Sailing To New York City

At Anchor In Atlantic City (continued)

 
The Harrah's Casino near the anchorage and highway bridge.   This side of the building had strips of lights embedded in the dark siding. There were probably hundreds, if not thousands, of individual lights that could be varied in intensity and hue. No doubt it was all controlled by a computer, which generated an interesting pattern of colored lights that changed periodically.

 
Looking directly shoreward in the morning light, you can see a big parking garage with the Trump Marina hotel/casino behind it, and the Borgata casino in the background.

 
Atlantic City, as seen from the bow of Pilgrim. The Coast Guard station is to the right of the bow pulpit.  

While I was in the cockpit, I noticed frequent helicopter overflights, each time taking the same route. The little yellow Robinson helicopter was no doubt ferrying high rollers to and from the airport, which was about 10 miles away. I also saw a Piper Cub and other small planes towing advertising banners around the area, a practice which I dislike. They fly low enough to be an eyesore and create noise pollution, and the advertising is almost always totally irrelevant. If I could manage to remember the advertiser, I would make a point not to patronize them, but they are always completely forgettable.

The Coast Guard station for Atlantic City was on the shoreline adjacent to the anchorage, and I saw a windsock on their property. It looked like they could handle helicopters, but no such activity took place while we were anchored. Yesterday when we were motoring through the harbor, we saw the Coast Guard patrol boat in the harbor (they were in the process of pulling over a recreational boater). I also saw their orange high-speed inflatable go zipping along the inlet channel, so the Coast Guard is quite visible in Atlantic City.

Today, our main chore is to change the Racor filter that cleans the diesel fuel just before it gets to the engine. We've used the engine enough that the filter might need changing, plus as bouncy as it was the other day, sediment might have been stirred up in the fuel tank. The filter element is inside a metal canister under the floorboards near the engine, so Jerome pulled up the floorboards to gain access. It's easy to open the canister and remove the old filter cartridge, but it's much more difficult to drain the fuel from the sump at the bottom of the canister (which is where any sediment would accumulate). This operation takes three or four hands, so I helped Jerome by holding a container under the sump while he loosened the drain plug. Once we drained the sump, we saw that the fuel had a dark brown sooty residue in it, making the fuel look like prune juice. I have the same problem with my fuel filter, but neither of us knows what causes the problem. One of the great mysteries of boating life, I guess.

Jerome spent some time with his Eldridge handbook working out the tides and currents for the passage to New York City. Tidal currents are very important up there, since a huge amount of water flows in and out of the harbor during each cycle of the tide. If you arrive at the wrong time, you can find yourself bucking a several-knot adverse current, which is no fun and can add hours to the passage. Therefore, you need to plan carefully so you're in the right place at the right time to carry the flood tide into the harbor and up the Hudson River.

According to what he figured, we have two options to catch the flood tide: go quickly and get there on a night tide, or go slowly and get there on a day tide, the next morning. Going quickly might be physically possible, but it wouldn't allow much extra time for tacking back and forth if the wind is less than perfect. Also, we would arrive at night, which would make it somewhat more difficult to cross the busy shipping channels and find someplace to anchor. On the other hand, going slowly might require us to dawdle and kill hours of time in the ocean, if we get there early and have to wait for the tide to change.

At night, Jerome made spaghetti with his special homemade sauce (which took hours to make and was really good). We enjoyed dinner with wine while listening to "A Prairie Home Companion" on the radio. It was a nice evening, then we went to bed.

The story continues on the next page, when we leave Atlantic City to head north.


 
The Coast Guard station at Atlantic City.  


 
Atlantic City has a wind farm, consisting of five wind turbines that can generate up to 7.5 megawatts of electric power. The electricity from the wind farm powers the wastewater treatment plant for the city; any excess power is sold to the electric utility and distributed via the public power grid. I have internet links, below.  


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