Considering departing for big jump to NJ tonight

Sitting here in the old harbor at Block Island. Day is waning. Winds are northwest and steady. We wanted to wait for them to shift to north before leaving, but it looks like our weather window is shrinking. So, now we are tentatively planning to leave tonight to head to Atlantic City or Cape May, NJ. It’s a clear sky with almost a full moon, and the temperatures are nice and warm. With this northwest wind we should make good progress through the night to the southwest. Then tomorrow the winds are supposed to shift to the north and lighten up. That means we’ll make slower progress but make a more westerly course. Then Monday night and into Tuesday the winds are supposed to shift to the northeast and then east, which should make going west or south a breeze.

So, we are estimating that it’ll take us 36 hours to make it to Atlantic City. If we leave tonight and then show up on Tuesday morning, and if the winds are still fair and we are not exhausted, we may continue on southward to Cape May before pulling in and anchoring.

A slight chance exists that we will find our progress and stamina good enough that we might continue on from Cape May NJ straight south to Ocean City or Norfolk. This chance looks slim, but is a possibility. If that east wind is fair on Tuesday and Tuesday night and Wednesday, then it is remotely possible that we could arrive at Norfolk by Wednesday afternoon or evening.

This is a big jump for us. To date, we have not made any passages longer than 60 miles or so. The jump from Block Island to Atlantic City is 165 nautical miles. It’s the next logical step in our cruising curriculum, so to say. We’ve made overnight passages before, but we have not yet done a 24 or 36 hour jump. So, this is pushing our boundaries again. It makes us nervous, but it is what we have been talking about for a month now.

We are more experienced sailors than we were with wee happy. We have made a few offshore passages and overnight passages. We are ready for a 24-36 hour run now. Just a bit nervous. Wish we had a buddy boat to go with, but that hasn’t lined up for us even though we’ve been looking.

So we’ll be without internet and cell phone access until we make it to the NEw Jersey Coast. Then we should be able to get online with our iPad to make a post. Alternatively, we will be monitoring VHF channel 16 the whole way incase any of you are on a boat in the same area as us.

Now, I’ve made an interactive google map of our planned route. It is totally rough and estimated on the fly with my hand on a mouse. The points are not accurate waypoints or GPS coordinates. We are going to sail based on wind conditions, not this estimated path, but it is a good way to visualize the passage on this blog. So click on it and explore the points and route line if you like.

View Planned Passage Block Island to Atlantic City in a larger map

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