I don't know why, but I feel funny about calling the USCG on a personal matter - I feel like I'm taking them away from national security business. Jim, the pointer to TowBoat US was perfect. I talked to someone there who said Barnegat Inlet isn't bad except when there are northeast winds; then it can get a little rough. There can occasionally be breakers there, but they tend to be toward the middle of the inlet, and the channel is along the north jetty. He said, depending on the conditions, it can get a little "fun" in the 200' stretch where the jetty is submerged, but other than that it's pretty easy. The bay isn't bad either; they've been updating the markers and there should be at least 6-8' the whole way from the inlet to at least Forked River, though he said the channel really snakes in places (especially near the #34 marker, where it makes a hard left as you're coming in from the inlet).
Thanks, that really helped me a lot!
Now I just have to watch out for whales.
Barnegat Inlet is still a trecherous inlets as far as sailboats. I have been in and out 50 times. The action is noy just difficult for NE winds, but and Eastern companent vs an opposibng tide creates issues. What makes Barnegat so tricky unlike CM, AC, or Mnqn is the shoals which extend out over 1.5 miles from the inlet on either side of the entrance. Created by a fast current draining the Barnegat Bay the water runs into the littoirial ocean currents and waves and drops sand just like in River entrances. These ahoals take the ocean at 60 ft and drop the depth to 12 ft in a matter of 100 yards creating breaking 10 ft wave out of a normal 3 ft ocean swell. The whitewater from these waves with the wind direction may send them crashing perpendicular to the channel you are trying to navigate and hit a slow moving sailboat broadside on the way in crating difficulty oin steering and controll. This is Barnegat,
Also Barnegat has a peculiarity in that once inside the rock jetties 1/2 the inlet is shoaled and impassible and the green can lies 2/3 of the way over to the North jetty. This green can is about 100 yars in a 1000 yard stretch after entering the jetties from the ocean. It forces boats to hug the north jetty all the way in. It looks unusual and many smaller boats go aground right oin the current filled inlet entrance as seeing the grren can just looks unusal,
Once at the back of the inlet you have to make a 90 degree turn at a red num and travel perpendicular across the inlet rear, directly across the current no matter which way it runs.
After the inlet is a confusing cluster of markers which lead to the passage from tehre to Barnegat Bay. It is shallow, and it is winding with the channel 100 ft wide. Matkers every 100 yards. The penalty for runnning out of the channel is a hard sand grounding into a canyon wall.
Its doable and I have done it, bit rememebr Tow Boat US is a powerboat. Mopre difficult in a sailboat. I would always rather come in Barnegat ( safe conditons) then take the intercoastal from AC. If you decide to do this lets talk so I can vervbally apint you the poicture in this inlet. I have done this many times with other not familiar. You want a good picture before you go in as once in it the current and the waves happen fast and you want to know where you are going.