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  #21  
Old 05-28-2012
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Re: NJ Coast

If you go into AC, watch the shallow bar (~ 15 ft) on the way in and out and make sure you get the wind vs tidal current right. I was coming out of AC with the tide flowing in and 15-18 kts or so coming on shore (with the current) and we had a 12 ft breaking wave meet us at the bar. It was a thrill!
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Old 05-28-2012
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NJ Coast

I avoid the New Jersey inlets. The currents are dangerous and strong. Let me be clear. I don't go in there at all--twice was enough. I'd rather heave to offshore if I need a break.

I feel it is better to press on--done the trip many times, once double handed. It is not that bad double handed. This is what coastal cruising is all about. Time it so conditions are benign a d you will be fine. Try to catch the flood at NYC or go into Atlantic Highlands if the winds and current are against you at the Verrazano narrows.
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Old 05-28-2012
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Re: NJ Coast

Just to expand a bit on my experience- if I recall, the trip from AC to Manasquan was not that long. I seem to remember leaving AC well after sunrise and making it to Manasquan in mid afternoon. This is all in a 27' boat that rarely breaks 5kts. While I've heard horror stories about the "unimproved" inlets, I had absolutely no knowledge or experience to guide me and had no problem at AC or at Manasquan. Both inlets were well marked, lined with breakwaters, and were plenty big enough to accomodate the traffic. Locals on VHF were quite helpful guiding me to good anchorages.
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Old 05-28-2012
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Re: NJ Coast

I think the big problem with the NJ inlets is simply weather. If the wind and current are contrary and the wx degrading, even the USCG and NJSP won't run the inlets where they are based. But if you catch smooth water and slack current...who'd guess how nasty they can get? South shore of LI is about the same way, the inlets can be killers if conditions are bad, and there's no way to tell unless you've got a run of really steady weather.
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Old 05-28-2012
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Re: NJ Coast

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
I think the big problem with the NJ inlets is simply weather. If the wind and current are contrary and the wx degrading, even the USCG and NJSP won't run the inlets where they are based. But if you catch smooth water and slack current...who'd guess how nasty they can get? South shore of LI is about the same way, the inlets can be killers if conditions are bad, and there's no way to tell unless you've got a run of really steady weather.

The problem with finding a place while passing up the New Jersey coast is you'd need detailed planning to catch slack water. Which a good navigator can do. But from my perspective there is nothing worth seeing and it is not an area I'd call a cruising ground. If it was France and the food was good, I'd feel differently. Catching slack water is not easy as the current builds very fast. It could easily be faster than a 30' boat could motor against. A formula for disaster. Why take a chance? If your instinct is to run for a harbor, at least run for a safe one, eh?

It is worth mentioning that New Jersey was named after Jersey--one of the worst places in the world for nasty currents. There is not a question in my mind that this was the reason for the name.

I did a passage plan from Port Solent, England to Dielette, France, which goes right by Jersey, for my RYA YM, and it took a while for me to realize they sandbagged me with the hardest possible passage plan conceivable. The tide swings were enormous, 10 meters in Dielette, only 4.5m in Port Solent and dictated both departure and arrival times. Both harbors had sills to keep from drying out completely. Think of a basin holding the water back and boats inside the basin unable to leave! I was stunned to see drying heights on these shoals! I checked my work four times because I could not believe it! As I recall you needed 5.5 meter of tide to even go into Dielette and probably more because you had to clear your draft and then the sill. I don't remember all the details. Huge islands were completely covered at high tide every day.

I wish we had that level of detail on our charts. In any case I would be quite comfortable making the trip, but I'd want a good crew and an extra Captain on board in case something happened to me. I would triple check my work and brief everyone on board about the plan and every bail out option. Aldemar is a fast race and you can't go against it. My passage plan included heaving to in the English Channel just to kill some time as the current swept me west so I would not arrive too early.

