Journal Entries

Journal Entry 1: New Castle — Cedar Swamp View Video

A group of people gathered on the beach at Battery Park in New Castle to offer best wishes as I set off on the first leg of the Delmarva Odyssey. This 18 mile section would take me from New Castle, DE to a boat landing at Cedar Swamp. Cedar Swamp is a wildlife refuge run by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources… Read More

Journal Entry 2: Cedar Swamp — Woodland Beach View Video

Leaving Cedar Swamp landing at the end of the flood tide I turned south to head down Delaware Bay. The navigation system indicated that I was only making about 3.5 knots. This didn’t surprise me. The tide would not reach full flood stage for another half hour. I was confident that when the tide began to ebb my speed would pick up… Read More

Journal Entry 3: Woodland Beach — Kitts Hummock View Video

Launching at Woodland Beach was great. There were several friendly fishermen at the Beach. We chatted for a while about the fishing, the weather and the Delmarva Odyssey then I shoved off for Bowers Beach … Read More

Journal Entry 4: Bowers Beach — Slaughter Beach View Video

Leaving the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control public boat launch on the Murderkill River in Bowers Beach, I headed directly east. The west wind, which had been blowing for most of the morning, immediately caught the boat and with the ebb tide pushed me out into the Bay. The day was sunny and warm. The wind was strong blowing between 10 to 15 knots. To take advantage of the tide and minimize the effects of the wind, I kept the boat tucked in close to the Delaware shoreline. The low dune along the marshes provided a small break from the wind… Read More

Journal Entry 5: Slaughter Beach — Lewes, DE View Video

I had attempted to launch the boat from Slaughter Beach yesterday afternoon. NOAA weather radio reported a north wind blowing at 10 to 15 knots. The combination of wind and the ebb tide would allow me to row to Roosevelt Inlet at Lewes in less than 1.5 hours. Arriving at Slaughter Beach, I found the wind was from the northeast blowing directly against the Beach. Delaware Bay is about 22 miles wide at this point. The large expanse of open water allowed the wind to create significant waves along the Delaware shoreline. Launching the boat into the waves would be difficult. Rowing southeast, perpendicular to the waves, would be almost impossible… Read More

Journal Entry 6: Lewes, DE to Dewey Beach, DE via the Lewes Rehoboth Canal View Video

I was anxious to get started. Having left the wind and waves of the open waters of the Delaware Bay, the row through the calm protected waters of the Lewes Rehoboth Canal would be easy. The canal extends in a southeast direction from the Town of Lewes through the open marshes of west side of Cape Henlopen state park. The marshes provide protected habitat for nesting birds and wildlife. Nearing Rehoboth, the Canal turns south ending at the head of Rehoboth Bay. My plan was to row from Lewes to the sailing beach on the east side of Rehoboth Bay, just south of Dewey Beach. The morning was calm and clear… Read More

Journal Entry 7: Rehoboth Bay to Little Assawoman Bay View Video

Rehoboth Bay is very shallow. In some areas the water is less than a foot deep. Sandbars are exposed at very low tides. The shallow water creates an ideal place for sail boarding and kite surfing. Today’s west wind provided the perfect day for these activities. The colorful kites of the kite surfers bobbed and weaved back and forth above the sailing beach off of Route 1. The wind, gusting to 20 knots, crossed the shallow water of the Bay creating a rough choppy sea… Read More

Journal Entry 8: Fenwick Island to Ocean City, MD View Video

The early morning air was cool. I left the beach at Little Assawoman heading south. The wind was light at 6 to 10 knots and blowing from the north, pushing me along. In the calm early morning the water of the Bay was almost flat. These were ideal conditions for rowing south. I took advantage of the calm water and gentle north wind. The boat moved almost effortlessly, skimming across the surface of the water. In the narrow neck that separates the Little Assawoman Bay from the Big Assawoman Bay at the Town of Fenwick Island, DE I raced along at 6 to 6.5 knots. Vacationers sitting on their balconies in the condos and houses along the canal smiled and waved good morning… Read More

Journal Entry 9: Chincoteague Bay View Video

Sinepuxent Bay extends south from Ocean City Inlet to South Point where it meets the head of Chincoteague Bay. Chincoteague is the largest of the Delmarva Peninsula’s inland bays. At its widest point, Chincoteague is seven miles across… Read More

Journal Entry 10: WachapreagueView Video

The casual visitor to Wachapreague, Virginia would not realize its rich history and importance as an early center of trade. The name Wachapreague was given to the town in 1884, but its recorded history goes back to the mid1600’s. In 1665, the Indian emperor Wachiwampe brought his people to settle on the high grounds that surround Wachapreague. The fertile soil of the area supported the agricultural needs of the tribe… Read More

Journal Entry 11: Rounding the PeninsulaView Video

The early morning mist hung over the salt marsh. Today the temperature was to break 90 degrees, but the light southwest breeze made the morning air feel cool… Read More

Journal Entry 12: Cape Charles, VAView Video

About 37 million years ago…

Unaware of the catastrophe that was about to occur, the wildlife on the peninsula had become increasingly restless as the brilliant new star grew in intensity. Their world was about to undergo a dramatic change. The star was in reality a large meteor hurtling toward the earth at a speed of 21 miles per second… Read More

Journal Entry 13 — Eastern Shore of VirginiaView Video

The kayaks slipped quietly through the salt water of the Tunnels Island marsh. Turning left, right, then back in a horseshoe, the tidal creek we were exploring meander aimlessly, a maze flowing through the marsh. Each turn opened on a meadow of green salt grass. Moisture rose from the grass making the air heavy with a slight haze and rich with the organic smell of the marsh… Read More

Journal Entry 14 — Chesapeake Bay: Maryland’s Eastern Shore View Video

Virginia’s Eastern Shore along the Chesapeake Bay is flat. The Bay itself is very shallow averaging only about 18 inches in depth. To the south, long flat sand beaches extend out into the Bay. At low tide you can walk hundreds of yards off shore to exposed sand spits that appear like islands along the coast. To the north, the sand beaches become green expanses of salt marsh grass which extends inland, typically ending at a small clump of white buildings perched above the marsh on pilings… Read More

Journal Entry 15 — The C and D Canal: Home to New Castle

Construction began on the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal in 1804. Due to a lack of adequate funding, the project was halted after only two years. In 1822, the states of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware each contributed funds to restart the project. These funds along with significant federal funding restarted the construction of the “ditch”. Between 1824 and 1829 some 2,600 men were working on the ditch… Read More