Monday, May 9
Forked River, NJ
We are looking forward to spending the day with our friends Jim and Linda Evans, whom we met in Georgetown, Bahamas. They said to arrive anytime, so we slept in but arrive there at their home in our dinghy at 850am. I took a quick shower inside. They have an outside shower and Jim was saying that he takes showers there NOW. His he kidding!! To me it's too cold to take outside. So Linda said it's ok to take inside which I did. Then Linda and I walked around the neighborhood joining up some other neighborhood ladies that regularly walk. It was good exercise much needed by me. I notice that my legs definitely need more exercise that they just don't get on the boat. While we were gon3, Phil and Jim got the diesel jerry jugs filled and also got propane. Linda and I also went to Home Depot to look at tiles for me to use as a baking stone while Phil and Jim rode bikes and visited a neighbor that was working on the head on their engine in S/V Slow N EZ. We left empty handed from Home Depot but then I got 2 new pair of over-the-glasses sunglasses at Walmart. I finally lost my last pair so now I'm all set.
After Linda and I returned, Phil went back to the boat and replaced one of the zincs on the engine under the stairs. Unfortunately he found oil and water in the bilge under the engine. The Oil fil cap had come off - why is the mystery. When the Coast Guard had stopped us they checked in the engine compartment and all was clean at that time. So as you can imagine, it took Phil a while to get back. The wind direction had also changed direction so Changes was up against a 55gal drum size No Wake Buoy, which scratched up her finish. Taking in 10ft of anchor chain helped that situation.
We had an very enjoyable time visiting until Jim and Linda had to go to a previous evening event. Phil and I stayed at their house to watch TV - yes TV! and have a pizza for supper. We returned while it was still light outside. It was nice to spend a day off the boat.
Tuesday, May 10
Forked River, NJ
Passsage across the Barneget Bay for Staging
Distance Traveled: 7.92 nm
Miles to get Home: 1688.31
Total Distance Traveled: 4356.01 nm
We have decided to visit with Jim and Linda earlier today and then go to the other side of Barnegat Bay to stage leaving tomorrow morning to go north. The wind is to increase later today and then die down again. Being that we didn't have to travel, we again slept in. It was also cold in the morning so it was difficult to get out of our warm bed under the quilts. But we prevailed and arrive at the Evans home at 930am. Phil filled the water jugs while Jim finished a project and Linda and I talked.
I had made some phone calls to local tile stores w/o finding the clay tiles I wanted, we decided to go to Home Depot and see what tile I can find for my baking stone. I did buy a ceramic 8" x 12" stone for $1.22 including tax so will see how that works. Then we went to Walmart for groceries, jeans for Phil and a propane mantel lantern to use inside the boat for heat and light. (we will be sure to have good ventilation while using and not when we are sleeping) That done we visited Harvest Buffet for a Chinese all you can eat meal. The food was delicious and we all ate too much (especially me). No cooking supper tonight for me!
We also stopped at a local quilting fabric store and I was able to find another 4 pieces of fabric to add to the Bahamian Quilt that I'm making for Katie and myself. They have lots of Batik and nautical fabric available being so close to the ocean.
By 3pm we had said our goodbyes to our very gracious hosts. We had a WONDERFUL time visiting, but reality raises it's head and time to move on. We took the dingy back to Changes and managed to load everything onto the boat despite the 2 foot choppy waves. By 320pm we had started to engine for what we thought would be an hour trip to anchor close to Barneget Lighthouse but which turned out to take 1 hour and 45 min. We going against the tide and going upwind most of the trip limiting out speed to about 4 - 4.4kts and then up to 5kts when we got the head sail up. Going thru the marks was a lot easier this time as Phil could follow out track from coming in. We anchored at 530pm just east of the channel N39 45.38' W74 06.862'. Then we took off the 8hp engine and put the dinghy on the foredeck in preparation for going out on the ocean tomorrow. This was all done by 615pm. Not bad timing. I spent the rest of the evening finishing up the 2nd baby afghan and starting the 3rd while Phil red.
Wednesday, May 11
Barneget Bay to Barneget Bay - What??
Distance Traveled: 12.23 nm
Miles to get home: Don't think it counts as we really didn't get anywhere
Total Distance Traveled: 4368.24
We woke this morning at 5am and Phil noticed immediately that we were aground. The wind was blowing from the north and we had moved into the shallows. We both got dressed in multiple layers and started the engine at 515am. This time we had to move forwards to get off the shallow area instead of reverse. But finally at 524am we were off and moving into the channel. By 537pm I felt the swells that indicated we were in the channel. I looked out and saw lot of waves like a washing machine at the end of the Channel, but Phil didn't want to turn around to listen weather - so off we went into our adventure. The waves were 6-8ft tall, so quickly I got into the cockpit to help lessen the almost immediate sea sickness. The tide was going out and the waves were coming from the NE. Phil thought that the steep waves would lessen as we got into deeper water so we continued. At 551pm we changed course to 60 degrees on the compass so we are going upwind and continued plugging on. We put out the head sail and have our course at 40 degree so that we can keep the head sail full to try to steady us. At this point I'm very unhappy - as hadn't been able to prepare the salon for passage and also make ahead food for the weather like this. We discussed turning around - didn't so continued for a while - the wind is increasing so at 627am we turn around and head back with the wind 14-15 kts at a 120 degree wind angle. Now it's much better going downwind. By 651am we are in the channel and what fun (NOT). We are going down the steep rollers that may have been 10 ft high pushing us into the shallow area of the channel. The boat was rolling back and forth 45 degrees as we go up and then down the waves that are coming towards our starboard quarter. Phil did a great job at the helm and as soon as we were behind the breakwall at 712am we were safe. I had my life jacket on. Going into the channel, we were now going against the tide and moving between 1.9 to 2.5 kts. Do we want to do this again - NO. By 740am we have anchored this time at the end of the channel in plenty of deep water. Even so the winds are N 15 kts.
By this time it is colder in the cabin (64F vs 66F) than it was when we woke up. Though we have concerns about using the propane mantel lantern inside, we use it to heat us up having the head hatch open and also the companionway hatch open a few inches for good ventilation. I make eggs and toast for breakfast then we spend the day knitting, reading, taking naps (me a long one from the Marezine I took). I fix cracker crumb chicken, instant potatoes and fresh broccoli for lunch and we had cheese, crackers and fruit for supper.
Tomorrow the plan is to try again starting a little later in the morning. We will go in the channel of the inlet and it the waves look like they did today, we will turn around. All day today the Coast Guard on VHF radio Channel 16 was announching about how a fishing boat, The Atlantic Traveler, was capsized in Manasquan Inlet which occurred about the same time that we were on the Ocean and now the inlet is closed to boats until further notice. I heard early in the day about a man in the water, so I hope that he was recovered. This inlet was to have been our back up exit out of the ocean if we had continued on, so we are doubly glad that we returned. I would say this is the worse waves and situation that we have encountered for this trip.