By the time we woke up from being tied to the free dock in Chesapeake City, Maryland, our neighbors in the front were gone and our Great Loop friends parked behind us were pulling away.
We gotta get going!
How We Decided When to Leave
Sam uses an app called Tidal Currents Trip Planner that he paid $2.99 for. That’s quite an investment for someone who prefers free.
You enter where you are, where you want to go and your preferred cruising speed, then it figures out the best time to leave based on tides and currents.
It gives you several options to choose from but it told us to leave at 11:00 a.m. and head to Cape May, New Jersey.
So we cruised over to get fuel at around 10:00 a.m. and then off we went.
About Getting Fuel
Sam and I have a 24 foot Sea Ray that we use on Cedar Creek Lake in North Texas.
One time we filled it up and my mouth dropped open when we paid $150 for gas.
Little did I know, that was nothing.
We went across the canal and gassed up at Schaefers Canal House.
This was our first time to get diesel since buying the boat.
We have 2 main tanks and 2 auxiliary tanks and we weren’t even empty by any means.
But when it started, the pump just kept going and going and going and going.
I could feel my eyes start bugging out of my head.
I couldn’t speak.
Could that be right???
Yes. And no.
That’s certainly how many gallons we got, but we did get a 5 percent discount because we went over 300 gallons.
Still. That first fill up left me speechless.
Going through the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal is really beautiful.
We passed some really large boats and some really small boats.
Then, we got out to the Delaware Bay and saw some GIGANTIC ships.
I was down in the salon when the earth started to move.
Out of nowhere we hit a wake from one of those giant ships and we really started rocking.
Consequently, there were some casualties.
Two of our champagne glasses didn’t make it.
Oh well. That’s why we buy them at the Dollar Tree!
Getting to the Marina
On our way to the Cape May Canal, we ran into a group of oyster beds.
We really didn’t know if we would be safe going through and trying to dodge them or if they were all connected somehow and would wreak havoc on our propeller.
So Sam made a sharp right turn and went around them. I am really impressed with his captaining skills so far.
I went down to the salon again for a drink and when I came back I found out that I had missed a dolphin right at the entrance of the passageway.
I didn’t even know dolphins lived in New Jersey!
A Close Call
I had talked to Nancy there in the office about 25 times.
There were so many things I kept forgetting to ask, like are there floating docks or fixed docks, is 50 amp available, are we docking on the port or starboard side, how deep is our slip because we need about 5 feet, and the list goes on.
We learned from that experience that we need a checklist to call a marina. It’s a must.
As we turned right to head to the marina, we started to hear the low water level alarm.
I looked down and saw mud churning up so my stomach started churning up.
I was outside ready to work the lines.
Sam and Cousin Rus were up in the bridge on the phone with the marina.
They said to hang close to the bulkhead (wall around the marina) where the deep water is so Sam maneuvered over there.
Sam and I communicate with headsets aka “marriage savers” and this is pretty much our conversation when this was happening.
Rev: Sam, you’re getting pretty close to this wall. (tone calm)
Rev: Honey, you’re getting really close to this wall. (voice slightly elevated)
Sam: no response
Rev: SAM, you are about 1 foot away from the wall! (voice elevated even more)
Sam: not one word (I’m thinking – do these headphones even work??? This is NOT saving our marriage!)
Rev: SAMMY!!! YOU ARE DRAGGING THE DINGHY ACROSS THE WALL!!!!! (volume all the way turned up yelling)
I do not understand how he can remain calm but he did and he got us out of the shallow water and away from the wall with no dinghy damage.
I still don’t know how that happened.
Even more amazing, he went right into the slip with no issues. Not one.
We finally got checked in at the marina and they even gave us a welcome bag with a bottle of blueberry wine, biscotti’s and several other items.
What a fantastic surprise!
So, all in all, another successful day.
Because it’s not how you screw up, it’s how you recover.