Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Boats and Politics

During Election season, we see people campaigning for their favorite candidates in many ways. If you have a boat, why not get it in the mix too? Look at this boat in my marina:

I would like to point out that I am not campaigning for or against Jessamy. This candidate is not even in my district.

Make sure you get out and vote today!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fairlee Bonfire

Fairlee Creek gets pretty quiet after Jellyfish Joel's closes for the season. This makes it the perfect spot for an end of season raft-up and bonfire.

After watching the weather for issues from the remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole, we headed out Friday night. While I'm really glad we left, I would not have recommended anyone else venture out in that weather. There were white caps in the Inner Harbor and without the strataglass in place we would have been soaked. We were throwing water over the hard-top once we got out into the Bay.

Since we were the only ones in our group to actually leave Friday night, we figured Fairlee would be dead. We were right, there were only 2 other boats anchored in a spot that has a few hundred anchored boats during the summer months. Unfortunately, one of the boats was already at the beach. The whole purpose of going to Fairlee was a beach bonfire so we pulled up alongside the other boat. I guess I should really say that we struggled to anchor beside them. The wind was whipping and the current was strong. At least the wind was blowing us away from the other boat. After getting the bow anchor set and trying twice to set the stern anchor, Doug got in the zodiac, went to shore, and physically pulled the boat into position using the stern anchor line. It did not look like fun from my viewpoint but you do what you gotta do (or you man the helm while the captain does heavy labor).Once finally situated, we set up our "kitchen" for the night. As we said numerous times that night "there is just something about a campfire that makes you feel like a kid again." Hot dogs and s'mores cooked on long thin branches are a perfect fall dinner.
We were really pleased when the couple on the other boat joined us. We had a great time making new friends around the camp fire. When we said goodnight we made plans to merge our raft-ups in the morning and Doug and I looked forward to making even more new boating friends. People always ask me how we make boating friends. Well, basically it's as organic as the situation this past weekend. We are in the same place and the same time, we have a boat - they have a boat, we discover that we are all nice people, and Ta-Da! new friends are made.

By Saturday night, we had 7 boats rafted up together (3 we already knew and 3 new boats, plus us). We built another bonfire, we drank, we cooked, we made new friends, we talked smack about the upcoming Ravens/Steelers game (great win Ravens!). We also saw a really cool mode of transportation - wouldn't this be fun:

The entrance to Fairlee is a great spot to fish because of the strong current. Doug caught striped bass, catfish, croaker, spot/perch, and even a blue crab.

One tip for those who are unfamiliar with Fairlee Creek - follow your charts VERY CAREFULLY! The entrance into the creek is tight. The areas right outside of the channel are VERY SHALLOW! After all the rain from the tropical storm, it was difficult to see the beach/shoal that became flooded on the starboard side of the entrance. We saw a couple boats with near misses and one sailboat that was lucky that my husband and one other guy in the group are so nice. They had to push him off of the beach.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Trawler Shopping

Doug and I attended Trawler Fest this Sunday in the Inner Harbor. Yes, we are die-hard boat fanatics - we attended a boat show in the rain. We are truly starting to research potential live-aboard boats.

The wonderful thing about trawlers - lots and lots and lots of space!
The not so good thing - they typically go very slow. I don't mean to make fun of trawlers, but when you are accustomed to cruising at 30-35 kt it's difficult to imagine only going 8 kt.

What are we looking for:
*2 1/2 staterooms: one for us, one for guests, and one for storage. Go ahead and laugh, but if we are still working while living on a boat, we can't just live in shorts and t-shirts, we need room for work clothes.
*2 separate living areas: an example is a salon and a helm station with extra seating. We love each other but we also need to be able to get away from each other.
*A decent galley. One of the boats we looked at has a full side-by-side refrigerator!
*A patio: we want an outdoor living space that is close to the water level.
*Ways to go green: how fuel effecient is the boat? is there a potential for solar panels to run the electric?
*Something we can actually afford!!!

We did find three boats of interest. I'm not saying they are in our price range, but one can always hope to win the lottery.

