Depart: Kammerman's Marina Atlantic City 8:35
Arrive: HOME - Rumson, NJ 7:00
Distance: 89 nm
Worried about nasty weather predicted for Tuesday, Clark studied our travel options carefully last night trying to decide our travel plans. Originally, he planned to anchor in Barnegat, but given the weather report, it seemed too short a distance for today's travel. The next choice he considered was staying in Manasquan. This, however, would require staying at a marina as there is nowhere here to anchor.
As he debated the options, I asked if it would be possible to make it all the way to Sandy Hook. After checking the distance, he said it would be doable if we left early enough to make it happen. So, when we left this morning, we had three plans in our hip pockets: A - travel all the way to Sandy Hook and perhaps even home (one hour further along), B - bail out at Barnegat if the ocean proved unfriendly, and C - bail out at Manasquan if need be.
Unfortunately, we left the dock in Atlantic City almost an hour later than hoped. We needed to wait until the marina opened at 8:00 to collect our postal mail that we forgot to pick up before they closed yesterday. Also, with a heavy fog, Clark spent time setting up the radar. We rarely, if ever, use radar, so it took almost 20 minutes for him to get radar configured to his liking and waypoints set for our route. Finally, at 8:30, we threw off the lines and headed for our yet to-be-determined destination.
We had good news and bad news as we made our way out into the ocean. The good news - the waves from yesterday had settled down to swells of minimal height. The bad news - FOG! We traveled two miles off shore and could not see the shore for long periods of the trip.
|Parting view of Atlantic City|
|Skyscrapers in A.C.|
|A.C. disappearing from sight as we head out into the ocean|
The lack of visibility (today due to fog, not ocean spray like yesterday) was truly amazing. The distance we could see from the boat was in terms of yards, not miles. Looking at the radar off Barnegat Inlet, Clark said, "Red / White 'BI' should be ahead. I see it on the radar." I peered into the fog and suddenly there it was dead ahead emerging from the fog.
|Red / White BI emerging from the fog|
|Red / White "BI" as we pass|
Given we had been so close to the marker but could not see it until it was just a few yards away, I wondered what else might be lurking out there. I got my answer rather quickly. As I stared into the fog, two masts materialized in front of my eyes. Two sailboats? A two-masted sailboat?
Clark could not see anything on the radar. Eventually a sailboat with two masts came into view. It appeared to be drifting somewhat near the "BI" marker. My question: "Why didn't it show up on radar?" I decided to take a picture. When I aimed the camera, the boat did not appear in the view finder. What is this a ghost ship!? Finally, it came into focus, and I could get a picture.
|Stealth Sailboat in the Mist off the Jersey Shore|
The fog stayed with us for hours. Sometimes it would thin out and we would get a broader view, and then it would close in on us yielding a view in terms of just yards from the boat. As with yesterday, our trip became more "interesting" when we discovered traps hiding in the fog. We did not expect them since we piloted two-miles off shore in 38' of water outside the trap zone marked on the charts.
Eventually, the sun starting to make its presence known and the fog started to clear.
|Under clearer skies, we found a fishing trawler working hard|
After yesterday's steep 6-foot waves, today's gentle rollers offered an easy ride on the ocean. We did not even consider turning in at Barnegat or Manasquan. We just kept Sandy Hook as our goal. Passing Asbury Park and Long Branch, New Jersey, we felt like we were almost home although we still had hours to go.
|View of Asbury Park, NJ from two miles out|
As we continued our trip, I spied something in the water up ahead. I asked, "Is that a trap?" Clark replied, "No, it's a mylar birthday baloon! I've seen others floating out here already."
|Mylar "Happy Birthday" Baloon on the ocean|
|Another Mylar balloon polluting the ocean waters|
As we approached Sandy Hook, we could see the lighthouse. Our view of New York City today was, however, nearly non-existent. Looking at our speed, we saw an amazing 11.3 knots instead of our usual 8.6. We had one heck of a current pushing us home.
|Sandy Hook Lighthouse - ocean view|
Rounding the "hook", we got a better view of the lighthouse from the bay side.
|Sandy Hook Lighthouse - Bay view|
Approaching the Highlands, we decided to continue all the way to our house as opposed to dropping anchor in Sandy Hook. We still had at least two hours of daylight to make it home.
|Highlands, NJ - Eastpointe Conominiums|
All the way down the Shrewsbury River, we saw barrels floating in the middle of the channel showing "slow, no wake". Why do they have to be in the middle of the channel? When we arrived at the Sea Bright - Rumson bridge, Clark called for an opening and asked if they were "on demand" or if we would need to wait for their 6:30 opening.
The bridge tender responded that he opened "on demand" today, but starting tomorrow, May 15th, the bridge would open on the hour only. This is a new rule. The bridge signage still says hour and half hour opening. This is bad news for us as we will have to plan our travels carefully to avoid long delays at this bridge which stands in the way of us going almost anywhere.
As we turned off the main channel into Pleasure Bay, we found most of the day markers missing or damaged. We had to "feel our way" home. We turned into our home creek and had even more fun as we found critical markers barely visible above the surface of the water. Thank goodness it was not high tide yet!
|Looking back towards Pleasure Bay|
on Rumson Creek
Beautiful blooms greeted us at our house. The roses are not yet ready to flower but will add their color to the others soon.
|Flowering Dogwood and White Lilacs|
|Creeping Myrtle / Periwinkle in Bloom|