Sunday, September 8, 2013

Stars On The Water

We made another run through NYC to Atlantic Highlands without incident. Now for the hard part, we don't like the New Jersey coast. The weather is often unfavorable and anchorages are poor. A window of north winds presented itself so we jumped. The seas were kind of sloppy but from behind, so tolerable. As the day progressed, the sea state moderated and we decided to keep going overnight all the way to Cape May. It turned out very well.
By nightfall, the ocean was just a mild roll from astearn, perfect. I received a text from a friend telling us of a NASA ICBM rocket launch in coastal Virginia almost 150 miles away. Maybe we'll see something. We were looking south at the appointed time, wondering if we could see it when a huge orange glow lit up on the horizon. Several seconds later, up comes the big flame of the rocket. Yea, no kidding, we see it! The rocket looked like it was headed right for us! Its low trajectory went just to the east of us. We clearly saw 2 of the stages break away and the new stages light up. The show lasted at least 5 minutes, maybe more. Thanks NASA!
Around 2 AM, I started seeing shimmering in our bow wake. At first I thought it was reflections from our lights on this moonless night. But I soon realized it was phosphorescence in the water illuminating as our bow wake stirred it up. They were like little shimmering jewels glowing in the darkness, flowing along in our wake. They would last from a split second to 3 or 4 seconds and were a continuous stream for about 2 hours. Sorry, they were not bright enough to photograph, but it was truly spectacular.

The weather and the seas stayed very mild so we then decided to keep going. We would have reached Cape May, our usual stop, at dawn. Our fuel level was excellent and the tide favorable so pressing on up the Delaware Bay was an easy decision. With the current pushing us, we did around 8 knots, instead of our usual 6, the whole way up the bay and into the C & D canal. We had another miraculous event on the bay, NO FLIES! The Delaware Bay is typically a nightmare of biting flies. How lucky we are.
Our last concern of the day was space in the Chesapeake City anchorage. No room at the in could be problematic. Our luck held and we found a nice spot in the back to anchor...right next to friends we'd last seen here last time through! It's deja vu all over again on Ground Hogs day!

So one of our most dreaded legs of our coastal cruising provided several of our best experiences!


  1. See? Good things CAN happen in New Jersey. Glad you liked the rocket launch.

    Our ruminatinos from a few miles north of your vantage point are here: