Friday, June 22, 2012

New Joisey (Er, I mean “Jersey”) – Going On Out To Get On Up.


Atlantic City, NJ

Tuesday was going to be good cruising day to make our first ocean transit from Cape May to Atlantic City, NJ. Winds were light from the south and, like so many of our cruises, the conditions in the first half would be different than the second half. Fortunately the only difference would be wave size. The lower half of the course would have one to three foot waves. The second half would show two to four foot waves. But they were not too challenging in that the wave periods, the time between waves, would be seven to nine seconds. So the effect would be that the waves were more of rolling swells without breakers on top. We weren’t crashed by waves. Well, the forecasts held up and it turned out to be somewhat of a non-event. The seas were very manageable and the cruise was AOK in every other respect.

Very shortly on the trip we were able to start seeing some of the high rise casinos of Atlantic City. To be able to see our objective in a cruise is somewhat relieving. Even if something catastrophic happened, namely the chart plotter fizzling out, we could at least see where we were suppose to end up and be able to go “that-a-way”. The paper charts would do the rest.
Ain't nothing out there but water.

Atlantic City NJ

We pulled into the first little bay after entering Absecon Inlet (That’s the name of the inlet in Atlantic City.) and quickly found our spot for the night: a tidy little marina attached to a tourist-y kind of area, and in particular an aquarium. They had a nice piece of facing dock waiting for us and we neatly pulled in and got tied up. We actually went to the aquarium to pay our docking bill. The area was nice and clean with a nice restaurant named “Scales” right next to our boat and marina. We had lunch at Scales and since Why Knot was right there in front of us our waiter recognized us and we started up a pleasant conversation about out adventures. We also did go to the aquarium as admission was free with a docking. It was an ok aquarium. They did have several cool pools where you could touch different fish including some tiny little sharks and some cownose rays. They also had a very large ocean turtle. Lisa wanted to bring that back to the boat as our boat pet but I firmly put my foot down to that.
A view of our table from the boat...

and a view of our boat from the table.

The little inlet as seen from the bow.

Atlantic City

The sun came out in a bright sunshine, which was a nice change as for the last several days there has been a grey cloudy shroud over the area. All in all it was a good first day out into the blue and good afternoon and evening in Atlantic City.

Manesquan

Ed. - Sorry. No pictures from Manesquan. Nothing worth taking a picture of.

The conditions for our next leg up the New Jersey coast were as close to ideal that you could get. Southerly winds at five to ten knots with seas of two feet or less. They were so good that we made a change to our float plan and decided to skip going into Barneget Bay completely and proceed on up the coast to Manesquan Bay.

How do I put this politely? Manesquan Bay and harbor was a mess. It was shallow and there were boats everywhere in the narrow channels. One thing we have noticed that unlike in southern locales where the boaters are polite, follow the rules of the road and are very cognizant of how each other can effect everyone else, the further north we go it seems that it’s more like, “Screw the rules. Every mariner for themselves.” While Manesquan Bay and harbor had the appropriate “no wake zone” signs they were largely ignored. It was choppy and a bit tough to get around.

Our marina was Clarks Landing Marina and while it was a nice enough marina it is obviously made for recreational and charter fishing boats. The piling slips were very narrow. The finger docks were nothing more than a couple of 2x10 boards nailed from the dock to the nearest piling. I had a devil of a time getting the boat into our slip. Fortunately, Sal, the dock master was on top the things and he helped me out a whole lot. Major props to Sal. But any port is a good port.

We left Manesquan on Thursday morning June, 21st. Again the conditions were ripe to make a bold move up the coast and instead of curling back around Sandy Hook at the mouth of New York Harbor and hooking up to a mooring field we decided to take the plunge and go ahead and head up the harbor past the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan on up to a local marina. In other words we are going to New York City…by boat!