Bay Vs. Ocean

Today, we did 45 miles of ocean. Yesterday, we did the same of (mostly) bay. The bay was rougher. Surprised? We weren’t, much. The Delaware Bay can be mean, which is why we waited in a river part-way down till the winds were right. The ocean can be kind, which is why we went right away for the same reason.

In the bay, our little lamp with stabilizing rocks dumped over for the first time and Boo spent all day under the couch. We went in the right winds, but the combination of current and tides mixes up the water and tosses you around. Imagine if the winds were high! That’s why boats often “camp out,” waiting.

On the ocean, the waves were widely-spaced in rollers and swells. We had to steer through them and the boat did rock, but it was a gentler rock…more like a wobble. (There were other uncomfortable aspects to the ocean leg, of a more personal nature, that I may explore in a reflective confessional later. 😉 )

Another surprising fact: In the bay, we were out-of-sight of land. In the ocean? Nope.

Down Delaware Bay to Cape May and on to Atlantic City in two days. Racing along! The Great Loop is more about exploring than racing but we aren’t doing much of that. Jeff is single-minded in his goal to return to Michigan. I’m along for the ride.

Photos and captions below.

Leaving Cohansey River on the Delaware Bay, glad to see sun for the first time in days. The marshes reminded us of Georgia. The tide and current here were almost as strong!
As we navigated through shoals to enter the bay, we saw ocean-going ships ahead. This is one big bay! I doubt many people outside of Delaware and New Jersey (and mariners) know much about it. I didn’t.
Passing a tug on the bay, we finally felt the push from the outgoing tide and our speed increased from 5 to 10 mph. We timed our departure with the tide, but somehow it didn’t work out quite as expected.
We arrived at Cape May (where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean) on Friday of Memorial Day weekend. We knew it would be busy. It was.
We anchored near eight other boats. We arrived early but didn’t explore – partly a consequence of choppy waters and a dinghy with limited range and stability. I did take it out for a row, looking for a find a way to get ashore, but the current dissuaded me. I would’ve moved us to a marina if we’d stayed.
There was plenty to see from our anchorage, as pleasure craft of all types sped by us…
…including this green boat…
…and noisy party boats like this one, propelled by customer peddles (like the “peddle bars” you sometimes see on city streets)…
…and even this guy on a hydrofoil board, who stopped by to chat. He went down into the water when he did so. Guess he’s used to that! I’d love to try one of these some day.
Sunset from our Cape May anchorage was gorgeous.
We left Cape May before most of the other boats because Jeff was in a hurry to go. He was sick the entire trip (vertigo, again) and I drove most of the way. You can see how calm the ocean is here as we pass a dredge. (You can’t see the swells though.)
Approching the channel to Atlantic City, whick took us directly into the city and its rambunctious water traffic. It reminded me of our approach to Chicago last September.
Soon after entering the city, we took a right into this narrow and shallow channel to our anchorage. The channel is marked by simple sticks, but I had read up about it so was ready. It was still a little unnerving, as we arrived just an hour or so before low tide.
Many Moons at anchor in Rum Point Cove of Atlantic City. After 4,600 miles, she’s weathering the trip quite well. Just don’t look inside, which is getting rather cluttered!
Three other Looping boats came in after us. One of them scraped bottom coming in at nearly low tide.
After an adventurous few days, I needed a time-out so took the dinghy ashore. Every time I row, somebody laughs. (Nobody rows a dinghy these days if they can help it.) This time, a nearby Looper. I laughed myself as I battled the incoming tide while ashore. I had to pull the dinghy in regularly to keep it from floating away!
A family hunting hermit crabs found good pickin’s at my dinghy.
Sunset at Atlantic City was fabulous also.
Even Boo got outside to enjoy it.
The night view from our anchorage as fireworks pop and music floats over the water. I’ve already seen the boardwalk (and a few casinos) here, and also the charming sights of Cape May. I’m sorry Jeff hasn’t. His choice! Moving on….

12 thoughts on “Bay Vs. Ocean

  1. Just read your blog for the first time. We also looped in a Mainship exactly like that. And anchored in Brigantine Bay when we did. We will be there tonight.


  2. I have fantasies of living on a boat, but I’d have to find a replacement for my bicycle as an exercise machine. Wouldn’t a rowboat work? I had a friend who lived on a sailboat in Poulsbo, WA who rowed himself to work every day. What’s with the disrespect for rowboats?


    1. A rowboat would! I’m around mostly Loopers (and often pleasure craft) right now. The Loopers all have motored dinghies with longer ranges/faster speed. Folks with pleasure craft don’t seem interested in exercise, at least not while boating.


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