I think you have recieved really good advice. Most important is to remember to stay flexible.
We sailed from Annapolis to Sandy Hook. Our first night was in the C&D Canal and we planned to spend second night in Cape May. We were making good time and staying ahead of a front so we bypassed Cape May and decided to sail straight thru. If the weather changed, we assessed our options as turn bak to Cape May, head for AC, or sail thru what came our way.
So the weather turned and in rough sea at night we entered Absecon for the first time ever. Here is what I learned:
1. My 3 month old (and updated) charts
did not jive with what I saw
2. Buoys were hard to make out against Atlantic City lights
3. Upon enetering the channel there are Jettys to port and shoaling to starboard. The shoaling is marked by unlit buoys.
4. Once you make a turn to port, motor past the coast guard, the Marina has plenty of room to maneouver.
A smaller boat was following us in (I don't think they had radar
) and they ran aground.
I would make the trip in one shot after coming out of the canal if I could, and anchor
for a "recoup" night inside Sandy Hook (or stop at Sandy Hook Bay Marina or Atlantic highlands Marina) before heading up river. As bailout options I would consider Cape may and Absecon, but would try and avoid manesquan.
If you still want to stay at marinas:
1 st night in the Canal
2 nd night in Cape May (short day)
3 rd night Atlantic City (Don't loose all your cash, you'll need fuel
4 th night Atlantic Highlands (fuel) or Sandy Hook Bay Marina (no fuel
5th night in new home
If you've found this helpfull and want to pick my brain feel free to do so.