Ships Log October 31, 2005 Offshore Atlantic City to Cape May, NJ

The jaunt down the coast from Atlantic City to Cape May was enjoyable. While the weather was brisk offshore, it was milder than it had been since before Wilma passed. The contrast between the two ports could not have been greater. Atlantic City was a morgue, with corpses propped up in front of slot machines. There wasn't even the tinkle of coins, since all transactions take place on magnetic room key type cards.

The highlight of our visit was a wonderful anniversary brunch overlooking Raven in the harbor, with the Atlantic in the distance. That was truly memorable. But we could have taken a pass on the rest of AC.

Cape May, in contrast, is a real town. Many of the buildings are historic landmarks dating from the mid 1800's. After a challenging entrance to Utschs Marina (translation: nearly running aground) we went to the nearby Lobster House for an early dinner.

Steve of Staten Island recommended the Fisherman's Platter, but ordered from the carryout window rather than the restaurant. You get the same meal for one half the price. It was an easy decision, since a fire had shut down the dining room at the restaurant and we had only the carryout option. We sat at a sunny wharf side table next to a 100 foot schooner and consumed fresh oysters, lobster, shrimp, scallops and beer at bargain prices.

After dinner, we walked several miles into the heart of the old town. In high season, Cape May would be a crowded tourist center. But at the end of October, it was quite pleasant. Our primary destination was The Magic Brain Coffee Shop and wifi access point. However, it closed minutes before our arrival. Luckily, the nearby Congress Hall hotel and restaurant/saloon afforded us an internet connection. It was nice to sit in front of the grand wood burning fireplace and connect with friends and family. Congress Hall reminded us of a smaller version of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, with it's Doric columns and rows of rocking chairs overlooking the water (here the Atlantic).

We decided to stay and extra day and further explore this unique town. We have not had the chance to wander and research old towns since the headwaters of the Hudson and we miss that. Tomorrow, we will leave at very first light for the trip up Delaware Bay. Since our mast is just a few feet too high to pass under the bridge, we cannot use the Cape May Canal and must return out the main channel into the Atlantic and around the cape. This adds many miles and a couple of hours to the trip and we need an early start to reach the C&D canal before dark in the short daylight of November.