Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Utsch's Marina in Cape May - at their dock, dredgers and more dredgers

Utsch's has their own dredgers to keep their water level good
I didn't put out the length of scope I should have last night and I wound up getting up and putting out more later during the night. We originally anchored in 25 ft but with the tide it rose to 30 ft later on. My 85 ft was not nearly enough. I finally put out 125 ft which is still a little short but good enough for my ground tackle to hold us against the 1.8 kt current. When we hauled anchor in the morning, it came up clean. The bottom is either sand or very hard.

Here's the next size up for more serious work
We were expecting showers in the morning but it dawned clear. We got moving around 7:00 and made the Cape May Canal by 11:15. We saw 7.1 MLW on the way in through the breakwater in the middle of the channel. In the fall I saw 11 MLW. With a low tide we had plenty of clearance under the two bridges, around 57.5 ft, fine for our 55.3 ft mast. Normally we would see 58 ft at a 0.0 low tide but according to the NOAA tide station at the mouth of the canal, the tides were running 0.5 ft higher than normal. If you plan on going through the canal, you ought to read my article on how to calculate your clearance for a safe passage.

Finally, here the anchorage hogging dredgers by the Coast Guard station
Utsch's is full! Everybody is backed up waiting for good weather which is not around the corner. Yesterday the forecast was for a good day going north on Wednesday but that window closed today. Now NOAA is predicting 17 kt winds out of the north on Wednesday, not a happy ride. With that we are staying put. We'll let more adventurous souls venture forth but not us. Now it looks like Saturday is a better date, we'll see.

Still, we're happy here in a slip normally reserved for locals due to demand
We heard that the popular anchorage by the Coast Guard station is full of very large dredgers. I took a photo off the end of the dock here and I could still see a few boats braving the anchorage but not many. Meanwhile, we'll sit out the bad weather in the comfort of a dock at Utsch's.