NJ at last
May 23, Cape May
Wind was moving my tent so badly that it woke me up. The forecast was for high winds with gale in the afternoon. With all the storms and tornadoes in the United States in the last few days, I was not reassured. Worse, these bad conditions extended at least five days and the long range forecast predicted much of the same for the next two weeks. I was either going to take a huge gamble and cross the Delaware in bad weather or I was going to have to wait perhaps two weeks or take the ferry and postpone the crossing for some other day.
My mind was not made up when I left the marina. It was raining hard and the winds were gusting to about 25 miles per hour. Crossing that day was not a good option. The wind was too strong. My hope was that it would die down.
During my passage in the last canal of the Virginia Pass the wind and the current were on my side. When I got to the Delaware River, the wind seemed manageable but I knew it would look that way because of the cover of the land.
I sailed out a mile to check it out. I did not even make it one mile out before I knew it would be really stupid to attempt it that day. I knew I was not willing to wait two weeks so I headed for the ferry.
The ferry dock was about 7 feet above me. There was no way to get to the parking lot. Fortunately them dock guys lowered the boat ramp all the way to the water. They helped me get everything on land.
Once on the ferry, it was not long before I knew I had made the correct call. We barely made it to the end of the jetty before the wind increased to 30, then 40. The waves were just incredible. At first, the waves were a manageable 4 to 6 feet but pretty soon they were breaking all over the place and increased in size. Some of the waves were clearly larger than 8 feet. I would have been in trouble really, really fast. Half way in the crossing the gale started. I had to hide the camera since the spray would have ruined it.
At Cape May, there was a water access at the end of the lawn. I was in a thin channel but the wind was so hard I could barely leave a little square of sail. It was hard going all the way to the city marinas.
I went for the first marina on the left since I could not venture in the small bay with that wind. I had no way to use the wind since the mast was wobbling in all directions. The marina was closed but I met a Canadian that helped me find a spot in the bush were I was able to hide the boat and put my tent away from sight.
Luc and his wife took me to the pizza place. This time I did not spill anything on his wife.