Saturday, May 20, 2017

Day 28 to Day 31 ... Del Bay, Cape May, Atlantic Ocean and Tow Boat US

Day 28 ... May 16, 2017   -  56.3 Miles traveled in 6 Hours    
Bohemia Bay Yacht Harbor to Hancock Harbor Marina
Leaving Bohemia Bay Yacht Harbor
Spent two extra days at BBYH as winds in the Delaware Bay would not have been kind. Lots of walks and a swim time or two for Cally. Books read by Rip and I. Food prepped for the next few days to make things easier and quicker while at anchor.
heading into the C&D Canal 
Left BBYH at 8:40am to time the tide/current in our favor in the C&D Canal. I enjoy the Canal. Boat traffic was light and no big ships, made for an easy cruise. We bypassed Delaware City and into the Delaware Bay. Going part way down the Bay makes tomorrow's run much shorter.
C&D Canal
Chesapeake City; water front on the C&D canal

Look how close the shore is in the canal ... and it is 40-50' deep almost to shore
the view down to water from my seat in the fly bridge, where we usually run the boat from

I HATE the Delaware Bay. I've had two trips on it so far (Rip's had more but doesn't like it much either), this is my third and first going south (south on DB but actually going north), and none were fun. Today was beautiful and calm. My kind of day. However, the Delaware Bay is STILL boring! There just isn't anything to see and really only one place to stop for the night.
Salem Nuke Planet on Delaware Bay
Cohansey Cove or Cohansey River ... each with access to a tiny island with beach for Cally to go ashore. Otherwise, just marshes. There are two marinas up river. We tried reaching one, but couldn't get anyone to answer. The other had an awful review on Active Captain and didn't look easily approachable.
Our original view for the night with the Nuke plant in the background
The cove looked great and the island beach was close. The only winds this cove didn't protect against was from the S-SW. Guess where the winds were from and to be overnight? Yep, S-SW. Not high winds, but who trusts the forecasters? 2:45 pm. So, into the river we go, find a spot, anchor and head off to the island for Cally.

Rip tries to set a stern anchor, but it does not want to set. A bit later he realizes the swift current has the boat 90 degrees from the wind. We should be pointing into the wind. Not good. And, it appears we are dragging and right over the anchor and chain. Rip takes the dinghy out and, with the stern anchor rode (line) pulls the boat around and off the chain. With deep water up to the grasses we had too much scope to to swing (which would without a stern anchor) so, we pull anchor and go looking for a calmer spot. Once we are underway ... we can look back and see a small "standing wave" right where we are were anchored. 
The peaceful view above the STANDING WAVE
Once more we try the first marina. No answer. We get close and cannot see anyone, but looks like space on their floating dock. We pull up to the dock anyway. Another boater takes a line to help and tells where to find Ron to pay. As we get tied up along the dock, over comes Ron. We pay, in cash, and I have to write the receipt. Otherwise, Ron has to take our charge card to his boss's house to run it. No thanks.
The new view for the night
We settle in for the night. Not much of a marina. But appears to be mostly a waterfront for the restaurant, which is closed on Tuesdays. They have fuel. They have free WiFi, but no one knows the code on Tuesday's. There is a single bathroom, but Rip says not to use it. Just a toilet, without any enclosure, in a room with a door that won't close all the way, but with a washer, dryer and water heater. Again, no thanks.

They do have some cool artifacts on land ... including a space ship looking thing, or saucer shaped pod, that Rip says is a famous iconic Futuro house. (
But, here it is. And at night they had it lit with a green light from inside the rusted out shell.

Day 29 ... May 17, 2017   -  45.2 Miles traveled in 5 Hours    
Hancock Harbor Marina to Cape May
Entering the Cape May Cape from the Delaware Bay
Today's cruise was altogether much better. Delaware Bay was a bit more active, still boring; on the DB, that is a good thing. As we pulled into Cape May Canal we passed the ferry terminal; 2 ferries run to Lewes, DE and back 12 months of the year.

Ferry Terminal at Cape May
Canal was pretty and easy enough to travel. We picked an anchorage by the Coast Guard Station. They had a pretty beach, but access was not allowed. We had to travel to the other side of their property to a beach to land Cally for business. We heard Coasties chant as they ran or otherwise trained. Kind of neat when a trumpet played as they lowered their flag for the night. 
Lots of traffic to watch from this anchorage; pleasure and commercial boats passing by all day. Lots of tug/barge activity; moving things around, off loading workers for the night to return to shore. 
Tugs moving barges every which way
Fred aboard North Star, a Nordic Tug, with Cape May Coast Guard Station in the background
Tomorrow's run is either (see pic below) to the left (under the bridge) and take the inside passage (the NJ ICW is NOT preferred due to notoriously shallow winding route) or to go out the inlet to the right (over far right by the sailboat blue sail cover) and out the Cape May inlet to the Atlantic Ocean (much preferred IF weather, winds and currents allow)

Day 30 ... May 18, 2017   -  44.4 Miles traveled in 5 Hours    
Cape May to Brigantine Anchorage, Absecon Inlet, Atlantic City, NJ

Leaving the big city behind
Atlantic Ocean!!
Got to love all the beautiful ocean water
 Atlantic Ocean we went. A bit more rolling than perfect, but still a great day. Rip tacked a bit as we went north, to keep the waves on our aft quarter and not on our beam (side) so as to reduce the affect of the waves (2-4' with 5 second wave period) and rolling. 
Cally knows it wont be long now
Atlantic City comes into sight and Cally know it wont be long until she can go to shore. 
Just off the Atlantic City inlet (Absecon Inlet) is a cove like lake; a bit tricky to get in but we had good directions from Active Captain reviews. Nice quiet place for the night.

