June 19 – 24
Easily made the run to Cape May, even though we traveled slower than usual because of a problem with the starboard fuel line that changing both filters did not fix. We docked at Utsch’s Marina here and had a mechanic tend to the problem. We had foggy weather while here, so stayed an extra day. The Captain got a flat and had to walk his bike back from West Marine across the nearby bridge. Our next planned stop was near Ocean City, a little south of Atlantic City. The day we left was clear in Cape May, but NOAA weather reported ½ mile visibility in Atlantic City. As we were approaching Ocean City, we could see the fog, and by the time we got to Great Egg Harbor Inlet, the one leading to our destination, we could not see anything. Didn’t help that the starboard engine fuel line problem had not really been solved. Another case of calling the marina to have them help guide us in. In this area the buoys are not charted because of constant shoaling. Even after finding the first marker it wasn’t easy. And it was unnerving to know there was an obstruction called the rock pile somewhere off our starboard side. Once we got closer to the mouth of the inlet, visibility was better and we made our way to Seaview Harbor Marina in Margate, where a mechanic who was at first stymied by the fuel line problem, was able to really fix it. As luck would have it, one of the Captain’s college roommates owns the Margate Bike Shop. Bob & Dick had not seen each other since our wedding day over 38 years ago, but they had kept in touch in recent years. Dick took both our bikes and had them checked, adjusted and the flat repaired. Had a couple good dinners together, one at Dick’s house with an entrée of the best crab cakes we’ve ever eaten. The weather here at the Jersey shore has been so bad this year that many of the seasonal businesses are having a tough time. The count at this point is 17 straight rainy weekends at the seaside. Heading up the NJ coast, we viewed the Atlantic City skyline as we passed by, but didn’t stop. It was a smooth run with the ocean like glass, traveling at our typical speed of 17-18 mph, with everything working as it should. Our next NJ stop was through the Manasquan Inlet to Hoffman’s Marina in Brielle, NJ, where we spent one night in another extremely tight slip. Here we were again. It was déjà vu; strong current, narrow slip, very short finger pier, last spot available in any area marina because of a fishing tournament. Dockage and fuel prices also getting higher the further north we get. This marina certainly wasn’t anything special, but it was $2.00/ft./night for transient dockage if you fuel up and $2.50/ft. if you don’t. We fueled. The most we’ve paid is $2.75/ft. at Conch Harbor in Key West, but that was special. We can also tell we’re heading north because of the weather and our attire. Jeans again off and on since Chesapeake Bay. Didn’t have on a pair since about last November. You get spoiled real fast. Next day, it was on to the Big Apple. We made an outside run in the ocean all the way from Cape May, at the southern tip of NJ, to New York City because the inside passage is very shallow and not recommended for a boast our size. Unfortunately, we limped into NYC after hitting something big in the ocean off Sandy Hook, NJ. We didn’t see it, but we certainly heard it and felt it. If we cruised at our normal speed, the vibration was severe, so we went in slowly. Remember that we cruised outside to avoid potential problems? Sometimes you can’t win, especially in boating.