Monthly Archives: October 2017

Perfectly Poquoson!

Ingram Bay Marina to Poquoson, VA (Saturday, 10/14)
The wind had definitely calmed down since yesterday, and as the morning wore on it was supposed to be even calmer.  Around 7:00 am we saw that Ed and Donna (“Dee Gee V”) had pulled out of their slip and were heading out of the marina to Mobjack Bay near the Rappahannock River. Denise waved and wished them well, then was finally able to get the latest updates posted to the blog.

“Dee Gee V” Leaving Ingram Bay

Several small-boat fisherman showed up early too, and put their boats in the water to get a jump on the weekend catch.  They obviously were knowledgeable about the local weather and if their small boats could take it, we knew we could too.

About 2 hours after they left, “Dee Gee V” called to give us a report of the sea state and wind conditions, and we were grateful to have their report.  We had decided to wait even a little later to leave so that we could have the calmest seas around the areas where the Rappahannock and York Rivers dump into the Bay.  Since we only had 50 miles to go, we knew we could still make it to Poquoson with plenty of daylight to spare. At this time we also noticed that the guys on “Bluebird” (the Sabre 38) had left and we were the only transients left in the marina.

Finally at 10:45 we pulled out of the slip and headed into the inlet, but not before contributing to the information on the ActiveCaptain® review for this customer-oriented family run marina.  We will remember this place and possibly come back here again sometime.

Once out on the Chesapeake Bay we found 1 – 2 foot swells, and the wind was from behind us. So it was a fairly smooth ride, but still overcast and no sun was to be found.  Another good thing was that the current was in our favor so we got a 1 -2 knot push along, helping to improve our diesel mileage.

Houses on shore near Ingram Bay as we left

Calmer on the Chesapeake Bay

There were lots of sailboats and several power boats on the water, most of whom were headed south, but we did encounter several going north. (Why?). Periodically we looked to see if any of them were our new friends on “Dee Gee V”, but did not see them.  We figured they were probably at their destination by now and since we had hugged the coast we missed passing them.

We crossed the Rappahannock without issue which was a relief for Denise.  As we approached the southern shore of the river we received a radio call from “Dee Gee V”. They had run a little further offshore from us and had just turned into Mobjack Bay (just off the river).   We had crossed about ½ mile off their bow and they recognized our boat.

We entered the Poquoson River and followed the instructions that Craig (the dockmaster) had emailed to us. We had been assigned the outside side-tie on the T-Head and that was fine with us. It is easy in and out, and the view towards the bay is very pretty.  We confirmed that this was not a temporary location and that we would be in this location for the duration of our 3-day stay.

Entering White House Cove Marina

IO at Whitehouse Cove Marina

After we got the boat settled and showers, we were able to connect with Denise’s niece who lives in Poquoson.  Shannon came and picked us up at the marina, then we did a quick grocery run, picked up her two girls (Harper & Macie) from a birthday party, and went back to the boat to deposit the food.  From there we went to their home for dinner and an evening of fun.  Shawn (Shannon’s husband) cooked up some great hamburgers, and the girls treated us to a “tea party”.

Tea Party with Harper & Macie

We enjoyed hanging out with them and learning about what is going on in their lives. We joked about the rainy windy weather, and how it was this same way when we were here in May. Even though we had just seen them at the family reunion in July, we loved getting together with them again.  Eventually Shannon took us back to the boat and we made plans to connect with them (and Shannon’s sister, Christen and her family) tomorrow.

Poquoson, VA (Sunday, 10/15)
It was another overcast day, but the forecast was for it to burn off and be a beautiful afternoon.  The longer range weather did not look good, with Monday looking to be windy, rainy and turning cooler.  Of course planning for our departure would have to wait until we could get information about the dinghy repair, but we most likely would not leave before Tuesday afternoon at the earliest.

Not wanting to abuse the kindness of others, we found St. Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Church in Yorktown and took an Uber cab to get there, arriving just in time for the start of 8:30 am mass. For those that don’t know, St Kateri Tekakwitha was the first Native American to be canonized a saint by the Catholic Church (in 2012). You can learn more about her and her life here.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha Church

We then took Uber back to the boat and made plans to connect with our Looper friends Gail & Jeff Dunham (“YOLO”).  They picked us up and we went to lunch at The Deadrise, a restaurant located at Old Fort Comfort near Fort Monroe. The restaurant gets its name from a nautical term that means the amount of V-shape on the bottom of a boat’s hull.   It sits above a marina, located near the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay and Mill Creek, and the food and service were pretty good.

Old Port Cove Marina & The Deadrise Restaurant

Gail & Jeff (“YOLO”)

From the restaurant, Jeff gave us a fabulous tour around Fort Monroe, formerly an Army base but now a mostly public park. Since he is retired Army and was stationed at Fort Eustis, he frequently had to do duty on Fort Monroe and he knows the area very well. He drove us around the area and was able to share his vast knowledge of the history of the place.  The fort itself is still a national monument and managed by the National Park Service, but the surrounding area is owned by the state of Virginia and is open to the public.  You can learn more about this amazing park here.

We had a chance to go by what used to be the officer’s club where Shannon & Shawn were married, and went through one of three gates that are used to enter into the moat-surrounding fort.  Here we drove around to view the old barracks and officer’s homes (now rental properties) and even Robert E. Lee’s Quarters.

Lee’s Quarters – Ft. Monroe

About Lee’s Quarters – Ft. Monroe

We stopped at the flag post of the casemate that overlooks the Hampton Roads area with a spectacular view of the Chesapeake Bay and Norfolk.  The clouds had burned off and it turned out to be a calm and beautiful day.  Here we could see many boats heading south down the ICW; we too will be joining them, but not before the dinghy is repaired and the weather is favorable for us to move the boat.

View of Chesapeake rom Ft. Monroe

Ft. Monroe Lighthouse from Flag stand

Top of casemate at Ft. Monroe

Moat around casemate – Ft. Monroe

After lunch and our tour, we were returned to the marina and said goodbye to Jeff & Gail.  They have offered to assist us tomorrow if we need to get the dinghy to the repair shop, and we agreed to let them know when we know something.

Shortly thereafter, Christen met us with three of the four kids (Harper, Colton and Cooper) as Shannon took Macie to a birthday party.  They hung out on the boat with the kids enjoying our “tiny house on the water” and playing tic-tac-toe on the bow.

Christen, Harper, Cooper, and Colton

Playing Tic Tac Toe on Island Office

Earlier in the day we had seen two big boats with Looper burgee (“Overdraft” and “Red Eagle”- whom we had met on our Loop trip) leave our marina. We wondered if they were headed south for the winter, but later learned from Gail and Jeff that they are kept here in the marina and probably just out for the day.  Sure enough, while Denise was spending time with Christen and the kids, “Overdraft” came back in and Mark went over to help them tie up.  He had a chance to talk with the owner who has been a member of the AGLCA (“Loopers”) and wants to do the Loop in a few years.