One thing I learned in England was respect for Admiralty Charts--which make ours look like play charts, and also deep appreciation for tidal calculations and tidal diamonds. For fun while sailing around, we use to make guesses on what the tidal gauges we passed would read, and and factored in air pressure and wind direction. Their tidal graphs were amazingly accurate. I saw Tom Cunliff in Chichester Harbor, which was way cool as he is one of my heros. If you think our shorelines change here, think about Normandy. No wonder the allied invasion was so hard to plan. The Germans should have been able to easily predict the most likely times of the invasion.

Back to New Jersey. I found the many of the marinas were horrible. The tidal currents were not as strong as Jersey but it is understandable where the name came from. It would be very easy to find yourself pinned against the dock by massive 5-6 knot current. I did not see any mooring balls anywhere. Anchor? I'd hope to catch some mud but I'd be worried the bottom would be scoured clean of good holding. In my case I was pinned against the dock and told to move. It was do-able, but I needed help. I asked a fellow on the dock to help me with a spring line and the idiot released it early and scratched the hell out of my boat. That was when I learned to tell marina workers to go to hell when they wanted to force me to move in a bad situation. And I learned not to trust strangers, no matter how many times I brief them on docking and spring line procedures. I'd rather have someone competent over a stranger who is pretending to be knowledgeable. As for dock workers, I'm an easy going guy, but sometimes it pays to blow a fuse and go postal on people who ask you to do stupid things.

New Jersey is not a place I'd plan to visit ever. I even avoid going into Cape May now too when traveling through. I typically sail up the coast or over to Block Island from the mouth of the Delaware without stopping or the other way, up the Delaware to the C&D canal and stop at that restaurant on the other side. It is not a bad trip 31 hours or so from Block Island to Lewes Delaware--a place I've anchored but had a hard time finding a spot. The ice breakers need to be avoided.

If the wind is light, I have hugged Cape May to save a few miles, although once we picked up a thousand flys and spend hours killing them. I won;t do that again. And I saw the biggest shark I've ever seen breach right there at the end of Cape May--15' or so. That has to be a feeding ground for Great Whites.

So in my opinion I'd avoid New Jersey completely. The trip up the coast is a long and tedious, but not bad or difficult. It does get foggy at times. I would pick a good departure weather window and bring a couple of extra people. If the wind is light motor to keep your speed up and don't stop unless you need to heave to to rest. There is no reason to rush or to stop. The coast of New Jersey is easy sailing compared to the Delaware Bay with all it's shipping.
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  #26  
Old 05-28-2012
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Re: NJ Coast

We do your trip every year and there are many variations and alternatives. If you want to spend an extra day inb the Chesapeake and shake down the boat go from Annapolis to Rock Hall. Nice anchorage in Swan Creek and many dockage places. Good restaurants also. You can make your next objective in 8 hours. You can stop in Cheasapeake City after 6 hours from Rock Hall but I find it tight in there...loud if its a weekend and poor anchoring. I would just motor through the C&D Canal and out down 5 miles of the Delaware on the Delaware side and tuck in behind Reedy Island ( across from the Salem nuke plant waiting for the next ebb tide. The "express" will add 3 knots to your trip to Cape May meaning it will only take 6-7 hours ( there is no real good place to stop in between) Leave 1 hour before slack tide. You will anchor in 18 feet of water and know that the current direction will determine how you will sit off the anchor not the winds you will switch at the tide changes.

When travelking the Delaware stay out of the channel except at Cross Ledge. It isnt necessary to follow it and you can cut the angles on the trip saving miles. Your best bet is to leave as early as possible as the wind in the afternoon produces the famous Delaware bay chop which are sqaure waves which can stop your baot and make the ride uncomforatble. We motorsail this. At Egg Point Light ( Dividing Creek the River opens up to Delaware Bay and is huge. We run between the Miah Maul light and Egg Point on a line directly to the Cape May Canal is is not usually over 15-20 ft but is the best way to go. You can fit under the bridge in the canal and no sense adding 3 hours by traveling around the "Jersey Cape". In Cape May stay at Utches- my favorites and friends for over 25 years. $2.00 a foot usually. You can walk to a great restaurant...Blackfin...the Lobster House has a great fresh fish market and take out food mnarket also. The restaurant itself is a tourist trap. The Utches are very special people. I would stay a couple days here and enjoy the city itself...Its a very neat place/ Trolly runs from the marina to town or you can walk it. It 1 mile. Old fashioned Acme for provisions also.

