Friday, May 25, 2018

Utsch's Marina at Cape May - at a dock

A large convoy of Loopers came in after we arrived
We were afraid of missing low tide at the two 55 ft bridges in the Cape May Canal so we left early at 5:45 am. That was really, really early for us. The sun was rising as we left the anchorage. Last night was not a quiet night. The current runs through there at 2 to 3 kts which is no problem for holding for us but it's noisy and the boat swings from side to side. The main problem with the anchorage is the depth, it's too deep. Once you round the corner, the bottom drops out and the farther in you go, the deeper it gets, all the way down to 50 ft! You could wonder how in the world such a place could exist behind an island but it does. We anchored on the side before going in all the way at 25 ft, deep enough. We have a chain-nylon rode combination and with that depth, the nylon slips in the wildcat which requires pulling the nylon up by hand until the chain is engaged. A really fun exercise in 2 kts of current and a little wind. I can't recommend the anchorage and we only took it because of Hoolie relief nearby.

The docks are floating but the slips are shallow
For once, the forecast was pretty good with winds out of the west around 10 kts so they were on the beam as we headed south. In fact, we made too good a time and got to the bridges too early so I had to idle forward for a while to let the dropping tide catch up. They are redoing the bulkheads by both bridges so there were no height gauges. We had gone through the canal so many times that we didn't need them by just paying attention to the tides. We passed under both bridges without incident.

On the approach to Utsch's, we plowed mud at low tide. We saw the depth meter bottom out at 4.4 ft (we draw 4 ft, 9 in.) so we just powered through the mud. The marina itself was fine at around 8 ft MLW. However, we once again bottomed out at the fuel dock. Ann got us in as far as the depths would allow and we filled up.

The same thing happened again at our slip for the night. At low tide, we are stuck in the mud. Now it's time to start looking at weather reports for a window to reach the Atlantic Highlands. That will be tomorrow's project and perhaps another round for the Weather App Shootout1