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the Reedy Point jetties, 2.5 feet at Chesapeake City and 2.2 feet at Courthouse
Point, the junction of Elk River and Back Creek,
In the Delaware River from Allegheny Avenue, Philadelphia, to the sea, the
normal velocity of tidal current in the dredged channel ranges between 2 and 33
miles per hour, although storm tides may increase the maximum current to as
much as 43 miles per hour. The currents are rarely sufficient to impede navi
gation. In the vicinity of Trenton, N. J., freshets, which occur usually during
February and March, attain a height of 9 to 20 feet above low water.
The only anchorages between New York Harbor and the entrance to Chesapeake
Bay for vessels of all classes bound along the Atlantic Coast are the Breakwater
Harbor and the Harbor of Refuge in the vicinity of the Delaware Capes. These
two anchorages are often known collectively as the Delaware Sreakwater. Many
vessels are sent to the Delaware Breakwater to anchor while awaiting orders.
Breakwater Harbor, the inner anchorage, is on the west side of Cape Henlopen,
southward of the river breakwater. It has an anchorage area of about 237 acres
and depths of from 10 to 30 feet at mean low water.
It is a safe harbor for
light-draft vessels in all but heavy northwesterly gales and affords consider
able protection even in such weather. The harbor is generally crowded in heavy
weather. The Harbor of Refuge or outer anchorage lies one to two miles north
northwest of Cape Henlopen, being formed by a breakwater extending 1 & miles
south-southeast from the southeast end of The Shears (U. S. Coast and Geodetic
Survey Chart No. 379) and by a row of ice fenders on the Shears. Its anchorage
area is approximately 552 acres in extent and the depths range from 24 to 42
feet at mean low water. It affords a harbor in easterly gales for deep draft
vessels. Additional information relative to the Harbor of Refuge is given
under the subject "Harbor Improvements by the United States."
Eight anchorage areas have been designated for use of vessels in the Dela
ware River below the limits of Philadelphia Harbor. Vessels are sometimes
allowed to anchor at other points along the edge of the dredged channel where
there is suitable depth and navigation will not be obstructed.
below Philadelphia, listed in the order in which they are reached by vessels
inbound from the Atlantic Ocean, are described below.
Bombay Hook Point Anchorage is a general anchorage located west of the
channel along Liston Range upstream from a line opposite Ship John Shoal Light
house and downstream from a line opposite the lower end of Arnold Point Shoal.
Artificial Island is an explosives anchorage located east of the channel
along Reedy Island Range near the upper end of Artificial Island upstream from
a line opposite Reedy Island Light and downstream from a line opposite the tank
on Reedy Island. It is intended for vessels engaged in the transportation and
handling of explosives and other dangerous articles. No vessel not so engaged
is permitted to anchor in this area except in a case of emergency.
Explosives Anchorage North of Reedy Island is located west of the chan
nel along Reedy Island Range downstream from a line bearing southeast from
the south jetty light at the entrance to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal
and upstream from a point 4,000 feet above the upper end of Reedy Island.
Reedy Point Anchorage is situated southwest of the channel along New
Castle Range upstream from a line off the north jetty light at the entrance
to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal and downstream from a line midway be
tween the canal entrance and the entrance to the branch channel of the canal
at Delawa re City, Del.
Deepwater Point Anchorage lies east of the channel along Cherry Island
Range upstream from a line opposite Deepwater Point Range front light and
downstream from a line opposite the south jetty light at the entrance to
Christina River. It has an area of 305 acres.
Vessels must not cast anchor
in the cable area at the lower part of the anchorage except in a case of emer
Marcus Hook Anchorage is located southeast of the channel along Marcus
Hook Range upstream from a line opposite the Texas Company Pier at Claymont
(Marcus Hook Range Lighted Buoy 6m), Del., and downstream from the jetty
light at the entrance to Raccoon Creek (lower end of Raccoon Island), N.J.
The anchorage has been dredged to a depth of 37 feet, a width of 1,400 feet
and a length of 10,500 feet and has an area of 337 acres.
A preferential area in the Marcus Hook Anchorage is designated for the
use of vessels awaiting quarantine inspection. This area is between lines
projected from the northeast and southwest boundaries of the United States
Quarantine Station at Marcus Hook, Pa. Should the remainder of the anchor
age be in use, the preferential area, when unoccupied, may be used by deep
Thompson Point Anchorage is located south of the channel along Tinicum
Range between a line bearing north from Thompson Point and a line bearing
north from the east edge of Crab Point, N. J.
