Our little boat in jersey city

Night time view Liberty House Rest.

Daytime view Liberty House Rest.

Charlie being a Tour guide

Miss Liberty

Crowded Buoy

Safely tucked away in Cape May


October 12, 2014

Sunday: So after the rainy Saturday (10/4) on that big yellow mooring ball, being tossed around at the whim of every wake and tidal change, we are ready to move. The weather is good and our friend "Charlie" from the "Big Apple" is going to ride with us 5 point something miles down the River to "Liberty Landing Marina", which is officially NJ and "Jersey City". It works good after some anxiety getting off the ball in such fickle current. What a ride! The boat traffic with the urban landscape is exciting. Really, every kind of boat in one small place. From Ships to kayaks all attempting to share space and doing it quite well. Some radio transmissions about a dead whale in the water? Yes, there were. Humm. In an hour we were in front of the entrance to the little canal taking us into the big marina. I had called and was to land on the fuel dock to get my slip assignment. I'm supposed to look up "Quammi" the dockmaster. Another friend who spent a lot of time here, told me that. The boat traffic is big. We docked gracefully but in front of the gasoline pump...shucks, the diesel is all the way down the dock where a humungous cruiser is. So I walk down the dock, meet Quammi, and there is an argument going on between a marina employee and a boat person. Quammi looks like he doesn't want to be part of the argument and he offers me jerry jugs to get my 20 gallons of fuel. Not what I expected, but this dock is constant boats fueling up. Not small boats. The amount of fuel pumping now for this boat at the diesel pump: stops at $2900, a little over 700 gallons. I'd better just take the jugs and be happy. Charlie comforts me and helps me pour the four jugs into the deck fill. My bill is 86 dollars. Then I learn my slip is D12..."hey Cap, that's a stern in starboard tie" over the radio he says that. Where is this guy that just assigns slips from the radio? Now, I just do it? Where is D12 anyway? Quammi is the man. After he disappeared for a while filling us with angst, he returns and reassured he would be standing at D12. He was, and all worked out. We're tied up at Liberty Landing! Sign in, and all is well .Very nice place and busy with an unbelievable view of the Manhattan skyline: better than the 79th Street place. Charlie caught the water taxi back to Manhattan, and we, tired to beat the band, ate some boat food, starred at the skyline and poof, you guessed it, the day was again over. I've wanted to be in my own boat at this place for ten years. And we are here.

Monday: We need supplies today. Liberty Landing is bustling. Lots of liveaboards heading off to work in all directions. We see the store with super expensive stuff which also has a separate dockmaster desk guy. That's where the radio transmissions came from yesterday. Showers, lounge with televisions, and a couple restaurants are all either in this building or within sight. There are 520 slips here with all the service you could ever want, I learn. Our friends Doug and Mary, they're coming over here just for fuel and moving on to an anchorage to get weather for the overnight ocean trip to Cape May and my friend Bob is going to visit us later today. Did I say, "overnight on the ocean!", oh yes that's next for us too. Better think about that for a while. Oh, we walk to shop and enjoy it...Anchor stayed aboard for this one. Upon return Bob arrives about four and we decide to walk to a place named "Brightside" tavern. A nice place, and upon finishing our fare a guy named Tommy comes over. He's the owner. He makes earnest small talk, and before you know it, he is committed to riding us back to the marina. We graciously agreed. Bob leaves about 9:30 and again we stare at the skyline, thinking :my little town of Montour Falls has two traffic lights. Poof!

Tuesday: We have to think about leaving. We were going to go down to Atlantic Highlands YC and stay tonight. We would be closer to the ocean. The weather says 20-30 knots from the south. That's no good. We might's well stay here and the chart indicates it's 17.3 miles from here to where we want to start our ocean mileage, so why not just go from here. We'll go a bit further but not have to backtrack any as if we were in the Highlands. Lisa and Anchor agree, but we'll go tomorrow when the wind is supposed to be less and from the west. We relax and in the evening we go to the "Liberty House" restaurant for our "last meal" before an overnight ride. Great restaurant and great view. The day is over, poof.

