Partially because we enjoy the stop, but mostly because the Delaware Bay was a mess, we cooled our heels for a few days of R&R in Cape May.
October 17 – 19, 2021
Cape May, NJ
We arrived in Cape May knowing the forecast for traveling up the Delaware Bay was not awesome, and wouldn’t be awesome for the foreseeable future. That was actually OK with us, for a while anyway. We had been traveling every day since leaving Rhode Island a week ago and were ready to chill for a day or so in one spot. And if you’re going to hang, Cape May is a good place for it.
Cape May prides itself as “America’s Original Seaside Resort.” While I can’t qualify that one way or the other, it does have a lot of what we enjoy in a port. The town is charming and it is a delightful place to wander around. The remaining cottages (many were lost in the Great fire of 1878) are historic and entertaining, the boardwalk is a pleasant place, and there is plenty of shopping for those who like that sort of thing. And food. Lots of food and drink.
We generally tie Esmeralde up at South Jersey Marina. It is a nice facility, well managed, clean and tidy, and we can fuel right in our slip. They have a little marine store for supplies, a coffee shop (in season only — it’s always closed when we are there) and a ladies clothing and accessories shop. People rave about the laundry and showers, although we have never used them. It is also busy with a constant flow of interesting visiting boats and people, which is one of the things we like most about it. We met several Trawler Life members on the docks.
From the marina, it is a pleasant mile-and-a half walk to town along narrow tree-lined streets. We did this with the pups a couple of times. A tired pup is a happy pup, as they say. With two five-month old puppies on board, we have found that to be very true!
So we all got some needed exercise, the boat got some routine TLC, inside and out, and we met some nice folks — most of whose we had come to know through Bruce’s Trawler Life Facebook group. It was a nice change of pace from daily travel.
We enjoyed our stay, which at first was one night. The it was two nights. And in the end, it was three nights. Each day we watched the forecast develop and checked actual conditions on the bay. It was basically blowing 15 to 25 knots, gusting to 35 and sometimes higher, out of the northwest the entire time. For those who know the Delaware Bay, you know this produces conditions that are not for the faint of heart. Several vessels left, only to return to the dock a couple of hours later after a brief but solid spanking at the exit from the Cape May Canal. We were happy to sit and wait. Why go if you don’t have to?
We had our fill of vittles and beverages at Lucky Bones, good food just across the street from the marina. In the past we have also enjoyed Mayer’s Tavern, and everyone knows of the historic Lobster House, which we have been to but it is not really our thing.
By the time we had stayed three nights we were ready to move on. The forecast, unfortunately, was not quite in our favor but it was an improvement over the previous few days, so we had an early night and prepped for an o-dark-thirty start in the morning. Moving on.