Sunday, May 4, 2014

Saturday, May 3, 2014 Should We Go to Manasquan Inlet or Push to Sandy Hook?

We wanted to get a really early start this morning because we knew our
trip to Manasquan Inlet was 53 miles.  However, we were a little leery about moving through the shallow passage 45 minutes after low tide! Tom on mv/Annie left about 6:45 am  and he read depths for us as he motored out.  Nope...we decided to wait until 7:30 am so we have more water under our keel!  Wish us luck at that time!! Oh, it's only mud or sand so if we do get hung up, all we have to do is wait for more water to flow into our skinny passage.  I wish I took pictures to show everyone how close we were to the marshes.  Chuck said he could 'spit' on shore, that's how close we were.   We were leading, so I called out depths to Whisper.  We made it through to the Absecon River without touching bottom but Whisper found land!  LOL  David was off and moving again and soon following us out the river into the ocean. It's a good thing the ocean is pretty flat today and since the tide is coming in with no opposing winds we had a rather smooth exit.  This inlet could get really bumpy if the conditions were right!
light on the Absecon River
look at the ocean surface!
The coastline is a sight to see!  Especially with the sun shining on all of the buildings.  However, there's a bit of a haze out over the ocean.  Hopefully the sun takes care of the clouds and haze.  It sure would make me feel better.  Rain wasn't forecast for today, but looking at the skies has me thinking otherwise!  As the morning progressed, the sun did clear the haze and it warmed up nicely.  The wind shifted from NE to SE and now it's going to be to our advantage to fly our head sail.  What a great day to be motor/sailing in the Atlantic!  Our sail is giving us the extra pull that we need to get to Manasquan Inlet at a decent time.  In fact, if these conditions would only continue until midnight, we all would definitely consider pushing on to Sandy Hook, NJ.  It would be nice to have the New Jersey trip over with...but that isn't going to happen today!

Rita called for slips in the inlet at Hoffman's Marina.  We were planning on anchoring, but we found out from TowBoat US that they are doing some major dredging up the Manasquan River and they have equipment anchoring allowed!   We had to check in and register at the fuel docks and then they will assign us a dock on the other side of the RR Bascule bridge.  We quickly found out that this is not a river to try to anchor in.  It flows up to 4 kts and is crazy.  When we pulled into the fuel dock, the dockhand told Chuck to motor the bow right up to the end of the dock.  He threw me one of there attached lines and our boat just stayed within a few inches of their dock!!  Once fueled up and registered, we have two major
challenges....getting off of the dock and motoring through this very narrow RR bridge.  It's usually in the up position but it is raised at a 45 degree angle.  With the currents and wind factor pushing us toward the bridge fenders, we have to almost crab walk under the bridge making sure that our mast doesn't hit the span!!!  Yikes.  I definitely would not encourage anyone to dock here!!  We got through but then the current was still strong on the other side and Chuck felt he was too far past the face dock the guys were waiting for us at.  So,  he turned the boat all the while the water is pushing us toward the railroad tracks.. Chuck knew what he was doing and more importantly how our boat performs.  He put the bow of the boat in the perfect position for me to catch Hoffman's lines again.

Let me tell you how bad this river runs.  While we were docked, a passenger train was coming, the whistle blew, and the bridge lowered.  Two power boats were circling around behind us waiting for an opening. Once the bridge opened, these two captains both wanted to be first under the bridge.  It is so narrow and the current was so swift, that they almost hit each other as well as  the bulkhead under the bridge.  I couldn't believe it!  How they managed to avoid a collision is beyond me.  The larger boat, about 32 feet, pulled up at the last minute and spun around...luckily he had the power to perform this maneuver!   The captain, instead of composing himself, charged through and almost hit the bridge again. I'm sure he was now going to chase the smaller boat and probably yell some choice words his way!  Craziness...and it's not even Memorial Day Weekend yet!!  I can't wait to get out of this area!

This marina has one good thing going for them.  They've remodeled their restrooms and shower facilities. The shower is to die for.  Almost as good as the showers at River Dunes Marina, NC.  This shower has a huge 'sunflower head' attached to the ceiling. Wow, was it nice...and hot.  A perfect way to end two days on the water and get ready for dinner at the Union Landing. We didn't have to walk very far because this restaurant is next to the marina grounds.  What a busy place both inside and out....Hopefully all is quiet for tonight!!

No comments:

Post a Comment