Coastal NJ vs Chesapeake
In an attempt to have the best of both worlds, my wife and I are thinking of splitting our summer sailing time between the Chesapeake Bay (Rock Hall) and Long Beach Island, NJ. I was born and raised on boats in the Chesapeake and have an undying love for the place. But, the wife and kids (2 and 4 years old) love the beach, plus I realize that once the nettles come up and the wind dies down, July and August can be brutal on the Chesapeake. So we figured that we''d move the boat "down the shore" for the dog days of summer, spending the spring and late summer/fall on the Chesapeake. The plan is to find a slip on the bay side of LBI so we can walk to the beach. Plus, the nice thing about this plan is that it puts us in striking distance of some offshore runs to New England (without kids, of course). The problem is this... I don''t know anything about navigating in this area, and all the books I have read seem to suggest that only Cape May and Absecon (A.C.) inlets can be relied upon in anything but ideal conditions, also the back bays (Barnegat, Manahawkin) seem really shallow on the charts (our 36 footer draws 5''). So, my questions to anyone with experience are the following (thanks for reading through my long preamble by the way): 1. Can you take a boat with a 5'' draft through Little Egg or Barnegat Inlets consistently? 2. Can you sail in these back bays? 3. If not, is it reasonable for me to think that I could "day sail" off the coast (i.e. is it two hours each way dealing with ICW and inlets before you can show any canvas)? 4. Other than the ourageous cost of redundant slip fees, what is wrong with this plan? Thanks in advance to anyone who can provide any insight here!