Now comes the deciding question. 20 hours straight to Sandy Hook. Break it into 2 days.
Here are some actually motor sailing ( no tacking) straightline distances point to point from my chartplotter on previous trips routes I have taken

Cape May (Utches) to Barnegat Anchorage- 81 miles.
Cape May to Absecon ( Atlantic City) Marina- 35 miles
Absecon Inlet( Atlantic City Marina to Banegat Anchorage-58 miles
Absecon to Manequan Anchorage- 79 miles
No good inlets between Absecon and Barnegat
Barnegat Anchorage to Sandy Hook Anchorage ( Atlantic Highlands) -52 miles
Manesquan Anchorage to Sandy Hook Anchorage-31 miles
Manesquan Anchorage to Liberty Landing Marina ( next to Statue of Liberty) -46 miles

All times dependent on wind and conditions of course. Winds predominantly S and SW with afternoon 12 noon seabreeze from SE.

We have done all of these at one time over the years and haver had to duck in if the weather was not good.

We chose Cape May to Barnegat to Sandy Hook or Liberty Landing. First day underway at 4 AM pulling into Barnegat usually around 6 making sure we average 5.25 knotts. This is easy if you are an early traveler like us as conditions are most quiet.Next day is easier as we only have to go 52 or 60 miles.

Your choice though. I would not go any other than these inlets. Do not attempt Shark River ( unless emergency) . Very swift current. Manesquan has places to anchor after 3 bridges which need to open. Glimmer Glass to shallow except high tides. Also a lot of long line commercial fisherman use this inlet and estualry. Barnegat can be dangerous but not as bad as people make it out to be unless the conditions are bad then stay away and dont come in it.. I can give you elplicit direction though and it is well marked. Awessome anchorage


Our itinerary going north every summer is Cape May to Barnegat (14 hour day) Then Sandy Hook ( 7 hours). We omit Atlantic City because 1- I worked in the Casinos 18 years and it doesnt interest me and the one near the marina is a pit ( The Borgota is nice though. and 2- its only a 27 mile run from Cape May to AC...the next navigatable inlet is Barnegat. Not as bad in most weather as most people make it out to be if you stay in the failrway into the inlet. ( The anchorage next to the lightlhouse is awesome and beautiful and you have the cool afternoon seabreeze.

If you still choose Atlantic City, The Farley State Marina wil run you $4 ft plus electric. If you can get a reservation try Kammermans across from the State Marina owner by a nice family and $2 a foot.(These are both in Clam Creek on the port after you come in the inlet There is an anchorage the the starboard before Rum Point right across from Clam Creek. Be advised the entrance is tricky and the current ruip through there when you enter. The bugs are fierce also.
I would then take 3 days to do the NJ Coast and come in at Manesquan.

I will post later on places we go to north on the sound like Northport and Port Jefferson. Noice Sailnetters keep boats there also.

Sorry this was so long

Feel free to PM me and also I may be able to meet up with you down here.

