May 5 -6 sail Essington to Delaware City to Essington, buddy sail with Take Five
Depart Essington before noon Saturday May 5, 2012 in light fog with a gentle NE breeze. Slip past Drexel sail team at practice under mainsail only, and pull out the headsail when past the no wake zone. Take Five departs Anchorage as Ulladh passes Corinthian (home of Drexel and Penn sail teams), and passes me alongside the Eddystone power plant, photo op time.
Take Five stays on the PA side of the river through Commodore Barry then crosses to the NJ side. Ulladh crosses the shipping lanes at Green E1 (Harrah's Racino) to NJ side and Chester Island then stays on the NJ side through Commodore Barry. Take Five a 25ft Catalina swiftly makes way along the NJ side of Cherry Island flats. Ulladh make more sedate progress. Both vessels wing on wing with more of a northerly wind component.
Take Five comes about before Delaware Memorial and circles Ulladh near the down river end of Cherry Island Flats for another photo op ( or just to rub it in that Take Five is faster).
Take Five passes under Delaware Memorial and crosses the shipping channel to DE side after a car carrier just departed Wilmington and before a push barge. Ulladh crosses the shipping channel after the push barge.
Both Take Five and Ulladh take a course to Newcastle then turn into the Pea Patch back channel behind Pea Patch Dike. Wind picks up with more of a consistent easterly bay component and and both vessels on beam reaches make good way to the overhead power lines with Take Five well a head.
Take Five passes Delaware City, heads to windward and drops sails for power entry to Delaware City. Ulladh returns to windward off the oil refinery dock, drops sail and powers into Delaware City.
Approx 6.5hrs Essington to Delaware City.
Depart Delaware City at 6:30 AM at high tide in gentle NE winds. Temperatures in mid 60's F in the Delaware City Canal but rapidly drops to low 50's F or less in the Pea Patch back channel. Foul weather gear on. Good NE breeze provides for a swift passage through the overhead power lines and behind Pea Patch Dike.
The wind shifts to a more northerly component and progress slows, tack produces slow progress, but eventually with Take Five well ahead both vessels cross the main shipping lane to pass under Delaware Memorial on the NJ side.
By the time Ulladh passes under Delaware Memorial Take Five has passed the up river end of Cherry Island Flats and the wind has shifted to NE directly on Ulladh's nose. Still with the current but tacking produces minimal progress. Ulladh will not make Essington before tide change, so half way down Cherry Island flats, power on and motor sail to Marcus Hook.
After Marcus Hook the river runs east west so a building NE wind provides for a swift sail to Essington.
Back at Fox Grove Marina at 1:30PM, about 7hrs Delaware City to Essington.