The name Jersey Shore may conjure up different visions. Some people may only associate it with the tv reality show about Snooki, The Situation, and others whose names I do not know. For me, growing up in eastern Pennsylvania, I remember vacations spent at the beaches on the “shore” – Ocean City, Avalon, Stone Harbor, Sea Isle City. Over the past two days, Kindred Spirit traveled from the northern shore of Sandy Hook to the most southern shore of Cape May.
The trip from Sandy Hook to Atlantic City is over 80 miles, so we left at 3:30 am on Sunday, September 15th. Yes, in the dark. As Al pulled up the anchor, I maneuvered the boat. With an anchored trawler and the breakwater very close, my knees were shaking as I shifted the gears and adjusted the speed. Guess what I was thinking – wow, knees really do shake when you are scared.
We had to travel north first to get out and around Sandy Hook. The lights of lower Manhattan were bright and visible. There was a lighted building (?) that changed colors from red to white to blue. We aren’t sure, but wondered if it is a 9/11 memorial? I tried to photograph it, but it was quite a distance away; and it sure is hard to hold the camera steady on a moving boat!
The stars were bright, and once your eyes adjust, sailing at night is quite an experience. We loved our AIS system because we could identify the large cruise boats, commercial and industrial ships that are out there. It was actually a very quiet night. The stars were bright – easily spotted the Big Dipper. Dawn was a lovely sight to behold. As the sun rose, the sparkle on the ocean waves really did look like diamonds. I’m a “morning person” so this is always my favorite time of day.
The Jersey shore gave us a view of miles and miles of beaches.
About halfway through the day I noticed another feature of the Jersey coastline – water towers. Water tower after water tower. Is this because the beaches are barrier beaches and need the towers for water storage? I photographed as many as I could, which is challenging from 2 miles offshore with waves rolling you up and down. This collage is for my Glastonbury math teachers – remember that SBAC CCSS water tower problem?????
It was a very long night/day – 13 hours. We took a dock at Gardners Basin in Atlantic City, fully expecting to stay two nights. The dock was very inexpensive as docks go, with good reason – no water, no fuel, no bath facilities. We didn’t really mind that because we were ok for the moment. We just needed to get off the boat and go for a walk – that felt so good!
Monday, September 16th. We decided we might try the Atlantic City boardwalk so that I could relive my childhood memories; but as we review the weather forecast for winds, we decide we really should continue moving and get to Cape May. As we pull away from the dock, or should I say, as we try to pull away from the dock, we discover we are stuck in mud, and the tide is going out! The dockmaster did not inform us how little depth there is at low tide. We nudged our way back to the dock. Al spoke with a local fisherman who suggested we go forward. That worked and off we went to get gas and water at another marina before leaving. After filling these critical tanks (fuel and water) we headed out the channel. It just wasn’t our lucky day. The combination of strange harbor, confusing advice, and markers, and we went aground again. Jeez. Called TowBoat US to pull us off the bottom. That’s why we carry that insurance. There is a saying – any captain who says he never runs aground is either lying or not telling the truth. I do recall asking the Captain if I could go home now? In retrospect, it is a good thing we did not try our luck at the casinos this visit. Maybe on the way home in the spring?
The rest of the trip past the Jersey Shore was uneventful and pleasant. The day was cloudy with a few rain showers, but the boat moved well with the winds and waves. We covered the 36 miles in 5 hours. That’s good for a sailboat. We arrived in Cape May harbor and anchored just off the Coast Guard Station, with about 15 other sailboats. At least half of them are a group of Canadian boats we saw leaving Sandy Hook as we arrived there on Saturday. As we settled on a spot to drop our “hook,” the closest boat called out,” You can anchor near me! You have a a Rocna!” Now that made us feel good. 🙂
5 days and 241 miles. The phone calls, emails, and texts from friends and family mean so much to us while we are on this adventure. Thanks to everyone who takes a little time out of their busy days to send a note or call.
Time to make us another dinner in my little galley, at the end of a traveling day.