Early this morning at 5:30am we departed Barnegat Bay due south with rain on the forecast and a long day ahead. But, by some miracle, the rain held off and the sun poked through for an amazing day of boating.
After almost 11 hours of motoring we arrived at a marina just outside of Cape May. The goal was reached; We traversed almost 100 nautical miles south and are currently staged for the Delaware bay. We plan an even earlier departure tomorrow to head up the Delaware crossing our fingers for calm conditions.
Despite our success weaving through the calm intracoastal about an hour out from Cape May our engine wouldn’t throttle to full power and suddenly shut off. We still don’t know exactly what happened, but upon further inspection we scraped something with the engine prop/skeg. The bright white paint on the 50hp suzuki now shows black at the bottom of the skeg and a paired dinged and scratched prop marks it’s incident. This shouldn’t be an issue though as it ran strong the home stretch to the Marina but it goes to show how quick the intracoastal waterway can drop off to shallow water.
We passed by Atlantic City, NJ and had our first close bridge crossing. A railroad bridge suspending just a few feet over the water concerned us enough to request a bridge opening. Upon further investigation, the bridge was closed for maintenance and it was suggested to see if we could squeeze the boat under. Thankfully, we cleared the bridge with about a foot to spare or else we were totally screwed.
For dinner we once again fired up the propane stove but this time cooked a Mountain house meal (freeze dried meals meant for backpackers and hikers. Perfect for our situation). In the process we managed to spill boiling water on the deck of the boat but with no further incident we ate a filling dinner.
The Marina we’re at is cool for a few reasons…It has a pool, warm showers, and is walking distance to the NJ Wildwood Boardwalk. So, of course we went swimming, took hot showers and walked to the boardwalk. Go-karting caught our eyes and after a few laps we walked around the boardwalk some more, bought ice for the cooler and returned to the marina for a sleep in the tight cabin.
The Delaware could prove to be significant obstacle if the factors like tide, wind direction and wind strength all combine for a nasty chop. The goal for tomorrow is to shoot all the way up the Delaware Bay. Once there we can continue through the Delaware Chesapeake Canal and enter the Chesapeake Bay.