A Cruising Guide to New Jersey Waters

A Cruising Guide to New Jersey Waters

by Donald Launer


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813534183
Publisher: Univ of Chicago Behalf of Rutgers Univ Press
Publication date: 05/18/2004
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 254
Sales rank: 856,883
Product dimensions: 152.40(w) x 228.60(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Donald Launer , who holds a U.S. Coast Guard captain's license, has explored the New Jersey waters in every kind of small craft since he first sailed in Barnegat Bay at the age of eight. His articles on recreational boating have appeared in Good Old Boat Magazine, Cruising World, The Beachcomber, Offshore, and Sail. He berths his schooner, Delphinus, in Forked River, New Jersey.

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Excerpt from A Cruising Guide to New Jersey Waters, Revised Edition by Captain Donald Launer

Copyright information: http://rutgerspress.rutgers.edu/press_copyright_and_disclaimer/default.html
Since the first edition of this book, there have been many changes affecting recreational boaters. Immediately after 9/11 sweeping new and important regulations were promulgated. Knowledge of these restrictions is of vital importance to all mariners. In addition, extensive changes in environmental restrictions on our waters must now be observed. These changes, coupled with the natural mutation of our waterways by wind and wave, as well as those man-made alterations of onshore facilities, make this new edition required reading for all those who use and enjoy our waters. The fascination associated with traveling near or on the water seems to be imprinted on the human soul. Is it because we came from the sea and water still comprises most of our physical being, or is it because we know inherently that without water we couldn't exist? As small children we were drawn to streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans; and as adults we can still sit by the hour watching the breaking surf, a cascading waterfall, or a brook flowing through the woods. This appeal transcends our practical facade and touches our most romantic instincts. It manifests itself in the need to become a part of our environment, to be on or near the water, and to experience our most primal feelings.
For many people this translates into the desire to skipper their own boats-to replicate in some small way the voyages of their ancestors and to feel at one with the waters that comprise most of the surface of ourplanet. This book, then, is a cruising guide designed to entice recreational boat owners in the northeast, whether of power or sail boats, to explore the navigable waters at their doorstep. It will also provide the armchair sailor with an opportunity to vicariously cruise the waters that border and lie within the Garden State. Included in the guide is information on navigation, anchorages, marinas, and weather, along with shoreside activities (such as waterside restaurants, sightseeing, historic locations, nature preserves, and entertainment), as well as safety tips-the type of information that is not available through government publications. Maritime adventures from the past are also chronicled for each area, so we will be cruising through history as well as geography.
When I say the book deals with the "navigable" waters of New Jersey, I use the term in both the legal and the more pragmatic sense-that is, those waters subject to tidal flow that are actually navigable. Although I have also spent thousands of hours on the nonnavigable waters of New Jersey in both my kayak and canoe (enjoying every moment), this guide will limit itself to ocean and tidal cruising.
With the exception of the 53-mile-long New York State land boundary on the north, New Jersey is almost completely surrounded by water, and a small boat can cruise more than 300 miles around the navigable perimeter of the state. The western boundary is the Delaware River, which is used recreationally by small boats along its entire length. It is only navigable below the falls at Trenton, and our trip up the Delaware will stop there.
Where I have named marinas and restaurants, it is because they are representative of the area. No endorsement is intended, and no inference should be made about those not mentioned. There will undoubtedly be readers who take exception to some of the ideas expressed-it has always been so. Herman Melville, when counseling a young American writer, lamented: "Pierre, . . . it is impossible to talk or to write, without throwing oneself helplessly open to criticism."
The material contained in the book is, however, to the best of my knowledge and at the time of writing, as accurate as possible; taking into account that our shoreline is constantly changing and that facilities on shore (marinas, restaurants, prices, and the like) are also open to change. Even as this book goes to press, I continue to explore in my schooner Delphinus, and in my dinghy or kayak. When new things are discovered, or errors are brought to light, they will, along with input from readers, contribute to better coverage in future editions.
