Coastal Boating, Sailing, Cruising, Yachting, Racing, Coastal, Sailboat, Yacht, Fleet, Club, Regatta, Commodore, One design, Social, Long Island Sound, Narragansett Bay, Buzzards Bay, Chesapeake Bay, Island, Seamanship, NE waters, NOAA, NWS


Further Reading

Sandy Hook
Sandy Hook 2

Atlantic Highlands
Atlantic Highlands 2

All Destinations
NE Destinations

Cruising Itineraries
Challenging Cruising in the NE


Sandy Hook Bay, NJ – Gateway to the Jersey Shore, the Manhattan scene, the mighty Hudson and East rivers... and the world

Sandy Hook Bay. A protected anchorage that provides refuge from the Atlantic and a staging area for transiting New York waterways. Not for Navigation. Click here to view a larger chartlet.
The last spit of sand on the Northern end of the Jersey shore juts up into the lower reaches of Hudson Harbor and points the way to New York City.  It is often a harbor of refuge for ocean voyagers and a staging area for yachts coming off the ocean to make a passage through the East River as the shortcut to Long Island Sound.  Yet this spit called Sandy Hook forms a protected bay in which recreational opportunities abound in spades. 

Want to go swimming in the ocean surf without driving down the Garden State Parkway?  Park your boat on the bay and walk across the spit of sand to miles of public beaches.  Want to visit a charming small town with a movie theater and lots of restaurants to choose from?  It’s right there in Atlantic Highlands.  Want to bag a 30 pound bass?  The currents and shelves make for trophy fishing grounds. Want to travel up a river and sample the Jersey shore night life or a dock and dine restaurant?  It’s right there in Highlands and along the Shrewsbury River. Want to visit a nude beach?  The only one on the East Coast of the US is right there off Sandy Hook. 

The first time we came here, it was under duress.  Our “new” 30 year-old boat was taking on water during our delivery (we were keeping up with the pumping but it had to be cared for), the alternator had failed so we couldn’t recharge our batteries, and we had a full set of imperial tools when the engine and alternator were European make and metric!  The joys of a delivery! What to do?  Well, we anchored in Sandy Hook right off the Coast Guard station after an exhilarating but exhausting off shore passage from Virginia to New Jersey.  It was an easy harbor to enter, find shelter, drop anchor and effect repairs.  But where should we go ashore?  We had no knowledge of this area and it was rather expansive and, at the time, quite churned up in 20 knot winds.

Aleria anchored off the entrance to the Shrewsbury River.

Alex, in his infinite wisdom, hailed the Coast Guard.  If anyone knew where to find tools, he reasoned, they would.  So that’s what he asked.  “USCG Sandy Hook, this is the sailing vessel Aleria. Sir, could you direct me to the nearest hardware store.”  It took a moment but the response came back, “Captain would you like us to call a commercial towing service?"  Alex of course answered, “No actually, I’d like to find a hardware store.”  Then he explained we were safely anchored right off their docks but needed to make repairs and did not have the right tools.  It took a while, but the answer came back, “There’s a hardware store in Atlantic Highlands sir. That’s directly across the bay from where you are anchored.”

So Alex got into the dinghy and made the several mile crossing to Atlantic Highlands under iffy conditions. For once, he actually clipped himself into the cutoff switch and wore a life jacket in the dinghy (it was that rough).  It was all worth the trip as he came back with a grin from ear to ear.  He did not have just one tool set but two – and the second was a left-over Christmas special at half price – in July!  The first hardware store did not have exactly what he needed so they sent him on to another hardware store that they knew would have it.  There is a lot more to this story, but we’ll save that for another time. The point was that Atlantic Highlands is a community of people who care, about each other and about others in need.

View across the Bay from the Coast Guard Station to the Shrewsbury River.

Joy of sailingCoastal Boating (Reg. in Ireland No. 443222) is a division of Knowledge Clinic Ltd.
Port Aleria, Rosnakilly, Kilmeena, Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland - USA: PO Box 726, Mahwah, NJ 07430
All content on this site is subject to Copyright© - All rights reserved.
Contact us - Advertising - Privacy - Terms & Conditions - Copyright & Trademark - Webmaster