Rob BTW if its tghe C&C 30 you have been after...good luck. Always glad to help out a fellow Sailnetter...especially a C&C brother

Dave
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Last edited by chef2sail; 05-28-2012 at 09:41 PM.
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  #27  
Old 05-28-2012
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Re: NJ Coast

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Back to New Jersey. I found the many of the marinas were horrible. The tidal currents were not as strong as Jersey but it is understandable where the name came from. It would be very easy to find yourself pinned against the dock by massive 5-6 knot current. I did not see any mooring balls anywhere. Anchor? I'd hope to catch some mud but I'd be worried the bottom would be scoured clean of good holding. In my case I was pinned against the dock and told to move. It was do-able, but I needed help. I asked a fellow on the dock to help me with a spring line and the idiot released it early and scratched the hell out of my boat. That was when I learned to tell marina workers to go to hell when they wanted to force me to move in a bad situation. And I learned not to trust strangers, no matter how many times I brief them on docking and spring line procedures. I'd rather have someone competent over a stranger who is pretending to be knowledgeable. As for dock workers, I'm an easy going guy, but sometimes it pays to blow a fuse and go postal on people who ask you to do stupid things.

New Jersey is not a place I'd plan to visit ever. I even avoid going into Cape May now too when traveling through. I typically sail up the coast or over to Block Island from the mouth of the Delaware without stopping or the other way, up the Delaware to the C&D canal and stop at that restaurant on the other side. It is not a bad trip 31 hours or so from Block Island to Lewes Delaware--a place I've anchored but had a hard time finding a spot. The ice breakers need to be avoided.

If the wind is light, I have hugged Cape May to save a few miles, although once we picked up a thousand flys and spend hours killing them. I won;t do that again. And I saw the biggest shark I've ever seen breach right there at the end of Cape May--15' or so. That has to be a feeding ground for Great Whites.

So in my opinion I'd avoid New Jersey completely. The trip up the coast is a long and tedious, but not bad or difficult. It does get foggy at times. I would pick a good departure weather window and bring a couple of extra people. If the wind is light motor to keep your speed up and don't stop unless you need to heave to to rest. There is no reason to rush or to stop. The coast of New Jersey is easy sailing compared to the Delaware Bay with all it's shippin- Night Salior
With all due respect to your comments, and obviously you have good professional qualifications and are entitled to your opinion, I find this is an inaccurate judgement

1- Inlets in any ocean to back bay estuary need to be treated with utmost respect . The four best inlets we have discussed here are no worse than any inlets in NC, Mass, or Maine when they are entered at running tides and nasty weather.

2- Not to sure about your statement about NJ marinias...you must have encountered all the bad ones. There are many nice marinas in NJ and if you need a list I could give them to you. It is no different from Conneticut where you are from. There are cities in Coinnecticut which look abandoned as they do in NJ and there are also noice places. May you just didnt know where to look.

3- Cape May is a very beautiful town with many many good restaurants. Mmore winners of the James Beard award in chefs concentrated there than any other place in the United States/ Nice shops...beautiful beaches...Victorian homes. Maybe you confused this with one of those towns in England?

Sometimes when you are a visior and dont know where to look you impressions can be formed by only what you see with your eyes and if you fail to look further it becomes you reality. If you ever visit New Jersey again ( which you seem so dead against) feel free to e mail me and maybe I can enlighten you to some of the noice places to visit and see in New Jersey.

Dave
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Old 05-28-2012
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Re: NJ Coast

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Just to expand a bit on my experience- if I recall, the trip from AC to Manasquan was not that long. I seem to remember leaving AC well after sunrise and making it to Manasquan in mid afternoon. This is all in a 27' boat that rarely breaks 5kts- yosarrian
49.3NM from the Ocean Bouy at Absecon Inlet to Manesquan Inlet. 2 NM in each inlet to an anchorage is 53+ NM. 5 knott average is 10+ hours. ....... Just Saying

These are both good inlets to traverse.
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Old 05-28-2012
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Re: NJ Coast

Again, great stuff! Sent you a PM Chef!
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Old 05-30-2012
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Re: NJ Coast

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Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
We omit Atlantic City because 1- I worked in the Casinos 18 years and it doesn't interest me and the one near the marina is a pit
Chef - Trump Marina is now the Golden Nugget and has had a major reno. It's supposed to be nice. I don't expect to find out for myself for quite a while, though.
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