The Fleming 55 Pilothouse Motoryacht

The Manta 44 Powercat. One of the catamaran dealers did mention that we need to consider where we plan on keeping the boat. There are only so many shipyards that can pull a 21 ft beam boat out of the water.

The Maine Cat P-47

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Annapolis, again

Annapolis has been a frequent stop for us this year. It's a great city for many, many reasons. These are a couple from today's trip:

1) The view from the top of Main Street.
2) This sign outside of Armadillo's:
Seriously, how can you go wrong at a place that charges less for a margarita than for a hot dog?

Finally, just to show that I'm not the only one that sleeps during our trips, here's my fantastic captain sleeping on the job.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

College Football Saturday

Good friends, tasty adult beverages, beautiful weather, and college football - what more could you ask for? I know, how about a bar on the water. So with a crew of 8, we set off for Pusser's in Annapolis. Home of:I don't drink rum (I know that is a blasphemous statement to most boaters) but many of the crew threw a few back.

One quick note about Pusser's. There is a two hour limit on docking along their wall. We chose to get a mooring ball and take the dinghy in so we could stay longer.

It may seem silly, but I have to compliment them for posting the games which would be shown on each TV. So the signs were a little primitive, at least they were useful. How many times have you been to a bar during college football season and spent many precious minutes trying to figure out which TV is showing your team's game?

Boating is such a small world. We ran into 5 other boats that we know while we were in Annapolis. Part of the Labor Day bunch was directly across Ego Alley from us.

The sun sets earlier this time of year so we started the trek back to Baltimore around 4:30. Sirius 90s on 9 is a perfect station for singalongs if you have a bunch of 30-40 year olds on board. This was certainly one of our more lively return trips. Thanks everyone for making the day so much fun!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Trouble in Paradise

After a fabulous day trip on Saturday (more on that in a couple days), Doug returned to the boat on Sunday to clean. He discovered that someone decided to have a little bit of malicious fun on our dock. The straps that hold our dinghy on our swim platform had been cut through. Lucky for us, the zodiac was not punctured and we could find no other damage to our boat. Doug reported the damage to the marina office and was told that ours was not the only boat with issues that evening.

A friend of ours has a sailboat a few slips up. All of his docklines were cut that night. While the boat did float out into the fairway, his powercord and waterhose kept it from damaging other boats. His neighbor found his boat adrift at 3am and was able to secure it before it was damaged.

Through our friend we learned that a Silverton motoryacht on our dock was boarded. The kids (we assume that is who did this) entered his cabin, drank his alcohol, ate his food, and left everything a mess. One more boater was on his boat after midnight when he heard someone board his boat. The trespassers were scared off when he coughed.

Our boat is on a gated dock. We don't know how these kids got on the dock, nor the reasons for the destruction. We are simply grateful that no one was hurt.

We've since communicated with other slip holders on our dock via phone and email. We feel safe at Anchorage Marina but we want everyone to know what happened.

The positive side to all this...we are making more friends on our dock as we share information and collectively vow to watch our surroundings a little more closely. And the moral to the story: sometimes you have to watch your back - even in paradise.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thursdays on a Monday

In an effort to resist the real world a little longer, we made a lunch stop on Labor Day Monday. Our friends had heard about a place on West River and 4 boats decided to try it out on the way back to our respective home marinas/docks.Thursdays has a lot of outdoor seating and, even better, many slips available for "dock and dine." Hurricane Earl must have called upon his windy friends that day. After a fabulous weekend sans hurricane, the wind picked up just as we pulled up to the restaurant. The dock hand we worked with was great and we got into the slip with minimal trouble. I also have to give a shout out to my fabulous husband and captain, he did a great job manuevering the boat into the slip.

We were immediately seated at a table right along the railing and ordered food while we waited for the other boats in our group. The clam strip appetizer was disappointing - small portion and more breading than clam. My fried shrimp entree made up for it. The shrimp were large enough that the restaurant butterflied them before frying and they were quite tasty.

