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.