You smell like Barnegat Bay…

Well, not my best opening line. But this one was accurate. The best part, I’m not sleeping on the couch tonight! Today went sailing on Barnegat Bay. Back in May we bought a Groupon that gave us a three-hour sail on a sail boat. The deal was about 50 % off the retail cost. We had sailed with Captain Dave and Jersey Coastal Adventures last year.  We had fun last year and figured, what the heck, and booked another three-hour tour this year.

Our first try to go sailing was this past Wednesday. The weather did not cooperate. It was foggy for most of the day. This morning the skies were clear and the temperatures were forecast to be in the upper 70’s. Not bad for October. There was no breeze when we left our house and drove the 20 minutes to the marina. At the marina, there was a slight breeze. When the boat got down the river to the bay, the wind was blowing 10 to 20 out of the south – south-east. Funny how that happens. We live 7 miles from the ocean.

The first part of the sail was downwind. The captain only had the jib unfurled. The jib is the sail in the front. The mainsail never went up. The wind and the jib were quite enough. I shot this video on the downwind section.  Once we got as far north as we were going, we had to tack against the wind for the next two hours to get back to the river so we could head to the marina.

The only real problem was that I had my new camera with me on the boat. My DW and decided to sit up on the bow to enjoy the sail and have some romantic time. This was all good on the downwind section. Once we started tacking, the waves left the bay and “visited” us on the bow. I was able to protect my camera wrapping it in my shirt and moving my cell phone to my chest. I sat with my back to the wind and waves and hung on. There were times when it seemed that the boat was on a 45 degree tilt.  The lower edge of the deck was almost in the water quite a few times.

I did not shoot many pictures while we were tacking. Each time we got to the top of the tack, the captain would warn us, then switch the direction that the boat was heading in. Back and forth, like a zig zag. The east tack was fairly dry, the west tack was wet.  We got good at ducking when we changed directions and then switching the way we were facing to have the wind (and waves) at our backs.

Ordeal? Not hardly. I worked on a commercial fishing boat for a year when I was younger. I was wetter and colder with no hope for a reprieve. Today was just fun!  We will do it again. On the way in the captain came forward to talk to us. He asked how we were doing, Ummm, wet? Yes we had fun. He took two pictures with my cell phone of us up on the bow. Then he took a picture with his small personal camera. After we docked he came out of the cabin with a print of the picture that he had just taken on the way it.  It was in a paper frame. That was pretty cool.  DS1 saw the picture when he came home from work and told my DW “You two look like you enjoy being together, not just faking it”  Hmmm, that is quite the correct observation.

After we got back to the dock and were safely back in out car, I looked at my DW and said “You smell like Barnegat Bay” I think I did as well…

Tonight’s pictures come from today’s sail. Enjoy!


Worse than not asking for directions..

Not catastrophic by any means. Just slightly frustrating.  Today’s adventure was to go kayaking in the Barnegat Bay for a few hours. Both my DW and I enjoy kayaking, and even though we live 7 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean, we have never kayaked in this area. We have lived down here in Southern New Jersey since 1986. Never went kayaking.  We have kayaked in St. Thomas, New York, Florida, Maryland and probably other places that escape me at this moment.

I went online this morning to do some reasearch so I would have an idea about cost and location of the possible kayak rentals. It seemed from my online reasearch that there were some places on the mainland and many places on LBI. Some of the places on LBI advertised rather expensive prices. This encouraged me to try to find the local rentals places in the hopes of saving some money. Of course, I did not write down the possible places to check out. I had a general idea of where the marinas were, and that should have been good enough. Not!

After we drove around for 1.5 hours we gave up and headed to LBI to rent kayaks like the tourist do. There is nothing wrong with renting kayaks like a tourist, just that you will probably pay more than is necessary.  Oddly enough, the first place we stopped at had kayaks for rent at a reasonable hourly rate. We took two kayaks for two hours.  We went out to the dock and kayaks were the most basic model available. No seat backs and probably 10 feet long, at best.

The boat length is an issue when you are 6 foot and not real skinny. The real issue was the lack of seat backs. If you ever rent a kayak, don’t rent one without a seatback. Talk about two hours of discomfort. The kayaks we rented in Annapolis were twice as nice as these boats. So, a lesson was learned today. Look at the kayak before you pay or make sure the kayak has a seat back. 

And we got wet. The kayaks were self bailing, as most are.  The seat in these kayaks was so low you started out sitting in the water. Hey, summer time, slight rain storm, your wet anyway!  The bay water was in the 70’s and the air temperature was nearly 80 degrees.  Being wet was not a big deal.  We have rented self bailing kayaks before and never sat down in the water.  I guess this is the difference between the lowest level kayak and a mid to upper level model.

The three pictures tonight come from the beach on the bay (Ship Bottom, NJ) where we stopped to get out and stretch our muscles. Enjoy!


27 th anniversary post 101

Today my DW and I celebrated our 27 th anniversary.  It has been 23 years since we last celebrated an anniversary without any children in our house.  Today for me was a work from home Friday. I worked until 1 pm and took the afternoon off. My DW was off for the entire day. At 3 pm we embarked on a three-hour tour on the SS Minnow (not really). We did go for a sail on Barnegat Bay for three hours. We bought a groupon back in May for 50 % off the cost of the sail. Today we redeemed it. 

After the sail we went home to change into our yoga clothes. We attended a two our workshop on relaxation and meditation. I was the only guy in the room. I may have been the business’s first male customer  (they have been open a year) since they don’t have a men’s bathroom.  I offered to use one of the trees behind the building if need be. That got me a chuckle from the ladies. I did not have to follow through with that threat. (yes, TMI)  The class went well. My job at the end of class was to open the champagne and wine bottles. Oh, we had home-made chocolate covered strawberries as well.

After yoga and wine we stopped for dinner at Calloway’s on Route 9 in Eagleswood, NJ. The appetizers were half price so I got wings and my DW got quesadilla.  A few beers, and we talked to some of the local high school lacrosse parents that we know who were in attendance.

It was a nice day spent with my best friend. Here is a picture I took with my cell phone while we were on the sail boat. 


On the sailboat, Barnegat Bay