September 24, 2000 - Atlantic City, NJ - N 39 23.2 W 74 24.7

Our dinghy trying it's best to keep up during a (brief) spell of fair winds
We spent a damp gray but mild Saturday entangled in our massive raft up in front of the Shrimp Box restaurant. By 7 am Sunday all the rafters were eager to get underway. Ten diesels and gas auxiliaries idled warming up and then the raft quickly disintegrated as one by one its compenent boats untied and cast off. See you in Atlantic City we said to the Canadian couple we had enjoyed visiting with next to us.

Chris at the helm, sailing to Atlantic City
The forecast was for a cold front to work in slowly later in the day. We departed under gray skies but later saw a bit of hazy sun. The wind stubbornly stayed southerly so except for an hour or so of a close reach we ended up motoring. The left over waves from the day before at times reached 4 to 5 feet but today they were in the form of a long easy ocean swell.

Approaching Atlantic City
Atlantic City loomed out of the late afternoon haze and mist and as we approached the inlet the swells piled up over the shoals just to the north of the channel in a welter of sharp peaked breakers and white water. To the south stood a half dozen hotel and casino towers. Several buildings displayed "Trump" in prominent red neon. The Taj Mahal had Trump on it in no less than 3 places. We turned into a little tidal creek that entered the main channel opposite of Trump marina. A sand spit with anglers and a half dozen cars parked on it flanked the entrance which was about 40 feet wide. Hoping our guide book wouldn't let us down, we cautiously entered the tiny creek at dead slow. A man on shore 15 feet away told us stay to port it's deeper there. Near high tide we carried 13 feet into a fine wide pond surrounded by a solid wall of condos and between them and us a fringe of September gold salt marsh gone all tawny with fall.

A single-handed ketch in our anchorage with a well lighted Atlantic City building behind it
Flocks of birds filled the air, and swirled overhead, crying short sharp wild calls. Terns winged past and on shore big and small white egrets fished the falling tide. We were in the midst of a serene little enclave of natural beauty and life surrounded by the high rises, condos and casinos of modern New Jersey. One other boat shared this anchorage with us.