September 23, 2000 - Manasquan Inlet, NJ - N 40 06.093 W 74 02.245

Sue wondering if we'll fit under the Verrazano Narrows bridge (vertical clearance 229 feet)
On a clear sunny morning with a falling tide Titania raised anchor and ran away to sea. We had a rousing wind on our quarter ruffling the harbor into little white caps so as soon as we'd cleared the Staten Island ferry dock we raised sail. Well, what a peculiar sensation-forward movement without the aid of the Atomic Four! After three hundred odd miles of motoring it felt pretty nice to reach along the shore under the Verrazano Narrows bridge and out to sea.

Sandy Hook just outside the bridge is one of the few uninhabited stretches of Jersey Coast. It reaches out like a miniature Cape Cod and has several anchorage possibilities within its curve. We passed it by this trip, bound for Manasquan but thought in the future it would be a good place to jump off from.

The Atlantic Ocean
To starboard the sandy low Jersey shore lay tawny in the morning sun. Just behind the beach stand endless rows mile after mile of houses, cottages, high rises, condos and here and there an old wooden hotel, survivor of an earlier less pretentious time. We delighted in sailing over the foaming brine for several hours. Then the wind began to soften and fade so once again we called the engine to duty.

Titania trapped in the middle of the raft
We reached the inlet around 3 pm and found it every bit as busy as skipper Bob's book had warned. Two big party boats steamed past us in the narrow channel while about a dozen outboards roared by doing about 20. We turned hard to port as directed by our book to find tucked among the rusted trawlers and shrimpers, the Shrimp Box restaurant with a half dozen sailboats rafted on its dock. We decided to squeeze in along side a husky aluminum cutter from Toronto. About a half hour after we'd settled in, a 42 footer came alongside us. Titania looked sort of like a fingerling trout squeezed between two hefty carp. Never thought a 32 footer would look small.

The raft kept growing too. The climax was the arrival of a 54 foot ketch, sporting one lone fender who did not fortunately raft to us! Still we were four deep and I felt for the inner most boat.The deal here is if you eat a dinner you get $20 off on it while docked here. The place is extremely popular and at least two thirds of the boats here are Canadians fleeing fresh waters in the north. Saturday was gray and damp with a headwind so we used it as an excuse to stay put and declared it a work day. Perhaps we'll be off tomorrow with fairer winds.