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The travels of the "Leah Gent"

New Jersey

6/29/04  We had a fast ride down the Delaware Bay today. We had been dreading this segment of the trip but we had a NW wind that blew us stright to the entrance of Cape May canal. The boat was surfing for a good part of the trip and it was fun to see how long I could keep it on the face of the wave. Debbie put a patch on for the first time and she felt a lot better at the end of a 55 mile run. You must have good crew on sections like this in case something goes wrong and a sick crew is not a good crew. We checked out the marinas and they are two bucks a foot per night and go up from there. That's 78 dollars to tie up if I don't use electric. I've had great hotel rooms for less. We anchored out in Ephrin Island bay. The travel guide warned of jet skies and they were correct about that. After dark the wind died down and we slept well.
6/30/04  New Jersey is not what I expected. I was hoping for lots of little places to anchor but it seems there are very few that are as good as the worst we find in NC. The terain is open and very, very buggy. The horse flies are here by the millions. They have a lot of kelp looking stuff in the water and it has already fowled the anchor rode tonight. Six foot tides and lots of wind also. We are anchored up a side water hoping we are not aground in the morning. A full moon is making for some huge tide swings. I set a stern anchor just in case the current turns us around and puts us outside the small channel. We spent most of the day watching the depth finder. Found the channel to be only 4 feet in a lot of places. We made 20 miles towards Atlantic City but it took all day and 40 miles by water. Lots of twists and turns. Getting into the creek to anchor I found out the boat will go in 1 1/2 feet of water. Good thing it's all sand here. I wish I had a depth sounder in the front of this long boat. In 4 feet we watch the depth sounder but don't worry much. In 3 feet we start looking for the channel markers. In 2 feet we get concerned. In less than that we raise the outdrive and get ready to jump out and push. We are the biggest boat we saw today and it seems nobody in New Jersey has seen a boat like ours before. The nickel jar got a big boost today. Even the Sea Tow guy we passed got his camera to take pictures. We are in sight of the casinos in Atlantic City. We will be in Gardner's Basin tomorrow. We found a slip for $1.25 instead of the $4 at Farley's State Marina. Donald Trump owns Farley's and my guess is he"s doing just fine. Imagine, $158 to tie up for the night. Ouch!
7/1/04 We made it to Gardner's Basin Marina in Atlantic City, NJ.and love it here. We took the Jitney to the casinos and had a great time. It's amazing what good food and gambling do to perk you up after a hard day on the water.
7/2/04 They had space for us to stay again tonight and we are staying. They had fireworks about 300 yards from the boat so that was a great bonus. We are finding that as we finally get somewhere it doesn't seem as tough as going in for the first time. We will stop in AC on the back south for sure. The Jitney's are a way to get around town for a buck and a half. They are small buses that travel at light speed, and the road here are still not ready for them. We were up off the seats a few times while getting around town. The drivers say the suspensions last about 5000 miles. These guys make New York City cab drivers look like sissys. We did well enough at the casinos to get a free meal!!
7/3/04  Well it's another night at Gardner's Basin. Can you tell we really don't want to leave. We have met several nice people here, Ray and Joann, he's a retired Atlantic City cop, and Trish, the dockmaster is just great. She really went out of her way to find us a space for a few more nights. More fireworks tonight so we will have another front row seat. We will leave in the morning for points north.
7/4/04  We were headed for Tice's Shoal for the night but decided to get out of the heavy winds and anchor in Barnaget Inlet instead. Nice place to anchor but lots of boat traffic going thru the inlet because of the 4th of July. Saw more fireworks in the distance. Ran aground for the first time not paying attention. I was heartbroken. I had hoped to do the whole trip without hitting the bottom but it was not to be. After trying to get off with the motor I jumped over the transom into 1 foot of water. Not even knee deep. It took all of 30 seconds to push us off and get on our way but it did make me mind the markers better.
7/5/04   We left Barnaget Inlet for the Winter Yacht Marina. The wind kicked up and the ride was bumpy but we made it to the marina and got fuel and pumped the holding tank. We try to pump out every 2 weeks or so. We could go longer but it's easy to do and you never know when you will find the next pump station. The marina had a loaner truck so we used it to do laundry for the first time in a week or more. I've decided that besides the wind, laundry is the second thing I hate the most. It's never convenient, always expensive and just plain boring. This was the first time in over a month since I had driven a vehicle. Oh how I long for my Honda again. We went into Brick, NJ. and found strip malls and Target stores. Some things I'll never miss. We had dinner at Famous Dave's BarBQ. It was great.
 

