We loved our stay in the Sassafrass River. We were accompanied by two other sailboats, one of which had a giant German Shepard aboard. While we were eating dinner, a Coast Guard work boat pulled in and anchored about 100 yards from us. Unusual, but they obviously had a task to perform in the area. Little did we know, as we pulled out of the river on Monday morning, that wasn’t the last we’d see of the Coast Guard! We got a nice 1-1/2 knot boost from the currents of the tide in the Chesapeake Bay and C&D Canal. The cruise down the Delaware Bay – which can be quite choppy and rough – proved otherwise. Everything was working in our favor…..until….a bright orange Coast Guard patrol boat (like the one in the picture) passed us and then immediately changed course coming toward uswith blue lights flashing. Now, being stopped by the Coast Guard is not like being stopped by the police. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve done something wrong or that you look suspicious. Most of the time they just want to check things out and be sure that you are in compliance with safety regulations (fire extinguishers, flares, throw rings, etc.), aren’t aboard a stolen yacht or aren’t hiding illegals. I felt confident that we didn’t fall into any of those categories, particularly the latter two. But nonetheless, it was a hassle. The dogs went ballistic as the patrol boat drove right up beside us and offloaded 3 big “Coasties”. John turned the helm over to me (and the dogs) and dealt with the business at hand. First thing they asked, “How many people are aboard and do you have any weapons?” Everything went smoothly until he asked for documentation that we owned the boat. Well, we do and we don’t. This being an untitled show boat, we did not have the papers they were requesting and it sent them into a tizzy. It took a long phone call to their boss to settle it all, and 45 minutes later we were on our way. Arrived at the marina in Cape May and gave the boat a well-deserved bath! Had a delicious pork chop dinner and tuned into the news about (Hurricane)Earl.
We’ve dodged a lot of tropical storms/hurricanes in our fall boating excursions over the years, but this one is sounding a little more ominous. We are keeping our ear/eye to our weather sources and making some plans.
We left Cape May at 6:30 am (sunrise photo) and headed out to the Atlantic for our 115 mile trip up the New Jersey coast to our destination, Atlantic Highlands, NJ. This is the longest leg of the trip and we’re always glad when it’s over. At least this year the seas were smooth, only 1-2 footers, compared with last fall when we were driving through steep, breaking, 10 footers (a day I just as soon forget). For sure, the Krogen Express can take it, but not so much for the two and four legged passengers! In some places, we were only a 1/4 mile offshore, so we could see the lovely homes and beaches as we went. At the end of the day, we pulled into Atlantic Highlands, NJ off New York Harbor, dropped the anchor and walked the dogs, happy to be there.