The day turned out to be nice and there were “workboat races” in Poquoson in a neighboring creek. Many of the boats in our marina had left full of people who were going to watch the races.  In the late afternoon they started to return, full of people who had imbibed a bit. Included was the crew of the “Linda Carol” who had taken it out to watch the races.  This is a wooden boat that was originally built in 1931, and was rebuilt from its original keel several years ago.  It is well maintained and a beautiful ship.  The crew was willing to give us a tour, but requested it be another time as they were a bit tipsy.  Amazingly, none of these boaters crashed their boats into others in the marina, or into the docks.

“Linda Carol”

Eventually, Shannon, Shawn and Macie joined us and we all went to dinner at the Surf Rider Restaurant which is located at the marina.  It was a lot of fun and we enjoyed our together time so much we forgot to get a picture of the whole group!

Surf Rider Restaurant at marina

Eventually, we all had to say goodbye and the kids had to get their kids home as they have school and work tomorrow.  We loved our time together and hope to see them again real soon.

We went back to the boat where our view towards Bennett Creek (and eventually the Chesapeake Bay) had no hint that tomorrow would be so messy.

View of Bennett Creek from IO at dock

Poquoson, VA (Monday, 10/16)
As forecasted, we woke up to a drizzling rain and gusty winds.  How did it deteriorate so fast overnight?  Our one goal today was to get resolution on our dinghy.  If we could repair it in a few days here, we would stick around the area and take care of it. However, if we could not get it turned around then we would head south and attempt its repair in Morehead City, NC or Charleston, SC.

Early in the morning Mark was able to get ahold of Fairlead Boatworks (recommended repair facility) and confirm their ability to do the repair and turn it around for us in two days.  But, we had to get the dinghy to their Newport News facility.  However, their location is not conducive to taking Island Office there, so we had to transport it via trailer or pickup truck. Fortunately, our friend Jeff had a plan and was able to get a U-Haul pickup truck for this purpose.  But, first we had to remove everything off/out of the dinghy including the oars, seat cover, gas tank and fuel line, and of course the 90lb motor.  All of it ended up in the cockpit of Island Office and will stay there until we get the dinghy back.

Once we got the dinghy out of the water and onto the U-Haul truck, we took it to the repair place.  They quickly saw the issue and determined where the leak was and said they would send us an estimate in the afternoon.  There was nothing they saw that would keep them from getting it back to us in 48 hours, including the cure time.

Dinghy in u-haul truck

Abrasion and leak area on dinghy

We left the dinghy and then drove to return the U-Haul truck, where Gail was waiting with their car to take us back to the marina.  But first we treated them to lunch at Smokey Bones since they had been so helpful to us.

The weather continued to be rainy and windy until mid-afternoon, when finally the rain stopped and eventually blue skies tried to poke through the clouds. We ate leftovers for dinner and our desert was an awesome sunset to the west and a pink-colored sky to our east.

Sunset at White House Cove – Facing west

Sunset at White House Cove – Facing east

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Family friendliness!

Ingram Bay Marina – near Reedville, VA (Thursday, 10/12)
As planned yesterday, we checked out of the Buzzard Point Marina at 8:00 and made preparations to leave.  As we were pulling away from the dock we chatted with “Dee Gee V” and told them we where we were headed and wished them luck on their travels south.

We slowly made our way through the no-wake zone and out of Cockrell Creek, bypassing the town of Reedville and eventually the Omega Protein Fish Processing plant.  Here we saw two crew boats working to transfer the fish nets off one boat and on to another, even though the wind was blowing and there was a bit of a chop.

Reedville Marina & downtown

Changing nets on boats – Near Omega Protein

We headed out into the Great Wicomico River inlet where the wind was blowing and there were 1’ waves coming out of the northeast.  Fortunately, we only had to go about a mile before turning up the channel towards Towles Creek and then the wind would be behind us.  We could see the waves from the Bay crashing on the shallows outside the inlet, and we could not believe we saw a sailboat leave the inlet and head out in such conditions.  Some people are just seaworthy enough for any kind of weather!

Mark entering channel up to Ingram Bay

We turned south and headed through a very narrow breakwater that was only 75’ wide and had waves crashing against both sides.  Mark did an awesome job of piloting Island Office through the narrows and into the bay that formed a great shelter from the wind.

Narrow Channel entrance to Ingram Bay Marina

We contacted the marina, got our slip assignment and were met by “Billy Jr.” – son of the marina owners – to assist us with the tie up.  We were grateful for his assistance and he provided all the information we needed to get securely tied up and settle the boat for the terrible weather.

IO at Ingram Bay Marina

Billy Jr.

We had a chance to talk with Billy for a while and were very impressed with this young man.  We learned he is currently a student at Texas A&M Maritime Academy where he is studying to be a commercial ship captain.  He is home this semester because he worked on a ship for 4 months this summer and it conflicted with the start of fall semester. He will be returning in January as a junior.  In the meantime he is assisting his parents with running the marina, and is the first mate on his dad (Billy Sr)’s charter fishing boat.  Additionally, he is in the Navy ROTC Reserves and we can attest he is one of America’s finest!

During the morning the sailboat “Dee Gee V” come into the marina. Ed and Donna said they took our lead and decided to come here for the same reason as us.  There were no other transients here and all the other boats are either permanent slip holders or seasonal renters. Although just as remote as the marina we both came from, this one has much nicer accommodations and had a working Wi-Fi.  It took Mark some tweaking to make it more strong, but it allowed us to get some work done and for Denise to upload pictures and the texts for a blog update.  We also had a better cell signal, although still not strong.

The wind howled all day long, but Billy Jr was still out working hard around the property doing chores. In the afternoon he brought the loaner vehicle (a pickup truck) down to the docks so we (and “Dee Gee V”) could use it if we wanted to.  Donna & Ed took it for a while and when they came back we took it out to the closest town and that was Kilmarnock.

Loaner vehicle

Our first adventure was for dinner at “Anna’s”, an Italian restaurant that Mark chose because they had garlic knots.  Of course they were not as good as Antonella’s in Winter Park – the standard by which all others are judged.  The rest of the food was good and affordable and we had leftovers to take back for another meal.

We also discovered a “Dollar Tree” right next to Anna’s where we popped in for some needed paper plates and dish detergent. We then drove through the parking lot to the Walmart Super Center where we bought milk, juice and new light bulbs for the lamp in the main salon that had burned out.

