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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!