Farley State Marina, The Golden Nugget, Atlantic City, NJ to Liberty Landing Marina, Jersey City, New Jersey — June 3, 2014

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Another nice day on tap with sunny skies.  I looked at the weather and the swells were down to 2′ to 4′ with a 10 second period. I did not mention it yesterday but the period refers to the time from peak to peak of the swells.  I had looked at doing the inside today but really did not want to do it because the number of shoaling spots was more than we saw yesterday and I did not think we could get to New York.  The North portion of the New Jersey ICW  ends at Manasquan Inlet and there is still 20 miles of Atlantic Ocean to New York City.

As we were exiting the marina there was a sport fisherman boat in front of us and he headed toward the Atlantic.  We followed and once we turned north the water was not too bad.  The swells for the most part to start were about 3′ to 4′ and they caused a rocking because they were on the beam. As we progressed the swells subsided to 2′ or less.

We were about 43 miles north of Atlantic City and we were hailed by the Coast Guard and they boarded us for a safety inspection.  We had never been boarded by the Coast Guard before today. Two Coast Guard personnel came aboard, one to ask questions and the other to record everything on their inspection  form.  I had all our paperwork in order and we had all the equipment they wanted to see so everything went smoothly and it took about 20 minutes total and we were back on out way.

The New Jersey Coastal area is just house after house after house.  The land is pretty narrow between the ICW and the Atlantic so there are minimal trees. I guess everybody wants there place on the water. We watched this for mile after mile.  The total trip to NYC was about 105 miles on the Atlantic.

We did see some dolphins about 30 miles south of New York City.  They did not play in the wake and it was only the dorsal fins that come up out of the water several times. It was nice to see them anyway.

New York entrance harbor is huge.  It must be about 10 miles by 10 miles once you make the turn past Sandy Hook New Jersey.  We did see several freighters and a few pleasure boats. The marked Channels cross in several directions.  The charts showed the water was deep even outside the channel but there is a certain comfort of staying in the marked channels.

The Liberty Landing Marina was pretty busy.  They had probably 6 “Around The World” racing sailboats in the harbor along with some support boats.  We had called from about 10 miles out and after several minutes they said they had a slip for us.  As we entered the harbor area we called on the radio and we drifted around for another 30 minutes or so while they finally found us a slip.  We spent some time listening to the dockhands talk about where they were going to get lunch from even though it was already early afternoon. I had thoughts about trying to find another marina but the proximity to New York City and the location of the ferry to NCY is great not to mention the spectacular vies of Manhattan.

We were going to go to dinner at the Landings Restaurant but the rain started about 5:00 and lasted into the late evening. The forecast was for heavy rain and thunderstorms, but all we had was heavy rain. We ate aboard.  Humbug, Carol Anne and Off Leash were all behind us some distance and will probably show up tomorrow.  They all stayed in Cape May the day we left because they did not want to do the inside and Off Leash couldn’t because of bridge clearance. I called Humbug and found out they were in Atlantic City with Carol Anne and Off Leash was somewhere north of them at an anchorage.

Utsch Marina, Cape May, NJ to Farley State Marina, The Golden Nugget Casino, Atlantic City, NJ — June 2, 2014

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We looked at the weather forecast in the morning and the winds were to be 20 knots out of the SSW and there were 4′ to 6′ swells out of the east with a period of 10 seconds.  I had read a lot of reports on the inside New Jersey ICW.  Some were not so good that the water was pretty shallow and others were that if you were careful you could manage it.

We decide on the inside route on the ICW. I had Active Captain on my IPhone so I had access to the reported shoals along the way. It was one of the most taxing days I have spent on the water.  The New Jersey ICW is anything but straight and there is a constant turning and checking the buoys to make sure you are in the channel. Also tracking where the shoaling is so they can be avoided and then the fisherman.  With so much shallow water they want to fish the edge of the channel and they really do not want to move for the boats in the ICW. There was one boat that was did not move and he was only about 50′ from the channel marker and I went thru that 50′.  He did not seem to happy about it.  Some of these guys think you can go anywhere to avoid them.

The ICW scenery in the undeveloped areas looked a lot like the low country from Georgia and South Carolina.  The cities were nice and as we came into Atlantic City we went thru a pretty tight area that was heavily developed with residential along the shores and boats moored in front of the houses.  These were not large houses but more like the smaller homes you would find in a densely populated city. We had to request 4 bridge openings because the streets were about 10′ above the waterway. It was pretty interesting because we had not seen this before.