This anchorage has an area
of 87 acres with depths of from 10 to 35 feet.
Mantua Creek Anchorage is located southeast of the channel along Mifflin
Range and extends upstream from the intersection of Billing sport and Mifflin
Ranges for a distance of 7,300 feet. The area of the anchorage is 164 acres.
It has been dredged to a depth of 35 feet. The River and Harbor Act of 1945
authorized the enlargement and deepening of the anchorage to project dimensions
1,400 feet by 11,600 feet, 37 feet deep.
There are 5 anchorage areas in the Delaware River between Hog Island and
Poquessing Creek, bordering the water front of Philadelphia Harbor which lies
on the right bank of the river and the towns of Gloucester, Camden, Delair and
Riverton, N. J., located on the left bank,
These anchorage areas have a total
sheltered area of approximately 611 acres, as follows:
League Island Anchorage is a restricted naval anchorage having an area of
It lies north of the channel along West Horseshoe Range between lines
in prolongation of the east side of Piers Nos. 1 and 7 at the Naval Base, Phila
Gloucester Anchorage is located southeast of the channel along East Horse
shoe Range and Reach M between a line bearing 267 degrees from the north end of
the retaining dike at the mouth of Big Timber Creek (Howell Cove Buoy 48) and a
line opposite the Immigration Pier at Gloucester (Greenwich Point Lighted Buoy
48A), N. J. This anchorage has an area of 66 acres and is 30 feet deep and
about 3,500 feet long.
Greenwich Anchorage is east of the channel along Reaches M to s between
the Immigration Pier at Gloucester (Greenwich Point Lighted Buoy 48A) and the
lower end of the railroad ferry slips at Kaighn Point, Camden, N. J.
an area of 172 acres.
The area between Pier No. 2, New York Shipbuilding Cor
poration, and the McAndrews and Forbes Co. Pier at Camden, N, J., is restricted
to facilitate the movement of carfloats to and from Bulson Street, Camden.
Should the anchorage become so congested that vessels are compelled to anchor
in the restricted area, they must move immediately when another berth becomes
Cooper Point Anchorage is located southeast of the channel along Reaches
A and B between lines marking the prolongation of the south side of Pier No. 25
North and the prolongation of the north side of Pier No. 40 North, Philadelphia.
This area is about 44 acres in extent.
Port Richmond Anchorage is located southeast of the channel along Reaches
D and E between the upper and lower ends of Petty Island and between lines op
posite Allegheny Avenue and Pier No. 80 North, near Norris Street, Philadelphia.
This anchorage has an area of 76 acres and it has been dredged to a depth of 35
feet. The River and Harbor Act of 1945 authorizes a depth of 37 feet and an ap
proximate length of 6,400 feet. Dessels having a draft of less than 20 feet
must anchor west of Pier No. ll at Port Richmond.
The area off the Cities Serv
ice Oil Co. Wharf at Petty Island is restricted to facilitate the movement of
vessels to and from the wharf. Vessels must not anchor in the cable area at the
lower end of the anchorage except in a case of emergency.
There are no prescribed anchorages in the Delaware River above the upper
limits of Philadelphia Harbor.
Weather conditions at localities on the Delaware River below Philadelphia
are practically the same as those at Wilmington, Del., and the conditions at
localities in the upper river to Trenton, with the exception of ice conditions,
do not vary materially from those prevailing at Philadelphia.
Open season for navigation.--The river is usually open for navigation at
all seasons throughout the entire length of the improved channel to Trenton.
Prevailing winds.--The prevailing winds are northwest from October to
April and southwest during the remainder of the year in the Philadelphia area.
The maximum wind velocity over a period of 74 years was 68 miles per hour.
Ice.--Ice sometimes forms an obstacle to navigation in Delaware Bay and
the Delaware River below Philadelphia in severe winters and in ordinary winters
ice conditions make it necessary for sailing vessels to use care.
Ice has been
known to form early in December between Wilmington and Philadelphia but the
heavier ice does not begin to form before January. After the first of March,
ice is rarely encountered.
Above Bristol, Pa., navigation may be hampered by