We have decided to stay. Scott can do the oil change on the engines and leave the old oil here in this marina as they have facilities for the waste oil. Also there is some overdue office business and bills to pay. The day is overcast and rain is predicted. Also winds of 20 knots is expected. So we finish up our office duties and look to change the oil. Scott likes to warm up the engines so we are off for a spin. Just as we are untied and turned around in the marina the skies open up with some rain. Quickly up the tarps go and we drive off in the pouring rain that will hopefully die down by the time we are back in about 15 minutes.
It works. We prayed to the rain gods to give us a window to get the oil changed. It did rain but it was more of a drizzle for the hour and a bit it takes to change out the oil and filters on both engines. The canvas has to come down to open the hatch and leaves the entire back of the boat exposed so a light rain covers everything but at least the oil and filters are done for the next 100 hours of driving which will get us home.
Scott noticed that a vent had blown off somewhere along the way on the starboard side of the boat. He was fixing that in the rain the last I checked. He has cut up a frisbee to cover the hole but isn’t satisfied. He finds a broken, wooden paddle from one of Aiden’s paddleball sets that we play at the beach and cuts that up. It’s better than the plastic frisbee and will hopefully hold up better on the ocean waves we will inevitably have to face. It’s still raining. With everything done that we can think of for the day we are settling in with a bevy as we wait for the loaner car from the Harbour Host here in Cape May. A Harbour Host is a representative of America’s Great Loop Cruiser’s Association that helps out other Loopers while in their area. Scott and I are Niagara, St. Catharines, Lake Erie and the Western side of the Erie Canal Hosts. Bruce has a restaurant here in Cape May as well so if you wish a good evening go visit him at his restaurant. We would be there but he is closed on Mondays. We plan on leaving tomorrow so we may not have the opportunity to meet him.
After dinner we meet some new loopers at another marina in the trawler First Forty. They too are headed north and looking to leave tomorrow morning depending on weather. We are finally on the same Looper schedule as others. It’s a nice change to share stories with each other. Since Scott and I are so close to crossing our wake in New York we are the seasoned veterans, so to speak.
We also found out that a strange phenomenon happens here along the Delaware River very close to us. Horseshoe crabs, prehistoric crabs from the dinosaur era, travel to these beaches by the 10’s of thousands, at high tide, in a full moon, in mid May to early June to lay their eggs by the millions. Then the migrating birds come through and eat most of those babies. Very few of these babies actually survive. It’s early June so we are determined to go find us some crabs. It’s our turn for the loaner car so we hop in at 7:00 pm and travel to the coastline in search of horseshoes. In the time we have been traveling we have learned that these crabs have no way to hurt us. Although weird and scary to look at these are harmless. Their feet under the massive shell are simply pokey feet (technical term). They are used to move the crab along the bottom of the ocean. Their biggest issue is human intervention and a wave that flips them upside down. In the water they can flip themselves over again by using their tail and feet together and flip right side up. However if a wave hits them and they become upside down and they are not brought back to the water they die. There is actually a group here that goes around from beach to beach at the time that the 10’s of thousands of them are here and walk the beach to flip these wonders back over again. Getting to North Cape May Beach we find only dead ones and shells with some very full seas gulls. We probably missed the big rush as this is not a full moon tonight although it is high tide. We grab a shell for Aiden. It’s a rainy day today so pics are minimal.
We have decided to leave for Atlantic City early in the morning as high tide comes in and before the big storm hits with winds shifting from N to NNE.