Please note that the charts reproduced in this book are not intended to take the place of up-to-date NOAA government charts, tide tables, the U.S. Coast Pilot, or proper navigational practices. Indeed, we have made no attempt to reproduce the high level of detail in the original charts and have used the charts primarily to show the relationship between different waterways and land masses. The author and publisher disclaim any liability for loss or damage to persons or property that may occur as a result or interpretation of any information in this book.
Where there is a subjective opinion expressed, whether positive or negative, it is strictly my own. Those enamored with Atlantic City might be bored spending a day treading for clams, and vice versa. Everyone's preferences and ideas are different, but New Jersey's waters offer a diversity that should satisfy all. My own views come from paddling, rowing, sailing, motoring, and swimming in New Jersey waters, a vocation as well as an avocation that continues nearly every day during the boating season.
Finally, I am not as interested in showing how the greatest distance can be covered in the least amount of time, but rather in the quality and safety of a life afloat. The enjoyment of being on board, savoring the delights of a cruising vacation in a safe manner, is my primary concern-those in a hurry should take a car or a plane.
We will begin our cruise at the northern limit of New Jersey's navigable waters, the Hudson River at the New Jersey-New York border, and follow the river south through New York Harbor, the Upper and Lower bays, and the Kill Van Kull and Arthur Kill between New Jersey and Staten Island.
We'll then explore Raritan Bay and Sandy Hook Bay, which are enclosed by Sandy Hook, the Atlantic Highlands, and Staten Island. While there we will look at the many tributaries that enter the bay from the south and west. From Sandy Hook our cruise will take us south along the Atlantic coast to Manasquan Inlet, where the option of an inland passage again becomes available. In separate chapters we will take the offshore passage south as well as the inland route to Cape May.
The cruise through Delaware Bay, with side trips to the little rivers on the north, takes us to the Delaware River, where our course follows the river to the head of navigation at Trenton (chart 1.1).
At the end of most chapters there is a mileage table, showing distances in statute miles between locations mentioned in the text. In chapters 4, 5, and 6, which cover the intracoastal route, no mileage tables are provided since the distances along this intracoastal route are clearly marked on the charts. I have sailed New Jersey's waters for more than seventy years and hope to continue doing so for many more. Thus, the recipe in this book includes a large measure of practical experience gained throughout a lifetime mixed with research and a dash of information garnered from those who have made a life on the water either of work or play.
It is unfortunately common for the older generation, while recalling time spent on our waters in their youth, to lament for yesteryear-for lost places, people, and lifestyles. Everyone likes to believe that his or her childhood belonged to a larger age of innocence, a time that no one will ever see again. But it is a form of conceit to believe that the golden age of New Jersey's water exists in memory and that within our lifetime (due to industrial, social, and bureaucratic upheaval), our waters have fallen from grace. It's a nostalgia ill-used. Better to approach a day on the water with wide-eyed wonder and the heart of a child.
I'm sure that many New Jersey as well as out-of-state mariners view cruising New Jersey waters as an uninteresting prospect. To them I say, "Read on"; and to those approaching my vintage, my recommendation is: "Sail before sunset!"

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Tablesix
Chapter 1The Hudson River at the New Jersey/New York State Line to New York's Lower Bay6
Chapter 2The Lower Bay, Sandy Hook Bay, Raritan Bay, and Their Tributaries35
Chapter 3Sandy Hook to Manasquan Inlet and the Intracoastal Waterway to Toms River60
Chapter 4Barnegat Bay83
Chapter 5The Intracoastal Waterway between Barnegat Bay and Atlantic City108
Chapter 6The Intracoastal Waterway from Atlantic City to Cape May and Cape May Ashore125
Chapter 7The Offshore Passage: Manasquan Inlet to Cape May143
Chapter 8Delaware Bay and Its Tributaries160
Chapter 9The Delaware River to Trenton179
General Information for Crusing
The Responsibilities of the Skipper203
Weather and Seasonal Changes on New Jersey Waters205
Tides and Storms207
The VHF-FM Marine Band213
Cellular Phones and Distress Calls to the Coast Guard216
Navigational Instruments218
Marine Sanitation Devices224
Reference Material225

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