Sunday, September 23, 2018

Beating the clock

We are underway northbound in Delaware Bay. We've made it out of the Atlantic in the nick of time; as I type we are in very choppy two-footers on the bay with 15 knots of wind on the starboard beam. We ran out of Internet coverage just as I started to type, so I'm typing to a text file to upload later.

We dropped the hook in our usual spot in Atlantic City, New Jersey (map) right at 6 pm last night, all alone. We immediately splashed the tender and headed over to Gardiner's Marina, where we walked to the Back Bay Ale House for dinner. We wanted a casual place with draft beer, and this was a closer and easier option than heading all the way to the casino. The marina allows four hours free to eat or shop; you get the weekly gate code from the restaurant.

We ate on the porch at Back Bay. When we were in Key West we were told the "Mile 0" sign is stolen regularly from US-1. Looks like we found one.

We returned shortly after dark and immediately decked the tender. While we were away, a sailboat had come in and anchored a short distance from us; we are not the only ones migrating south in this window. An hour later another sailboat arrived and dropped their hook between us and the other sailboat. For whatever reason it did not catch and in short order they were nearly on top of us.

We went out on deck with fenders in hand, and they explained they were having windlass problems. We watched for another twenty minutes as they struggled to haul in their primary anchor and chain by hand, motored away, and set a backup anchor for the night. They left this morning before us, and we saw them heading for a marina to tie up as we passed through Cape May.

We weighed anchor at 8 am in order to be in the Cape May inlet before things got bad outside. That was just a bit early; we ended up with current against us on our way out Absecon and again on our way in to Cape May. The ride wasn't too bad, and we came in the inlet with four footers on the starboard beam.

The timing put us in the shallow part of the canal right at low tide, but the least depth we saw was eight feet. It was close enough to slack that we did not fight too much current, either. We were through the canal a little after 2 pm, which left plenty of time to make it upriver a ways. Several other boats we saw southing today stopped in Cape May, and they'll have a rough ride tomorrow if they continue. Our goal was to get off the worst part of the bay this afternoon.

To that end we have our sights set on a small neck of NJ lowlands some 25 miles upriver, near the tiny fishing community of Fortescue. The strip of beach there ought to give us some protection from these easterlies that are stirring up the bay.

That's also far enough upriver that we can make it all the way to Chesapeake City tomorrow, with a favorable tide the entire trip if we leave by 7:30. We'll spend tomorrow night in the small bay south of the Canal, and in the morning head across the canal to Schaefer's Canal House to take on fuel. We'll arrive in Chesapeake City with all tanks empty save for the 200 gallons we keep in the starboard wing tank for trim.

Update: We are anchored in Delaware Bay, just off the town of Fortescue, New Jersey (map). As we had hoped, conditions are much calmer here than when we were further out in the bay and closer to the mouth. Dinner has been cooking for the last couple of hours and we had the hook down just in time for cocktail hour.

As a side note: I also uploaded a couple of photos to yesterday's post. They had not yet transferred from my phone when I posted.

1 comment:

  1. always amazing reading your posts, totally outside of my reality to understand the currents and weather and everything to enjoy the endeavor and being safe. Happy Autumn and Happy Sewing from Iowa


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