The problem/benefit (odd combination of words, I know) of being along the railing is that you can watch other boats as they try to dock. After holding our breath as we watched another boat try to dock next to ours in the heavy wind, Doug decided to get up from lunch in order to assist them from the bow of our boat. Even the guy behind me at the bar mentioned that he'd be on his boat helping if he owned ours. Docking is tough - trust me, after 10 years of boating, I'm still a novice - and you want to give boaters time to learn but you also have to protect your property. The boat eventually got in the slip, without hitting ours, and everyone was able to go back to enjoying the sunny day.

This was our first trip up West River and I think we may need to venture back there next season to check it out a little more. But after a couple hours with our friends, the fat lady sang and vacation was over.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Eco-Lifestyle Marina

Lately I've been reading that the blue crab population is up in the Chesapeake Bay. This is good news all around. Restaurants are happy. Blue crab eaters are happy. Most importantly, it means the bay is healthier.

Herrington Harbour South markets itself as an eco-lifestyle marina resort. I tell you what, it is certainly blue crab friendly. We saw many good sized blue crabs around the docks. Kids were running around with nets trying to catch them. Some families even caught enough to cook them up for dinner. While I love a good crab smothered in old bay, I can't stand being the one to cook them. So, I just took pictures of the one hanging out on the dock ladder by our boat:
The reflection of the ladder rungs makes it seem like the crab is floating. He's really just hanging out on the rung right below the water line. I wonder if he remembered to put on sun screen before sitting in the sun so long.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Labor Day Weekend Continued...

We went to Herrington Harbour South for three nights for Labor Day weekend. It's a beautiful marina with lots of amenities. There's a beach, a big pool, a restaurant and tiki bar, and a view that can't be beat.

It's a very active marina. It seemed like a never-ending parade of boats coming in and out. The annual slip owners were all very nice and seemed to have many friends there. Granted, boaters are generally nice people that make friends easily but there was an extra level of camaraderie at Herrington.

Being such a popular marina, it does come with pitfalls. If you decide to go there, I recommend calling mutiple times to confirm your reservation. Of the 5 boats in our group, 3 of us had difficulties with our reservations:
  • One boat called many times and was told each time that there was no record of their reservation.
  • One boat had two reservations for the same boat (I guess the marina thought they were going to clone themselves in order to pay double?)
  • We were docked away from the rest of our group.

I need to explain a little more about the last bullet point. Marinas always say that they cannot guarantee that they can put a whole group of visiting boats together. That is understandable. When we received a copy of our reservation, we figured out why we were placed so far away. We had requested to be near our group and that was originally written on our reservation. For reasons unknown to us, someone crossed that out and put us with a different group (a group that we do not know). When we pointed out the mistake, they apologized but made no attempt to compensate for their mistake.

I'm not saying that boats shouldn't go to Herrington Harbour South. I'm just saying that you may need to do a little more legwork than usual to make sure your stay is what you expect.

At least we had a beautiful view of the sunset from our friends' boats.

One final tip - apparently a bullhorn can substitute for a karaoke machine. Just don't be surprised when the harbor patrol asks you to quiet down.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hurricane? What hurricane?

We watched the weather extremely closely all of last week. Hurricane Earl was making a beeline for the East Coast and we were supposed to leave Friday for a 4-day boating weekend with friends. We even called the marina to see how late we could cancel if we decide to delay our trip by a day. Hurricanes like this happen so rarely around here, they didn't know what the protocol would be. Some of our friends were leaving Thursday night to ensure that they could get to the rendevous marina but we didn't have that option.

Friday morning rolled around and we got up early to watch the weather yet again. Yes, Earl was still out there but he had veered a little further east than the original predictions. The wave reports looked promising so we decided to go for it. I'll admit that I did call my mother to tell her where we were going and when she should expect us to arrive at our destination. I felt like I was supposed to be worried about the hurricane but all the boating sites made it seem like it was safe to venture out.

I am so glad we decided to go. The waves were fine. The wind was calm. The only "trouble" we had was a mile north of the Bay Bridge where waves always pick up. We made it past the bridge and had an enjoyable rest of our trip.

