Sunday morning we were up early for our long trip (85 nm) to Atlantic City. The weather forecast was good with 10-15 kt winds and 2 ft seas with a 7-8 sec period. At 6:20 Am, Adrienne eased us off the face dock and down the channel. It was low tide and we were a little concerned about shoaling in the channel. We proceeded very slowly at idle speed out of the harbor, but we had no problems. We saw one spot where the depth was 8 ft but mostly it was 10 ft or more. By 6:40 AM, we were in Raritan Bay.
Adrienne increased our speed to our usual running rate of 1420 rpm. On Friday, we had been seeing speeds through the water of 9.1 kts at 1420 rpm. Today, we were running at 10.0 to 10.1 kts at the same rpm. The bottom cleaning made a real difference.
Once in the Atlantic, we turned south. The wind at Sandy Hook was about 10kts but by mid-morning it had dropped to 5kts. The seas were smooth with rolling waves of 1-2 ft. A very pleasant ride.
As we journeyed along the New Jersey coast, we had to periodically dodge groups of small fishing vessels camped about 2 – 3 nm outside each inlet, as well as the occasional crab/lobster pot fields.
By 3:40 PM, we were turning into our slip at Farley’s State Marina right next to the Golden Nugget Casino. Even though we were using our headsets to communicate, Adrienne and I could hardly hear each other because of the pounding beat of the band on the Golden Nugget deck. Oh the joys of Atlantic City.
We went to the Chart House for Happy Hour, feasting on rock shrimp, ahi tuna nachos and Mediterranean chicken pitas, while Adrienne had a glass of wine and I had a margarita. A good and inexpensive dinner. Then it was back to the boat and enduring the booming music until 11 PM when it finally stopped. The music normally would not have bothered us that much. But that Sunday it seemed unusually loud and we were tired from our early departure from Great Kills and the long run to Atlantic City. We’re just not Atlantic City party people, I guess.
While watching the Olympics, we planned out next two days. Monday we were going to head for Cape May, a short four hour run. Tuesday would be another long day, all the way from Cape May to Annapolis. I had thought that we would have the current with us, but alas I was wrong. If we left Tuesday morning, the current would be against us in the Delaware Bay, against us in the canal, and against us for most of the Chesapeake Bay. Bummer!
Monday morning I woke up very early, since I had crashed the night before at 9:00 PM, despite the loud music. As I contemplated our trip for Monday, it occurred to me that if we ran all the way to Chesapeake City on Monday, we would have the current in the Delaware Bay and in the canal. And if we left Chesapeake City early Tuesday morning, we would have the current with us in the Chesapeake Bay, at least for a while. Duh! Why hadn’t we thought of that last night!
Adrienne woke up around 6:00 AM. I told her my thoughts and she heartily agreed. By 6:40 AM, we were heading out of Farley’s on our way to Chesapeake City.
The Atlantic Ocean was beautiful. The seas were glassy with very short long period waves and winds less than 5 kts. A perfect cruise to Cape May.
To get to the Delaware Bay, we used the Cape May Canal, a 40 minute passage for us that eliminated the need to go all the way around the tip of Cape May. By 11:42 AM, we were exiting the canal and into the Delaware Bay. The Delaware Bay is one of those bodies of water that is notorious for choppy seas and miserable rides. Today, the Bay was glassy with winds of only 1-2 kts. We couldn’t believe it. We also had a half knot current behind us, as we sped up the bay to the C&D Canal. The only downside to the light winds was that the bay was covered with a light fog limiting visibility to about 2 nm. Not much of a downside given how smooth the water was.
As we moved up the Delaware Bay and into the Delaware River, the current continued to increase until we were doing almost 12 kts, while our speed through the water was only 9.9 kts. What a delight!
By 3:30 PM, we were turning into the C&D Canal and by 4:45 PM, we were tied up to Schaefer’s Fuel Dock to refuel for our final leg to Annapolis. After fueling, we moved up in front of the Schaefer Canal House Restaurant and tied up for the night. It had been a long but reasonably peaceful day.
We had a quick dinner at Schaefer’s. Adrienne ordered a crab cake and I fried shrimp. Both were good. We ate on their patio less than ten feet from Curiosity. We planned on making it an early evening again since we were tired from the early departure and the long day. That is, if I can drag Adrienne away from the Olympic coverage tonight. We’ll see.
Tomorrow is the final run to Annapolis.