Truth be told, it was great to just get out and get off the boat. By the time we got to Anna’s it was raining and we were feeling a little cooped up from being sequestered in the boat for two straight days.  We drove back to the marina, stowed our items and looked at the weather to determine when we might be able to leave.  For sure it would not be tomorrow, but possibly Saturday or Sunday.

For our evening entertainment we were able to stream “Hidden Figures”, a terrific movie about African American women in the early space program.  We had seen it before but enjoyed watching again as the acting was terrific and it is a good story.

Ingram Bay Marina – near Reedville, VA (Friday, 10/13)
We slept well last night despite the howling wind and sporadic rain.  Although it was not cool, we still put the blankets back on the bed, but did not run the heat nor the AC for a change.  Denise wanted to go for a run, but the wind was still a bit blustery and any minute it looked like it would start to rain again.  Needless to say she did not go, but instead enjoyed several cups of coffee.

Early on we examined the weather and realized we were not going to leave anywhere today. While the wind had died down a bit, it still was blowing enough to keep us in the marina for at least one more day.

Denise hunkered down with boat chores (window washing) and getting all the writings ready to post to the blog (now that we had a somewhat reliable internet connection).  Meanwhile, Mark spent the morning first on a conference call with a client and then he successfully replaced the generator impeller and got it running again. After lunch he did some adjustments to the davit system for the dinghy so as to minimize the now deflating tube that has been damaged.

Broken impeller

During the afternoon two other boats came into the marina. One was a large catamaran sailboat that came in for fuel and to fix and fuel line issue.  Once resolved they returned back out on the Bay to head south.  They were all experienced off-shore sailors from Canada and had a schedule to keep.  The other boat was a 38’ Sabre who came in for the evening. Mark was able to meet the two men aboard “Bluebird” who are and heading south to Norfolk and would most likely leave in the morning.  Billy Sr. confirmed to both “Bluebird” and Mark that tomorrow morning between 8 am to 9 am would be the time to leave, and as a local charter fisherman, we felt we should heed his suggestion and planned accordingly.

In the evening we joined Ed and Donna (“Dee Gee V”) aboard their Catalina 38’ sailboat for drinks.  We discussed cruising the ICW south as it will be there first time to do so as they have plans to winter in Fort Pierce. We also talked a bit about the aviation industry as Ed worked in it for a while, first as an airplane mechanic, flight instructor and eventually as a pilot.  It was fun to finally socialize with another couple as we have missed this aspect of cruising by ourselves and not with a group.

We returned to our boat for a dinner of leftover fajitas and then to get some last minute office work done.  We ended the day watching the movie “Unforgiven” and thanking God for our new found friends and many blessings.

Tomorrow we will head south to Poquoson, a 50 mile run that should take no more than 3 hours and bring us close to our nieces.  The wind is supposed to be out of the southwest, which should be mostly blocked by the land, and hopefully provide a tolerable ride.

Here are some pictures of the grounds around this terrific family-run and friendly marina:

Rental Cottages at marina

Covered & uncovered slips

Bait & Tackle Shop

Dockmaster shack

Capt. Billy’s other business

Gazebo near dock at marina

Near boat ramp

Beat-up on the Bay!

Buzzards Point Marina – Reedville, VA (Wednesday 10/11)
Some days on the water are awesome and so spectacular that we have to pinch ourselves to realize we have been fortunate enough to experience God’s great glory. This was NOT one of those days.  In fact, it was more like facing the fury of the devil.

We left St. Mary’s very early as the seas and weather were supposed to be deteriorating as the day went on where we were, but the further south we got they were forecasted to be flat.  Additionally, we expected overcast skies and a 1’ -2’ chop.  We also knew that where the Potomac meets the Chesapeake Bay the counter currents and tides can create a lot of turbulence.  When we left the St. Mary’s River and entered the Potomac, the waves were 1’ as expected and we settled in for a slight bumpy, but tolerable day of cruising.  We were headed to the Poquoson area off the York River; a 75 mile run.

Leaving St. Mary’s Anchorage

Western shore leaving St. Mary’s River

As we approached the mouth of the Potomac, things got bumpier and the northeast wind mixed with the outgoing tide for a washing machine effect. The wind had started to pick up and before long we were rocking like crazy.  The waves quickly built to 3’- 4’ and we had to slow the boat down first to 12 knots, then to 8 knots.  We knew once we rounded the point and headed more towards the south we would get out of the Potomac churn and it would settle down.  But first we would get hit by several big waves and the boat slammed and rolled, resulting in dishes coming out of their cabinet and smashing on the floor of the galley.  In our stateroom several items flew off the top of the cabinets and in the head (bathroom) all our cosmetics ended up on the floor, shattering Denise’s makeup and spilling it everywhere. The place was a mess.

We decided it was too rough to stay on the Bay and made plans to turn into the first place we could escape into, the Great Wicomico River.  Unfortunately, it was still a few miles away and we had to endure the turbulence.  Mark had also noticed at this point that the dinghy had been rocked so much that it suffered some damage.  We were not going to be able to use it until we could get it repaired, which limited our anchoring options a bit.

In the meantime it had gotten hot and we tried to turn on the generator to get the air conditioning going. However, it was acting up and giving us an error message on the display panel that usually means an impeller needs to be replaced. We have seen this before (Sarasota in 2016) and is often caused by a lack of use of the generator.  Since we have not been anchoring and using the generator much these last few weeks, it is not unexpected.  It is definitely something Mark can fix, but not something we could due until we got to a dock with stable weather.

While trying to keep her sanity during this, Denise searched for a marina for the night.  Seeing there were several on the north side of the river, we turned right and headed up the Cockrell Creek Inlet. Slowly we made our way past the seafood processing center and towards the town of Reedville.

Omega Protein Fish Processor

“Morris FIsher Stack” – near processing plant and landmark on entry into creek

Our initial call was to the Reedville Marina, but it didn’t have great reviews on Active Captain and clearly we could see it was quite exposed to the wind.  We decided to continue up the creek to Buzzard’s Point Marina even though we had tried to call them, but got no answer or call back on our voice message.

Shortly after we entered the creek and headed towards Reedville, we passed a sailboat that was heading out to the inlet and the Bay. “Dee Gee V” hailed us on the radio and asked us about the conditions on the Bay, and we gave them our report.  They decided to turn back and followed us up the creek towards Buzzard’s Point.  Once we arrived they gave us instructions about taking the side-tie pier as they were on it the day before, and they would take an empty slip. They told us there is plenty of space and things are quite informal at this marina during this time of year.

