Before our guests arrived, we were able to scrape the barnacles off of the keel, which might help marginally with speed and certainly makes the boat look better out of the water. We launched without issue.
It was very crowded on the water, being a holiday weekend. After motoring out, we got the sails up and cruised north. We were in a pack of sailboats that were all coming together as the channel narrowed going toward Toms River and several made the jump to light speed as they started their engines and left the rest of us kind of floating there. To try to make room, we wandered out of the channel a bit and touched bottom. We were able to lift the keel and head back into deeper water pretty easily. We did a few 180s when trying to tack with almost no forward speed coming back in, but there was enough rum on board to gloss over any minor difficulties. We tried to pull the boat out at dead low tide and that wasn’t very smooth. It took a little four wheel drive and a couple attempts but we got it eventually.