Stuck in the mud

On July 27, 2010, in 61 Marlow, Captain's Rants, Cruising Notes, by Aaron

On a windy evening, as I was coming alongside the face dock at Canyon Club Marina in Cape May, NJ, I found myself with a spring line on the dock and my wheels in the mud. I was steaming mad, to say the least, and I may have taken it out in the unknowing dock attendant as black silt filled my cooling systems.

As a rule, I am very careful in choosing marinas with controlled depths of 6′ or better.  Further more, when I make reservations and I am on approach via VHF, I inform the Dockmaster that my draft is 5′ when in fact it’s less than that. So you can see why I was very upset with the situation.

On a perfectly calm day I would normally abort the landing, as I saw I was losing water. However, in this situation I was crabbing and fighting the current in the small approach channel.  I had no choice but to commit to the landing because of the wind.

Fortunately there was a soft silt floor and no damage done.  Once we were settled on the dock we looked around and felt somewhat out of place.  As shown in the photo below, you can see that we are the only motor yacht on the dock in a sea of sport fishing boats.

This marina was very clean, safe and the staff were very helpful.  However, it’s located on the wrong side of the bridge and you can not walk into town as there are no sidewalks.  Not recommended for yachts over 45′ or with a draft over 4′

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