The Farley State Marina is attached to the Golden Nugget Casino.  The marina office is not what you would call your typical marina office.  You are treated more like a guest at the Casino Hotel than a normal marina.  It is a very large marina and there was some grass for Candy although we had to do some scouting to find it.

We ate dinner in the Casino at Lillie’s.  It is an oriental restaurant and the food was really good.  We were able to sit and have wine and eat our dinner while we watched all these people losing their money at the slot machines. The people watching was quite interesting. They even allow mothers with their strollers into the Casino. We left the Casino without even placing a bet.

Delaware City Marina, Delaware City, DE to Utsch Marina, Cape May, NJ — June 1, 2014

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We planned on staying 1 night in Delaware City.  The marina has a weather briefing every evening at 5:15, right after the latest NOAA weather predictions are posted. It is probably one of the better weather briefings we have encountered because they apply local knowledge to the computer generated weather model. Well all that said we ended up staying 1 extra night because of the wind on the Delaware River and Delaware Bay.

We had a nice dinner at Crabby Dick’s restaurant with Humbug and Carol Anne.  We met up with them when we arrived in Cape May.  We will loosely travel with them to New York City to help celebrated the completion of their Loops. Off Leash went ahead to Cape May the day we arrived in Delaware City because the weather was good.

Cape May is about 60 miles down the waterway and the Bay is pretty large.  We started out and the water was really calm and we had an outgoing tide that helped.  We passed a couple of container ships that were headed up to Philadelphia. There were a lot of fishing boats headed out toward the Atlantic and they set up some good wakes but they were far enough away that we were not bothered to much.

The day was sunny and stayed that way for the whole trip.  The approach to Cape May is thru a canal so you do not need to go out on the Atlantic Ocean to enter thru the Cape May inlet.  This canal also has a ferry dock where they shuttle cars from the south shore of the Bay to the north shore.

The canal is about 5 miles long and the local boaters go as fast as they can to reach the other end.  We had caught Humbug and Carol Anne at the bottom of the Bay. They had left Delaware City about an 1 1/2 hours before us.  It had started to get a little lumpy on the Bay so we picked up the speed for the last 45 minutes.

We stayed at a new marina this year, Utsch Marina. Everyone else decide to stay here so we followed suit.  Off Leash was on the docks to greet us when we pulled in. There were quite a few Looper Boats in the marina so Humbug organized a docktails party on the dock between Fruitcakes and Off Leash. Fruitcakes is the trawler we met in Delaware City that is from South Carolina and they have been on the Loop 5 weeks.

Great time at docktails talking with the boats from Canada and a variety of US ports.  Everybody was swapping stories and looking forward to moving north to New York City.

South Jersey Marina, Cape May NJ. to Liberty Landing Marina, Jersey City NJ (New York) — May 29, 2013

Check the weather this morning and it did not look too bad.  NOAA said 2′ to 4′ waves with winds 10 to 15 mph out of the Southwest.  I had talked to the Marina Dock Master and he said they deliver boats to New York all the time and as long as there is a westerly component to the wind you can follow the buoy line about a mile or so offshore and have a good ride.  We decided to stick our heads out and see what it was like.  The water at the end of the jetty was pretty bad but that only lasted several hundred feet.  After that we needed to get out another 1/2 mile and then turn northeast.  The waves were really from the southeast and they were at least 2 to 4’s with some larger in the mix.  NOAA had said 8 second on the wave period (crest to crest) and I think that was pretty good estimate.  When we turned northeast to follow the Jersey Coast we had the waves on the stern quarter and things were not too bad.  After we passed the second buoy, about 9 miles, things seemed to settle down a little and the course was a little more northerly.  We did the cruise on plane and we had a good run.  The water just got better as we went along but it was a pretty good ride.  The total cruise from dock to dock was 149 miles.

The New Jersey shoreline is developed with most a the shore wall to wall condos and houses.  There were some large beaches near the north end but that is a shore line that is about 100 miles long.  Lots and lots of people have their place on the water in New Jersey.  We traveled most of the time about 1 to 2 miles off shore so it was easy to see the development.

There were a few boats moving North.  Most of the power boats were running on plane but we also saw a lot of sailboats moving along at about 8 to 9 miles per hour.  There was some commercial traffic on the water and I was surprised at the New York Harbor.  First the size because from the entry into the initial channel to the mouth of the inner harbor at the Verrazano Bridge is about 10 miles. Second, there was only one freighter we saw on the cruise in and you can see the pictures of it.  The freighter moved pretty quickly in the outer harbor but the pilot barely had him moving in the inner harbor.

