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Old 30-07-2011, 14:31   #16
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Re: NYC to DC Down Past the Jersey Shore

flatlander, the NJ coast can kill you. Not to be overdramatic but I know someone who was literally lost at sea, within sight of the coast, and never heard from again. His boat was recovered from the bottom.

The problem is that there are large sections where the bottom is relatively SHALLOW much further out than you might expect, and this can create a lot more wave action than you might expect. Then the inlets are literally impassible in the wrong combination of wind and current, the USCG was unable to go out when they got the call (from a party on shore) that fellow's boat was in distress.

Of course if the weather is calm the trip is easy, but you've got to stay offshore and stay awake if the weather is bad, and if you're doing it solo--that may be pushing things. going down the ICW all the way may be the better idea IF there is any doubt about the weather, and if you have to do it solo.

Many of the inlets change on a daily basis, making them problematic without local knowledge and good control. And the combination of current and weather and night can make NJ inlets something to cross off your list, when there's any doubt. Good day, sunlight, plenty of draft? No problem.

Both the Staties and the USCG out there would tell you the same thing, there are times when they just can't pass through the inlets.
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Old 30-07-2011, 14:51   #17
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It's definataley a weird place. I think I won't do it next year. You want the right weather window. I neglected my own advice and although lovely sail most way a canadian high pressed down off barnegat. That was a slug festival.like the deleware bay wait for a clean opportunity and run. I do not understand all the dynamics but will spend some time looking at why the wave periods particularly along barnegat are so bad. I can only imagine a truly tortured looking bottom. Probably has mire to do with prevailing currents the Hudson and long island. Don't know
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Old 30-07-2011, 16:13   #18
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Re: NYC to DC Down Past the Jersey Shore

Now I must say that I've enjoyed the casual trip from Manasquan to Absecon Inlets inside, but I am accustomed to a lot of gunkholing. The shallowest point is between Pt. Pleasant Canal and Mantoloking at about 4.5 feet in soft mud. Be sure to pass through the Pt. Pleasant at slack or against some current. I would not want to be in the canal and calling for bridge openings running with the current! The Jersey ICW is not passable for most all sailboats south from Atlantic City. As for offshore, Manasquan, Barnegat, Absecon & Cape May are the only suitable inlets with Barnegat the least favorable, but fine in good weather. I can't speak about bad weather off the NJ coast because I don't make that choice. The only bad weather that can escape typical forecasting would be a 30 minute squall that you can sit out. Some speak of the shallow water extending offshore and breakers. Well, I don't choose to go there either. If you have a reliable boat and you have reliable means to identify your position and you don't choose poorly; then, it's an enjoyable easy trip.
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Old 30-07-2011, 16:31   #19
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Re: NYC to DC Down Past the Jersey Shore

CaptForce, That's exactly the right way to transit the Point Pleasant Canal. A friend entered the canal with a 4 knot current running with him last year..and the bridge got stuck. After trying to stem the current for 15 minutes he had to turn around and head back and exit Manasquan again.

The only thing I would add is that I like to do it very early in the morning before it becomes a washing machine..

The scariest part of the manasquan entrance for visitors is probably the RR bridge if there's a strong current running...otherwise it's my choice over barnagat.
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Old 30-07-2011, 16:49   #20
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Re: NYC to DC Down Past the Jersey Shore

Many good advisories in these posts. My two bits from 10 or so passages of this coast.

1. The inlets:
Barneget...we like it alot. great anchorage. mouth on inlet is good except when a good sea is running and then it is a roller coaster ride, but certainly not a problem.

Manasquan is our least fav. five foot tides and 5 knot currents. no anchorage. in a tight situation once due to offshore seas we came in. Ended up at Bieles. This may be the worst set of slips and amenities on the east coast.

Atlantic City is good if you can afford a $4 slip. The anchorage is a whirlpool

Cape May has good anchorage and many marina options.

2. How to do it.
Straight thru with a good window is the way to go. If you must split it up then do a short day to Barneget and a long day to Cape May.

3. Currents are there, and somewhat of a factor for sure.

4. If you encounter fog just put the radar on two miles from shore and follow it.

5. Rounding Cape May means either going out a few miles or going right on the shore with the radar on and keep it about a quarter mile off.