There were a least 10 container ships on the south side of the Bay Bridge. I've never seen that many anchored in one spot. We figured they had come up the bay to avoid any hurricane trouble. I've decided to call it a container ship truck stop. This isn't the best photo but it gives you the idea:
We arrived safely in typical time, I texted my mother to let her know we had arrived, and the weekend celebration began...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Naval Ships and Jellyfish

Some boaters really amaze me. We saw a naval ship entering Baltimore on our way to Fairlee Creek on Sunday. The accompanying police boats had to approach boats to make them get out of the way. First off, it's common courtesy to get out of the way of really big boats. Secondly, your boat will have a whole lot more damage than a big metal boat if you collide.

Fairlee Creek is a great place to visit but please remember to follow the "rules of the road" mainly Red Right Returning. Yes, folks there is a reason for those markers. The channel into Fairlee is thin and you will run aground if you don't pay attention. The two boats in front of us were lucky and realized before they got into real trouble.

It's been a long, hot summer. The fact that I was in the water before Memorial Day this year is proof - I'm always dipping my toes in that early but the water is typically still frigid. The delightful summer equals jellyfish now. Very few people were in the water. A couple of us still got in figuring a small sting was a reasonable price to pay for the opportunity to float in 80 degree water. We lucked out and no one got stung.

After a great day with friends we headed back to Baltimore. As it gets later in the season, the sun sets earlier (obviously). I point this out because it gets more difficult to see crab pots against the setting sun reflecting off the water. But we made it home safe and sound and look forward to a few more trips this season.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Hard Yacht Cafe

There is a biker bar on the water. Who knew?

Doug and I ventured to Hard Yacht Cafe on Bear Creek on Sunday. We had heard that this was a fun place to go for lunch. We were surprised to find the fun Harley theme.

We called ahead and found that they have awesome fuel prices. We were down to about half in each tank and have a few longer trips coming up. At $2.99/gallon we simply had to top off once we got there.

It looks like the area right up next to the restaurant can get pretty tight with boats. We saw at least once picture with cigarette boats blocking each other in. However, it seems like a cool place to get stuck, so I don't think anyone would complain. We chose to dock along the floating pier since we knew we couldn't stay long.

There is an inside bar - which of course no one was using in the beautiful weekend weather. The bar extends outside yet is protected by a roof and three walls. It then extends onto an outdoor deck area with a spot for a band. We arrived around 1 pm and had no trouble snagging a great table under cover. By the time we left the tables were filling up.

The food was delicious and filling. I recommend the Fisherman's Grilled Cheese - cheese, shrimp, and crab - simple and yummy. We had asked for a recommendation from the guy at the fuel dock and Doug took his advice - Mark Alan's Fave Burger - a burger topped with crab dip and cheddar cheese. Not my style but he enjoyed it.

A single guitar player started at 1. The music was just the right volume for the space. Doug and I could hold a conversation or focus on the music. And the singer (Mark Jacob) was fun.

If you are looking for a quick in-and-out (why would you look for a place like that on the water?), this isn't the place for you. We received menus quickly, ordered at our own pace, and received our food in a timely fashion. After that, the service dwindled. Then again, it was a gorgeous day and they weren't trying to push us out to seat other people.

Overall, it was a fun stop and we plan to go again.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Just Desserts Weekend

Desserts, desserts, desserts, and then more desserts. Saturday and Sunday we rafted up with friends for a Just Desserts weekend. The plan was to have everyone bring tasty, sugary, calorie-filled treats to share across the boats -- I just kept telling myself that calories don't count on the boat. One of our friends is a pastry chef so many of us purchased pre-made desserts because we could never compete with his tasty creations. There were cookies and cakes and tarts and frozen yummies and jello shots (yes, they do to count as a dessert!). We even had some healthy fruit in a watermelon fish: We rafted up directly across from the restaurant at Parkside Marina. It's a quick hour run from Baltimore.
This area of the Chesapeake Bay is pretty clean, however, the Bay does have a natural brownish color to it. Admittedly light colored bathing suits don't stay the same color for long and the silty bottom here doesn't help matters. However, this a very protected area and you can pull up close to shore. It's a good spot for swimming. If you have dogs they can swim to shore to "do their business." Basically, if you're anchored here, the only "dangers" are "alligator log" and random water balloon attacks (fyi - the bar faucet on the Regal 3760 is the perfect size for water balloons):

We had planned to watch the Middle River Dinghy Poker Run but they must have stayed in other parts of Middle River. While I was disappointed to not see the Poker Run, I can't complain about a two propane tank weekend and fun times with friends on eight other boats.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chauffeur Service Anyone?

