Start: 4:45 AM - Manasaquan, NJ
Finish: 12:00 Noon - Sandy Hook, NJ
Daily dist: 27 miles
Total dist: 3500+ miles
Weather: Beautiful 80 deg, sunny skies, SW tail wind 5-10 mph
Notes: My last full day on the Atlantic leg of the trip.
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been setting up a visit with Ron Rauffer and his kids Kris, Kurt, and Kirsten in Atlantic Heights one of the last towns before crossing over to New York. It is a long story (that I will more fully explain later) but because of tides, weather, and other logistics I had decided to not stay with the family. Instead, they were going to come out to the end of Sandy Hook to visit me where I was going to camp (a little illegally) in order to get a jump on the crossing to NYC tomorrow. That was until a series of large thunderstorms lined up to the west and started a stately march toward the coast.
At five in the evening, after a long day of baking in the blazing hot sun, I heard thunder and crawled out from under the sun shade I’d built to see the tall thunder clouds on their way in. I secured everything in the Ikkuma and pulled it way up onto the dunes then walked two miles around the point to get to some sort of shelter to avoid the brunt of the storm. My plan was to wait it out then go back and set up camp in what I hoped was the calm after the storm. At that same time Ron and the kids were on their way out to visit me. However, before they came, Ron called and asked what they could bring me from Burger King and ask if I wouldn’t still take them up on their offer to stay with them considering the weather. I wasn’t too thrilled with the prospect of leaving my boat unguarded (but at least well hidden) on the beach but they did manage to talk me into at least going into town to have dinner with them while the storm passed.
The storm did pass but a quick check of the weather revealed a couple more storms as well as off and on showers in store for the rest of the night. So, believing that no sane person would be playing around in the dunes, in the rain, and after park hours, it was decided that I’d spend the night on Ron’s comfy and cozy couch rather than in the rain alone on the sand dune. Tomorrow right when it opens at 5:00 AM Ron is going to give me a ride back out to the park where I will hop in my kayak and hopefully catch a three hour window in the weather to cross the bay and finally arrive in New York City!