That must've been some trip! And I bet it was cold. I imagine you went up through the ICW. Did you go through the Dismal Swamp? I helped transport a boat from Cape fear Wilmington, North Carolina to Chesapeake last summer.
You are making a prudent decision to not do the Atlantic Ocean to block island route On an unknown boat.
Make sure that you get a tide and current book such as Reeds almanac. That will be your best friend! Try to make as much time in the Chesapeake Bay as you possibly can because you will need to wait for weather windows going up the coast of New Jersey. That will give you more of a cushion to pick your time. Therefore your trip up the Chesapeake will need to be a motor if you find that the wind is not pushing along at 5 kn. You really need to hustle through the bay which is a shame because there are so many places to stop and enjoy. You will just have to come back and visit us!
When going through the C and D try to time it so that you are going with the current and possibly then need to anchor off of Reedy point in the Delaware River to wait for favorable current going down the Delaware River. Current in the CMD canal can run about 2 kn. Current going down the Delaware River can also run about 2 1/2 kn. So you will need to have good charts and time the trip down the Delaware so that you are going with the card as much as possible. It will not be possible to go with the current all the way or maybe not even two thirds of the way. Remember current flows fastest in deep water so when you start to fight the current move off to the shallows. The strongest Current is in the river portion, not the bay portion. Forgive me if I am telling you things that you already know. I'm just trying to cover all bases and I don't know your skill set.
Go through the Cape May Canal and take care of the Cape May ferry. They will wait for you to get out of the canal area so don't let their size scare you. I think it's best to stay at South Jersey Marina in Cape May. Be careful of the current as the current is a strong 5 kn and it could sweep you out of where you want to go and put you in danger quickly. Be sure to have South Jersey tell you where the current is flowing I mean like which direction the current is flowing in. But South Jersey is a very nice place to stay and will help you choose when to go out the inlet. It's best to travel out the inlet at slack tide. If there are a lot of waves or a HighC out in the ocean it will make traveling the inlet difficult to get out. However the Cape May Inlet is perhaps the best widest and deepest inlet in New Jersey.
In Atlantic City, stay at the State Marina otherwise known as the Trump Marina. Be careful if you come into Atlantic City at night, all of the lights of Atlantic City make it very difficult to see the channel markers. There are unlit Channel markers as well. I don't really have good recommendations for where to stay in Manasquan. Get a waterway guide and check out the marinas. We have stayed at the Brielle Marina before but I'm not sure if they are still in business right now. Current in the Manasquan River can also be very very strong. If you stay at the Brielle Marina or whatever it's called now which I think is the only deep water Marina they have, you will need to go through a railroad bridge that is very narrow. Boats kind of plop through it one at a time. If need be, you can anchor in Sandyhook around back by the Coast Guard station. That station I don't believe is active anymore but there is good protection back there. In New York City, or really New Jersey, stay at Liberty Landing Marina. The view of New York City is awesome. Time going up the East River so that you are going with the current or approaching slack current. Go through Hellgate at slack current. The currents and Hellgate are very very strong. You will not be able to fight the current and go against them and also be aware that tugs and barges use that waterway a lot. Monitor channel 13 and announce when you are approaching Hellgate so that the tugs know you were on the other side. Thank you very like a big S turn. Hugs and barges need to hug the inside corners of the S turns and you do not want to be there between them and the land. Once in Long Island I'm Long Island sound there are a bunch of places that you can stay but you will probably be angry and I don't really have too many recommendations for there just find something good on the charts.
Please feel free to ask me any specific questions that you might need to know that you might have.
Mandolin, Bayfield 36 out of Rock Creek, Chesapeake Bay.
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