Sunday, August 9, 2009

Safe & Sound in Cape May, NJ

Well, what a difference a day makes!! Saturday actually was the nicest day of our crossing, as seas diminished to barely 1' by the late afternoon. A welcome respite to the stormy journey we had! (Haven't had a Dark 'N' Stormy yet to celebrate our landfall, but that will be on the agenda as some point!) We already miss Bermuda!!

The highlight of the last day at sea was that Ron caught a BIG white marlin at the same latitude as Ocean City, MD (about 100 nm offshore, or thereabouts, as we were nearing Baltimore Canyon) ... over 6' in length, although at first , being fishing neophytes, we didn't realize what it was. In fact, for a minute, as the fish neared the transom for the first time, Ron thought it was a shark because of the tall dorsal fin! But, no.....definitely white marlin, when we saw its bill, color and stripes! Needless to say, we were startled, since we weren't expecting to catch any billfish...we were hoping for tuna or mahi-mahi! We hadn't a clue as to what to do with it, so released the poor thing. We've since found out that the local superstition here is to jump in the water after you catch one, or you won't catch another. (Ron didn't jump in, and believe me, it's fine if we don't catch another!) It was wild, though!

In any event, we came into Cape May in the late evening, around 9:00, just as it was getting dark. Lots of fishing boats around the breakwater in the midst of a wicked current...I looked up and we were doing ...what??....10 knots??...Coming in the inlet?? Yes indeed! There was one big charter boat that was perpendicular to the entrance as we arrived, apparently caught by the current and swung sideways -- it blended in with radar and we didn't realize there was a boat there at first, thinking it was just lights at the end of the jetty. It ended backing away from the entrance as we approached, amongst several small fishing boats. (I admit to being very confused by the lights I saw: What is that? A tug? Pushing barge? No tow lights, so...what IS that?) Looking closely with binoculars, I realized it was just a lot of little fishing boats and one BIG one, directly across our bow! Good thing we were entering cautiously and carefully! Not that anyone bothered to use their radio, either....thankfully we have been here before and knew the lay of the land -- or buoys & markers -- so to speak. We'd timed it right to come into the harbor at high tide, but weren't anticipating the fishing boats everywhere. Even after we entered the breakwater, there were boats zipping at us and by us at a good clip, some ignoring the marked channel. Welcome to New Jersey!

We inched into Canyon Club marina, jockeying with the current even inside the marina, and Ron did his usual superb docking job, sliding Equinox into a 20' wide slip. (Our beam being 18' 10", it's a bit tight!) Lines secured, engines and gensets shut down with power cord out, phone call to Customs to clear in....we'd arrived. It was hard to believe we weren't moving after 84 hours of being underway and 5 weeks on the anchor previous to that.

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