delaware is the last northern state


July 16, 2009 by Bethany

In the Lewes Public Library. Tired but feeling good. Less than two weeks to NC?!

To pick up where we left off, we paddled again down the Barnaget Bay from the Ocean Gate Yacht basin. The paddle was completely non-eventful other than the fact that I got bit on my toe by a greenhead fly and it began to swell. big time. We paddled up to the Key Harbor Marina in Waretown, NJ since we had no plan for the evening on where to sleep. We walked into the office, dripping wet, and asked for mercy. “Please let us stay here for the night,” to which they graciously allowed with a resounding “Yes of course!” Thank goodness for good people. We got a ride into town and shopped for provisions at the Wawa and CVS and enjoyed a pretty good dinner out. We walked the 2 miles back to the marina and went to sleep pretty early. Unfortunatly, I tried to go to sleep but wasnt able to until 2 am due to the fact that we were right next to the NJ State Marine Police Dock and they were coming and going at all hours of the night. Not fun.

The next day we woke up early and enjoyed some conversation with a new friend and got on the water relativly early. The wind was in our faces paddling towards Harvey Cedars and then when we turned south again, the wind was at our backs. Thank goodness. The paddle seemed to draw on all day, mostly because it did take all day. We thought it was around 18 miles to our destination for the night but it was probably more like 25… I took a benadryl for my bug bites, since they were swelling out of control at this point and by the time we arrived at the  Rutgers University Marine Field Station and met the director Ken, I was out of it. Tired, and drugged, I was having trouble forming sentances, much less being gracious and fun. Dan had to run the “interpersonal ship” this evening. Roland gave us a real tour of the place and we met so many smart science types there. Fish, crabs, mussels, and more were all over and we were overwhelmed by our inability to do science. They made us fresh blue crabs AND mussels, to which I attempted to eat but ran out of energy after the first crab. I ended up making mac and cheese, just for the ease of eating. Now thats a shame isnt it? Dan enjoyed the seafood feast. Sleep was easy that night maybe because we were camped in one of the most beautiful spots of the entire trip!

Atlantic City was the next destination and not too to far away. We worked our way through the marsh maze and pulled up to the Trump Marina and Casino. There we met two couples motoring down from Toms River. When they heard our story, they gave us $40 for dinner. That was awesome (thanks so much)!  They had seen us a few days ago paddling through an inlet and told us they thought we were insane (we were bucking the tide) and we told them they were correct! We got a room at the Trump Marina hotel and crashed until dinner time, then we went to the Hard Rock Cafe on the Boardwalk. We ate until we felt like throwing up… and then we went back to the casino, lost $15 in the slot machines, and went to bed.

We didnt have to check out the next morning until noon, to we stayed in until the last possible moment. We were going to meet Margo Pelligrino that afternoon so we only needed to reserve another night for our boats, not our bodies. Margo actually called the marina and got us our boat storage for free when we told them they had charged us. Thanks!!It was a little odd since they were the first marina to ever ask for money since leaving Lubec…  Margo knows a thing or two about this kind of travel since she herself did almost this same trip in an outrigger canoe. Her website is: and you should go there and read about it. She rocks. We met Margo and then went to a Surfrider Meeting for the Ocean City, NJ area. We had one to many mojitos and actually crashed there at Steves house. unplanned.

The next morning we had some breakfast and got on the water in Atlantic City around 10 and made it to Ocean City pretty easily later that day. Margo actually paddled a few miles with us on her stand up paddle board. We left our boats at Bay Cats with Don and drove the hour and a half into west jersey to meet margo’s family and friends, enjoy pizza and ice cream, and then drove and hour and a half back to ocean city to sleep at Krissy’s house in Ocean City, another friend of Margos. Crazy day.