Wednesday: We want to go. Still gusty wind. Is it south or west? Dang. The forecast kind of indicates the wind is still going to be strong at night time tonight. I have two big power cruisers on each side of me and one has a mega million bow sprit spot light for me to take out on my turn out of here. I don't know. I ask around a bit and find some others are debating same issue. We reluctantly decide to stay yet another day here and leave Thursday am. Must have been meant to be as a guy named Dennis comes up and says, he heard we were headed out and he wanted to talk. He's on a 37 foot C&C and never did this before and may be we could compare notes staying in touch on the way. Somehow the "never having done it before people" all find each other. OK, so off to the "Brightside Tavern" again. Where better to compare notes? Dennis is our contemporary and just doing it alone. Yepper, stayed too long there, but we convinced Tommy (who sang to us on his karaoke machine) he didn't need to drive us home, we would be careful crossing the streets and could walk. We did. Doug and Mary called to say they were doing fine on the ocean. Hummm. Once again poof.

Thursday and Friday: These days must go together as they are one. We are out at 9:50am. Still some west wind gusts but no issues. I did alert our neighbors to tend to me as I pulled out. Here we go and Dennis is supposed to follow us in an hour or so. This will be one long event. The beginning has all the splendor one could ask for, from Ellis Island to the Statute of Liberty to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, and NOT "across the fruited plain" we go. It's out into the ocean we go. Confused seas and the west wind coming across the bay make me think my stomach may cause me trouble. I don't say anything. Don't want to make anyone nervous. Lisa looks good. Anchor hates this and just stares at me when she has the chance. Jeepers, there are a lot of channel makers. I had a double reefed main sail and stay sail just for ceremony as the goal is to go to Cape May and get there and safely. Sailing will be secondary and ceremonial. I wish it would be different, but it's not. There is a tug boat behind us towing a barge: I mean crazy. That barge is a mile behind and that cable between them is a certain disaster should one screw up. Note to self: don't screw up. "Hey, Lisa, what is that obstruction over there?" It is grey and sticking out..and it spouted. Can it be a dolphin? No, too big. Big, blowing water in the air and...holy cow, I mean holy whale, there's a tail. Yes sir, people that was a whale. Only got a glimpse, but that tail left us with little doubt. I guess that was the big excitement....as, we, have to do this all night long. I don't like the way the wind is west but the swells are from the south. I guess that was because the south wind for two days built it all up. We have great speed to start because it was an outgoing tide, so we are moving at 7 knots. However, as darkness sets in and the tide reverses so does our boat speed. I think the sail has only stabilized us and not really done a lot more, and in the dark, here, for the first time, may be we should "baton down the hatches" so to speak. I got rid of the sails and focused on navigation. We are tired and should be. It's now almost dark. Dennis is out there. We could see him in Binoculars. Hey, there is another ketch style sailboat to our port side hobby horsing in this stuff like us and he cuts in front of us and calls us on the radio. Thankfully we hear, and he explains he is a local fisherman, now sailing and we should follow him in closer to get smoother water for better speed. He's going in at "Barnegat Light" and he will give us advice up to that point for the next couple hours. He helped a lot for the night time lights are plentiful and now we are in closer to shore. We are still a couple of miles offshore. Our radio friend on "Twilight" goes in and we are alone, all alone in the night on the Atlantic Ocean. The lights are only understandable after you get close enough to envision the whole picture and not for the first two hours of looking at them. Oh boy!! There is a lot of bright yellow lights behind us on the shore side. It's one of those tugs and barges. Note to self, remember? This could be the big one. I see the lights of the barge way back there (only a red and green) so I guess as long as I don't go "in" anymore we're ok. Well, he's cutting behind us pretty definite, so may be he's going out further. Yes, for sure. No problem, but hey where's Dennis? He's disappeared and I never did talk to him on the radio. We called him twice but no answer. Now there's more really bright lights out in front of us too. What's that, I wonder. I know it can not be a motor vehicle with its high beams on, but it sure looks like it. So we called out on the radio, "Vessel with bright whites to the S/V to the north of you" are you a fishing vessel with lines out?" (thought that may sound like I knew what I was asking). Answer: "Nope, I'm a vessel headed southbound". Then he began heading further out to sea. He had come out of "Barnegat Light" inlet. Still don't see Dennis. It's really tough staying awake. Lisa watches while I nap for, she said 4 minutes, I go again. Now eight minutes. She complains I need to lay down again, this time I make it 30 minutes and I'm good to go. Wow, it's getting to be 3:30 and dragging. Wait! I hear the Coast Guard taking to Dennis. I can only hear the CG side of the conversation on channel 22A. He's aground somewhere! Really? He must have tried going in at that inlet is all I can imagine. CG telling him to anchor and wait. On we go. Atlantic City goes by forever and all I want is daylight, so we can say we made it through the darktime. Low and behold the sun is rising and is it good. The wind has subsided in these hours and the sea is calmer. Not calm. We're back with the good tide and going faster than the paddlewheel indicates. We're loving it, but jeepers again, we have 15 miles to go yet to Cape May. The sea is kind of quiet compared to how we started yesterday in the City of NY. Binoculars are showing us it is coming. Now there are crab pod lines to watch out for. That's good. It is easier to stay awake when there is some valid immediate concern. So it is about over, this ride, and finally the very large inlet begins to appear and we get to it. It is very wide and deep and a no-brainer coming in. I had made phone calls and we have a slip at Utsch's Marina in the Cape May Harbor. It is a team effort to get us in here. A narrow channel and several directions to follow explicitly is the right way to get here. That's tough for me. But no embarrassing moments. Close though. We fuel up taking 26 gallons and, Bang-go, we are in our slip. Done. The boat's a mess and the salt needs to be wash off the deck. Every worker here is supper pleasant and we get a gift bag for our welcome. Uh-oh, my engine doesn't even turn over after fueling. May be a starter issue. Don't want to move along until it's resolved. We easily get one on order for Monday (oops, Columbus Day) or Tuesday. So we will enjoy Cape May. We stay awake until 7pm eating only boat food for tonight. Poof..we sleep for 12 great hours. Ocean day "one" is done, as well as "ocean night one" all in one dose. It wasn't too bad, but we can make it better. It's a neat place to be at night, or at least "last night". Did I mention, POOF, a really big POOFzzzzzzz

