“Skinny” Water, Boats & Boo!

Ah, to share the narrow waterways with hundreds of pleasure boaters in New Jersey on Memorial Day! “Hey, this is a no-wake zone!” hollered one self-appointed boating cop on the radio. “Oh, yeah?” came the challenge back. “Wha-a-a, wha-a-a!” (Whining sound.) “Welcome to New Jersey!”

And after dodging hundreds of fast boats and their wakes over 62 miles, we found today’s anchorage by running aground. Literally. (I searched for a marina but all were full, a consequence of Jeff’s “we’ll see when we get there” preference.)

And now…just now…Boo the Boating Cat fell overboard! In the near-dark! I yelled for Jeff to grab the fishing net but it was tucked away somewhere and she was swimming off. I jumped in after her and she are I are now soaking wet. (I interrupted this writing to rescue her. I’m a little rattled, as you can understand!! At least now I know she can swim well.)

A memorable day!! This after Jeff spent all yesterday abed with a bad case of vertigo. (Which necessitated my driving most of the day in the ocean, which was fine except for worry over him.) Any sickness with him is extra-concerning since he is a Type-1 diabetic. After a few rounds of “vertigo treatment,” which we learned last time this happened – plus a LOT of sleep – he was fully recovered and ready by this morning.

Ready, that is, for the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway, which resembles the other two we have done (Gulf Intracoastal and Atlantic Intracoastal) in many ways. But we have never seen as many boats in one day as we saw today. Nor as narrow a channel.

We fueled up ($6.29/gallon, the highest of the trip so far) before “finding” our anchorage by finding out where we would hit bottom. At least that seemed like Jeff’s method to me! He seems to love to push it into the shallows, even when I object. (In fact, when I was driving us off the fuel dock, he urged me to cut out of the channel. “Why? It’s less than five feet deep there!” I said. “That’s enough,” he answered. I guess it is, since we draw just three. But I stayed in the marked channel. Driver’s privilege! I don’t need to test limits the way he does. I guess I do it in other ways.) Oh well, it’s his boat and I knew the tide will lift us off again. In fact, it already has–but we’ll be grounded again in the middle of the night. And, we’ll be lifted off again by morning. So it goes in the ups-and-downs of The Great Loop!

Boo seems none the worse after I toweled her off well and hugged her a lot. But I’m still rattled. So, I end with gratitude that all ends well, even though I once again got more excitement than I bargained for. But don’t I love excitement? Well, yes! I guess I like to choose when and where it comes, when I can. (Keeping in mind that I was once a skydiver, among other exciting pursuits.) Photos and caption below. Good night from Manasquan Inlet. Tomorrow, back into the ocean and to New York City!!

We left the Atlantic City skyline behind at 0630 and were soon into quiet marshlands — but that didn’t last long.
Within minutes, we began encountering fishermen who stopped right IN the channel, which is narrow in many places. We went around them without a grumble much less a scold. (What’s the point of that?)
Rutgers runs a maritime research center in the marshes.
But most of the scenery today was boats.
And jet skiis.
Entering the narrow opening of a bridge, we saw four fast boats coming at us, thankful that they were small.
All this boat traffic disturbed the water more than the natural waves did, and we rocked all day long.
This behemoth passed us in the narrow and exciting Point Pleasant Canal. We saw a dozen boats around us at one point.
This is how narrow the New Jersey ICW can get — and why most Looping boats went out into the ocean today rather than take this inland route. See where the black line (our designated route) goes through the two gray lines (the designated channel)? See where they all come together, just behind our boat? That’s what boaters mean by “skinny water.” I’ve never seen it THIS skinny. (Sometimes it means shallow water. We had both today, but never were at risk. It just required careful attention.)
We are anchored tonight in front of the busy channel of Manasquan Inlet. Made sense to set the anchor where we had already run aground, since it was low tide at the time and we knew we’d be lifted again.
We took the dinghy to a nearby island, where people were swimming. (I also went swimming today, from the boat, hours before I jumped in after Boo!) You can barely see Many Moons at anchor in the center background.
Jeff examines New Jersey’s local seaweed with curiosity.
Many Moons at anchor. We are in the middle of the river but outside the channel. One only hopes that all the holiday revelers are worn out and go to bed early, so won’t be “driving drunk” at night! And that our anchor light is bright enough. I know it is. But then, Boo just went overboard for the first time, so I begin to question everything…! 🤪

2 thoughts on ““Skinny” Water, Boats & Boo!

  1. Not many boats here on the Erie yesterday. 10 locks Sunday and 6 yesterday. Glad Boo is OKAY. No problems finding free docks.


    1. Thanks! Good to hear. I made a reservation at Half Moon Bay for tomorrow but wondering if there’s something better a bit further up. (We need to get some groceries and fill water tanks.)


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