We tied up as instructed and communicated with family as to our whereabouts.  It had taken us 4 hours to only go 35 miles; something that normally would take less than 2 hours.  We both went to work to pick up the mess on our boat.  We had lost 4 plates and some makeup, but everything else just had to be organized, wiped down and stowed again. It literally took us all afternoon to clean and put things back together again.  Note to file:  Corelle® dishes do not mean they don’t break. In fact, when they do break they shatter in millions of tiny pieces that can only be picked up by a vacuum.

IO at Buzzard’s Point Marina

Mark did finally talk with a “dockmaster” and got the ok to stay as many nights as needed as the weather for the next few days did not look great.  And we were not up for more pounding on our “tiny house on the water”.  We also got the WiFi password, but had difficulty connecting to it, as was documented by one reviewer in Active Captain for this marina.  This meant no email, no work and no streaming of news or movies this evening.  The dockmaster had also offered use of a truck should we want to go to one of the restaurants in the area; the only one open this evening.

Once we were done with the cleanup and got our showers, we made a couple strong adult beverages and celebrated getting through the challenges of the day. In all of the “excitement” this morning, we had failed to notice that we crossed the state line and were now in the commonwealth of Virginia.

We also did some research about other marinas in the area.  We could not stay here for several days with no internet and one-bar cell signal strength on our phones.  We found a small marina located across the Great Wicomico River inlet that had a good AC review so Mark called for availability.  He got confirmation that they had room and we could go there tomorrow as early as possible. We had identified that leaving around 9:00 would give us the best weather opportunity to go the 5 miles across the inlet to Ingram Bay Marina without getting beat up too badly.

In the evening we ate leftovers from the freezer for dinner, even though the couple on “Dee Gee V” were using the loaner car to go to the one restaurant and offered us to join them.  We were tired and didn’t want to venture out in the miserable weather.

In retrospect, we probably should have bypassed St. Mary’s yesterday and continue on to Poquoson where we were planning on staying for a while anyway. The weather was good for a very long passage and we certainly could have done the distance (or most of it) in one day. However, we had already missed this place two other times and we really wanted to go. Hindsight is always 20/20!

Although we had too much going on to take pictures while on the Bay, here are some from the Buzzard’s Point Marina:

Cove at Buzzard’s Point Marina

Cove at Buzzard’s Point Marina

At Buzzard’s Point Marina

At Buzzard’s Point Marina

Ferry to Tangiers at Buzzard’s Point Marina

Buzzard’s Point Marina

 

Sweet Solomons!

Solomons, MD (Saturday, 10/7)
Before leaving Oxford, Denise was able to finally get in a good run of 6 miles. Her longest in a long time and she was grateful for the nice scenery around the town.

We left under nice skies and calm winds, once again passing the downtown of Oxford and the Tred Avon Yacht Club.  We made our way out into the Chesapeake Bay that had a small chop, but was not uncomfortable.  In no time we could see the tops of the trees on James Island to our east; very noticeable for miles.

Trees on James Island – Looks like Palms

And eventually we cruised past the now-familiar Cove Point LNG (Liquid Nitrogen Gas platform) and the Cove Point Lighthouse on the western shore.

Cove Point LNG Terminal

Cove Point Lighthouse

Soon thereafter we entered the Patuxent River (PAX River), passing the Naval Air Station (NAS) to our port side.

NAS PAX

We then entered the channel to Back Creek with the University of Maryland Chesapeake Biological Laboratory ahead and the usual beautiful homes on the shore.    This was Solomon’s and we were happy to be back to this wonderful place.

Entering Solomons Channel

Before going to Zahniser’s Yachting Center where we had stayed before, we stopped at Calvert Marine to put some fuel on the boat.  We only needed enough to get us into Virginia where prices were more favorable, so we only added 45 gallons.

Fuel stop at Calvert Marine

We then moved across the waterway into our reserved slip at Zahniser’s.

IO at Zahniser’s Yachting Center

After we settled the boat we grabbed some lunch and then made our way to check in at the marina. We then began to watch the FSU vs Miami game but only a little bit before we had to leave for the 4:00 mass at Our Lady Star of the Sea.

OLSS from the water

Along the way we met and chatted with John & Fran Wolf (“Evergreen”) who were also walking to mass.  They are on a Pacific Seacraft 40’ sailing vessel and discussed how they had traveled to Fullerton, CA during the fabrication of their boat.  Come to find out they know Robin Bradshaw, a guy we knew from our CA days as Mark would crew with him when racing boats along the Pacific Coast.  Small world!

After mass we came back to the boat to watch the end of the FSU game.  Unfortunately, our ‘Noles lost and we were sorry to see them struggle so much this season.   We cooked (fajitas) on the boat for dinner and watched the last episode (#8) of ““Manhunt: Unabomber”.  Then we started to watch a Netflix special by Jerry Seinfeld until Denise fell asleep. Mark continued watching, but Denise woke up long enough to crawl into bed.

Solomons, MD (Sunday, 10/8)
Today was not going to be a good weather day, so we decided to make it a “chore” day.  In the morning we did several loads of laundry as the facilities at Zahniser’s are top of the line and they make it easy.  It is not cheap, but convenient and with 3 washers and 3 dryers we could get it all done in a short period of time.

Later on Denise cataloged pictures and worked on the blog while Mark changed the oil.  This was a project that we were planning on for a while and now had the right location (marina/yard) to get it done.  During that time we noticed two Grand Banks trawlers came into the marina on our dock.  On one of them was Mary & Jim (“Pegasus”), whom we met here in the spring and saw again in Atlantic City on our way north; both of us awaiting bad weather.  We chatted with them for a while and hoped to reconnect, but they were headed back to their dirt home near Washington DC tomorrow and had plans for the evening.

As expected the weather turned windy and cloudy later in the day.  Not wanting to venture far we walked to dinner at Stoney’s Kingfishers Restaurant for their “happy hour special (Tacos, beer, wings & calamari).  It ended up being pretty good and as they are on the water the view wasn’t so bad either.

Happy Hour at Kingfisher’s

Stoney’s Kingfishers

After dinner we walked back to the marina and then re-watched episodes 1 & 2 of “Manhunt: Unabomber” before ending our day.

Solomons, MD (Monday, 10/9)
This morning we woke up to the drizzle of rain.  It was not pouring just a slight drizzle, but enough to make it a bit gloomy.  But we had planned for this and as soon as possible Mark went and got the rental car we had reserved from Hertz for the day.  Thankfully, we got to use another free coupon before it expired.

