Sunday, September 19, 2010

Back at Trump Marina in Atlantic City

About 1:00 am the swells started coming into our anchorage. Up until then, it was pretty calm, even with 5 ft swells the previous day but it reached a tipping point at 10 ft swells. They weren’t bad, they just rocked the boat from side to side, more annoying than anything else since they were less than a foot high by the time they reached us deep in the anchorage.

The setup I have for anchor watch is a small GPS with a plotter output (Garmin GPSMAP 76). When we anchor, I put a waypoint at the location of where we dropped the anchor and keep the GPS in the forward cabin at the bow (which is much more accurate than at the nav station). I then enter a route to the one waypoint and the GPS displays the distance to the waypoint (the anchor) and plots the boat’s position on the display. I can see where the boat is relative to the anchor at any time during the night and whether the anchor has moved. This technique has replaced having to get up periodically and plot angles to lights on shore to see if we’ve moved. I can also see which way the wind is blowing since north is always up on the GPS display and the anchor sits in the direction of the wind, except when there’s a lot of current of course. The anchorage at Atlantic City has a lot of current and we went in circles around the anchor, we covered every square inch in all directions to the end of the anchor line! Even in Maine we hadn’t done that before. However, the holding is good and we didn’t move at all over the two days we were anchored there.

Once back at Trump Marina, we took a walk along the dock to view the racing boats due to go out that afternoon in the 10 foot swells. Well, the 12:00 start got moved back to 1:00 and then the smaller boat class was cancelled. The concern was not so much handling the 10 foot swells but rather the reduced visibility when down in a trough and not being able to see what’s ahead of you (another boat?!) when traveling at high speed. The boats are capable of over 100 mph but I can’t imagine them going that fast in such conditions. The boats were all very colorful and would make great posters.

We viewed the waves at the beach and took pictures but the photos just don’t do the waves justice, they don’t look as impressive in a picture – but in person they were phenomenal! Note that in the photo of the waves, you can see a sailboat in the distance, some people still go out in such weather but we’re in no hurry. It’s going to take a few days to for things to calm down. Our plan is still to leave Wednesday for Cape May.