Three Glorious Days, or Maybe Four

Getting down Delaware Bay and then up the coast of New Jersey out in the Atlantic are very weather dependent. It isn’t unusual to get “stuck” in one of the cities along the way for up to a week waiting on weather.

To be in the right place at the right time when a weather window comes is pretty unusual. But that’s what happened to us this past weekend. Three days, three legs and boom, we’re to New York. Hallelujah and thanks be to God!

On Friday, May 31, Worton Creek Marina was able to get a new alternator installed and tested in time for us to leave at noon on Friday to catch the current through the Chesapeake and Delaware (C&D) canal for a relatively quick 50 mile trip.

We anchored that night in a river just off Delaware Bay on the New Jersey side.

The weather and waves the next day were perfect for the 60 mile trip down the Bay to Cape May, NJ.

We went up the NJ intracoastal waterway a mile or so and anchored in a place name Sunset Lake. It was a Saturday, June 1, and people were really out enjoying the water. Jet skies. Pontoon boats. More jet skies. It was near Wildwood NJ which is a summer beach destination. Lots of fun there.

We left early Sunday morning to go the 46 miles up the coast to Atlantic City. We were out in the ocean for this portion.

Again, since it was a weekend day we had plenty of company in our anchorage across the inlet from the casino. Jet skies, fishing boats, sightseeing cruises and a tiki bar boat. Its all good, although it makes it rolly in the anchorage.

The next day, Monday, looked pretty good for our 95 mile stint back out in the ocean. It didn’t look quite as good as the previous day, but looked way better than later in the week.

Mercifully, the seas turned out to be very smooth and comfortable. Just long. Ten hours and two minutes, to be exact.

We anchored in Atlantic Highlands, NJ near Sandy Hook.

Happily, there should not be anything that long again until we get to the Gulf of Mexico this winter.

A couple stories of ways we have been able to be of assistance recently.

On the Friday that we came through the C&D canal, we had just made it across the bay to the narrow channel that led to our anchorage. We saw something in the waterway ahead of us. With binoculars, we identified it as a kayaker. But something was splashing along behind it. With some more staring through binoculars we saw that it was a swimmer. The kayaker was paddling his kayak and pulling the other one.

This was a fast moving, dirty brown river. We couldn’t believe someone was swimming in that.

Suddenly the VHF radio blared, “Pan pan. Pan pan. Pan pan. This is US Coast Guard sector Delaware Bay. We have a report of kayakers in distress at (gave a lat/lon location).” It was where we were.

The kayaker and swimmer were by this time not in front of us but over to the side thirty yards or so away.

We hollered over to see if they were OK. The kayaker didn’t seem to hear us, but the swimmer gave us a thumbs up. 👍

The kayaker was 10-20 yards away from the swimmer. We heard the swimmer say he would meet him on shore, some several hundred yards away.

We let the Coast Guard know we had talked to the kayaker and swimmer and they didn’t seem to be in distress.

The CG said that a dad had called in a distress report when he lost track of them. The CG asked that we stay in the area and keep a watch until they got to shore.

So Lance turned around in what was charted as a narrow channel of navigable water and Brenda kept her binoculars trained on the swimmer.

There were times when we couldn’t see his head, but then he would appear again. He must have been a pretty strong swimmer but I think he underestimated the distance and time to get to shore.

Once he reached shore, we let the CG know and let them know that an adult was with him.

Pretty soon, a general announcement came over the radio that the previous Pan pan was cancelled. The CG thanked Lance for his assistance.

It was pretty intense.

Today’s assist was less intense. When we were in the dinghy headed to catch a ferry for NYC, we got a call from a looper we met last night.

His dinghy had come untied from his boat and was being carried away into the foggy morning. We were able to reverse course, retrieve the dinghy, get it back to him and still make it to the ferry in plenty of time.

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