I sorta left things hanging with my ending last time – hunkering down, waiting for a nor’easter. Because we’d gotten to a marina, up a river in plenty of time before the storm was to hit, I was feeling pretty confident in our situation. Not only that, we were in my home state, and much as people make fun of the way folks talk here, I love it. After 40 years in New England, I’ve seen more than my fair share of storms, nor’easters in particular. We were’t talking snow, so how bad could it be?
This stop had pluses and minuses. Plus, my parents had retired to this town so I had some familiarity with it. We were in walking distance to “downtown” and a DELI! Once we arrived we went looking for a late lunch. Being able to have a deli sandwich is as close to heaven as a “Jersey girl” gets. In NJ a sloppy joe is a great big turkey ham and cheese sandwich with cole slaw and thousand island dressing. Try it, you’ll like it.
The minus, finger docks. OK a finger dock is a skinny little dock along side your boat on one side. Everything else is just lines (ropes) and pilings. Getting on and off the boat was a bit trying, depending on the tide. Getting Tigger on and off, a bit more trying. Stress is rapidly becoming a permanent situation, a deli sandwich helps however. Personally I felt like I was walking the balance beam when getting on the finger dock, but that’s my problem.
Now we’re getting to the hunkering down part. We were good, at least we thought we were. After a blustery night we woke to an equally blustery morning. We were waiting for the blustery part to subside. First weather report said 11:00 a.m.. Next report 12:00. Next report 3:00. Finally at 3:00 things started to subside. At high tide the dock was flooded and we couldn’t get off the boat. My cousin Betsy had texted, meet you at 1: for lunch? Nope can’t get off the boat! She came by around 3:00 when the tide had gone down. She brought us Pork Roll – God loves Jersey girls!
Our provisioning had to wait a day. Betsy was willing, I was not. Being flooded in a marina and having to climb up to a once flooded dock was a little more than I could take. I had called my brother earlier and told him not to come by for provisioning because we were trapped. We would wait a day until things settled down and go shopping then.
Jim was great, he took us around town for all our errands and bringing with him those items shipped to him. When the weather cleared in the morning we would be good to go. Fully provisioned and with partly sunny skies we headed back out. The NJ Intracoastal Waterway (has ICW) would be a relief from the ocean. That is until the shallow water started setting off our depth finder. Nothing in life is simple. It was calm though, until we reached the inlet to Barnegat Bay. As the fetch got larger, so did the waves. The depth did not increase much. Even inland, it was a struggle.
Now though, I was in familiar waters, kinda. I’d driven over the causeway many times, never under. As kids, my dad rented an outboard to go fishing on this very body of water. Not right where the tides and depths were giving us trouble but close. Eventually we got some relief from islands in the bay, blocking the wind. Then, there it was, Morrisons Marina. They used to have a restaurant there too. It burned down in 2005. They had the best clam chowder. Anyhow, it was home and respite from the rough waters. After we docked, a walk down to the beach made everything alright again. It’s where I’d spent my childhood vacations, it was my New Jersey.
The next day we were to continue along the ICW of NJ. I was in touch with other folks making their way down the coast. They informed me the seas were calm. To make better time we decided to exit the NJ ICW and head out into the ocean. We could make much better time there if the seas were calm. The problem was getting out there. Exiting the ICW via the Egg Harbor Inlet was crazy. Tides, waves and shallow water made for a more than interesting exit.
Once out again in the Atlantic, it was a great ride. Bumpy at times, but sunny and not too bad. We passed Atlantic City and then Wildwood. Then it was Cape May. As we entered the Cape May Inlet, a bottle nose dolphin greeted us. A warm welcome indeed.