Monday, July 21, 2008

Annapolis, MD to Brielle, NJ

Back out in the Chesapeake Bay, we saw several ships at anchor near the Bay Bridge. Suddenly, there was a big ship closing in fast behind us. The only prudent thing was to move out of the way and let him go first.
It really didn't look like he'd actually be able to make it under the bridge, but he did.
 I've driven and ridden over the bridge many times - not enjoying either at all! - and Caitlin, John and I even walked over it once, but I've never gone under it before. This was an interesting new perspective - and not nearly as scary.
  I thought this was an interesting view of the traffic on the bridge - looks like double decker.
Evidently sea gulls sometimes need to take a break.

We passed this lighthouse at the northern end of the bay as we entered the Elk River which leads to the C & D Canal. The canal connects the Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware River. In its early days there were locks, but they were removed many years ago.
This large trailer park is on the southern shore of the Elk River. Kind of looks like those pictures you see of Greece with the houses on the hillside along the coast. Well, maybe not exactly like that.

When we got through the canal and into the Delaware River, we anchored behind Reedy Island. That gave us an oportunity for a sunrise shot of the Salem Cove Nuclear Plant across the river.
Actually, the reason we were up for sunrise is the strong current in the river. We needed to catch the outgoing tide - which had us moving at a blazing 11kts. Had we slept late, we'd have been lucky to make 4kts.
Joe described the sea state as "frisky

Joe and I both liked this light house at the entrance to Delaware Bay.  Later we learned that the grandfather of Joe's friend, Harry, used to work there!

We took the long way around Cape May - don't ask why - and headed north in the Atlantic. We made it to Atlantic City that night - about a 100 mile, 13 hour run. Since it was a weekend, we were concerned about finding room to anchor, so we stayed at a marina in the shadows of the hotels/casinos. In spite of John's urging that we go in search of the "free" money that is available there, we spent a quiet evening on the boat.
After dark I looked outside. The tall gold building was now purple, and the blue/gray one with the swoosh was an ever changing array of colors and pictures. Then I noticed that above one of the buildings there were shiny gold things floating around. Joe speculated about fireworks before coming to see for himself. Through the binoculars all we could see was what appeared to be shiny, gold birds. The next morning we went to an aquarium at the marina and asked about what we'd seen. Turns out they shine gold lights up into the sky from the roof. The lights attract bugs, which in turn attract seagulls. Maybe that explains why they need to ride on barges during the day - they've been out partying all night!
  I liked the windmills that kept showing up amid the hotels from different angles. Finally we got near enough for a picture.

 We didn't leave the marina until about noon the following day, Sunday. The weather off shore was not looking good, so we took the intracoastal route. Unfortunately, it is narrow, often shallow and full of crazy boaters on the weekends.
There were some entertaining areas - interesting houses, as usual. There was also one section that had many people participating in a sport we had never seen before.
  After the areas that were near the ocean, we entered Barnegat Bay - it is large and shallow with a narrow channel that isn't much deeper. The wind picked up and made it even harder on Joe. It was definitely a white-knuckle day for him all around. We finally ended up anchoring in the Tom's River and planned to sleep in.

We awoke in the morning and found that we were under attack! Hundreds of sailboats were coming from up river. Fortunately, they passed us by and went out into the bay and spent the day racing back and forth - in the little bit of wind that was available.

Some took advantage of a tow out to the race area.
We decided to just hang out there for the day and kept thinking we'd go exploring in the dinghy, but never quite worked up the energy. We did enjoy watching different groups of kids of all ages learning to sail.
The next day, Tuesday, we continued on the last of the inside route. This section is also shallow with a narrow channel, but after we'd gone a little way we had the added bonus of thick fog!

After going in an out of the fog, we made it to the Manasquan River. The Manasquan inlet is the route to the ocean to go north to Sandy Hook and New York - there is no inside route. Besides the possibility of more fog in the inlet and ocean, there was the addtional problem of "frisky" seas due to hurricane remains.

Carolyn Ann, currently waiting out the weather in Brielle, NJ.
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