Our first adventure was to go to the movies, which is on the other side of the Pax River.  We are fans of the original “Blade Runner” movie with Harrison Ford, and wanted to see the sequel. So once again in the middle of the workday we went to a very empty theater and saw “Blade Runner 2049”.  For the record, we liked it very much in that it was in keeping with the feel, and it carries the original storyline forward with an unexpected twist.  There were a couple of places where we asked “how did he get out of that?” which makes you wonder about the editing of the final 2.75 hours-long show, but it was still pretty well done.

After the movie we found went to the grocery store (GIANT) not far from the movie theater.  We recognized their logo as being similar to the Stop N Shop logo and wondered if they were part of the same company.  We asked several cashiers and tried to use our SNS discount card, but they didn’t know anything and our card wouldn’t work.  However, they still gave us the advertised discounts.  Later we learned they are part of the same division of a Dutch-owned supermarket conglomerate that also owns Hannaford.

We went back to the boat and stowed our groceries, and then went to dinner at a restaurant near the marina. “CD Café” was a place we had read about and wanted to go to the last time we were here, but didn’t make it. It was very good, but we both shared an appetizer of beef napoleon and then each had salads with different proteins (Salmon and grilled chicken). The beef napoleon was unique and delicious and could have been a small plate meal for one of us.  The salads were also fresh and good. We would recommend this place to eat and hope to come back to it.

Steak Napoleon at CD Cafe

Once back on the boat we watched Re-watched episodes 3 -7 of “Manhunt: Unabomber” and decided we had seen enough of this series and would have to now find something else to stream in the evening.

St. Mary’s, MD (Tuesday, 10/10)
This morning we finally had a chance to connect with our Looper friends Betsy & Dave (“Frye Daze”).  We joined them for breakfast at Angler’s, a local restaurant on the water located less than ½ mile from our marina.  Denise had gone for a run and we both got our showers before heading out to meet them.  Then they were gracious enough to help us return the rental car and take us back to the marina.

With Betsy & Dave on “Frye Daze”

Once returning to the boat, we left Zahniser’s Yachting Center and then went and got a pump out at the city dock since it was free. It was after 10:30 before we left the city dock, but we were not concerned as it was less than 40 miles and should only take us 2 hours.

From there we left Solomon’s and the Patuxent (PAX) River – passing Naval Air Station PAX to our starboard and the beautiful homes along the northern shore. We really like this place and hope to be back again.

From the PAX River we cruised south on the Chesapeake Bay to the Potomac River under good conditions, passing the “Point No Point Lighthouse” and eventually the “Point Lookout” Lighthouse and State Park.

Point No Point Lighthouse

Point Lookout LIghthouse

We turned right and headed up the Potomac for 8 miles until we came to the St. Mary’s River.  Here we turned north and winded our way through this wide river and into St. Mary’s, Maryland – home of St. Mary’s Episcopal College.  It is also the home of Historic St. Mary’s City (HSMC) which was the first state capitol of Maryland. You can learn more about this national historic site here.

You can also tour the historic “Maryland Dove”; a re-creation/replica of the “Dove”, an early 17th-century English trading ship, one of two ships which made up the first expedition from England to the Province of Maryland.

“Maryland Dove” at HSMC

Once past the site of HSMC on the eastern shore of the river, we rounded the bend at Church Point and entered a large lake-like part of the river.  Here we anchored on the north side based on anticipated winds during the night.

IO at St. Mary’s Anchorage

Even though the anchorage could clearly handle a hundred boats, it was just us and one other sailboat for the night.  There are nice houses that sporadically line the river bank, but they are on large pieces of property and most have boat docks.  The foliage here is beautiful and the trees have started to turn colors, despite the warm temperatures.

Colorful foliage near anchorage

We launched the dinghy and zipped to the college’s sailing and rowing center, tying up in the north side of the launch dock as instructed by the rowing instructor.

St. Mary’s College Rowing & Sailing Center

From here we walked around the campus, passing the carved statue “”Freedom of Conscience” and the path that lead up to the church.

“Freedom of Conscience” statue

About “Freedom of Conscience” statue;

We then meandered up the hill and to the student union called “Campus Center” that consists of the bookstore, a coffee shop and the cafeteria/dining hall, among other facilities.

Signage on campus

St Mary’s Episcopal Signage

Campus Center

Dining Hall

The public is welcome to eat at the dining hall and we gladly participated in the “all you can eat” buffet. Lunch is $10 and dinner is $14 per person – a pretty good price considering there are numerous choices of entrees, salads, pizzas, grilled (hamburgers, etc.) and desserts.  We got our fill and then walked back to the docks, and a short dinghy ride back to our boat.

Once back on the boat it was so hot we had to turn on the generator and get the AC going.  Meanwhile, we poured a couple of adult beverages and watched a glorious sunset.  The bad weather was coming and it showed in the clouds, but this evening it was beautiful and the water was peaceful.

Beautiful sky & clouds – calm before the storm

Before going to bed we turned off the generator and opened the windows thinking it would stay cool enough for us to sleep.  We both tossed and turned for most of the night, never quite getting comfortable.  My how 100 miles can make a difference in temperature.

Eastern Shore Events!

Oxford, MD (Thursday, 10/5)
We left Rock Hall after Denise had a chance to get in a run, and with the sun shining brightly.  Shortly after leaving we cruised under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and bypassing Annapolis to our west. Although wanting to go there again, the timing was not good as the boat show was starting and most of the marinas were full up and overpriced.  We had decided to go explore the eastern shore of the Bay and the town of Oxford, where we were headed.

After the Chesapeake Bay Bridge

It was a nice day to be on the water and there were lots of boats, either fishing or just cruising about.  We cruised south with Kent Island to our east bypassing the Bloody Point Lighthouse at its southernmost point.

Bloody Point Bar lighthouse – Kent Island

We continued running on the eastern side of the Bay, but could clearly see the western shore as at this point the Chesapeake Bay is fairly narrow; only 7 miles away. We followed the coastline of Tilghman Island to our port (left) and then turned east into the Choptank River.  Seven miles later we turned north into the Tred Avon River and into the Oxford area.

All along these bodies of water there is farmland and beautiful homes sitting on large pieces of property.

House on North shore – Tred Avon River near Oxford

This area is quite remote and is not easy to get to like most everything on the Delmarva Peninsula. The options include the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to the north by Annapolis or the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-tunnel out of Norfolk to the South, and both involve then further driving on mostly 2 lane highways with lots of traffic. In a lot of cases, it is faster to get around by boat and that is why in many places there are ferry services.  For example there is one from Oxford to Bellevue – which takes you to St. Michael’s.  In 20 minutes you could be across the water when it would take nearly 1 hour to drive.  It is also the only way to get to some of the remote islands that are all around these great eastern-shore Rivers.

