Yes, you read that right! After almost 6 months, we are finally cruising again!
After watching the weather carefully, we decided to head out of Baltimore on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Even though there was wind predicted, we wanted to get as far north as we can, which would give us more options for making our way to New York. We left relatively early and had a fairly easy cruise for the remainder of the Chesapeake, the C&D canal, and the first quarter of the Delaware River. However, as predicted, the wind started picking up as we approached the widening part of the bay, and so we followed our plan (bail early) rather than trying to push further down the bay into worsening conditions. We pulled in to a small river on the north side of the bay (Cohansey River) and dropped anchor, staying pinned to the west of it with 25kt winds until the sun went down. At first we were all alone in this anchorage and enjoyed a lovely sunset for our first time on the hook in so long!
Just before sunset a sail boat came down the river and anchored a few bends away from us. They captured this shot of us as they were cruising by and sent it to David!
Some wind was expected the next day, but we decided to head out because we had a few options. Though we were ideally aiming for Atlantic City – which is part ways up the New Jersey Coast, we knew that if everything was terrible, we could cut inside into Cape May at the tip of the Delaware River and hang out there in the protected bay, or try to work our way up the NJICW. Rounding Cape May and heading into open waters, the ride was uncomfortable, but not our worst open water by any means, and we arrived in Atlantic City around 2pm. We would have actually kept going — conditions were pretty decent — but we have caught up to a number of Looper boats who are making there way north as well, including a friend of ours, Steve Olsson, from MBYC who is Looping this year! He is with several other buddy boats and we made plans to meet them later for drinks.
First, we headed up to the Marina/Casino’s rooftop pool/hot tub to relax a bit, and then got fancy and went out to a nice dinner.
Looking at the forecast for the next day, David saw that it was predicted to be calm in the morning, with winds picking up in the early afternoon and then blowing for several days after that. Knowing that this would be our only chance for a bit, we decided to wake up before sunrise and head north. We would go on plane, as fast as we could, and aim to arrive at Sandy Hook before the weather turned.
The cruise turned out to be incredibly smooth with no issues, but as predicted, just as we were rounding the corner at Sandy Hook the winds went from 10 kts to 30 kts in almost an instant. What had previously been smooth water filled with white caps. Luckily we were only half an hour from our destination. We arrived at Great Kills Harbor and managed to hook a mooring, despite 25 kts of wind on the nose even in the protected bay. Steve and his companions were a few hours behind us as they cruise at slower speeds and had a rough additional 2.5 hrs cruising in those high winds, unfortunately breaking several things on their boats in the bad conditions. But we made it up to the New York Harbor!