I sometimes forget just how cool boats really are. While this may sound arrogant (completely not my intent), because I can take my boat out basically anytime I want I forget about the novelty of a boat for other people.

Doug and I had a wonderful experience tonight. A friend of ours bought tickets for a concert at Pier 6 for herself, a friend, and her parents to celebrate her parents' anniversary. She wanted to make the night special for her parents. Since Pier 6 is right along the water in the Baltimore Inner Harbor she asked if we would be available to take them over via boat. We had the evening free so we agreed.

It was a little touch and go earlier today with severe thunderstorm warnings threatening the outing. Luckily, the storms blew through early and we had a delightful ride from our marina to the Harbor. Baltimore is really lovely from the water. I recommend that anyone that visits this city take advantage of the water views - even the water taxi will give you a great opportunity to see this wonderful city.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Annapolis - Ego Alley

Ego Alley is exactly as the name implies - it's a small area in the middle of Annapolis where boaters dock to watch and be watched. The Annapolis Harbormaster does not take reservations for the slips and spots along the wall of this prime location. We ventured down Saturday morning and were lucky enough to get a slip around 11:30 as other boats were leaving. We were near restaurants, bars, shopping, the Naval Academy, and lots of tourists. I have to admit that it is a lot of fun to sit on your boat as people stroll by. Some make nice comments, some just wave, and some even take pictures. It's also fun to walk around yourself. This weekend I also saw a sailboat that was fully prepared for boat drinks. They had three or four pineapples and quite a few bunches of bananas hanging from the mast and waiting for the blender.

Lunch was at Pusser's (try the herb rubbed mahi mahi sandwich). You can't go wrong with good food, better drinks, and a view of your boat from your table.

On nice weekends there is a lot of boat traffic going through Ego Alley. Power boats, sailboats, kayaks, and the water taxis are continually pulling into the dead end alley just to look around. Unfortunately, lots of boats in a small space can cause issues. The owner of the third boat down in this photo found that out first hand this weekend. Not long after we docked we heard his boat get clipped. A Coast Guard Auxiliary boat got too close and broke the anchor brackets off his bow. The captain of the Coast Guard boat did find a spot to tie off so he could trade information with the captain of the hit boat. The Harbormaster and the DNR also got involved. While an unfortunate reminder that accidents do happen, I give credit to all involved that it appeared to have been handled in a satisfactory manner.

After dinner at Galway Bay (the Saint Brendan's seafood casserole is fabulous), a relaxing evening on the boat, and then breakfast at Chick & Ruth's (too many good items to list), we headed home to Baltimore. And while I wouldn't normally feature a photograph with a sailboat, this one under the Bay Bridge is just too pretty.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Atlantic City (and back again) Part 5

We had a reservation in Cape May at Utsch's Marina. I really enjoyed our stay there. First off, when we checked-in they gave us a gift bag with a bottle of wine, biscotti, handmade soap, local maps and info, and marina info. What a nice treat. It also seems to be a well used marina. Our neighbors in the transient slips changed each day as people stopped in during their cruises up or down the coast. I was also impressed that the marina offered recycling (Kammerman's in Atlantic City also had it). They made a big point about the recycling in the marina info they gave us. I have yet to find a marina in MD that recycles. If they do, they aren't very forthcoming about it. Kudos to the NJ Marinas for that.

Cape May is a clean and pretty beach town. Just look at the houses we saw as we were pulling into the marina:

It was about a half mile, but easy and picturesque, walk into town from the marina so we were able to enjoy the boardwalk and shops. We had borrowed foldable bikes from a friend and found Cape May to be very biker friendly.