Northeasterly or south easterly breezes and seas make this passage uncomfortable.

Have never had any desire to use the so-called NJ ICW.

Fair Winds
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Old 30-07-2011, 17:02   #21
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Re: NYC to DC Down Past the Jersey Shore

Pick a good weather window and head her offshore at least 5 miles to get steady wind, deep water- 80' at least and avoid traffic. If you try to stay close to shore, you'll get a short chop and wonder what they missed as far as charting obstructions. It is quite shallow close in. Go right from Sandy Hook straight to Cape May to avoid the zoo and crappy anchoring options inside Jersey inlets. Running at night is great, especially if there's a moon. If you depart on a favorable early morning tide out of Ambrose Channel, you should get to Cape May the next morning some time. If you're singlehanding, get plenty of sleep before, make a lot of coffee, and have your egg timer on deck.
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Old 30-07-2011, 17:15   #22
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Re: NYC to DC Down Past the Jersey Shore

The good inlets are fine- stop at manasquan the first day, anchor in the glimmer glass, stop in absecon the second day and anchor in the little anchorage north of the channel, then on to cape may for day three. All three inlets are easy to get in and out of, particularly if you watch the tides, manasquan is the worst -but even against the tide it's not so bad, just slow and choppy...

If you have a west wind, you can easily sail just a couple miles offshore, best place to avoid the local recreational traffic and the larger commercial traffic. If you have an east wind, it's probably better to get into some deeper water...
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Old 30-07-2011, 20:26   #23
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Re: NYC to DC Down Past the Jersey Shore

Quote:
Originally Posted by Codacap View Post
.......................Atlantic City is good if you can afford a $4 slip. The anchorage is a whirlpool......................
I like all of Codacap's advise and I look forward to using the anchorage inside Barnegat,- I've not anchored there, but I've heard well of it. I do anchor very calmly and securely in the wide area up Rum Creek on the north side after entering Absecon Inlet. I'm not sure where the "whirlpool" anchorage would be unless it's where I've seen some anchor out in the strong current areas just off the main channel inside th inlet.


Here is a photo from my choice anchoring spot at Atlantic City. The car and truck are on the sand bar at this high tide time between my anchored spot and the big current channel where the sport fishing boat is headed outbound.
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Old 31-07-2011, 12:14   #24
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Re: NYC to DC Down Past the Jersey Shore

How much water is there running into Rum Creek? I can't tell from the chart.

I spent a sleepless night right across the inlet from there in the more commonly used anchorage right off the old Coast Guard station. A strong southerly blew all night at right angles to the strong current. Luckily we had two big anchors out, and I really didn't see how they managed to hold.
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Old 31-07-2011, 12:30   #25
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Re: NYC to DC Down Past the Jersey Shore

I believe that you could take six feet into Rum Creek at any time. The difficulty is knowing where the deeper water is when you cut between the glently sloping sandbar to the east and the grass covered steep mud bank to the west. At low tide it's pretty narrow and a simple choice, but of course less depth. As the tide rises more of the shallow sand bar to the east is covered so you need to stay west of the center. A large passenger tour boat takes regular passes in and out. There are some seasonally temporary markers once inside. It is all sand and mud, so a slow poke can suit. There is the option of timing for a mid and rising tide. Take care and joy, Aythya crew.
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Old 31-07-2011, 14:37   #26
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Re: NYC to DC Down Past the Jersey Shore

I had no problem getting in with 4 feet a nearly low tide.
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Old 31-07-2011, 17:32   #27
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Re: NYC to DC Down Past the Jersey Shore

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
flatlander, the NJ coast can kill you. Not to be overdramatic but I know someone who was literally lost at sea, within sight of the coast, and never heard from again. His boat was recovered from the bottom.

The problem is that there are large sections where the bottom is relatively SHALLOW much further out than you might expect, and this can create a lot more wave action than you might expect. Then the inlets are literally impassible in the wrong combination of wind and current, the USCG was unable to go out when they got the call (from a party on shore) that fellow's boat was in distress.

Of course if the weather is calm the trip is easy, but you've got to stay offshore and stay awake if the weather is bad, and if you're doing it solo--that may be pushing things. going down the ICW all the way may be the better idea IF there is any doubt about the weather, and if you have to do it solo.

