Atlantic City

Cruising Atlantic City for Wild Bottlenose Dolphins

20140809-235259.jpg The small vessel rocked from side to side.

"Sorry folks. One more big wave and there should be smooth sailing." The captain announced as I wondered whether or not my lunch would remain respectfully tucked away inside my stomach.


A series of storms in the Atlantic Ocean made for unusually mischievous water. The water wasn't the only thing feeling mischievous. We'd been out to sail for over an hour without a single dolphin sighting.


The water sparkled in the sun, the Atlantic City boardwalk glistened in the distance. Seagulls and dragonflies circled our small wobbly vessel, it was a lovely afternoon (minus the incessant rocking), but there were no dolphins.

"To your left, you'll see an oily surface on the water, the dolphins are close!"

"To the front of the boat, you'll notice a school of fish, the dolphins are close!"

"Behind us, you'll notice bubbles coming to the surface of the water, the dolphins are really close!"

Our captain called out all of these promises, yet there were no dolphins!

Then they arrived.

Keeping a safe distance, a small pod of young dolphins approached. Their dorsal fins cut through the water, encircling our boat with ease. Every few moments, they surfaced in a slippery synchronous arc, before disappearing beneath the waves to hunt for food.


It all happened so quickly.

One moment they were there, the next, they had sailed on. The entire time, the small pod kept their distance.

Pictures were hard to come by, but the experience, though ephemeral, was humbling. After all, how often do you get to sail alongside these graceful guardians of the sea...

I'm Not An Atlantic City Beach and Boardwalk Person, or Am I? A Tale of Two Boardwalks


20140806-183949.jpg We made our way slowly towards the boisterous boardwalk. The sun, overhead, bore down, creating a shimmering cascade that blanketed and softened everything.

Our feet clamored and clanked over the sturdy planks. Dragging our sandaled feet through the sizzling sand, we searched for a quiet place away from the crowds.


Eventually we settled for an almost quiet and slightly less crowded spot off to the right and settled our rumps on the single towel we brought from the hotel.

There were no lawn chairs to rest on. The beach at Atlantic City is a DIY beach.


After filling a pal with sand, Mark and Ohm set off to explore the water.

Unable to swim after my emergency cesarean, Jai and I were left on our sandy blanket to stare at the birds. Within five minutes, our slightly less crowded spot drew a crowd. At least twenty people circled us, cigaret smoke and music wafting towards us. Then, for the first time, I begin to notice the pieces of glass in the sand, thick jagged shards. I begin to panic, I just sent my two year old with his father to play in the waves and he didn't have his shoes. Cigaret butts, broken shells, glass, and a tampon lay in the sand before me. In the distance, Mark and Ohm jogged towards us. "Watch the glass!" I began to scream and motion. My oblivious neighbors eying me like a crazy woman. It was time to go. "We're not swimming in that water." Mark grimaced.

With that, we were off strolling dejected down the loud and overstimulating Atlantic City boardwalk.

We had lasted maybe thirty minutes.


20140806-183924.jpg20140806-183937.jpgI am not an Atlantic City Beach and Boardwalk person!

We got into our car and took a drive. We drove past the ferris wheel towards the very end of what would have been a boardwalk if hurricane Sandy hadn't destroyed the area.

Eventually the clamor and crowds became muted. Gaudy boardwalk shops gave way to a somewhat quaint coastal aesthetic.

We decided to explore and found the aquarium, quiet restaurants in old Victorian houses and a square of adorable ocean front shops.

Was I on the same beach?


20140806-183819.jpg20140806-183811.jpg20140806-183829.jpg20140806-183838.jpgSlowly we eased back into a rhythm of ease. After exploring the shops from our new vantage point, we sat down to an ocean side seafood feast with nothing to do but watch the waves roll in and slowly recede.


It was lovely.

Perhaps I am an Atlantic City beach and boardwalk person after all.