We arrived at the Oxford Yacht Agency marina where we had reservations, passing several large marinas by Hinkley and Brewer along the way.  This is a boater’s town and there are lots of boatyards, shipbuilders and marinas along the waters surrounding the town. Besides that, there is not much else going on in Oxford; it is mostly a residential community with a few good restaurants and a strong community bond by the locals.

Tred Avon Yacht Club

Hinkley Yacht Sales

We pulled into the marina slip and got the boat all tied up.  There was no one in the Yacht Agency (aka Sales office) and “Rodney” the live-aboard pseudo dockmaster was at his “day job” so we would have to check in with him later.

IO at Oxford Yacht Agency

Waterside – Oxford Yacht Agency

Street view – Oxford Yacht Agency

Houses and buildings near Oxford Yacht Agency

We had reserved a rental car with Enterprise and scheduled them to come pick us up at the Marina after lunch.  We had some provisioning to do, and we wanted to check out the town of Cambridge (located south of Oxford) to see if wanted to take the boat there. This would give us a chance to check it out, and to explore this part of Maryland which we had never seen.

Once the driver arrived, he took us back to his location in the town of Easton – 10 miles away. It is a much bigger city offering all kinds of retail shopping and services. We found a Supercuts and Mark was able to get a badly needed haircut before we continued with the day’s adventure.

Afterwards we drove south to the town of Cambridge where upon arriving we learned there would be a full “IronMan Triathlon” competition here on Saturday (7th).  The place was already getting filled up and getting around the park where the registration and race packet pickup was a challenge.

Welcome to Cambridge sign – Ironman Announcement

Once we got through that area, we drove along the waterfront and then through the downtown area.  We parked and walked around a few of the shops, picking up a few things along the way.

Wall outside store in Cambridge

Downtown Cambridge

One of the things we wanted to investigate was the “free wall” that we could tie the boat to if we came here. However, with the IronMan competition here we decided we were not going to bring the boat; water access would be limited due to the swim in the inlet.

Free wall in Cambridge

Not quite dinner time, but wanting to enjoy some of the scene, we drove back towards the water and stopped into “Snappers” for a couple of beers and an appetizer.  It was near the “free wall” so we got to see the area and have knowledge should our path take us back here one day again.

Snappers

Before leaving Cambridge we went to the Walmart Super Center to pick up oil for the boat (only available in 2.5 gallon jugs at their Super Centers); one of Mark’s future boat chores.  From there we headed back to Easton, for grocery provisioning. Here there was a new and large Harris Teeter’s that allowed us to get everything on our list, and more.

Grocery Stop

We had also spotted the Chick-fil-a as we entered the shopping plaza, so we made that our “dining out” option for the evening.  We were happy to once again be south of the Mason-Dixon line and enjoy the best of what the south has to offer.

Dinner stop

We drove back to Oxford and had time to watch another 2 episodes of “Manhunt: Unabomber” before ending our very busy day.

Oxford, MD (Friday, 10/6)
Because of our change not go to Cambridge, we chose to stay a second night in Oxford and explore this town today.  We also saw that the weather was not going to be great (remnants of tropical system Nate) in the coming days and decided to go into Solomon’s a day earlier than planned.  We called Zahniser’s Yachting Center (where we had reservations and had stayed in the spring) and got confirmation that we could arrive a day earlier as long as it was after the 12:30 checkout; there was a boat in the slip we would be assigned and we had to wait for them to leave.   We also made reservations at Whitehouse Cove Marina in Poquoson to ensure we could stay there next weekend when visiting with Denise’s nieces.

After all this had been scheduled we took the rental car and drove all around Oxford.  This gave us an opportunity to explore lots of areas that we would not have seen by bike or walking.

In the afternoon we drove back to Easton to return the rental car, but first had to stop at the Walmart there as Mark wanted one more gallon of oil.  The representative from Enterprise drove us back to our boat where we had some office work to do.

That night we walked to the Oxford Inn and dined at Pope’s Tavern.  Rodney (dockmaster) had suggested it as the best “go-to” place to eat in town, and we were not disappointed.  We had fresh fish and enjoyed meeting Chef Lisa who has a winter home in Palm Coast.

Oxford Inn – Pope’s Tavern

Pope’s Tavern at Oxford Inn – Dining room

We topped off the evening with another episode of “Manhunt: Unabomber” before ending our day.

Here are more pictures of the Oxford area:

Oxford Custom House

Tred Avon Yacht Club

Oxford artistry — found all around town

Beach at Sandaway B&B

Oxford Ferry

Road near Oxford Marina

Cutts & Case Shipyard

Home on The Strand – loved it – front

Home near The Strand – loved it – back

Robert Morris Inn

Post Office

Town Clcok near market

Mural on side of Oxford Market

Oxford Market

City Park – overlooking Tred Avon River

 

Merriment in Maryland!

Atlantic City, NJ to Rock Hall, MD (Monday, 10/2)
Knowing we wanted to get as far as possible today, we left the dock at Kammerman’s Marina at 7:10 am and headed out the Absecon Inlet and said good bye to Atlantic City.  The waves were maybe 2’ and were a little choppy, but there was not a lot of wind so the ride was pretty comfortable.  It was a 20-mile run down to Cape May, and it took us about 90 minutes to get past the breakwater and into the harbor.  It was a little different to be coming into this harbor from the Atlantic Ocean instead of leaving it to head north, like we had done twice before.

Leaving Atlantic City

AC Shoreline

Entering Cape May Harbor

Once inside the harbor we went to Utsch’s Marina where we needed to fill up with diesel.  They have an affordable price and being that it was early in the day there was no wait on their fuel dock.  It only took us about 30 minutes, and by 10:00 we were on our way through the Cape May Canal and heading towards the Delaware Bay.  This canal is 6 miles long, but took us 35 minutes as it is a no-wake zone the whole way.  There were very few boats on the water and it was really quiet except for the ferry at the end of the canal; this was a testament that the summer was done and boats were being put up for the winter here too.

Ferry Terminal – Cape May Canal

David Douglas Park – Cape May Canal

We entered the Delaware Bay and cruised on very flat water all the way up the Delaware River. We had never seen it this calm and it was so clear you could see parts of the low-lying Delaware shoreline from 10 miles out.   This was a rare day on this large body of water, and we were going to take advantage of it.  We quickly decided to not stop in Delaware City, but to press on through the C&D Canal to the Chesapeake.

Ship John Shaol Lighthouse

Delaware River – Containers & Delaware Shore

Hope Creek Nuclear Power Facility

Reedy Point Bridge – C&D Canal

As we went under the Chesapeake City Bridge on the C&D Canal, we decided we could make it all the way to Rock Hall by 4:30 and called the Rock Hall Landing Marina for a reservation. We had stopped at this location on our way north in June and knew what it had to offer, including a great area for Denise to get in a run.  So, once again we bypassed Chesapeake City where so many cruisers stay.