Many of the inlets change on a daily basis, making them problematic without local knowledge and good control. And the combination of current and weather and night can make NJ inlets something to cross off your list, when there's any doubt. Good day, sunlight, plenty of draft? No problem.

Both the Staties and the USCG out there would tell you the same thing, there are times when they just can't pass through the inlets.
Sorry to burst your bubble but there's just too much wrong info here to let it go by.

Most of the inlets are not "easy" for one reason or another but harly unsafe or impassible 99% of the time.

The water is deep along the coast except at Barnegat, Little Egg, Great Egg, Corsons, and Hereford inlet...but a mile off most is usually good and ALL are marked to easily avoid the shoals if you can read a chart.

I was USCG operations officer for the Jersey Coast back in the mid-90s and any Coastie worth his salt would say they were easy inlets compared to most...especially the west coast inlets.

The Inlets that are marked and have jetties such as Manasquan, Atlantic City and Cape May don't get much easier. Barnegat was fixed from the old days...Townsends Inlet which I run every day is cake unless there's a 3' or better swell which is rare.... Shark River isn't too bad unless you have to wait for the bridge...yeah really not a nice one for sailboats...

NJ has some great waterfront dining and interesting towns to visit. Maybe the summer months are too hectic for some...but Sept and the first half of Oct are prime months to cruise the Jersey Shore in terms of weather and things to see and do.

Yes it can be shallow along the intracoastal...but at high tide and a little advice from the local Sea Tow or other pro captains.....the transit isn't bad if you draw 4 feet or less...5 is doable...6 foot draft and I'd just sneak in the inlets...but if a sailboat...the 35 foot bridges along the way would be the factor more than draft.

All in all...the BNJ cast is WAY more friendly than the stretch from Delaware Bay past Hatteras and the inlets no worse than many in NC, SC, Ga and Fl.
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:55   #28
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Re: NYC to DC Down Past the Jersey Shore

Hopefully from no lack of response, no one assumed that I had drowned. I haven't. I went to take the boat down the coast, but when I arrived I discovered several problems with the boat. For one the engine isn't working, and I feel silly saying this, since it is a sail boat, but I just didn't feel comfortable making the trip down the East River with no engine. Plus, from what I've read, the C & D canal only allows boats under power, no sailing. So that would have been a 200 mile detour. Now she's on the hard for the winter, waiting wistfully for spring to come, and for me to find solutions (and money) for all of the problems.
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:53   #29
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Re: NYC to DC Down Past the Jersey Shore

Not silly at all, the East River can be a handful even under engine power. Between the constantly changing winds from the wind shadow of Manhattan canyons, the chop and waves sometimes found on the river (depending mainly on your timing) and the traffic, which can include large commercial fuel carriers that can't see you or maneuver around you...not silly at all.

better luck in the spring!
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Old 08-11-2011, 14:36   #30
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Re: NYC to DC Down Past the Jersey Shore

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Hopefully from no lack of response, no one assumed that I had drowned. I haven't. I went to take the boat down the coast, but when I arrived I discovered several problems with the boat. For one the engine isn't working, and I feel silly saying this, since it is a sail boat, but I just didn't feel comfortable making the trip down the East River with no engine. Plus, from what I've read, the C & D canal only allows boats under power, no sailing. So that would have been a 200 mile detour. Now she's on the hard for the winter, waiting wistfully for spring to come, and for me to find solutions (and money) for all of the problems.
Sorry to hear that you had to postpone the trip. If you were going from NY to Washington DC then the shortest trip would be up the Delaware Bay, thru the CD canal and south to the Potomac. It is also easier from the standpoint of anchorage/marina choices as well. The distance is a little greater to go south to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and then head north to the Potomac. The trip from the Chesapeake to the Capitol Yacht Club is about 105 miles up the Potomac River. When I made that trip we had to wait till 1:30am for the Woodrow Wilson bridge to open for our mast to clear. The Delaware Bay isn't difficult, but it is a commercial area, then again so is the Chesapeake, you just need to keep a watch and dont miss your turn into the CD canal. Slow down for approaching tugs or freighters in the canal as the bow wave is like hitting a brick wall if you're going at hull speed. Otherwise a very enjoyable motoring voyage. Plan ahead and enjoy the trip.
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