Hey man, just don't go there...
Saturday  October 17, 2009  Elizabeth City, NC       N 36°17.8'  W 76° 13.0'

Jack here again…

Yep, Jack the Jack Russell, along with the Mrs. and BTW (Bob The Whacko)…coastal floating towards warmer weather.  I’ve seen some amazing sights for a Maine back woods hound…a 3 mile expanse of soft sand beach carpeting by one legged gulls standing in military formation facing the wind; that is until I, the Jack, brought them to flight with a dash towards their center.  Some amazing scents… that bloated beached bellied up fish designed  to lacquer my scruff, until BTW pulled me off mumbling  “#!%@?&# dawg!”.
But let me tell you one place to skip….no, not just ‘skip…’avoid’…Atlantic City. 
Do no go to Atlantic City.  The City is so broken, bleak, musty, and rotted,  BTW anchored Navigator across from the City Basin (took him 4 attempts!) in Brigatine, NJ in 12’ bilious  black mud. Surrounded by condo after condo;
by multiunit after multiunit; stacked with "Private" locked gated piers.
 Not posted, but obvious…”Cruisers Not Welcome”…”Stay away”…”Dinghy Landing  Prohibited”. 
He beached our dinghy in simple plain mud, carried me up a broken retaining wall, heading towards provisions in a small mall….concrete and asphalt 360 degrees save for the scattered perfectly edged  grass intermediary plots.  SUVs creeping along with rolled up windows and pasty appearing persons puffing their  cigarettes.  Not another single dog seen.  I mean…there just were no other dogs.  No dogs…no scents…pure  wasteland.  As Mark Twain said:  “people without dogs…can’t trust them”. 

More on Atlantic City….BTW relates his friend’s story landing there in the late 70’s, finding the city in its downward spiral with Burt Parks and Miss America fading while the casino debacle was expanding .  So dark, dismal, and dangerous; they eventually tied to a piling.  But venturing ashore in the dusk, just as that impression formulated, they found an orange tabby cat at the end of its lifeline, tail-less, deflated, and awaiting the mercy of death.  It looked up with that one remaining dying eye as if to say, ‘where have you been...where is your cudgel?’  They named it Shoals.  It ended up adopting the boat owners, living aboard for years, and when it got old, it moved to an apartment on E 93rd St.  off Park Ave, where it became a favorite of the Russian Orthodox refugee priest next door.  It loved to sit next to the stereo, listening to the Beatles ("number 9...number 9...number 9...").

But the test tube where those cells were generated?  Probably just the same dark and smarmy swirl, not far below the surface, or back a couple blocks from the slots.

It is good to be transient.
  Let BTW carry on...

Bob here, known to Jack as BTW…
Atlantic City!  Not my cup of tea. Not worth a can of Alpo.

Once…once the evening skies were filled with migratory fowl forming waves of swirling motion…but now it is blatant bloated  empty casino towers spewing metallic chrome colors all night, visible 30 miles away like midnight Christman Caribbean cruise ships, blanketing out any coastal navigational aids.

The birds…they are not here.

 DDT did not drive them away from this marsh land…we did!  And now they are gone…gone to where? Where did our flying  companions go?  I need to know... 'cause I'm heading that way too.

As a kid, my dad took our family here; he to the famous Convention Center (still standing), while Mother and I with the twins bustled in a stroller did the famous Boardwalk (now crumbled wood and twisted metal beams).

 We heard “Here she comes…Miss America” before they also left towards Vegas as the one armed bandits built  towers with restaurants, hotel rooms,  and covered garages to keep you dry between car and blackjack table; valet parking of course!  But the man said…the politicians said …’the casino will save us’…'jobs, revenue for schools and development'.  On came the tsunami of workers, bringing their angst and sense of futility with stories to make even Stephen King sadden.
“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by
              madness, starving hysterical naked,
       dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn
              looking for an angry fix,
       angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly
              connection to the starry dynamo in the machin-
             ery of night”  (Alan Ginsburg…”Howl”)

Early May 2007, I'm bringing  svKathryn boat north solo.  We (she, Kathryn boat, and I)  anchored in the very same spot across from Atlantic City.  The wind,  forecast to be a small front, became not just a ‘blow’, not just a ‘gale’ but a full force ‘storm’ of Beaufort strength  with 50+ knots of wind.  From the galley side  ports (windows), you saw road signs toppled…sea kayaks tossed off those precious private piers.  In just 12’ of water, only 12’ of water!…200’ of chain out (I mean 200’!...usually you anchor with 36’ at that depth…but here we had 200’ of heavy 3/8” chain behind  a 45 lb. CQR anchor)…we watched boat after boat drag for 48 hours while hourly we checked and checked and double checked  2 point references, wondering…fearing in the howling  of the night…when is it  our turn?  Unable to sleep with both the fear and the noise...even mumbling that prayer known to those of us known not to be true believers:  “If there is a God…please protect me…and I will do a hundred…no, make that  a thousand…s”.  I have been through gales but don’t take me through that again.  Thank you God
Early October 2009, I’m ashore in Atlantic City and comment to folks how exciting Obama is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  With reverberating silence and ugly eyebrows raised against me, I know it is time to leave.  “…won’t be back this way again” (Peter, Paul, and Mary…Leaving on a Jet Plane)

It is good to be transient.




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