Krissy took us to Wawa and back to Bay Cats where we left and headed south again, along the New Jersey Intercoastal Waterway. We made it to Avalon, where we walked up to Avalon Pointe Marina, asking for help, which they gave to us. We took showers, and then we met “the sailor,” Chris. This sailor is the stuff you read about in adventure books. He was born in the Congo the son of a “investment banker…”, moved to Europe  and then South Africa where he surfed, worked on a commercial fishing boat, and then decided to become a full time sailor and was disowned by his family for wanting to work on the sea! He was an incredible man. Bald head, with the exception of his scragly ring or hair around the ears, which he let run wild, three teeth, fiberglass dust and paint all over him, and flip flops. He offered to buy us a pizza and invited us onto the boat he was working on at the time, where we spent the evening learning of his lifetime of adventures sailing all around the world. He was packed with a million great quotes.

“I had to decide between the mountains and the sea. I hated coming down from the mountain and realized that you never have to leave the sea. Thats how i made my choice.”

“Im gonna get mt a J46 and sail to Polynesia, never to be seen again.”

“I love Champagne. Chamagne and Rum are what i drink”

“You dont have to be afraid of sharks. Thats the last thing you have to worry about out there Ive seen more Great Whites than you’ve had champagne breakfasts.”

“That’s Africa”

“Im still in love with my childhood sweetheart and always will be.”

“Im married to the sea.”

“Ill die out there. It’s my destiny”

the list goes on and on. let me just tell you i will never forget that night and i am so blessed to have met you chris. dan and i were forever encouraged by you and your life. You say that no one will be sad if you pass… and thats not true. We will be.

The next morning we made our go at paddling to Cape May. We left early and made it to the Grassy Sound Marina where we enjoyed some hot dogs, chips, cola, and cow tales. yummy. We left and headed on south where we made it to the Cape May Canal right at the peak of the wrong tide. Needless to say, that paddle was frustrating. When we finally made it to the Delaware Bay, we were exhausted but feeling energized for the next day’s task, crossing the delaware bay. On the beach, we met a man in a panic because his wife had kayaked off and he couldnt see her well anymore. We offered to paddle out and bring her back, because she wasnt too far off. He called the coast guard against my advice. There was no emergency. His wife was fine when we got to here and she was on her way back. They left and then the coast guard came screaming up to us lights and siren style thinking we were the kayakers in distress (a good samaritan on the beach called them!?). We had to tell them the story and call their supervisor. sigh. We snuck a campsite in the dunes there for the night.

Yesterday morning we woke early early and got in our boats for the crossing. You couldnt have asked for better weather. When we looked out to our compass bearing, there was no land in sight. Its a weird thing paddling off into the wild blue yonder. Really weird. By the time we could see the delaware shore, we couldnt see cape may anymore. The shipping channel wasnt very clearly marked but we could see the ships very well and had no trouble avoiding them and thier paths. the ferries were moving really fast but we could see them a long way off too. It was a scary day but everything was at its best for our crossing and we made it to the delaware shore in 3.5 hours. not bad.

Thanks to Quest Fitness and Kayak, we were able to store our boats and get a ride to the campground where we are staying.

Delaware is the last northern state right???

3 thoughts on “delaware is the last northern state

  1. margo says:

    Awesome blog entry!! I’m gonna have to paddle around and find that guy, Chris. He sounds like a hoot. Should I bring him champagne or rum or both??? Where are you guys now??? The Blackburn was awesome–a load of fun. Next year you both will have to do it. It could be like a reunion. Also think about the Mayor’s Cup. It was a pleasure to meet you both, and the kids were thrilled to have met you. You will have to come back to little Medford Lakes, NJ!!!

  2. Tim Monahan says:

    Hi guys I was at waretown Key Harbor Marina the guy with the Havanese Pup. Hope all continues to go well and Keep on paddling. your new friend Tim. p.s. if you ever get back to N.J. send me a E-mail I’d love to talk about your trip. Later

  3. Barbara says:

    My son works at the Key Harbor Marina in Waretown and forwarded this story about your journey to me.
    Very interesting. Good luck and safe travel.

Comments are closed.


The Map

This is the map we created with our Spot Satellite Messenger of the whole trip.

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