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Has anyone mad this trip recently?
Can you add any suggestions?
Should I go through the Canal?
Where should I stay over the first night?
Do I go in the lower end of Barnegat bay(holgate)? or in thru Barnegat Inlet?
My end point is Cedar Creek (north of Barnegat inlet)
I don;t have much ocean experience and this will be my first trip with this "new to me" boat.
Its a Catalina 34.
I have about 10 years sailing experience but mostly in Barnegat Bay.
I did find an old post out here but need lots more details.

Thanks
 

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Has anyone mad this trip recently?
Can you add any suggestions?
Should I go through the Canal?
Where should I stay over the first night?
Do I go in the lower end of Barnegat bay(holgate)? or in thru Barnegat Inlet?
My end point is Cedar Creek (north of Barnegat inlet)
I don;t have much ocean experience and this will be my first trip with this "new to me" boat.
Its a Catalina 34.
I have about 10 years sailing experience but mostly in Barnegat Bay.
I did find an old post out here but need lots more details.

Thanks
There is a lot of info Re: Cape May and the Delaware Bay that would be useful in the Delmarva 09 threads.
 

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We normally cruise from Florida to New England & back each year and this is part of our route. Our mast is 54' so we take the Cape May Canal and anchor off the Coast Guard station, but out of the chanel. We take the short hop to Absecon Inlet at Atlantic City and anchor up Rum Creek to starboard before the bridge. Our 4'3" draft allows our leisurely tour up the ICW through Barnegat Bay and out again at Manasquan Inlet. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
 

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Yamsailor
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As a person who races in and around Philadelphia and cruises in the Chesapeake Bay, NJ shore and the Long Island Sound--Do youself a favor--go to Cape May. Unfortunately, unlike most of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic cities, Philadelphia and the surrounding area has NOT made the area a cruising destination. There really are very little amenities and on top of that, the water is not clean enough to swim above Delaware Bay.

I wish it were not the case but the powers-that-be in the Philadelphia govt and planning commissions just either don't have a clue or don't care about the Philadelphia area waterfront. They should take a clue from NYC, Annapolis, Baltimore and Boston---but alas the planning officials there actually realize the value of public access to the waterfront and not just big-box stores and casinos.

Fairwinds
 

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One of None
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Uh.. I wouldn't drink the water.. but lots of people swim and ski in it. Recent water studies i'm sure will bear that out. But, i've been wrong before. Every year we marvel at how clean looking the water seems (looks mean nothing I know) but the smell I remember as a child is gone from the river! There are lots of things to do above Phila. racing clubs there also. But then I,m in a yacht club and there are close to 30 YCs all up and down the river.
 

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Yamsailor
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Yes,

But there are really are not a lot of nice dock-side restaurants, pool facilities, towns to walk into with a main-street, state-of-the art marine facilities or even just clean marina facilities like they have in:

Rock Hall, Md, Baltimore, Md, Atlantic Highlands, NJ, North Cove, Manhattan, Sommers Point, NJ, Manasquan, NJ, Beach Haven, NJ, Barnegat Light, NJ, Great Kills, NY, 79th Street Boat Basin, NY, Oyster Bay, NY, Stanford, Ct, --need I say more?
 

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CaptainForce has the itinerary down. The only thing I would add is to go back outside between Atlantic City and Barnegat Inlet to make a little better time. Not all inlets are created equal so be careful. Watch for the tides and time your arrival to Barnegat Inlet at high tide (I find it easier to navigate the inlets at slack tide, plus having a high tide makes navigating the narrow channel a little easier). The Barnegat Inlet is right across from Forked River and just south of Cedar Creek. I have a slip in Cedar Creek Marina. Look for a Tanzer 26 in about a month. She is still on the hard, up Forked River now.
T26Rich
 

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Yamsailor
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T26Rich--Good call. I don't know how the storms have affected Barnegat Inlet and the bay just off Island Beach State Park this year. As a "Plan B" anchorage you may want to check out Tices Shoal--but be careful the the cut into the shoal is narrow and it is easy to go aground.

Any recommendations T26Ricj?
 

