I awoke at five o’clock in the morning with hopes of favorable wind. Fifteen knots on the starboard quarter would blow me to Atlantic City just past nightfall. I shoved off only fifteen minutes later. My anchor was lashed securely to the bowsprit so it would not swing around, my compass was lit with a red glow, and I was headed for the narrow drawbridge that the bridge-tender kindly opened for me at such an early slumbering time.
With the bridge fully opened it still left only a small gap for my mast to pass through. I would have to stay close to the wall to squeeze by. I made it through when I entered the cove the day before, surely I could make it out now. But as I approached, a cross current pressed gently and evenly on the beam of my boat so that I was slowly, subtly, twisting and moving sideways. It wasn’t until I was just close enough where there wasn’t enough room to circle around that I noticed my boat would be too far angled to make it through the bridge. I first reversed, then tried again, then reversed again, and tried a third time. A car honked at me. As I made it through on my third attempt, I raised my fist in triumph. “You got it!” The bridge-tender shouted down to me.