Cruisin' The Loop Aboard Kibon
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Tuesday, June 15, 2004...We got up early to beat the incoming tide down at Cape May, and we did for a few hours.  We were taking this short way across the flats, but Pearce says that the shallow water tends to kick up the waves.  Kay knows he's right, because that has happened before.  Anyway, Pearce drove most of the way from the inside station where he was out of the wind, and Kay read a book down on the lowest place -- on the bed.  Several hours later we turned into the Cape May Canal, and magically the waves died down.  At the end of the canal we went into Utsch's Marina to buy diesel at $1.499 a gallon.  Not the best price that we found in North Carolina, but it is still good.  We went over to Two Mile Landing for lunch -- it was reputed to be more reasonable than the Lobster House, and we were headed up the Jersey ICW.  Our port shifting cable broke as we were trying to dock.  After lunch, back over to Cape May for a replacement cable, and then to anchor.  We spent the rest of the afternoon repairing the cable.  We hope we can get an early start tomorrow.  

Wednesday, June 16, 2004... Early it was. Underway by six am for the long crawl up the Jersey Intracoastal. The waterway here is about the shallowest, windiest,  full of fishermen who won't get out of the way and a few zillion famous Jersey black flies. It's probably why most people go off shore from Cape May to Sandy Hook. There are quite a few interesting towns... the canal snakes through the center of Ventnor City like its Main Street. Atlantic City is as massive from the back side as it is from the ocean, but from this close angle, the juxtaposition of the opulent gambling palaces with the squalor behind the glitter is oppressive. In many places houses have taken up all the space there is. Almost everywhere new land is being created on mud banks and marshes so more houses can be squeezed in. Pray there is never a big hurricane here! A long day got us north of Little Egg Inlet where we started looking for an anchorage. The book says there's a good one behind Mordecai Island in Beach Haven. The book must have been there at high tide -- at low tide there is only a narrow channel and about two feet of water elsewhere. But there is the Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club with a huge and inviting deep water dock. We met a friendly past-commodore who approved our staying overnight... a pleasant evening at a very impressive club. We even met a pair of otters cavorting on one of the floats.

Thursday, June 17, 2004...The night was quiet after the thunderstorms passed over.  Pearce was, as usual, up early.  So were many of the yacht club members.  This is another club that bought much waterfront property when the price was right.  They have an extensive marina for both power and sail boats.  They have two club houses.  The one you see in the photo is being set up for a wedding this weekend.

We had a leisurely breakfast and went back out to the ICW.  There were a few fishermen out, but the bay is wider here with alternate channels, so the only time we had to slow down was for the "no wake" zones.  Kay read in Skipper Bob's book about a free dock two miles up the Tom's River.  Since we didn't have to be in Manasquan until tomorrow, we decided to try it out.  The Island Heights town dock is very nice, and the waterfront is used by many people.  There's a wonderful deli one block up the hill where we had lunch and read the paper in air conditioned pleasure.  Their little lunch room was crowded with customers and many of the people sitting in the gazebo and on the benches lining the dock seemed to be munching on sandwiches brought from there.  We passed by some art leagues and stores, but we didn't find any open.  The houses are beautiful and varied.  Most of them come from the last 20 years of the 19th century.  We hung out for the afternoon, watching the kids swimming and canoeing, watching the adults relaxing in the shade, watching everyone run for cover when the thunderstorms came.  Just the ducks were out swimming.  By the time sunset came, the rains had gone, and the people had returned. 

Friday, June 18, 2004...A beautiful morning, clear and sunny with a northwesterly breeze.  We drove the last few miles of Barnegat Bay, passed through the numerous "go-slow" zones, entered the Point Pleasant Canal, and came into the Manasquan River.  We are docked at a marina so we can meet the next crew -- daughter Caryl who is picking up her brother-in-law Donald in New York City today.  They will join Pearce in the crossing to Jones Inlet and the final leg back to Narrasketuck Yacht Club.  

Pearce and Kay walked around the docks and some of the streets of Brielle while they were waiting.  This area dates back to pre-Revolutionary War days when the town of Union was a waterfront community engaging in fishing, trading, and the production of salt through the evaporation of salt water.  It became a resort community in the latter half of the 19th century.  It is rumored that Robert Louis Stevenson conceived the idea for "Treasure Island" on an uninhabited island in the Manasquan River.
Saturday, June 19, 2004... Don and Caryl arrived on schedule yesterday afternoon. We caught up on family minutia over wine and cheese and had an excellent dinner at Union Landing Restaurant next door to the marina. Pearce and Kay, having become used to "early-to-bed" evenings, faded fast and retired by ten. Don and Caryl, however, were lured by the sounds of Friday night disco activity at a nearby nightclub. They had a great time while we snored. This morning came very early for them, though. Pearce wanted to leave by six... we finally made it by seven. The morning looked a little misty in the harbor. Just outside Manasquan Inlet, however, the ocean was completely socked in. Visibility for the rest of the morning varied only from one-eighth to one-half mile. With Jones Inlet set in the GPS, there was no problem finding our way, but with the hundreds of fishermen out there, the radar looked like it had measles. We did a lot of dodging. Jones Inlet was a challenge. The fog was probably the worst there, fishermen were everywhere, and the entry buoys which are ever changed as the channels change are not on the GPS. A big charter boat came along at the right moment... we followed him in along with a number of other boats who apparently were also waiting for a leader. Inside the inlet the fog lifted, the sun came out and it was another beautiful Long Island day... go figure!  We beat our 1330 ETA at Narrasketuck Yacht Club by two minutes and were met by old boat mates, Steve, Margaret and Marilyn. Kay arrived a few minutes later having picked up a car full of grandchildren. We're back on Long Island -- home for over forty years -- and plan to stay for a while. This is the end of this trip, there will be more, but we'll rest this log as well as ourselves. Thanks for looking in.