We planned to stay in Cape May for only 2 nights. That gave us time to see a good portion of town. When the weather started looking questionable for Wednesday, we booked another night. Doug went fishing in the Delaware Bay on one of the Miss Chris boats. He didn't catch anything keepable, but he still had a good time. He even saw two small sharks reeled in by other guys on the boat. I took advantage of the time to relax at the marina for the day and get some reading done. Even without the weather report, it was nice to have one last day of relaxation.

Recommendations in Cape May:
  • If you like wine, visit the Cape May Winery. It's a couple miles from the marina. It was a nice walk and certainly bicycle friendly. I didn't expect much of the wine because NJ is hardly known for wine, but I was pleasantly surprised. They have the right soil and temperature for a lot of good wine.
  • Everyone told us to eat at The Lobster House. We had a great meal there - I had a 2 lb lobster and Doug had a seafood medley. Expect a wait - we arrived at 6pm on a Monday and still had to wait 15-20 minutes for a table. The wait gave us a chance to explore the outdoor raw bar. The guy at the main host station needed a personality adjustment but we were pleased with the rest of the service. An added plus, the restaurant is right next to the marina.
  • Planning to do a little cooking on your boat? Try the Fish Market at The Lobster House. Doug ventured over to find dinner for us Tuesday night. He came back with smoked salmon, shrimp chowder, and fantastically fresh swordfish. We grilled out on the boat and had a nice relaxing evening at "home."
All good things must come to an end. After 7 nights on the boat it was time to return home. With one final picture of the sun rising over the Delaware Bay we set off for Baltimore. The Delaware Bay and the Chesapeake Bay were both choppy that day but we managed to make it home in 5 hours.

Any suggestions on where we should go next year?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Atlantic City (and back again) Part 4

Monday rolled around and it was time to motor back down to Cape May. Luckily we didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn this time. We figured it wouldn't be a problem to get to Cape May before check-in time at the next marina, but we also weren't in any rush. We were on the water at 9 am and headed south.

I never thought I would be able to say this but the ocean was "like glass." There were rolling waves but otherwise everything was calm. We were even able to get some decent speed. I had to have a picture of the GPS proving that we were in fact on the Atlantic Ocean. I was so happy when I also realized that this photo showed that we were about 2 miles off shore and able to get a speed of 28.4 mph.

It was a gorgeous day, I was captaining the boat while Doug got a sandwich, and then, wait, was that a fin? ....... DOLPHINS! I was finally able to see some. I yelled for Doug and we both watched so we could pinpoint their location. We slowly pulled closer and I cut the engines.

When we realized we really weren't close enough we turned the keys to start the engines. Nothing happened. The engines would not start. Had I flooded the engines by stopping too quickly? Had our engines had too much of the salt water? What now? We were two miles from shore with a dead boat. Doug, being the calm person that he is, told me not to worry he would figure it out. I was supposed to keep my eye on the dolphins' position so we could catch up once we started up again. Doug got the book and was trying everything he could think of - switching the batteries, checking the engine compartment. All the while, the dolphins were getting further and further away. Honestly, I don't know what made me think of it, but I wondered aloud if we were in neutral. Yes folks, I have left the boat in drive when I cut the engines, so of course they wouldn't start. We got the engines started but the dolphins were long gone.

We continued on our trip hoping to see more dolphins so we could get some pictures. We saw one lone fin and then nothing for a while. Finally, we found another pod. We think there were about 11 dolphins all together. Again, we didn't want to get too close. Dolphins are known to be smart animals but we didn't want to risk hurting one. We were finally able to get a few pictures:

We watched the dolphins for about 15 minutes but then decided to leave them be. We continued on down the ocean. After 39.04 miles we pulled into Cape May at 11 am. What a trip!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Atlantic City (and back again) Part 3

We had a reservation at Kammerman's Marina for three nights in Atlantic City. I have mixed feelings about this marina:


  • it's cheaper than the Trump Marina. We paid $2/foot rather than $4/foot at Trump.
  • it's walking distance from the Boardwalk. You could walk to the Boardwalk from the Trump Marina but it's quite a walk. Kammerman's is on the left in this photo, Trump is on the right. The Boardwalk (obviously not in the photo) is to the far left.
  • the staff was very nice.


