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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Lewes in Sussex County, Delaware — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Delaware Pilots

Lewes Maritime History Trail

 
 
Delaware Pilots Marker image. Click for full size.
By Nate Davidson, December 31, 2010
1. Delaware Pilots Marker
Inscription.  Marine pilots know the shoals, lumps, and ledges of the Delaware intimately. They know the bends of the dredged channel, the characteristics of every lighthouse and range light, and the location of wrecks. They understand tides and currents and the weather at sea. And they can put it all together to safely guide ships 100 miles from the Atlantic Ocean to the ports of Wilmington, Philadelphia, and Trenton.

It is a demanding, tiring, and dangerous job at which men and women risk - and sometimes lose - their lives for the safety of others and the protection of millions of dollars of shipped goods.

Many of the first Delaware pilots were Native Americans. Then Europeans learned the secrets of the Delaware and turned piloting into a formal profession. Early on, pilots competed for business, racing out to sea in small schooners to be the first onboard an inbound ship. But over time, they began to cooperate, and in 1896 The Pilots' Association for the Bay and River Delaware was formed.

Pilots now motor out from their headquarters just west of the ferry terminal in the safety of a sturdy launch and climb on ships still
Delaware Pilots Marker image. Click for full size.
By John Miller, August 6, 2019
2. Delaware Pilots Marker
Wide view of the marker, ferry landing at left, "Breakwater Harbor" and Delaware Bay in background.
underway in the pilot boarding area east of Cape Henlopen point.
 
Erected by City of Lewes.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EnvironmentWaterways & Vessels.
 
Location. 38° 46.933′ N, 75° 7.123′ W. Marker is in Lewes, Delaware, in Sussex County. Marker can be reached from U.S. 9 north of Cape Henlopen Drive. Located within the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lewes DE 19958, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse (a few steps from this marker); Breakwaters (within shouting distance of this marker); Delaware Breakwater East End Lighthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); The Legacy of Ted Freeman (within shouting distance of this marker); Unknown Sailors' Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); Menhaden Fisheries (approx. 0.6 miles away); Lighthouses (approx. 0.6 miles away); German Submarine at Cape Henlopen (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lewes.
 
Delaware Pilots Marker image. Click for full size.
By John Miller, August 6, 2019
3. Delaware Pilots Marker
Pilots are dispatched from the former Coast Guard Station adjacent to the ferry terminal (blue roof at right).
Delaware Pilots Marker image. Click for full size.
By John Miller, August 6, 2019
4. Delaware Pilots Marker
Pilot boats standing by at the pier behind the station.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 1, 2011, by Nate Davidson of Salisbury, Maryland. This page has been viewed 636 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on January 1, 2011, by Nate Davidson of Salisbury, Maryland.   2, 3, 4. submitted on August 11, 2019, by John Miller of Rising Sun, Maryland. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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Sep. 27, 2020