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Hi Yamsailor - I doubt we have met. Last year I sailed out of Forked River and Nelson's Sailing School with Pete Moss (yes, Mrs. Moss named her son Pete) in Tom's River. My daughter got her ASA Keel boat Certification at Nelson's and I went along for the ride. Had a ball and danced with TD Hannah. I discovered CCM after I bought my T26 and the NJ State Forked River Marina slip expired (needed to get on a waiting list to see if I could stay). I hate waiting lists and my lady needed a home port. CCM was just the ticket. All sailboats, great people, and an active youth group; just what I needed for the family.

The channel between the bay and Barnegat Inlet is well marked and shifts. The coast guard does a great job keeping the markers properly placed. As for storms affecting the channel, we are more than likely to get another Nor'easter before Cinco de Mayo. They may be affect more. Another good reason to watch your depth sounder, and keep an eye on the markers.
 

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CaptainForce has the itinerary down. The only thing I would add is to go back outside between Atlantic City and Barnegat Inlet to make a little better time. Not all inlets are created equal so be careful.
T26Rich
Going outside could be better between AC and Cape May. The ICW is a mess through Ocean City. The 34th St bridge has a 35' clearance, and on the north side there is a (permanent?) detour. Also, watch for shoaling around the ferry terminal at the Cape May canal.

Hi Yamsailor - I doubt we have met. Last year I sailed out of Forked River and Nelson's Sailing School with Pete Moss (yes, Mrs. Moss named her son Pete) in Tom's River.
Another Nelson's grad here - I thought his name was Peeter Must. I'll have to check my log book.
 

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From someone who grew up on the Barnegat Bay, I would avoid the Barnegat Inlet if possible... especially if you are new to sailing. There are very strong currents, and an ever changing series of shoals and sandbars. If you do plan on going that way, take the time to watch some of the larger boats go through first. It is a very beautiful place, but you need to be careful. And by no means attempt this inlet at night.

If you run up the coast another 20-25 miles, you can come in through the Manasquan inlet, which is fairly easy. It might be a little further north than you want to go.
 

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From someone who grew up on the Barnegat Bay, I would avoid the Barnegat Inlet if possible... especially if you are new to sailing. There are very strong currents, and an ever changing series of shoals and sandbars. If you do plan on going that way, take the time to watch some of the larger boats go through first. It is a very beautiful place, but you need to be careful. And by no means attempt this inlet at night.

If you run up the coast another 20-25 miles, you can come in through the Manasquan inlet, which is fairly easy. It might be a little further north than you want to go.
+10000000. I live on Barnegat Bay on the Toms River. You really need to heed those warnings from BluewaterMD. The state channel markers are not even in yet on the bay and demarckate some very shallow water. Things around here are SLOW to get started and unfortunatly, carry some hefty prices if you do not know your way around. There are also many local maintained markers that have been swept away with the winter ice. Barnegat inlet is a real force to be recokened with and not to be taken lightly. I have run aground severl times in the channel just inside the inlet after the shoals have shifted.

T26RICH~I dock my boat at Nelsons' and know Peeter Must personally. There never was a "Pete Moss" that has worked for Nelsons. I have kept my boats there since 1976.
 

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I agree with what has been said. I sailed Barnegaet bay for 10 years and kept my old Islander 28 in Dillons Creek on the Toms River wwhen I sailed there. At the time I lived in Ocean City NJ but opted for Barnegat Bay for the great sailing.

We have traveled the Deleware to cape May every year for the last 5 or so. This year we are heading that way for a trip to the LI Sound and Mystic via the East River. Stay at Utschs Marina for 2.50 a night per foot for a great family owned place with acess to restaurants within walking distance. You can anchor off the CG station in Cape May, but there is a great amount of traffic and wakes.

you can anchor accross the channel in a little cove from the casinos on the north side of the inlet if you come in Absecon and go up the ICW from there to Barnegat.

