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Gemini Heads to the Keys for the Winter Travel Days 1-4 Long Island to Cape May

We are so excited to finally be traveling again. We are traveling this time with another buddy boat, State of Grace, with Bob and Grace Zick. We are headed to the Keys where we will meet up with some of our other friends, Knot II Fast, Mike and Kelly Harris and Karma, Chris and Mary Kelleher. We hope to see other boaters/friends that we met while doing the loop along the way.

Day 1 BHYC to LYC

We left our marina, the Baldwin Harbor Yacht Club, and took a short 2 hour cruise, 12.2 NM, to the Lawrence Yacht Club in Bannister Bay. We did this for two reasons- 1. to avoid the train bridge in Reynolds Channel which would delay us in the a.m. with rush hour train schedules and 2. ti get closer to the inlet to start our journey. The marina was quiet and we had no issues and there was grass to walk Izzy too.

An old post office in Brielle, NJ

Day 2 Banister Creek to Hoffman's Marina, Brielle, NJ 36.8 NM

We left at 0700 to get an early start and time the inlet for slack tide. At first it started out calm but then the seas built to 3-4 ' every 3-4 secs on the beam. We don't enjoy the ride when the seas are on the beam. We hugged the Long Island shore to stay out of most of it. When we got to the New Jersey shore and turned left it became a following sea which was a much better ride. We had to slow up during our journey because we needed to time the Mannasquan Inlet for slack tide. The current here is very strong and docking needs to be done at slack tide. Arriving at Hoffman's, Jeff the dock master was so helpful. The fixed docks are extremely high and so we prefer the T head to make it easier for us to get on and off although it is still a big challenge. Jeff brought over a set of white steps to make it easier for us to get off the back of the boat from the top deck. At low tide we can get off from the cockpit. They have a restaurant and a pool, which of course was closed, and they are near another restaurant. We ate on the boat but walked around to take Izzy our and stretch our legs. Again, we had to time our departure for slack tide. As State of Grace was behind us on the T head, they departed first.

Day 3 Hoffman's Marina to Farley State Park at Golden Nugget, Atlantic City 52.6 NM

Today was a long day, 8.4 hours. The ocean started out flat calm and we were enjoying the morning. As the afternoon came closer the winds built to 20 knots and the waves were 3-4 feet but on the bow. Made for a bumpy ride but doable. We arrived at the marina just as the dock master was finishing for the night. No dockhands to help but that's okay. Hal and I have had plenty of practice ourselves. After docking, Bob, Grace, Hal,Izzy and I took a dock walk. It was very quiet on the docks except for a party boat that went out and came back later in the evening with a lot of happy, drunk folks. Since the inlet is wide we didn't have to worry as much about our departure time but we still wanted to get an early start before winds and waves built.

The USCG Station in Atlantic City. Next to it is the State Trooper building.

Day 4 Atlantic City to Utsch's in Cape May, NJ

The ocean was amazingly calm and stayed that way for us. It was a nice ride that Hal saw a whale and we saw dolphins. We had the slip next to the one we had when we were here in the spring. We have to drop our secondary anchor so that we can pull into the slip far enough that we can exit from the cockpit. Utsch's gave us our welcome bags and I bought some extra soap. In the welcome bag is a bottle of chardonnay, two biscotti, a bar of soap and many pamphlets for the area. After we relaxed for a while we went for an early dinner since we had an early start the next day. We ate at Lucky Bones for their delicious mussels. I also tried the clam pizza that was recommended by Shelly from Shellerina. It was also very good. Since there was a long day crossing the Delaware Bay scheduled for the next day we all retired early.

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