  • it's in a shady part of town. This image shows the transient dockage - yes, that is a boarded up building to the right.
  • it seems to have only two slips. No one docked in the other slip the entire time we were there so we didn't get to meet any boaters. I really enjoy talking with other boaters when we dock, so I certainly missed not having that opportunity.
  • there are signs that say No Wake, however, many boaters did not follow this request. We rocked around a bit.

We took our zodiac out to a restaurant in Gardner's Basin one night (essentially around the corner from our marina). As we were motoring over I noticed that very few boats had dinghys. I'm so accustomed to the Chesapeake Bay where people frequently anchor out and take the zodiac into shore. I guess when you boat directly off of the ocean, there aren't many opportunities to anchor that way. We asked the dockhand if there were other restaurants we could access that way and he first asked if we had a "bigger boat" to go with the one we came over on. Based on us having a bigger boat he was able to tell us about a couple places.

I have to make a couple recommendations for restaurants:

  • White House Sub Shop (I couldn't find an official website for the Sub Shop, if someone else knows one, please pass it along.) This place reminded me of Chick & Ruth's in Annapolis. It's packed with both locals and tourists and the food is great. We waited in a line that stretched out the door so plan to get there early.
  • Angelo's Fairmount Tavern - we asked a friend for a recommendation for a restaurant with a great atmosphere and he definitely sent us to the right place. Again, the place was packed. I searched for a hostess station and finally had to ask a bartender how to get a table. The list is kept at the bar and a bartender with a voice that carries yells when your table is ready. If we had been going straight back to the boat I would have taken the leftovers with me. Great Italian food!

Boating to Atlantic City was definitely an adventure. I don't think we'll venture back there anytime soon but I'm so glad we did it.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Atlantic City (and back again) Part 2

It's a good thing we vegged most of Thursday because the alarm went off at 5 am Friday morning. Yes, I actually got up that early on a vacation day. We had the anchors up and we pulled out of Chesapeake City by 5:50 am. I saw some people awake on the other anchored boats, but we were the first ones moving that morning. As powerboat owners we aren't usually the early birds but we wanted to hit the Delaware Bay as early as possible. Okay, fine, I admit, the geese were up and moving about.

After 12.42 miles, we entered the beast. The Delaware Bay is known to be a tough body of water. As I tell my friends, since it's shallow and relatively small the water only has one place to go - UP! We've had friends that have attempted the Delaware numerous times and had to turn back each time. We've also had friends that have had no issues at all. We were hopeful.
The first hour was choppy but nothing we couldn't handle. The second hour was tough for me and I actually laid down on the eurobed at our stern for a long while. Thankfully my husband is not afflicted with motion sickness. After 10 years of avid Chesapeake Bay boating, I've learned to handle the waves but the Delaware was a whole other story for me. Doug was even "nice" enough to take a photo of me sleeping.

Right before we entered the Cape May Canal, Doug saw dolphins. I went running up to the helm but they were already gone. I may have missed the dolphins, but I did see another welcome site. We had made it to NJ! And we were entering smooth seas in the Canal. This image was looking back into the Delaware Bay from the Cape May Canal.

We made it to Cape May by 9 am (63.45 miles from Chesapeake City), filled up with gas, and set off for the great Atlantic Ocean. This was the first time either of us had brought one of our boats out into the ocean. It was a little scary but we could always see land and GPS systems sure make life easy. I don't know how sailors followed the stars and actually got where they intended to go. The water was a beautiful blue and it felt like we could see forever off the starboard side. Doug aimed North and we followed the contours of the land on our port side.

It wasn't long before we could see Atlantic City up ahead. We had made it, or at least by this photo knew we were going to make it. We officially arrived in Atlantic City at 11:30 am...more on that tomorrow.