What the fog?!

Trip Start Nov 06, 2010
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of United States  , New Jersey
Monday, November 15, 2010

With 63 miles between Barnegat Light and Cape May, we knew we needed to be moving early. Pete got up at 4:30 to get a start on breakfast as it was his day to cook, and Connor and I readied the boat to get underway. By 5:30, we were getting the anchor up and motoring out of the Barnegat Light channel. We got out into the Atlantic, eating breakfast in shifts, and by the time we were all fed, we enjoyed a ridiculously beautiful sunrise. As there was no wind to speak of, we got Pepe up and running on a course of 225 degrees - the heading we intended to keep all. day. long - just cruising down the coast, making miles.

A few hours later, we noticed a thick haze on the horizon, and by 9:00 we were completely surrounded by fog, which continued all. day. long.  Our visibility was, at best, maybe quarter of a mile, but generally only a hundred yards or so in all directions - and when the sun would try to peak through, the fog would brighten up so we could literally only see a few yards (maybe) around us. Luckily, we had a day free of traffic and only the random lobster pot to make us adjust our course. In general, it was just a chilly day and not all too eventful.

But, just in case we were in danger of calling it a boring day, our arrival into Cape May Inlet coincided with nightfall, and the fog was still thick around us. Connor relieved Pepe as I was taking a peak at the charts down below and Pete was restowing some things in the cabin. A few minutes later, Connor called out, "I could use another set of eyes up here," so I went up to help him spot buoys as we came in. As we found our red and green marking the entrance to the channel, we could see some lights of traffic not too far off in the distance. Seeing as we had no other points of reference, it was hard to actually keep Hejira oriented on the proper side of the channel. We called for yet another set of eyes, and Pete situated himself on the bow with the spotlight to help keep a lookout. Right as we were coming into the inlet, there was a large fishing vessel slowly heading toward our starboard beam with all of its bright lights on and its gear out. We managed to navigate around it, but it was definitely a little too close for comfort. We motored the rest of the way down the channel, all three of us scanning the fog for the upcoming channel markers and any surrounding traffic. Other than the slight scare of the fishing boat at the start of the channel, we managed to make it through without a hitch. It was our first time coming into an unfamiliar harbor after dark, and the fog just added a little extra excitement.

We dropped the hook near a few other sailboats, right across from a Coast Guard training facility where we could hear them doing drills. Just settling in for a quiet night before making our way to the Chesapeake Bay tomorrow.  And yes, I'll get Connor to post an update - I swear he's alive and well...and consistently within 30 feet of me.

~Ellie
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Comments

Sally Adamson Taylor on

Fog doesnt just add a little interest, it adds a LOT OF FEAR. That scares me more than anything, especially when there are big commercial vessels around with full electronics who know much more than you do and who might not be picking you up on their radar (esp if you are a 20 foot plastic boat).
You guys be really careful! So glad you made it in to Cape May without a hitch.

Peter E. Rowell on

Peter up and cooking at 4:30am, You must be having fun or you think the big freeze is close behind. Don't worry it's been warm in Nottingham.

We know Connor is on board because we saw picture of him, but then again we also saw one of "Pepe". Maybe you can get Pepe to do a post!

Coast Guard Training Station Cape May NJ, I spent February and March of 1969 there at the expanse of the US taxpayers. It was lot of fun, some big guy telling you what to do and calling everyone TURD's [Trainee Under Recruit Discipline]. Oh but they did let us go boating in a snow storm and shot a gun in the rain.

I hope today went well and will look for the post later tonight.

Remember what the old building inspector says "Two sets of eyes are better that one"


PER

Larry on

Piloting the skies or piloting the sea, there is sound advice for us all, don't be affected by "GET THERE ITTIS" and SEE AND BE SEEN" Tomorrow is another day, that way you get to see the sun come up an experience a new day. Be safe, enjoy, and have fun. Larry.

Peter Hinman on

Yo! It's so great to follow along with you three. I spoke with Peter Ver Ploeg the other day and he told me you were on your way south. Strolla might have shoved off yesterday or today from Ft. Lauderdale. It's so cool to read your posts and remember what it was like for Peter V and I last year.

I'm fired up for you three and a send my best wishes.

Emergency splif on hand I hope.

Have fun,

Peter H

Tom A on

Better to wait out the fog for a day than end the trip. Do be careful guys. Can't wait to see you again.

hejira
hejira on

Peter! We have emergency EVERYTHING on board.

-PFR

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