18 September 2012

New Jersey Coast

We left NYC and took advantage of some particularly pleasant weather.  Our first days out on the ocean were as calm as could be.  So, we took advantage and put some miles behind us.  Next stop Atlantic City.

Atlantic City was one of my stops when I brought the boat home and I looked forward to bringing the girls.  We took Macara on a 'field trip' to the Atlantic City Aquarium were she got to feed Cow Nose rays and play in the 'touch tank'.  Then we went down to the Board Walk for a little sight seeing.  We walked on the beach.  We did a little shopping.  All good stuff.

The perfect weather continued, so we took full advantage.  We completed the Jersey Coast by travelling further down to Cape May.  Cape May is a natural stop before heading up Delaware Bay, but we plan to stay a little longer.  There is some real nasty weather in the long range forecast and our hatch is leaking. It also seems like a perfect opportunity to check that engine alignment.  Put an end to that squeak.  Ocean Yachts are built in New Jersey and a quick call to the manufacturer recommended that we stop at the Canyon Club Marina.  What a place!!!  We look like we belong here, but we don't.  This is a hard core off-shore fishing marina.  Almost exclusively filled with sport fish boats, mostly Vikings and Oceans.  The majority fitted with outriggers, it is quite a sight.  A typical fishing day for these guys is to depart at about 1am, run out some 70nm and begin fishing.  They fish all day and return sometime after dark.  A long day for sure.  The entire marina is fixed to fuel each boat in its slip.  There are fuel pumps about every fourth slip.  That's a nice touch for sure!

Service like that comes at a price.  We arrived on a Friday and wouldn't get service until Monday.  To save a few bucks, we went looking for an anchorage.  Unfortunately, we wandered out right at low tide.  There is a 5'-6' tide here.  Without that extra cushion, I did not have the courage to find a spot to anchor.  Off to Utsch's Marina for a couple nights.  I am glad we did.  We meet some more "cruisers" over there and got some advice on how and where to catch some Blue Crab.  On Sunday, that is what we did.

From what I was told, we were to go up in Jarvis Sound on the low tide and find a spot were the fresh water creeks feed in.  We bought a couple 2 ring traps and a couple Mackerel for bait.  We hoped in the dinghy and off we went.  We set the traps and waited about 10min.  The first trap empty, not really a big surprise.  The second trap had a crab in it!  You could have knocked me over with a feather.  Our laughter rang out over the marsh.

Now I am sure the locals would laugh at me, but I wasn't grabbing a hold of these guys without some protection.  Check out my deep frying gloves, they should do the trick.

We tossed a couple small ones back, a couple 'keepers' convinced me to let them go free.  At the end of our brief outing, we had 4 crabs to show for our efforts.  Now back to the boat and quick brush up on You Tube on how to prepare our bounty.

I ended up going with the Carolina method.  A little more preparation up front, but a more pleasing table presentation.  I steamed them in beer and Old Bay spice.  Our 'picking' skills could use a little work, but we definitely enjoyed the fruits of our labour.  What a mess!

We got our service completed on Monday.  Hatch resealed and the motor alignment is all good.  Tuesday was the start of the bad weather, so we rented a car for the day.  The cupboards are starting to get a little bare and Macara's birthday is coming.  The weatherman got today right, the Delaware Bay buoy at one time was showing 34kt (39mph), gusting to 41kt (47mph).  We didn't get the forecasted 1"-2" of rain, but I won't complain.

Hopefully in the next day or so, we will get a weather window to allow us to make our way North-West up Delaware Bay.

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