Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Cohansey River to Greenwich, NJ

2.6 nm
Wind: NE 15-25 knots, gusting to 45
Maximum speed: 3.5 knots
Average speed: 2.1 knots
Latitude: 39°37.26’N
Longitude: 075°34.66’W

We’re socked in again today, trapped by the storm we saw coming yesterday. The wind is supposed to be gusting to 45 knots (40 is gale force), and it might be, although we think we’ve only seen about thirty. We’re not getting a very good forecast on our three-mile radius VHF radio, so it’s hard to know. We’re supposed to be out of the worst of it. But this morning we woke up to realize that the land we thought we had anchored behind last night was really a couple of reeds sticking out of the water. It might have been an island when there wasn’t six feet of tidal flooding.

After thinking it over, we decided to move farther up the river, where both Skipper Bob and the Reed’s Nautical Almanac, our two guidebooks, told us we’d have more protection. There’s a marina in the town of Greenwich, which we’re in sight of, but we decided to anchor behind a stand of trees in twenty feet of water. Right now we’re watching the tides very closely, hoping the tidal current after low tide doesn’t swing us into land. We’re anchored in a river that flows into the bay, so hopefully the river is strong enough to not reverse current. I’m making pizzas, and trying to decide how to make tomorrow’s boat Thanksgiving a good one.

We had planned to buy a little turkey and some other fixings, but now it looks like we won’t be able to get to a grocery store before tomorrow. So it looks like it’s going to be a canned chicken Thanksgiving. We’re pretty good at doctoring things up, so maybe I’ll be able to make it into some semblance of a festive event. It’s Karl’s favorite holiday, so I’m a little sad that we won’t be able to do it right, but as always, he doesn’t care about petty everyday concerns like that. If I get ambitious, maybe I’ll even make a blueberry pie.

The passage up the river was crazy, even though it was only three miles. Our GPS doesn’t have charts for inland sections (we’re working on this problem, and should be able to download more charts the next time we have internet access), so all we had was a rudimentary drawing of a river. Karl stood outside, at the helm, in the brutal cold and icy rain, trying to maintain the center of the channel. I watched the GPS like a hawk, giving him hints about which direction might be deeper, even though I had no idea. It worked out great, though. It was deep enough the whole way, and I feel good about heading up our first patch of uncharted water. I’m sure we’ll end up in more by the time we get around the world.

Now we’re cozy with the oven and candles on, and Phil Ochs on the CD player. I’m looking forward to my sausage and onion pizza, with cheddar and mozzarella.


Anonymous said...

nice read it sounds like fun

I am researching the river for our kayak launch tonight, we are going to use the marina as home base as we head out into the bay for our kayak fishing trip


Chuck Loveless said...

Ha! I have a sailboat at the Greenwich Marina and have travelled the Cohansey many times. Lucky you found the entrance to it ok because it is tricky. There is a light and a buoy that, you would think, is a clear channel marker. However, the light is on an island! If you don't stay CLOSE on that port buoy, you will run aground!
Anyone travelling up the river is encouraged to drop in to the Greenwich Marina (the second one). Hitch, the owner, is a really great guy and runs a nice marina. The river is deep all the way to Greenwich so, if you can find the entrance alright, you are in good shape for at least 3mi. up river.
Thanks for the nice read. I am in Virginia now, but I could envision your voyage very clearly..
God Speed and Fair Winds to you...
Chuck Loveless