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The First Mate's Journal
Where to next?
Great Lakes to The Bahamas
[ Contents ]
Cape May ChannelSunny - too sunny - I'm tired...
09/30/2008, Cape May, NJ
Sunrise was amazing... I know, I know, it always is for me right? But it was. Twilight showed fog and clouds on the water and when the sun started to rise you could see a slice of red showing through the clouds which built into a brilliant red inverted semi-circle and proceeded to grow into a huge shimmering red orb that burst into a bright orange, then yellow. Spectacular. Radar off, autohelm off (that was a major success for us once we figured out how to hook it up, and use it) - we reached the entrance to the Cape May Channel. Sails tucked away, everything off. Time for some shuteye at long last. We're anchored on the east side of the Coast Guard channel. There are 4 other boats here and an Island Packet that we recognized from Sandy Hook followed us and then led the way to where we're anchored. Boats keep coming in.
Atlantic HighlandsCloudy to partly sunny. Mid 70ís, winds 10-15 knots, seas 3-6 with long period swells.
After coffee, we tidied up, hauled up the dingy, and then tackled the anchor. Got ready to leave this morning. Started hauling in the anchor at 9:00 Tried to hail Flying Pig on the radio to say good bye and wish them safe passage but they didn't have their radio on. We finally got going a little after 10:00. The chop heading out was confused and the crabbers were out all over the entrance checking out their traps. Once we got around Sandy Hook point the waves calmed and the swell dominated. It really is similar to coastal cruising along Lake Michigan only it seems a bit shallower here along the coast of New Jersey. We're following the plot I set up a week ago and after making sandwiches for lunch, Wayne has the helm and I'm catching up on the computer.
Last night in Tar Pit Harbor, NJFoggy/drizzly/rainy day; Seas nil, wind nil
09/28/2008, Atlantic Highlands, NJ
After a breakfast of sausage & eggs we lollygagged a bit. Wayne didn't want to go into town until later in the day. After noon we dingied to the marina and headed to the hardware store for replacement parts for the boat and Skip but they closed at 1:00pm and we got there at 1:10pm. The marine store was also closed, so we headed to the grocery store and picked up some stuff, then to the beer/wine store for beer and headed back to the boat. Put the pop/beer and food into the refrigerator and noted that a lot of boats were now surrounding us and coming in. It seemed prudent to bring in the second anchor that we'd put out during all the foul weather since it was becoming more crowded in the anchorage. The second anchor was stuck in the mud like it was anchored in cement and the rope had twisted around the other anchor chain a couple of times so we spent a good hour and a half getting those untangled and the second anchor hauled in. I wish I'd have had my camera ready because as Wayne hauled up the anchor there were little crabs hanging on to the rope and coming up with anchor rope. I plucked them off and threw them back in. We finally got the anchor in and washed off (what a mess). There's some mighty dense black muck under us that came up with the anchor that looked and had the consistency of tar interspersed with small white shells in it. It seemed like it took forever to get that anchor up. There was no way we were going to drag. It was set quite well after almost a week! I downloaded pictures from my camera and called Flying Pig to let them know I'd be sending them a few shots I had of them in the fog. I also wanted to touch base with them to see if they were leaving tomorrow - the prognosis is good for us to get out and head toward Cape May (finally) and I know they were either heading for Cape Hatterus or Miami depending on the weather and whether their friends could make it there or not. I'm so glad that they were one of our first contacts (as far as the cruising community goes). They set a high standard for us to emulate and I truly hope that we run into them in the Bahamas.