South Bank – Chesapeake City

Schafer’s Canal House – Chesapeake City

After exiting the C&D Canal and starting our way south on the Chesapeake, we encountered first a Coast Guard vessel, then two car-carrying ships that are so huge you can see them for miles. They look like buildings on the water.

Leaving the C&D Canal

CG “Willilam Tate”

“Mercury Ace” Car container

There were a few other pleasure craft on the water, especially as we headed further south and got closer to the Patapsco River (near Baltimore).  It was here that we saw a Fleming Yacht cross in front of us, only to discover that it was “Ravello” and our friends Mark & Janay Paul (brother to Denise’s high school classmate Jim Paul).  We met them in Solomons, MD in the spring and they keep their boat just outside of Annapolis.  Denise spoke with them for a little while on the phone, but our different cruising schedules have us missing each other so we will have to connect with them at a later time.

At 4:15 we pulled into the Rock Hall Landing Marina and were assisted by Joe, one of the marina owners, who placed us on an end-tie.  This makes for easier docking and undocking which we like.  We had traveled 141 miles – our second longest day this summer, and we could not have asked for a better day on the water. We had absolute perfect conditions and it had been fun, but we were tired.

We settled the boat, checked in at the marina office, and went back to the boat for a well-deserved adult beverage.  Not wanting to cook and now very tired, we decided to go Waterman’s Crab House for dinner.  This restaurant is right next to the marina and we ate there the last time we were here. It is usually a happening place, with a live band every Friday and Saturday in the summer.  We got seated right away and the place was very empty, despite great weather.  Mark ordered shrimp and Denise ordered steamed crabs, trying to capture one last bite before the end of the season.  They were good, but a lot of work.  Next time she will order the soft-shell sandwich instead.  The best part of this place is the million-dollar view and we got our money’s worth with this spectacular sunset tonight.

Waterman’s Crab House

Outdoor dining at Waterman’s Crab House

Sunset over the Chesapeake

After dinner we walked back to our boat noticing that even though there were a lot of boats in the marina, the place was pretty quiet. Again very different compared to how it was when we were here last.

We were trying to decide where to go from here next. Although we had talked about going to Annapolis (or more preferably Eastport to its south), the annual boat show is scheduled to start with the sail expo on Wednesday and we were not having any luck finding a marina.  We decided to bypass Annapolis and stick to the eastern shore for now, eventually heading to Solomons.

It didn’t take long for Denise to crash and Mark too, but not before watching another episode of “Narco”.

Rock Hall, MD (Tuesday, 10/3)
Our bodies must have been fatigued as we were slow to get going with our day.  We had discussed and decided to stay a second day so that we could take some time to plan our itinerary for the coming days and weeks.  We also had several boat projects that needed to be done and this would give us the opportunity to get them done.

But first we decided that exercise was in order.  Mark used the loaner bike from the marina and rode along as Denise ran 4+ miles.  We took the same route that Denise took before, but we got a little lost and it ended up being a little longer than planned.  But it was good in that Mark got to see the downtown and other parts of the area he had previously missed.

Mark following on the bike

Downtown banner honoring military from Rock Hall

About Rock Hall

Waterman Carving

We spent the rest of the morning planning our desired stops over the next two weeks, and communicating with friends and family with whom we were trying to see along the way.  This included changing our routes so we can see our Looper friends Betsy & Dave (“Frye daze”) whom we missed the last time we were in Solomons. We also made reservations for marinas in Oxford and Solomons as these are popular spots and we want to make sure they have space. We are now competing with northern boats heading south for the winter.

After lunch Mark hosed off the boat to get off most of the salt, and then worked to install the new LED navigation lights we got from Back Cove when in Rockland.  Mark had also met a few local cruisers on their Nordic Tug (“Compass Rose”) who had come into the marina.  He talked to them about our Loop adventure as they are planning to do it in 2018.

Meanwhile, Denise got a loaner bike from the marina office and rode to the grocery store, hoping to pick up some milk and a few other items.  The downtown was eerily quiet with most shops closed until Friday.  Clearly the season has wrapped up, except for the locals who are still coming here on the weekends, at least for a few more weeks.

Grocery Store

When Denise came back from the store, Mark was finishing up the installation of one of the lights; the second would have to wait for another day.  After stowing the groceries Denise worked a bit on the blog and then we prepared for happy hour.  While sitting around with drinks in hand, we made the decision to stay a third night, which should give us a whole day on Wednesday to finish up a few boat projects and to get the blog updated.  This was an option because the marina had a special; buy-two, get a third night free.  The marinas in Maine, NH and Massachusetts could take hints from the marinas in the Chesapeake!

While at the grocery store Denise had picked up a rotisserie chicken and then paired it with a salad and some rice for a pretty easy and good dinner aboard our Island Office. We ate this while being graced with another awesome sunset over the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay.

Sunset over Rock Hall Harbor

For our entertainment this evening we watched the movie “Founder”; a movie about Ray Kroc and the story behind the growth of McDonald’s. Michael Keaton played Kroc who is portrayed as a ruthless business man but is responsible for this food chain’s immense growth and prosperity.

Rock Hall, MD (Wednesday, 10/4)
Another cool morning meant another night with the heat on.  We have now done this for at least the last week or so and we are loving it, especially since it warms up to 75° or 80° during the day.  We feel for family and friends who are still suffering with the heat in Central Florida.

Because we had a few items to put in the mail, and because she wanted to get in some exercise, Denise walked to town (1/2 mile) and the post office and back.  During this time Mark replaced the second LED navigation light and now we have brighter lights for when we hit the Chesapeake fog; hopefully will not need them.

For the rest of the day we did office work on the boat. We stopped long enough for lunch and for some short walks around the marina. The wind had picked up a little bit and we could see some of the waves in the bay, but all of it was tolerable.

Besides Waterman’s Crab House, the only other restaurants within walking distance were closed and only open Thursday through Sunday this time of year. So, we opted for a dinner of leftovers onboard. After dinner we were once again treated to an awesome sunset.

IO at Rock Hall sunset

We closed the evening watching Netflix and the Discovery Channel’s series called “Manhunt: Unabomber” – a story about the hunt for Ted Kaczynski (aka the “Unabomber”). It is an 8-part series that ran this summer and stars Sam Worthington and Chris Noth. It’s a fascinating story and was very well done.

Atlantic City – Revisited!

