A Long Day
03 November 2010 | Cape May, New Jersey
The next good stop on our way was Cape May and it is a long way from Barnegat Inlet. We started out as soon as we could see. Since it was a clear morning, we were on our way at 6:50 AM.
We motored in light wind for about 3 hours. The wind picked up and from a favorable direction so we set the sails. We got all three sails flying (main, genoa and staysail) and the wind immediately dropped off. Within a half hour we had the genoa and staysail furled again and were motor-sailing with just the main. That was a lot of work without any gain. You can see in the picture how hard Fuzzy was working. That's his typical sailing position.
We might have had better speed under sail, but the prop wouldn't set again. We had this problem earlier this summer and thought it was fixed. Our transmission is hydraulic, so there's no gear to hold the prop still. We have a Max-prop which is supposed to feather to reduce the drag. When it works, the prop stops spinning. When it doesn't work, the prop spins, the shaft spins and the transmission spins. It makes a terrible whine. Anyway, yesterday the prop set perfectly. Today, no go. We sailed anyway because it's not supposed to hurt the transmission, but it's terribly annoying. I'm sure we put the engine on sooner than we might have otherwise.
We sailed past Atlantic City and I added a couple of photos to the gallery. I started a new album now that we're on the ocean, just thought it would be easier to view the pictures if there weren't too many in any one album.
Altogether we went over 76 miles. That's a long day at about 7 mph. We got here to the marina just after 5, by the time we bought fuel and got in our slip it was going on 6.
The folks at this marina are very nice, but it's another one not set up for sailboats. Bud did a masterful job maneuvering. You have to make a 90-degree turn to the left to go from the main channel to their entrance channel. Then you have to make a 90-degree turn to the right to get in the opening in their bulkhead, and it's not all that wide an opening. We came straight in the marina main channel to the end; where Bud had to pull, bow first, into a slip for fuel. Once fueled, he had to back out, and come back out the channel a bit to our assigned slip. There wasn't room to just back out and turn, Bud had to go forward and back again to get turned. The slip was next to a 48-foot powerboat. The man and woman came out and were ready to fend as Bud began to make his turn into the slip, but no fending was necessary. I could see how worried the man was seeing a 44-foot sailboat with one engine and no thrusters try to pull in next to him from a narrow channel, but in the end, he just stood and watched and said, "Nice job."
It was about 7:30 by the time the sails were tidied. We still had to walk to a convenience store and cook and eat. We are both really tired. The bad part is we have another long day tomorrow! We need to make it around the point of Cape May and up into Delaware Bay tomorrow, as the wind and waves are going to pick up through the day and all day Friday. If the weather wasn't going to turn bad, I'd love to stay here an extra day. It wouldn't be an issue if we could take the Cape May Canal and skip going out around the point, but there are two bridges with only 55 feet of clearance. That 63-foot mast is causing problems again.
Sailing on a deadline (even as vague a deadline as coming winter) is not so much fun. I'm still dreaming of warm weather and lazy days!