A Noric Tug with Fred aboard, single handling the boat pulled in behind us. We had seen him in Delaware Bay, then happened to anchor by him in Cape May (blue hull boat in pic earlier in this post by Coast Guard Station). On our first trip to shore, Cally and I stopped the dinghy by his boat and invited him over to drinks later. Fred lives on his boat (12 years now) and had done the loop 5 or 6 years ago. We enjoyed talking with him, the couple hours he spent on the boat.
Lab Partners with the view of Atlantic City beyond
taken while on a dinghy ride with Cally to shore
Didn't realize everything on shore would be lit up for the night. Including the large gray/blue building ... it was a rolling billboard all night long.

Day 31 ... May 19, 2017   -  39.5 Miles traveled in 6 Hours    
Brigantine Anchorage, Absecon Inlet, Atlantic City, NJ to Spenser's Bay Marina, Waretown, NJ
Leaving Atlantic City behind
Not our best day on the water. All started well as Rip successfully navigated out the tight inlet of the lake, only an hour or so after low tide, we had anchored in for the night. We decided to take the inside route (verses the ocean) as it has been dredged since Hurricane Sandy and deemed to be much better. We left on a rising tide, so water levels would be better as we went along. What we didn't account for was the stiff westerly winds blowing water out.
People anchor there shallow draft boats and walk out onto the flats
to dig for clams
Rip was going slow to thread between markers 157 and 156A, the latter having been moved very close to the former (we knew about the shallow and narrow areas we were traveling), but as we passed 156A we were hit with a gust from the west (our port side) and that nudge was enough to run us into too shallow of water for us.  Yep, we went aground. With the wind trying to blow us further off the deeper water. Rip first tried to back us off, but our boat backs to starboard which would take us toward the shallow water.  So, he dropped the main anchor and threw out a stern anchor to keep us in place, so things would not get worse ... and called Tow Boat US. We have their Unlimited Gold Towing Policy; just in case. Fred, in the Nordic Tug came passed, not more than one boat length from us and was in 6.5' of water. More than we needed. And, with nothing he could do to help us, he wished us luck and he moved on.
Guy is almost to his waist in water, but digging for clams
Less than 20 mins later, Tow Boat US shows up and pulls us over to deep water ... and ... like a slingshot, over to shinny water on the other side and aground again. Yep, harder aground than we had been. After a bit tougher pull than the first time, he had us off and in the deeper water channel. Once past the known narrow channel at marker 156A, we dropped the tow line, but we followed him out to the more open water of Great Bay. Less than an hour of delay and we were on our way again.
Following Tow Boat US to more open water
Looks like there ought to be deep water everywhere, right? NOT!
Still, lots of winding channels and shifting shallow water to go to get to our destination for the night. Beach Haven, NJ was a cute area to pass by. Lots of fun beachy houses. Not more than 3 or 4 blocks from this side to the ocean side. 
Look how close that set of marks to go between are to those houses!!!!
All that water to the left is too shallow for our boat and we only need 4'
thought is group of brightly painted homes were attractive
though there is an amusement park behind or beside it
Finally, the last 2 miles were more normal open waters (not really deeper but not a 30 or 40 foot wide channel like 156A) of Barnegat Bay, NJ. Based on location in along our desired route, aerial views of the docks, price and reviews ... we chose Spenser's Bay Marina. And what a great find this has been for us. Spenser has gone out of his way to be helpful and friendly. For a small marina, we are amazed at how immaculate the place is and how well thought out things are here. PLUS, laundry is dirt cheap at a $1 a load per machine (free detergent & anti static cling sheets) and free ice!! Plus, he has an amazing inventory of supplies and parts with great prices. The spacious bathrooms are recently redone, too. Oh, and a courtesy SUV for me to take to the grocery store tomorrow!! 
The marina for the next few nights
No place to walk Cally ... not one blade of grass on his property (all rocks, gravel & pebbles; but a cute beachy neighborhood to walk Cally. No problem. After the day we had, we decided to treat ourselves to Chinese food delivery. Upon further inquiry with the folks at the Spencer's Ship's Store, our neighbor was going into town for Chinese. So, he took our money and order, too. The three of us had a nice dinner on board our boat. A little TV and it was lights out for the three of us ... Cally, Rip and I.
Spenser's Bay Marina
We are here for a couple days to wait out weather (plus got a great deal from Spenser for staying longer). Jim, the neighboring boat owner, told us about the amazing inventory of parts. Indeed, a new variable speed freshwater pump, that Rip had been thinking about buying and installing, he was able to buy for $50.00 less than the average online price he could find. SO, another boat project starts tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Cross the channel from the marina; lots of finger canals
where everyone is water front and has space for a boat
not a great water view, but quick access to your boat and Barnegat Bay


  1. Really fun to catch up on your adventures.

  2. It was a pleasure to meet you and share a meal with you!
    Have a safe trip-
    Fair Seas and clean Racors!
    Neighbor Jim