 to 15 kt gusting to 20+ with reports from mid bay buoy at 17kt sustained,

Left with main on second reef sailed across to Egg Island Flats at speed over ground (SOG) 4.5 minimum and 6.5 maximum. Sea state was a short period chop 2 to 3 ft and some beam breaking waves about 4 ft.

Egg Island Flats to the Cohansey River entrance, wind and chop was building but the boat was happy and charged up the lower bay as if its skipper knew what he was doing.

With good speed I over shot the turn into wind for the pylon entrance markers at the Cohansey, which then resulted in a jib to close haul with wind just off the bow and charge to the entrance, rather than drop sail and motor into the wind. In retrospect that is what I should have planned to do, again the boat was leading the skipper.

Sailed through the entrance into the wide winding Cohansey, rolled in the heads sail, motor on and wait for a long section between serpentine bends to head into the still strong wind to drop sail.

Motor on, go to the mast and drop sail, the current and local eddies swing the boat around as I tend to sail but all secure and motor to Hancock Harbor, dock at 2:30 PM. 30 nm in 6hours including the winding Bidwell Creek and Cohansey River, a 5kt SOG average.

Depart Hancock Harbor 8:30 AM Friday August 5. light winds out of the south, clear sky.
Motor out the winding Cohansey and hoist sails just before passing through the entrance pylons. With the gentle breeze from the south on port beam the boat glides along at 2 to 3 kt past Arnold Point and crab pots to deeper water.

Jib to a heading for the Salem cooling tower with the breeze directly on stern, try wing on wing but progress drops to about 1 knot. I ahve 28nm to cover and need to make at least 4kt with  favorable current to reach Delaware City before the tide turns.

Motor on, head sail furled, mainsail sheeted tight and motor sail to Delaware City.

Arrive Delaware City 2:45 PM with the flood tide propelling this little craft at 6kt with the motor on idle from the lower end of reedy Island to the old canal entrance.

Depart Delaware City about 11:00 Saturday August 6. Alex bike 45 miles to join me on the sail/motor sail to Essington.

Motor out to the main shipping lanes in disturbed and confused water, 2 to 3 foot short chop without consistent direction. Alex at helm,  I had reefed the mainsail before departing with winds 15kt + and gusting. Turned NE up river, the wind now directly on the stern and weakening.

We motor sail with main only to Cherry Island Flats, then with a SE wind 10 to 15 and gusting we sail to Marcus Hook, then through Commodore Barry Bridge and race with the the flood tide to Essington in a building wind.

The concern is when to turn to wind for the mainsail drop, we have a short distance between the marinas and Little Tinicum Island that will be windward then we will be in mud flats. Just before Fox Grove the gust change direction, Alex turns the boat 45deg off the marinas into the gust, I drop the sail and tie.

Motor into the slip with Joe of Bonnie Blue standing ready to help dock.

More photo's to come.

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Ulladh pronounced "ul-la" (null lad).

Uladh the gaelic spelling for the territory of the U-Nail chieftains in the ancient Irish province of Ulster (English/Norse), originally the counties of Down and Antrim, but now including Derry, Armagh, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan, also referred to as Ulidia (Greek/Roman),.

Uladh was the home of a pre-celtic, cruithne (crew-en-ya) pictish tribe, who may have been descendants of prehistoric tribes indigenous to the British Isles since the retreat of the last ice age.

Archeological finds date first inhabitants to about 6,000 BC and trade goods from Rathlin Island, County Antrim off the northeast coast of Ireland made from porcellanite stone appearing in Egypt and Crete by 2,500 BC.

The early tribes of Ireland where displaced by later waves of migrants from mainland Europe; about 1700 BC by bronze age tribes, celtic tribes about 500 BC, and in the past two millenia; Roman trading posts, Viking settlements, English plantations... and in the 21st century a welcome increasing diversity from the European Union and the world.

SV Ulladh (for vhf clarity I use "sailing vessel ul-la") is named for the territory of the first peoples to settle in Ireland after the retreat of the last ice age.


Since 1949 Fisksatra Varv in the coastal town of Fisksatra Sweden, built fiberglass boats from dinghies to a 300 ton minesweeper for the Swedish Navy.

The Havsfidra 20's were built between 1968 and the late 1970's to Swedish Navy and Lloyd's certification standards.

The Havsfidra 20 and a larger version the Storfidra 26 where sold in the United States by Continental Yachts and Trawler Agency of Atlantic City NJ.

Havsfidra; sea-feather?
(fidra; to touch or tickle with a feather -Icelandic-English Dictionary, Clarendon Press 1874)