Atlantic City, NJ (Saturday, 9/30)
We left the Woodworth’s dock just before 7:00 am as planned, making our way through the canal, across Little Silver Creek and back into the Shrewsbury River.  Before exiting this area, we stopped to take on fuel to get us to Cape May.  It is a bit expensive in this area, but Mark found the cheapest price at Schupps Landing which was on our way out.  We took on 60 gallons which would get us to Cape May, and leave a bit of “insurance” in the tank.

We headed out into Raritan Bay where the west wind was really blowing and the 2-3’ waves had a bit of white caps on them. If we had been heading west we would have turned around and gone back into more protected waters as it was a bit bumpy.  However, once we rounded Sandy Hook and followed the New Jersey coastline south, the waves died down and it was a comfortable ride.

Heading out on Raritan Bay

In addition to the long mileage, the wind was expected to pick up later in the day, but would be out of the west or northwest and should be ok for us to get to Cape May.  Our course was mostly a direct shot south but due to the curve of the coastline we would sometimes be further offshore than at others.  Around Little Egg Inlet things started to get really bumpy, but we couldn’t come closer into shore due to the shoals that run far out into the Atlantic Ocean.  Once around this area we were able to come back in towards shore, but the chop of the waves were just continuing to build and the wind was now shifting on us.  Because of this, Mark suggested we go into Atlantic City, another 7 miles south, and call it a day. Even though it was just noon, we had already cruised 80+ miles and that was a good day.  Of course Denise was in favor of this.

While under way we attempted to reach Farley’s State Marina (Golden Nugget Hotel) where we had stayed before, but ended up leaving a voicemail.  In the meantime we had read a good review on Active Captain for Kammerman’s Marina located on the beach side of the harbor and called them about availability.  By the time we entered the harbor we had secured a slip with them and pulled into this small family-owned well protected marina.  Eventually Farley’s called us back but we were already secured to the dock at Kammerman’s, and we could see that they were pretty full (although they did have space for us).

Kammerman’s Marina

We were happy with the arrangements and found the staff at Kammerman’s to be friendly and very customer service-oriented.  Plus, we liked the idea of supporting this small business over the big marina at the casino.

The wind continued to pick up all afternoon and with it came some cooler weather.  We stayed on the boat for most of the rest of the day, watching the FSU football game and doing some office work.  The weather tomorrow (Sunday) was going to be windy again, at least until late in the day, but Monday would be a good day to get to Cape May.  We settled into the idea that we would be here for 2 nights and confirmed with the marina that we could stay if we wanted to.

The marina sits at the end of a point that is almost exclusively residential and in Atlantic City is not really good to walk around after dark – even in this area. Since we did not want to venture too far from the boat, we took advantage of the small newly opened casual restaurant on-site at the marina.  But their seating is all outside so we opted for grilled hamburgers to-go and took them back to our boat to dine.  They were very good, affordable, and satisfied our hunger.

Neighborhood adjacent to dock

IO at marina

Sunset over the Borgata

We finished the day by watching the movie “Jackie” on Netflix.  It is an interesting portrayal of the few days in the life of Jackie Kennedy right after the assassination of JFK.  While Natalie Portman was deserving of an Oscar nomination for her role as Jackie, the storyline leaves you wondering about the legitimate portrayal of the First Lady.

Atlantic City, NJ (Sunday, 10/1)
Part of our planning yesterday involved trying to get to church for Sunday mass.  The challenge was that like many other parishes in the northeast, the churches here are combined parishes with staggered mass times.  The closest church (St. Nicholas of Tolentine) offered a Traditional High Latin Mass at 8:45 and another mass at 10:30. We were not up for the long or later time, so we chose the next closest church; Our Lady Star of the Sea (another one).  But, we didn’t know that it was closed for renovations and took an Uber to attend the 8:30 am mass, not knowing this.

Our Lady Star of the Sea – AC – closed

Luckily there was another church just over a half mile away and they had a mass at 9:00 am.  We were not alone in our mistake, as there was another older couple that had done the same thing and had also taken a cab to the closed church. We hoofed it at a quick pace for 5+ blocks and arrived at St. Michael’s church in plenty of time. Come to find out this was the first Sunday that OLSS was combining services with St. Michael’s and there were several other coordination issues during the mass.  But it all worked out ok and we enjoyed visiting this really beautiful church in the heart of Atlantic City.

St. Michael’s

St. Michael’s

Inside St. Michael’s

After mass we decided to walk north as we were not far from the outlet stores (not yet open for the day) and we wanted to see if there was a decent grocery store. While we passed a few corner convenience stores, the only larger store was a Save-A-Lot.  This store was limited in its produce and the only thing it had that we wanted to buy was limes.  While Denise was checking out, Mark began a discussion with the security guard/off duty state trooper.  He was very helpful and suggested that we Uber our way back to the marina, even though it was daylight….and that is exactly what we did.

We got back to the boat and continued with our “to-do” lists, cataloging pictures (Denise), doing work for clients (Mark) and planning out our destination for tomorrow evening. At the very least it would be Cape May, but possibly Delaware City or Chesapeake City on the C&D Canal.  We also noticed that in the afternoon the wind completely died. Had we not already paid for another night at this marina, we might have untied the dock lines and made the 20-mile run to Cape May. But it is just as well as we had other plans for the evening now.

Based on the (Save-A-Lot) security guard’s suggestion, we decided to splurge for dinner and go to Bobby Flay’s Steakhouse at the Borgata Casino and go have some fun.  Touted as being the classiest of all casinos in Atlantic City, and very Vegas-like we decided to be adventurous.  We are not big gamblers and we cannot stand the cigarette smoke that hangs in the air in all casinos, even in the non-smoking sections, so this was stepping out of our “comfort zone”.

We took an Uber cab to the Borgata and walked around the entrance area and a few of the gambling areas before heading to the restaurant.  There were whole gambling areas (poker, black jack tables, etc.) that were empty (and closed) but many of the slot machines had people sitting at them.   We walked around looking at the other nice restaurants and to see what else was offered and then made our way to dinner.

Entrance to Bobby Flay’s

At Bobby Flay’s

The dinner at Bobby Flay’s was great and we enjoyed the tasty and perfectly cooked steaks. The place got pretty busy while we were there and by the time we left the place was pretty full; not bad for a Sunday night.

From there we went to the non-smoking slot machines and struggled to find a quarter machine.  Most of the ones we saw were for penny or nickels – the difference between Vegas and Atlantic City.  We found a few machines to play a whopping $20 (remember we are not gamblers).  At one point we won $16 so we pocketed that and played with the rest of our money until it ran out. It took about 30 – 45 minutes and then we cashed in our receipt for the $16.  It was fun, but we were ready to take an Uber back to the boat for the night……….and that is exactly what we did!

Entering Borgata Casino

Lobby Entrance at Borgata Casino