Yesterday was my second trip out with the Tandem Island; this time from a different launching point further south of the previous one
but still in the same general area within the Raritan/Hudson Bay area @ Sandy Hook, NJ.
We were going to launch from the ocean side, but the fishing beach was heavily occupied (the only beach with a relatively close portage to a parking area). Instead of being rude and trying to launch where people had their lines out, we chose to seek a new launching point.
There really are not many within close proximity to parking. The best I could find was just south of the Coast Guard station on the Hook on the bay side. There is a parcel of land that shoots out into the bay that has 3 abandoned bunkers on it. There is a clearing right there and a place to pull off your vehicle for "dropping off only". On the south side there is a short sloping trail that leads right down to Sandy Hooks' "seneing beach", where at high tide, will put you right in the water. Low tide, we learned, puts you on the other side of a sizable sand bank.
Just adjacent there is a parking lot which was perfect for my needs, but otherwise might not be if you had a trailer.
After reading the wind reports and checking the weather the night before, we got there and were fully assembled by around noon to launch and went out with the high tide. We rode the wind north and east of Sandy Hook where we dropped sail to drift for fluke.
Then came the unpredicted thunderstorms. We used the initially shifting westward wind to haul back into the bay from the ocean, but by the time we got far enough into the bay, the eastern blowing storm as shifted winds in that direction, blowing us back toward the ocean, or toward the northern part of the hook.
After numerous attempts to tack into the wind and south to our launching point, we were forced to drop sail completely as swells in the bay picked up to 4 feet or more at times.
Thankfully the lightning went quite a bit south of our location, and under pedal power, we managed to ride just behind the storm at that point, but we were forced back to our launch point irregardless due to the threat of more storms on the horizon.
Amidst all of this I once again witnessed jib equipped vessels doing what I could not - tacking with a tightly trimmed mainsail and moving with relative ease .
All said, it was a rough and hurried pedal back, but fun none the less. However, had the storm not passed just south of us, the situation could've been slightly worse. If all else had failed, we could've turned into land and waited it out. There were no life threatening situations at any time, but it got me to thinking...
... had we not turned back to the bay when we had, instead of fighting from running aground on the bayside we would've been fighting our way from running adrift oceanside.
In only two times out now fighting tides and currents, I feel there have been times where sail, paddle, and pedal have been rendered all but completely useless.
Which has me questioning purchasing the torqueedo motor.
Not only would it extend range and allow me to go upwind to sail downwind repeatedly, but could also serve as a last ditch safety precaution for when conditions finally go far less than ideal.
All said, I'm having a blast with my TI. Just hoping for the chance to be on the right side of the wind sometime soon rather than having to fight it.