We’re alive, although now the ocean conditions have pinned us in Atlantic City. So far Atlantic City this time isn’t as bad as that time with the AC/DC tribute band, but still.
Being stuck somewhere for several days stinks for multiple reasons, not the least of which is the guilty feeling if you don’t finally fix those niggling problems that that you sort of resolved with duct tape but not really. Before we unstuck from Cape May we did some of that, which required a walk downtown to the local hardware store.
Swains’s says it’s been in Cape May since 1896, which is a long time. It’s crazy to think that even before the invention of horseless carriages and aeroplanes, the Helpful Hardware FolksTM at Swain’s were directing people with pesky leaks in their anchor locker to the aisle with Flex SealTM.
Another way to pass time is to look at other boats. For example, a line of commercial fishing boats lines the east entrance into Schellenger Creek. Lots of fishing boats up and down the coast, which is a good thing, because someone needs to supply all the seafood we buy at the Costco on Hayden Road.
When we arrived on Monday they put us next to T/T Double Barrel.
This may look like a typical center console of the type found in every marina, but the T/T means it’s a tender and the 1200 horsepower means it goes fast enough to be unsafe. The mothership pulled in a bit later. Double Barrel is a Viking 82 Sportsfish that cost about $10 million new. You’ve really got to be into hobby fishing to pay that kind of money. We’re not into fishing, but even we know you can buy a heck of a lot of fish at Costco for $10 million. It’s a pretty boat, however, with pleasing colors and a huge deck.
Here’s the thing though. No matter how big your deck is, there’s always some dude with a bigger one. Eileen’s Way showed up on Tuesday. At 120 feet, she’s the second-largest boat Ocean Alexander has built. A guy with a deck that big doesn’t need to compensate with a sports car.
Cape May is on the tip of New Jersey, with the Delaware Bay on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. The middle mostly is a swamp. And yet inexplicably a zillion tour boats zoomed past South Jersey Marina every day. We don’t get it, unless they go out into the swamp looking for Jimmy Hoffa’s body.
There are pontoon boats, which at least are more seaworthy than those round things found in South Carolina. There’s also a tiny cruise boat. She might’ve been born just plain white trash but Fancy is her name.
Then at night, there are big boats, lined with people who mistakenly believe they can sing along with the loud music on the DJ’s short playlist, probably because when they were little their parents said “you have a beautiful singing voice” even though their pet cats kept running away.
The point is, we have no idea where they go. We also have no idea why New Jersey passed a law requiring all boats carrying tourists to blast “YMCA” multiple times each trip while all the decent people in town are trying to watch Suits or football on TV. We’re pretty confident, however, that idiot Chris Christie somehow is responsible.
Back to Painkiller, who until Friday was docked beside us in Cape May but then moved to the bad part of town when her slip owner returned. She looks a lot like Misty Pearl, undoubtedly because they’re both Selene 43s.
Fine looking boats those Selenes. Dave and Pam are great folks who grew up in Phoenix, which gives us lots to talk about. Their broker wanted them to look at Misty Pearl when we had her for sale but they weren’t quite ready to buy.
Saturday morning we finally shook lose the Cape May shackles and headed north. Nice day to cruise on the Atlantic Ocean. Finally.
Still a little chill in the air, which may explain why more boats are heading south than are heading north. But our air conditioners probably were glad for the vacation. We were glad to be moving. The plan was to stay only one night, since Sunday looked like a decent day for the long run from Atlantic City to Staten Island.
This is our fourth trip up or down the Jersey coast. Not much has changed over time. Except Wildwood recently repainted its water tower, which now stands out from the rickety roller-coasters that look more dangerous than the Atlantic Ocean.
The fishing boats were out en masse, apparently because there was exactly one spot in the entire ocean where fish were biting.
A couple of hours in, the skies turned blue and the water was comfortable, allowing us to slide up to Atlantic City nice and easy. Perfect timing of the Absecon Inlet meant no worries for the mile or so where we always worry.
Although Farley State Marina is not necessarily one of our favorite stops, it does generally deliver something interesting. This time, it’s the two 150-foot superyachts along E Dock. The one closest to the just-short-of-decent dockside restaurant with the red roof is Arctic Pride II. The other is Stealth. These both are the kind of boats that carry crew members who bicker and backstab and fornicate, which we know only because we may have watched a couple or fifty episodes of Below Deck. For the low price of $160,000, plus tips and expenses, Stealth can be enjoyed by mere mortals. For a week.
From our back porch, essentially we only see a white fiberglass wall that blocks out the sun.
It could be worse, of course. If our slip was forty feet in either direction, every time we walk off the boat, Arctic Pride II’s enormous deck would be staring us in the face, making a mockery of our tiny one.
Last night we enjoyed dockside chatting with Painkiller.
Dana and Dave diligently dithered, not about alliteration but about the sea conditions. They were back at it this morning. Ultimately Doug went back to bed because the trajectory of their discussion was against traveling. Good call. Twenty to 25-knot winds. Physics tells us that 20-knot winds with a 60-mile fetch can create eight-foot waves. The ashen-faced folks who came in during the day seemed to be cursing God for their ordeal.
Because we’re stuck again, of course, more guilt-driven chores awaited. Doug’s theory is that it’s a huge lazarette, and given enough time and adequate lighting he can retrieve anything he’s thrown down there. Dana’s philosophy is “a place for everything, and everything in its place.” So Doug spent the day organizing the lazarette. He would’ve skipped the work and popped into the Golden Nugget, but we never want to see Dana react the way David reacted when Linda lost the nest egg in Las Vegas.*
Tomorrow? Not leaving. Tuesday? We can hope.
*Also shame on anyone who hasn’t see Lost in America.