Bristols are neat boats. I bought my first sailboat ( an Islander 28) and sailed on Barnegat Bay for almost 9 years. I lived in Ocean City, NJ at the time and the Bay was a great place to learn how to sail a keel
boat as I graduated from Hobie Cats in the ocean. We used to anchor
at Tices and swim in and build fires on the beach. We kept our boat at Dillons Creek marina on the Toms River.
Not sure if you have a depth
finder, but I would use it on the Bay as you are aware it shoals in many areas....and there are uncharted humps everywhere. I would suggest a different technique for getting off a grounding other than leaving the safety
of the boat as you can see t can sail away from you really fast. We all have been aground. Usually swinging the boom out with no sail and putting a weight on the end or people will heel the boat over enough to free you. Keeping the sail up is a two edge sword as it may heel you over, but it may also push you further up on the shoal. Another way is the The kedge method works well where you take your anchor
out to deeper water
( you can swin it out bouyed by a life preserver. The wrap the anchor line around the winch
you way out to deepr water
, Me carefull with you engine
as you dont want to ingest too much sand/ mud. If possible usually its better to come out the way you went in.
We now have moved to the Chesapeake and have a 35 C&C
MKIII . Every year we leave the Chessie take it to Cape May via the C&D canal and Delaware River and hop up the coast to NYC
thru the East River and out the LI Sound to newport
, Block Island or Marthas Vineyard. We always stop at Barnegat Lighthouse on our way up and anchor. I know that inlet as I have traversed it many times, and I also know how trecherous it is and its reputation ( well deserved), but I have good knowledge of the area and will attempt it with good weather
. The anchorage behind the Sedge islands called Meyers Hole is awesome. Dont try tha inlet for a while until you become proficient sailors as it is a tough one. Better to go up the canal to Manesquan as that inlet is straightforward and doesnt have 15 foot rollers from sandbars lining its fairway.
Good luck with you new boat.