Friday morning came early. I had my alarm set for 5:40 to get up and recheck all forecasts. As always happens when I actually set an alarm, I woke up before it. I woke up at 5:25 AM to the sound of thunder. I pulled up the radar and sure enough we were in the middle of a HUGE storm due to hit hard right around 6. After that the radar was all clear. I woke Ben, shoved my phone in his face to look at, and told him I wasn’t comfortable leaving until after that moved past. He agreed, took a few minutes to settle, and went back to sleep. I’m not so lucky. I do just fine on little sleep but that’s a tad early for me since I stay up late. I reset my alarm for 6:30 but never fell back asleep. By about 6:25 the storm was done. I got Ben back up around 6:30 and we got ready to leave. Tim from the marina was already there to help us with lines. He comes in daily in time for the first boat to leave. Talk about dedication. We got out of the narrow, shallow channel with a falling tide and out into the bay.
Sunrise was magical. Absolutely beautiful.
The bay that so many have warned us about was like a big bathtub. It looked like glass all day. Tim had told us that if we have a boat that goes fast, go. He said you don’t dawdle on the bay. At one point Ben was going to speed up. I asked why. Because we shouldn’t dawdle. Agreed…..except the radar was totally clear, the water was glassy flat, we could see all sorts of stuff swimming and jumping around in it, and it seemed there was no good reason to speed up. So we didn’t. We saw some cool lighthouses out in the middle of the bay.
Ben thinks he spotted a sea lion. I managed to see all the bubbles as it dove down and a ton of jumping fish that were clearly trying to get away from it.
And then we saw New Jersey! We can now add Delaware and NJ to our list of states traveled. We tucked easily into the Cape May canal and passed the huge car ferry dock. We passed under one bridge and through an open railroad swing bridge that felt like it was just barely wider than our boat!
We pulled into Canyon Club marina on the north side of the canal. We chose this marina because it had deeper water and a large swimming pool. We got checked in and decided to hop on the shuttle into town for a few hours and then hit the pool later to cool off again. It seems to be our daily plan lately. We got dropped off at the pedestrian mall, had some lunch and walked around some shops.
The beach was right down the street but it was so HOT. The streets of Victorian homes were beautiful but we weren’t up for the walk. Instead we decided to head back to the marina. While waiting for the shuttle we popped into Stitch by Stitch and bought a bunch of string to start making friendship bracelets. We headed back to the marina on the shuttle. It took us down one of the streets with beautiful gingerbread homes. So colorful and cute. The girls got in a quick swim before the forecasted storms moved in. I’d call the day a success. We had a fabulous crossing. We got to see town. And we got to the pool before the storms moved in. So happy the forecast kept moving those storms later and later in the day.
Saturday we got up and decided we were going to head to Fishcakes for an early lunch rather than go back into town and head to the very popular Lobster House. The American Great Loop Cruisers Association (AGLCA) has Harbor Hosts all over the great loop route. We haven’t met too many of them in part because I forget to reach out. But we had just met Foster in Delaware City and I reached out to Bruce and Buffi at the same time in Cape May. They own Fishcakes, a cute waterfront outdoor restaurant on the side of the canal we were on. We decided to walk. It was a quick mile and we walk all the time. Mistake. The humidity and heat were both really high and even one mile was crazy. We got there and were dripping. Waters all around, quickly followed by Coke. I was actually shaky from the heat and having not eaten that morning. Fishcakes is known for their homemade donuts. We got an order of those immediately and introduced ourselves to Bruce and Buffi. The donuts came out steaming hot and covered in cinnamon sugar. So so good. We quickly followed with orders of lobster rolls. I’m not a huge lobster fan but these were amazing! We had a lovely conversation with Bruce and Buffi. Bruce then went to make our food and Buffi brought t-shirts out for the girls.
We had planned to take the shuttle into town to see the beach and the Victorian homes. But it was so hot and all we wanted to do was go to the pool. Sometimes you just need a pool day. We asked Buffi what she thought and she assured us that the houses were pretty but that if we’ve seen one Victorian home we’ve probably seen them all. She said that Cape May is unique because of a huge fire that burned so much of the city down…but she agreed it was ok if we just skipped it and headed to the pool.
The pool at the Canyon Club was really nice. Madelyn said it was her favorite pool yet. Usually we have a small marina pool and are spoiled having it all to ourselves. Not the case on a Saturday afternoon here but it was large with nice people and other kids so it was all good. We stayed until dinnertime. I had to practically drag Madelyn out of the water. We go in streaks – we have many days in a row with a pool and then a month or more without one. I knew this or Atlantic City would be the last pools we see for a long time so I wanted them to soak it up.
We had a quiet evening on the boat and got ready to head out Sunday morning to Atlantic City where we will get to see Gabi an John (Loop friends on Crazy Love) and Kerry, Dan and Helayna (Bahamas friends on Igloo). Both live right by Atlantic City and we miss them lots!
On the second day of our trip we met good friends Tim and Carol on Liquid Assets way back in Joliet, IL. Most of us have the Great Loop map blown up and hung on a wall somewhere on our boat. Tim and Carol were no exception and their map was covered in little Post It flags. What a great idea. We traveled with them for our first few weeks which were also their last few weeks of the loop. When we pulled into Green Turtle Bay with them last September to “cross their wake” and complete their loop they had us come over to their boat. Carol let Molly and Madelyn put their VERY LAST FLAG on their map. What a special thing for them to do. It may sound silly but it’s a big deal to look at this map and see how far we’ve come. And it was a big deal to put that last flag on their map. Here’s a picture of our map with a flag marking each stop along the way and the date we were there. It’s up to date through the Chesapeake Bay. We need to add Delaware City and Cape May.