Here we go again.
I’m getting a strong déjà vu feeling as we leave Cape May, NJ.
Didn’t we do this before?
The night before, we had a great time meeting several other loopers who had come in.
Where two or more loopers are gathered together, they like to have a social gathering called Docktails.
Isn’t that hilarious?
You need to bring your favorite beverage, an appetizer, sometimes a lawn chair and definitely boat cards.
This is a social, networking, happy hour for loopers.
If you have an AGLCA flag on your boat, you gotta be there!
Out on the Ocean
We left Utsch’s Marina at about 6:40 a.m.
And before we knew it, we were back out in the Atlantic.
It was a beautiful day.
When we left, we hadn’t really decided if we were going to go to Atlantic City, NJ or on to Manasquan Inlet, NJ, which of course would be closer to New York City.
It didn’t take us long to decide once we were out on the water.
It was so smooth that we blew right past Atlantic City and pressed onward!
Sam promised me that this would be the longest day we would ever do on the loop.
It was a very long 8 1/2 hours.
And of course, I am going to remind him of his promise if I need to in the future.
Currents and Tides, Oh My!
Going into the Manasquan Inlet started out fine.
Hoffman’s Marina asked us to park on the fuel dock and then they would get us to a slip.
At the time of day that we arrived, the tide was going out and the currents created a washing machine effect.
But of course, Sam handled the docking beautifully.
We decided to get fuel and pump out while we waited.
“Pump out” means there is a large vacuum cleaner hose that pumps poop and pee out of your boat.
Isn’t yachting glamorous?
The slip that we were assigned was on a fixed dock.
We have never docked on a fixed dock before.
There was a dock hand that helped us tie up to large pilings (posts).
With our size boat, we usually have two crisscrossed spring (side) lines, one bow (front) line, and one stern (back) line.
He told us to watch the lines because the tide would drop our boat 6 feet.
I look at him like he had three heads.
Oh, but it gets better.
Once all those lines were in place, we could not get off our boat.
We didn’t even know this would be an issue!
All the other times, (ok, it’s only been four) we have been able to get off at the back via the swim platform.
Not this time.
The swim platform was now way too low to step out on the dock so that wasn’t going to work.
There is a part of our handrail on the side that opens up.
I always thought that was cute but now I know that it serves a very vital function.
So we lifted up the handrail after a generous dose of WD-40 and still couldn’t reach the dock. It would be a giant jump down.
Holy Moly, how are we going to get off this thing?!?
We need a plank!
Yes, just like pirates.
I have seen ramps that help dogs get on and off boats.
Maybe we need one of those.
Tides Can Be Your Friend
We went to take showers and get ready for dinner because we had a 10% off coupon at the marina restaurant.
Yes, we are enjoying savings when we can!
By the time we were ready to leave, the tide had lowered the boat so we could use the back steps, step on the side and then casually leap on the dock.
It wasn’t pretty by any means but it worked.
When we finished dinner, the tide was so low that we were able to get on using the side entry since we left the handrail up.
What’s That Noise?
Hoffman’s Marina is divided into two areas – east and west.
There is a bridge that separates the two areas.
A train bridge.
The bridge has to be open to go to the other side.
There is a loud siren when the bridge is closing.
I don’t remember reading this in the travel guides.
Anyway, we survived the noise and the tides and we will be on our way before you know it.