This morning about 530am we ducked into Cape May, NJ - in the dark. Sometime during Vicki's or more likely Phil's watch, the winds started building so that when I came on watch at 2am the winds were 15 20 sometimes 20 to 23 with gusts to upper 20's. We were at a broad reach so we were coasting down the waves. I hand steered the whole time as Changes is all over the place on this tack. Phil had put in a couple way points in the GPS which made it easier to know where aim. Vicki came on watch after me and by the time we got to Cape May, NJ, Phil decided to head in. There is a large shoal south of Cape May, it was dark, the winds and waves were high and it was safer to duck in. We anchored and then everyone went to bed. Phil did not get sleep last night even when it wasn't his watch so we are now anchored on the edge of one of the channels and Phil and Vicki are sleeping or trying to sleep.
Once we had a chance to look at the charts in more depth, there is a canal that goes to the other side of the cape that comes out north of the shoals into the Delaware Bay. I'm sure that when we leave, we'll be taking this canal as it will save us a lot of time and will take away worrying if we'll be hitting ground. The current weather at the mouth of the Delaware Bay is not good and predicting to get worse. We also have to leave 2 hrs after low tide to take advantage of a favorable current moving NW, which is the direction that we need to go to. I wouldn't be surprised if we stay here for a few days.
I don't know if you have noticed, but I put the 36 hour weather from The Weather Channel for the location of either where we currently are or where we are going to be on the right side of the blog page. I put it there for your information and I'll be able to do this as long as we are in the States. I'll have to find if there is something I can do when we are in the Bahamas when it gets closer to that time, but then I hope it's going to be pretty much a forecast of: warm trade winds, sunny, highs in the 70's pretty much every day. Rub it in right?
Before I sign off I want to tell the story of 2 sailboats that we we very close to last night. At the end of Phil's watch, there were 2 sailboats following each other that were off our starboard. Phil said that they had been gaining on us during his watch (this is when Atlantic City was a few miles aways). During my watch they overtook us, crossed over to be on our Port side and then got far in this distance. Then they started going in WAY closer to shore and I'm thinking what are the doing? I'm not following them as closer to shore I'm seeing spotty depths of 3-4 feet. Sometime later on the hand held radio I hear one of the boats saying they ran aground, then I heard the Coast Guard talking to them and shortly after the boat calling again to say that they got off and were not aground anymore. Not too much later, I see the boats on the Starboard side coming us. When Vicki came on they were once again in about the same position they were 2 hours ago at the beginning of my shift. They did overtake us and we saw later that they went into Atlantic City - but weren't following the channel markers - this time I didn't hear anything on the radio.
2 days ago