We did see 2 different schools of dolphins along the way out in the ocean.  I was surprised because I thought they were warm water fish and the water temp was 55. We waited to see if they would swim and jump the wake but neither school showed any interest.

We were disappointed that the weather was as hazy as it was.  It was not great for picture taking.  We did get some good pictures of the harbor, New York and Jersey City. The most traffic on the River was the ferry traffic and they do not cut any slack for anybody so you need to keep a sharp eye on where they are and where they are headed.  They also set up a tremendous wake.

We did pass the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on the way in and got a few photos.  They also have cruises to the Statue of Liberty besides all the ferries with people moving from one area to the other.

We are staying at the Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City because of the great view of Manhattan and there is a ferry dock about 500 feet from our slip.  The ferry wake does rock the boats in the harbor but we are in far enough that the rocking is not to bad.  Good floating docks and that is needed because the tide is about 4′.  We went to the Liberty Landing Restaurant last night and it was good and had a pretty interesting patio area.  They have cabanas outside for the patrons as well as the open air tables.  They also have a chess board with large pieces.  The chess pieces are about 4′ high and it is interesting to see the people playing chess and moving the pieces.

We went to New York today on the ferry and walked parts of Little Italy and China Town. From the ferry we used taxis between the major points and walked the rest.  New York is pretty interesting in that it is so wall to wall buildings and they are really old with the fire escapes on the front walls down to the street.  The traffic moves but the delivery tracks just seem to stop right where they need to make a delivery and block that land for whatever time it takes and that seems to be SOP.  Certainly a lot of people everywhere.  We spent about 5 hours away to give Candy a good nap time.

Delaware City Marina, DE. to South Jersey Marina, Cape May, NJ — May 27, 2013

I got up early today to see what was going on.  By the time Candy and I came out of the boat at 5:45, 9 boats had left the dock and the marina owner was there tossing the line on the last one to leave.  He said he would help us off the dock and I said it would be another hour before we were ready and he said to give him a call.

Candy had a regular morning walk and we went back to the boat to wake up Lenore to get the process of leaving started.  We were on the water motoring out of the marina at just before 7:00.  The sky was clear but it was cool, the tide was going out and the wind was light and variable.  The tide gave us a boost of about 3 mph as we went down the Delaware River.

We passed the Salem Nuclear Power Plant a couple of miles east of the marina cut.  The typical cooling tower and domes similar to the Fermi Plant on Lake Erie.  Lots of traffic on the river even at the early hour.  Although 9 boats left before us we never passed one of the nine on the way to Cape May. We motored along at 1000 rpm and without any current that is 8.3 mph.  Today we went from a high of 12.0 mph to a low of 6.1 mph.  You can almost do the tide table times by the speed.

There was a lot of traffic on the river, pleasure boats, freighters and tugs with barges.  The last several days have been pretty windy around here with gale warnings.  Talking with the marina owner this morning he mentioned that they had 5 boats capsized on the Delaware River over the weekend with one fatality.  The river at Delaware City is probably 2 miles wide and by the time it gets to the Atlantic Ocean, 50 nautical miles East, it is over 10 miles wide.  All the boats that capsized were small boats and should not have been out on the water in the wind conditions.

As we approached Cape May I commented to Lenore that all the pleasure traffic heading home after the weekend made the water a lot like Lake St. Clair,  moguls, with the waves coming in 10 different directions.  The New Jersey boaters have similar manners as the Lake St. Clair boaters do, “Every Man For Himself”.

We arrived in Cape May just before 2:00 and are staying at the South Jersey Marina.  Their primary customers are Charter Fishing Boats with over 1/2 of the boats charters.  They even have one large boat that goes out for the full day and probably had room 60 or 70 fishermen on it.  We saw one boat had caught a Mako Shark that weighed about 250 to 300 lbs. and would have won last years shark tournament.  5 guys had all they could do to get the shark off the dock into a cart to take it to get weighed.

We had dinner tonight with a couple from “Not So Fast” an American Tug trawler that we met last night at Docktails. They are also staying at South Jersey Marina.  They are from Florence Alabama and are doing the Loop.  They are headed to Atlantic City tomorrow and we, weather permitting, are headed to New York City.  Dinner was good and the talk was great.