July 29, 2021
It is so hard for me to keep up with posts. If I take pictures only on my phone it is easier, but when I use “the real” camera, the process of getting the pics to my laptop is a tad harder. No ultra hard, but a bit harder. And then there is doing vs writing about doing. Even downtime just sitting and enjoying the scenery is doing on the boat as it is all new and interesting. So, I’m going to try and do a quick catch up.
A place Jim and I could have never gone as “land people”. Just did not seem like a place for us as it is a resort community. But, it is really quite nice. We are not a resort in today terms, but started as a place with the wealthy from Philadelphia would go for rest and health as early as 1766. By the 1830’s there were boarding houses for people to stay in when they came. Although very “beachy”, there town has tons of cute Victorian style homes on lovely tree lines streets, good shopping (Jim and I both did a bit of cloths additions) and good restaurants (we hear, we ate fresh seafood on the boat.)
Cape May was our launch point for our first solo days on the Atlantic Ocean. There are no inland waterways with enough water for our boat without lots of catching the tides just right. And even with that, it is questionable. So, from Cape May to New York Harbor (actually Sandy Hook), we have to go offshore.
That is OK and exciting, just a new things for us. We’d only been off shore except with our training captain except for quick jaunts to dump tanks. The other challenge is there are limited inlets that are easy to get into. So, it is 14 hours on the sea, or two days with a stop in Atlantic City or possibly a couple other inlets. Not a lot of options. We waited for really nice weather and chose Atlantic City as our stop. Thus, a short day and a long day.
We left early both days as the weather tends to build a bit in the afternoon and we wanted as calm of weather as possible. It seemed to work.
The Ghost Boats
I am taking much of this section from Facebook posts as I wrote much of this in real time on the fly. Easier to use that and spruce up. So without further adieu;
Quite the eventful anchorage in Atlantic City. We were here 1st. A sailboat came in. Tide goes out and he is grounded. Between Tow Boat and the tide, he gets unstuck, wanders around a bit and Tow Boat takes him to the back of the now 2 other boats in the anchorage with us. Current is strong here and has now shifted 180. Quite strong as you can see in the video. The 3 sailboats are a bit closer than I might like, but I think we are ok. 2 anchor alarms set.
And the excitement continues. 9:30 pm. Radio call from evening tour boat that a sail boat has broken loose and is floating in the channel towards the bridge. You know which boat. Luckily, his mast was not too tall for the bridge. He floated under it with the current pushing him inland in the dark although he didn’t have tons of room under the bridge from our angle. Police and Coast Guard boat there now. The boat was a single hander. Captain seemed to be doing nothing. Is he asleep?
To complete last night’s story… police towed the sail boat (2nd tow of the day) back to the anchorage just east of the bridge (upstream from us) and left him. He seemed to make it through the night as he was still there when we left this am.
Now for this mornings story. Catamarans left around 4 am. Our plan was to leave at first light, around 5:20. About to pull anchor and I see a log in the channel floating towards the inlet to sea. Remember, there is a strong current here, now going out as opposed to in when the sailboat was floating upstream. Right now it is only about about 1 knot current where as yesterday it was over 2 knots. The log turns out to be an unmanned kayak floating out with the current. No person in sight. Hopefully broken from anchoring up river? Hoping so. There are lots of grassy marshes and snickleway routes farther inland. I report to the Coast Guard and have several radio calls and phone calls with them. Meanwhile, we are pulling our anchor to get underway. The kayak has found a tiny cove in the breakwater rip-rap inside the channel inlet and is just sitting there. We finish pulling anchor and head to sea. The Coast Guard issues pan-pan calls all morning for a suspected person missing and a floating kayak. Mid-day, they retracted the pan-pan. Did the kayak owner show up? Did they find a body (I surely hope not). We’ll never know the outcome of the ghost kayak.
Given the strong current, boat traffic during the day with a desire to get close and rock our boat and crazy un-teathered floating boats, I’m not sure Atlantic City is my cup of tea. When we head south, we’ll do 14 hours or try a different inlet.
Ok, we are not quite there yet. You enter via Sandy Hook Inlet and then head north to the Upper New York Harbor via the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge or turn south and west into Sandy Book Bay and Raritan Bay. Yesterday we headed towards Atlantic Highlands, at the south end of Sandy Hook Bay. Quite peaceful, trees, a nice breakwater from the bay and a spit of land (Sandy Hook) separating us from the Atlantic.
We can see NYC in the far distance, just am outline of the humanity all packed into a tiny space.
This would be a much nicer place to live than The City. There is a fast 1 hour ferry if you want’need to go to the city, but peaceful and quite here.
Today, we will cross under the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, pass the Statue of Liberty where several of my 2nd Great-Grandparents entered the United States in the 1800’s and dock at a marina a hop-skip-and-a-jump from Lady Liberty. An exciting day!