We're Not in Wilson Anymore
02 November 2010 | Barnegat Bay, NJ
Today we SAILED on the OCEAN. It was great. We were only able to sail for about two hours, but for that time we had about 12 to 14 knots of wind on a broad reach. We had full main and 135 genoa out and were doing over 9 knots (we must have had some help from the current again, but Earendil was doing most of it herself). It was quiet and smooth and so nice. We've been motoring for so long that I was beginning to wonder if I'd find sailing stressful or too much work; not at all. Sailing is restful. The only thing you lose is the constant source of power from the alternator.
Unfortunately, once we got out past Sandy Hook and turned south, the wind was astern. We sailed off our course for a while to try and keep both sails filled, but after about a half hour decided we'd never make Barnegat Inlet if we didn't use the engine. There wasn't another place to stop in a day's sail, and with all the traffic in the area we were not ready to sail through the night. We motor-sailed with the main for a quite a while, but eventually had to take that down, too, and become a trawler with a big stick again.
Barnegat Bay has great places to anchor, but it's still too cold for us. We don't like to leave the generator run for hours and we really don't want to go without heat. So we had to find another marina. I thought in a place like this it would be easy, not so. Most of the places are set up for powerboats. They're too shallow for us. There is one yacht club and we checked that out, even though they want $3.50/ft per night. They could take us, but because of our length we'd go on a long dock with only 50 Amp power. We take 30 Amp power, and because too much power has never been a problem on Lake Ontario, we have adapters to go from 30 down to 20 or 15, but not up to 50. The club had no adapters, so we chose to go to the commercial fishing marina instead. We were warned that this was a fishing marina, we wouldn't fit in the lagoon and we'd be out near the wall. They thought they would have a place we could go that would have power. We arrived right at 4 PM and pulled in to the gas dock. Unlike gas docks that cater to pleasure boaters and have fenders or some protection all along the dock, this gas dock had no fenders and pilings on the outside, so your own fenders won't do much good. We got in with no problem. They showed us the slip we could use; it was right on the inside of their front wall. Again, the docks are lined with pilings. The commercial fishing boats don't bother with anything like fenders. Bud decided to back in, and he did it pretty well. It took a while to get the lines and fenders set up for the tide and pilings but now we are safe and secure and have power again. Earendil fits right in with the fishing boats, don't you think?
We celebrated our first sail with a seafood dinner at a local restaurant. We enjoyed it, but Fuzzy wasn't too pleased to be left alone on the boat. He does like the smells around the fish dock, though.