23 October 2021: Giddy Up!
23 October 2021
Manasquan Inlet, NJ, USA
Ocean City, NJ, USA
Cumulative Mileage (NM)
Crew on Board
Skipper, first mate, chef, entertainment and more; I guess that is solo sailing for you!
GENERAL WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
The same glorious westerlies from the day before; not to strong and not too light.
Overcast to cloudy.
Balmy for this time of year but with that grey overtone preceding stormy weather.
Dry, thank goodness!
What a ride! My longest day yet on the boat and covering 68nm. The wind was perfect! And I heavily debated whether I should try and make it all the way to Ocean City or stop at an earlier port. But I decided to push on.
The departure from the marina was uneventful, and, given how great the sailing conditions were the day before, I felt like a total bad ass as I dropped my lines and confidently departed the inlet at daybreak. No more North Atlantic fears for me with a perfect wind forecast like I had!
Sails went up and I spent the entire day absolutely flying under sail with the perfect wind. With incoming weather (again, hooray for North Atlantic winter weather), I needed to make it far and fast so this was a huge accomplishment for me. Because I made it to Ocean City today, I could likely make Harbor of Refuge in Delaware the next day and Reedy Island, also in Delaware, where I wanted to wait out the storm.
It did mean entering at late sunset, but the channel was well marked (though confusing meandering like a winding river between shallow sandbanks for a long, long stretch). I was not yet used to bridges as most of the ones I had passed through in New York were well over the height I needed to pass under, so entering under the bridge at Ocean City was hair raising. I really questioned which part of the bridge is the highest and where I was meant to pass through. Something even harder to assess in after sunset. Which of the sections was the true middle and therefore the highest? Plus, I could not remember what the marker lights meant: they either meant go through this arch or do not go through this arch. Not an ideal time to forget!
On top of that, I was second guessing even more because immediately after the lane I suspected I needed to go through the route turns sharply so it kind of cuts you off and changes direction drastically. This made me think that lane could be the wrong choice. A total mind game. But I chose correctly apparently (that or both options were okay) as I did not touch and I luckily lived through the stress of watching my mast go under and hoping and praying it would not touch. If there is one thing worse than watching how close it looks when your mast goes under a bridge (even when your charts say the height is fine), it is watching how close it looks in the fading light at
dusk when you are unsure you chose the right bridge segment to pass through!
For anchorage choice, I was torn between two options so called ahead to the local Tow Boat U.S. office and asked advice. They broke the tie with advice to anchor just off the channel to the
west and I happily threw the hook down after a long day! I knew I would sleep like a baby as I was
exhausted and had to rise the next day at first light again to keep going.
“A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.”
– John Shedd