Today started off real late... awoke at 0530... I had set my alarm for 0400 so we could be underway by 0430 in order to have a favorable current leaving New York. The current was switching from ebb to flood at 0630 and we would end up with current against us. We would make the best of it as there was nothing to change this now.
We were ready to depart by 0600 and the plan was to pull the anchor... quick trip to the ferry dock to walk Beecha and we would be underway by 0630.
Well, another plan went to pot... pulling the anchor was not working as anticipated. The refurbished windlass required some adjustments. The new braking pads on it were slipping any time there was any heavier load on the windlass... with SAILS that meant slipping most of the time. So I was off to the engine room to break out the tools. It did not take long and the windlass was working great and we had the anchor up and headed to the ferry dock to walk Beecha. At 0645 Beecha and Susan were back to SAILS and we were underway to todays destination Atlantic City, NJ.
As we past alongside the Statue of Liberty I took a great photo of the battery and the freedom Tower looming up into and through the low lying clouds. We would not see this sight till next year. New York City is one of our favorite areas to cruise through... it's absolutely spectacular from the water.
As we exited New York Harbor due to the late departure we indeed had current on our nose and only able to make 5.5 to 6 knots and we would have this current for several hours. It is surprising how far outside of the harbor that you are affected by the tidal current in and out of New York.
There was a lot of ship traffic leaving the harbor this morning. Normally, you see one or two ships but today we had 5 ships pass us as we exited out Ambrose Channel. One of them was a little full of themselves... as he approached behind us he hailed us on the VHF and asked us why we were in the channel... I was not quite sure how to respond to him... and did not immediately reply... so he hailed again and asked us again adding... that this was not a rhetorical question... I responded that we were simply headed out of New York same as he was... his response was that I needed to get out of his way as I was impeding his progress out of the harbor and that I was breaking several rules of the road by being in front of him. Earlier when I saw the line of ships exiting the harbor behind us I made sure our route was along the outside edge of the channel to stay out of the way of the ships exiting. Two ships had already passed us and there did not seem to have a problem with us, but this one was evidently having a bad day. Anyway, after our last VHF exchange I altered our course to move us outside the channel... it was a very obvious change in course, but this ship captain was still not happy... again he asked why we were in the channel... and I see your course change but that you should of informed me before making a change in course... I simply replied... have a good day sir.
We were soon out of the Ambrose Channel and heading south down the Jersey shore. The forecast had been for 3-4 seas in a SE swell with 10-15 knot SW winds... it was nothing like this... there was no swell that I could see at all and the winds were SE 5-10 knots with a 2-3 sea following the wind from the SE. This made for a very pleasant ride and totally not what we expected.
As normal there were tons of people out fishing... the Jersey shore is always packed with small boats out fishing... no matter what the weather is like. In this sea state they were bobbing around like corks but tat does not deter them. Large boats such as SAILS also do not seem to bother them. Several time during the trip 20' boats trolling would be running parallel to our course and when we were within an few hundred yards of them they would cut across our bow and then yell at us pointing to the trolling lines behind their boats... makes no sense at all to me... why did they have to cut across our bow at that particular time... in 5 minutes we would of passed them and they could of taken our stern with no worries for their trolling lines.
For most of the day we had an unfavorable current against us... not tremendous but we should of been running at 7 knots and our speed ranged between 6 knots and 6.9 knots... makes for a planned long day even longer... this leg from New York to Atlantic City is normally about 13 hours... today it would be closer to 14 hours.
We had no real boat traffic today other than fishing boats... saw no boats moving north or south... had a dredge ship pass us around Shark River and one boat right at the sea buoy for the channel into Atlantic City... this was a strange one... maybe a 40 foot downeast style cruiser with flybridge was suddenly passing us on the port side... it was raining and had been dark for a few hours but this boat never showed up on the radar. He slowed down just ahead of us I assume trying to figure out the correct route into Atlantic City and he stayed off our bow 300 yards or so moving about the same speed as were... he had no stern light... all I could see were two large illuminated what I assume were chartplotter screens on his flybridge. I was really baffled as to why he was not detected on the radar... I adjusted the gain on the radar and did get a pinpoint blip for him but at 90% gain the channel buoys around us were huge blips with the blips trailing across the radar screen making them look like one huge blip... I had to go back to normal gain and rely on visual contact for this boat... and he was veering all around in front of us. After about 10 minutes he must of gotten his bearings and he was off at full speed toward the Atlantic City inlet and was out of visual sight... one less thing to worry about.
And of course as normal as soon as we turned to the west heading up the channel toward the inlet our speed started to increase... soon we were running almost 9 knots with the flooding tide. It would of been nice to had some of this boost earlier.
We were securely docked at approximately 2045 at Gardner's Basin located at N39°22.573', W074°25.279'. We had traveled for 14 hours covering 90 nautical miles averaging 6.4 knots.
One of the nice things about this stop for us has always been Scales Restaurant right at the Gardner Basin docks... they had great burgers and COLD beer. We had figured they might be closed for the season but were totally shocked to see an empty lot... no building... nothing... it was gone... not sure if this was from last hurricane "Sandy" or not but will see if we can find out during our stay here in Atlantic City. We will be waiting out the weather front here for the next couple of days.