We also usually gauge our day to see if we can make it from Cape May to Barnegat in one shot. The anchorage behind the lighthouse is spectacular and surrounded by shoals so watch you depth,,,creep in and rememeber the tidal change and where you are in the time continum so you are not left high and dry sitting on the sand. I would recoomend you are very careful comming in Barnegat Inlet. It is one of the most trecherous I have been in with a strong current and you must go very close to the north jetty as there is a shoual in the middle between the jetties. When the breeze is onshore (usually SE in the summerafternoon and the tide opposes there can be 20 foot roller/ breaker through the inlet. You can do the ICW from Atlantic City to Barnegat bay, but you must pay atention the the markers and carry a major fly swatter for the Greenheads. I would not come in the inlet at Holgate as it is known for moving sand bars and bouys. If you want more info feel free to PM me. We are heading to the Delaware on July 10 for our excursion
 

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I made the trip this past August, bringing my Etap 26 up from Rock Hall on the Chesapeake.

Take the Cape May Canal, but stick CLOSE to the ferries! They dig up the bottom with their props and shoal the hell out of the other side of the creek. The chart says 12 feet, it's actually about 4! Slammed into that doing about 5 knots, good thing the keel can be retracted.

The marina on the right, just past the bridge, Utsch's is very nice.

FORGET the Barnegat Inlet! The inlet itself is no problem when the tide is slack or rising. However the tortuous channel out to navigable water in the is poorly marked and badly shoaled. They were dredging this summer, I ran aground 5 times trying to get through, even though I had my keel retracted to less than 4 feet.

Our trip up the coast was real exciting. We left Cape May at 8:00 AM and watched a storm pound the crap out of Cape May with 60 mph winds and extreme lightning 45 minutes later, and we slid right past it to the North! Another bad lightning storm came ashore north of us and we missed it.
We stopped in Sea Isle city and left the boat at my bosses home for a week.

The Sea Isle inlet is not too bad if you catch the slack tide and stick fairly close to the south side. There is a large bar on the north side, with huge breakers going over it at times. I don't know of any place to anchor inside, and the current runs better than 3 knots! If you want to stay at a marina be sure to make reservations well in advance, we couldn't find even a dock to tie to!

I'd guess you'd be better off going inshore below the Barnegat Inlet, but I do't know that area.

If you'd like someone to make the trip with you, I'd be happy to go along. I like ocean sailing. This was my first offshore trip on my own boat in 25 years. I did Toms River to Block Island the year before, on a friends Cape Dory 28.

If I can help you any way please let me know.

Gary H. Lucas
 

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October Moon B43
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We make the trip to Cape May every year. Do your best to time your ride with the current and you'll pick up 3-4 kts of speed. Also try to avoid running against headwinds above 15 kts since the bay is shallow and whips up nasty chop in a hurry. Once you round Salem power station 150 degrees will take you right to the entrance to the canal. Ship John Shoal lighthouse is apx 1/2 the half way point. Watch for the ferrys coming and going into the mouth of the canal. They move pretty quick. While in the canal keep to the center if possible as the edges can get a bit shallow, especially at low tide. There are 3 bridges in the canal, two fixed with 55' clearances, one is a railroad swing bridge that's normally open. The R/R bridge is narrow so watch for oncoming traffic and time your pass accordingly. While there are a few marinas in the harbor we always stay at Utchs. There's a shuttle that runs between tonw and back. Rent a bike or walk the apx 2 miles. Very nice homes to view on the way. While in Cape May harbor pay attention to the markers, it's shallow outside the channels. The run from CM to AC is apx 6 hrs. Stopping at AC is expensive if you tie up to Trumps, $4.50 a ft last time I knew. Not sure how much longer to Barnegat. I do agree with running in at slack tide as the current running through that channel is notoriously fast. I'd also opt for the northern entrance unless you're familiar with the southern. No experience but have heard the southern is tricky unless you have local knowledge. Perhaps someone else can comment. Don't worry about the ocean. The only thing that might bother you would be rollers off the stern. No big deal just makes you pay more attention to the helm. Once you get the feel for it you're fine.
Pick and good weather window and you'll have a great trip.
Mike
 

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The Utsch family clued me in the last time I was in Cape May to stay at Kammermans across from Trump. It was $3 per night there and a short dingy ride across Clam Creek to tie up at Farley (Trump) State Marina. Very few slips available so make reservations early.

Dave
 
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