7/6/04  Today was a bad day. First, we got up at 5 to catch the tide out of Manasquan Inlet some 4 miles away for the 25 mile trip in the ocean to New York harbor. As we were going out the very narrow inlet we met 2 big shrimp boats with their outriggers all the way extended, which makes them about 80 feet wide, in a very narrow inlet. We were forced to run stright into a group of standing waves that were about 6-8 feet tall with no were to go. The first 2 waves just beat the boat to death. Remember this is a flat bottom boat. The third wave put us in the air and we went through the next wave, anchor first. Not a bad thing unless the front door happens to be open. The water make it all the way to the bed. I never thought we were in any danger but we sure were wet. Debbie was in the booth and got soaked, and I way behind the wheel and got soaked. The cushions got soaked. The rugs got soaked. We spent the next hour trying to get all the water up and beat our way up towards Sandy Hook. Sandy Hook is the turn into New York harbor and as we got closer the wind picked up and was dead on the nose with an opposing tide. Nasty!!  An hour later we were achored in Sandy Hook but the wind was expected to shift direction so we went up the Naisic River. That's the wrong spelling but it doesn't matter. Were are anchored peacefully next to a bridge as if nothing ever happend. We hope to make it 15 miles to Liberty Landing Marina across from Manhatten. IF, we get there it should be beautiful. We are going the back way around Staten Island to avoid all the ferry traffic. We had been told they are fast but the ones we saw today looked to be going 40 knots in big seas. I might just need to ride one of these babies!! There are 1500 ferry crossings a day. Once we get above New York City life should be much better than today. Actually we thought we were having a bad day until we heard some guy on the radio with the Coast Guard saying that a wave had taken his front hatch off and they were bailing water as fast as they could and firing flares so the Coast Guard could find them. A lot of panic and fear in his voice all the while.
7/7/04  "Travel is always fun in retrospect". I saw that quote on a travel planner somewhere and I think it to be appropriate. We got up to find the wind out of the south and calm which is what we needed to go across New York Harbor to Liberty Landing Marina. The warnings about ferries going fast and in all directions was correct. The Hudson River is a pretty neat place. We made it to Liberty Landing and got fuel and checked into our assigned slip. We decided to take the tour of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Debbie was not too happy about taking a boat to get there until I explained that they had bigger boats than we did. They must put 800 people on one boat for the mile ride to the statue. Ellis Island was ok but the Statue of Liberty is something everyone should see at least once. It's bigger than I thought. We took one of the water ferries across the Hudson to Manhattan and went to see ground zero. The World Trade Centers were sittig on a smaller piece of land than I thought. They have a nice pavillion set up showing the planned memorial that is in the works. We only stayed an hour in order to catch the last ferry back across the river. I was talking to the ferry attendant and he said the ferries run about 36-38 knots. That's bass boat kind of fast and they do it in really choppy water. We had dinner on a barge near the boat and closed the day with a walk out to see all the lights in Manhattan from the New Jersey side of the Hudson. Perfect!

Click here to go to New York

Typical New Jersey ICW
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Hotels on Atlantic City Boardwalk
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Atlantic City at night from our slip
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After taking a big wave in Manasquan Inlet
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Staten Island Ferries. HUGE!!
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