Mark Wallace's Black Skiff

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Row Cruise...Interested?

Two of us are thinking about a 'row cruise' for 2017 and would like to find out your interest in joining us. This, like many Messabouts, is a non-planned, non-event...just a bunch of boaters who just happen to go out at the same day and time. No one is the 'leader' and everyone is responsible for his/her self.


Barnegat Bay in New Jersey, centered around Long Beach Island

Proposed Row Cruise Area

The ramp on the west side of the Bay (south end of Cedar Run Dock Road) is free, but no dedicated parking. The ramp in Long Beach Island has a fee and provides parking.

The anchorage at the bottom of the map is "Shooting Thorofare" and is well protected from all directions.

Just north of Shooting Thorofare is the National Estuarine Research Reserve. About five miles south of Shooting Thorofare is the North Brigantine State Natural Area.

North of the Route 72 bridge (leading to Long Beach Island), on the west side of the Bay, is Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. There is a well protected anchorage at the north end of the Wildlife Refuge on Conklin Island. Another protected anchorage is at Barnegat light.


Early spring or late fall 2017

This avoids the brutal hot humid days of Summer, avoids the hordes of boats (especially if we go in October)… and most importantly, avoids Greenhead Flies (Tabanus Nigrovittatus… the Cruise Missile of the insect world…June through early September).

Our thinking is that this would be a three-day cruise (two nights), 10-13 miles the first day. Second day exploration of either the National Estuarine Research Reserve and/or the North Brigantine Natural State Area  (going south from the launch) or the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge and/or Barnegat Light going north from the launch. Third day another 10-13 miles returning to the launch area... lots of alternatives.


On board your boat. There are no NJ State Camping Grounds available in the area (accessible by boat).

Next Step:

Let us know if you are interested by either writing in Comments below or emailing me at


  1. Looks like fun! I would be in if not for the 3000 mile drive (each way).
    Interested to see how many rowers show up. I've said this before, but camp aboard row cruising seems to be a sport with a very small following. My trips are usually solo or in company with sail and motor boats.

  2. Hi Rick... 6000 miles... understood.

    What I like about oar cruising is the simplicity... minimal equipment on the boat (same for kayaking), sleeping on board (eliminate the hassle of looking for a camp site and setting up), and, within reason, can go in any weather...totally independent.

  3. I agree about oar cruising. It's like bicycle touring, self sufficient human powered travel. You can camp aboard most of the trip, but put in at marinas every so often for a hot shower.

    I can keep pace with recreational kayakers, but camping aboard is a big advantage. Plus you are not stuck in the cramped kayak seat, I can't do that for many hours any more.

    When you start talking about a rowing boat big enough and stable enough to make a good row cruiser, people immediately want to put a sail on it. Then you are sailing, with all the extra gear needed for that. Even Colin Angus had to make his row cruiser into a sailboat.

  4. Had not thought of the bike touring analogy, which is a good analogy and I've done it... although at a camp site at Lake George, got so badly bitten by Black Flies that we decided to motel it from that point on... about 6 days through New England...