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Cape May DE (NJICW) to Croton on Hudson NY - UPDATED

Updated!!! with photos

We tried to get to Cape May last Saturday, but we turned around after one hour, when we started getting three foot seas (three foot waves, three seconds apart). The conditions were getting worst, and when we texted fellow Loopers who had left earlier and were ahead of us, they described even worse conditions. It's the first time we've ever headed back after going so far, but it was a wise decision. The conditions were better Sunday when we left. A bit of haze that the sun cleared away and flat seas made for a great day to travel and get to Cape May NJ.

We saw a whale in Delaware Bay! Right off our port side. We were not expecting anything like that and did not have the phone or camera ready to take a picture. It was an OMG moment!  The dolphins we saw at the entrance of the canal didn't impress us nearly as much as that! We spent two days at the Canyon Club Resort Marina and got to spend some time at their pool. A very welcomed break from some of the intense moments we've had on the water these last weeks. The town of Cape May has a nice downtown, boutiques, restaurants and the beach, all within walking distance. 




We hit bottom near the red marker 452, right after the Old Railway Bridge in Mud Creek, on our way to Atlantic City.  And as much as I like giving Papi a hard time about it, it was a confusing spot. The track on both our GPS and Aquamap show it going on the wrong side of the marker. We were advised to "respect the markers" even when they did not make sense, and the best time to travel the New Jersey ICW was two hours "after low tide - on a rising tide", well - of course we only waited until one and a half hours. So the outcome of that - one slightly damaged prop, and a story to tell...

We stopped at the Gardner's Basin Marina, part of the aquarium complex for the evening, after we waiting for three bridges, the most we've ever had to wait for in one day... We arrived pretty late at the marina in Atlantic City, and left early the next morning. 


We didn't know where we would stop the next day - we thought "if the weather's nice, we might try to make it to NYC". But as we've come to realize the weather here is really hard to predict. We got surprised by high winds and heavy fog along the NJICW - which really slowed us down. So when we saw the gas sign at Barnegat Bay Marina, we figured it would be a good place to stop and spend the night before heading out into the Atlantic Ocean. It's amazing how fast the conditions/weather change!


We were expecting rolly conditions in the open ocean, but Papi had checked, and we  were confident we would be fine ( the wind was from the right direction). It was very choppy coming out of the Manasquan inlet, but once clear of it, it was good, the swells were easy to navigate. We kept a steady comfortable speed until we got to NYC Harbor.


While out in the ocean, guess what we saw?  No, not sharks, we saw two more whales! Yes - for real! One was about 15 feet from the boat and the other about 50 feet.... freaked us out! I don't remember anyone else talking about whale sightings on the Loop - has anyone else seen any??? Totally unexpected experiences! We googled, and think we saw a humpback whale in the Bay, but we are not sure what we saw on the coast.

The NYC harbor was rough, and didn't calm down until we were past the first bridge, the Verazzano Narrows Bridge, and even then it was uncomfortable.  But We did try to get a couple good photos of the Statue of Liberty (and other known landmarks). Very cool!! (and challenging with the waves, fog and haze)





We made it to Half Moon Bay Marina, all the way up the Hudson River in Croton on Hudson. We decided to stay here a few days to rest up a bit, explore and give the Champlain Canal a chance to open. We rented a car to help pass the time while here and visited Fort Montgomery, West Point and the Croton Gorge - the third largest man made stone structure - all very cool places.


Fort Montgomery


West Point (Visitor Center and Museum)





Croton Gorge (We hiked to the top of the Dam)





We did not go to NYC by train as we had planned, instead went for a drive, did groceries and now Papi is waxing the boat as I work on our blog. We had planned on going this morning, got all ready to go - but then we decided to check and see what the "security" status was in town... Neither one of us likes big crowds - and there where two parades going on not far from Grand Central Station where we would be arriving, plus there was a gun ban protest planned... We went back and forth so long about it, "do we go or not", that the next thing we knew it was already noon... Papi is disappointed we didn't go - we are so close, but I think I am "ok" with not going "today". NYC will be there for years to come and when we do visit, we'll have a plan and know what we want to do, see and visit - it's a big city that deserves more than just a couple or a few hours of our time. 

So, the plan now is to leave tomorrow morning and head up the Hudson. We read that "someone" heard that the Champlain Canal "could" open next Wed - that is good news, we hope that by the time we get there, all the boaters already waiting will have had a chance to continue their travels. We really don't want to be stuck at a lock. We always have the option to go via the Erie and Oswego Canals - but that is our plan "B" if the water levels in Lake Champlain continue to be so high that the Champlain Canal cannot be safely operated.

Hopefully the weather will be nicer and I can get good pictures of the Hudson River and shore line (mountains), it was so foggy when we arrived, we never realized how majestic this river is! 

Tina & Papi

"In life, it's not where you go, it's who you travel with" 

– Charles Schultz