Saturday: It is supposed to rain and it does while we were sleeping soundly. It rains heavily in the am but we don't care. We are enjoying our rest days now. Showers too. Dennis calls on the phone. DENNIS, where are you? He confirms, got tired and went into the Barnegat inlet only to get stuck in the mud. He likes the CG as they give him sandwiches and coffee, oh yes, and advice. He described more boat issues in the area of electrical power. He states he is going to go back out in the ocean at 1am and he'll be here on Saturday. It begins to be an ok day for walking, so we walk for a few miles, all the way to the beaches and through a shopping area. It is amazing how many tourists are still filling the streets on a rainy Saturday in October. Anchor is on this walk and does she love the beach. She runs like a wild child in all directions. Upon our return we go to the "Lobster House" restaurant which is located about a 90 second walk, and it is very busy. We met Jack and Carol, two complete strangers to us, but they say, why don't we join them for dinner. So we do. After diner we have made two more friends and they were very nice. They live in Harrisburg, and have a place in Wildwood. They like the "Lobster house" and it is easy to see why. We're done again. a simple poof. Teaser: Stay tuned for more of the fun filled adventures of Dennis. Yes, he's not here and it's too early to tell why. However, Doug and Mary are way gone up the Delaware and into the Chesapeake Bay. Not to repeat, but did I say: poof?

Stay tuned for our future fun filled ones too.

Terry


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