Steaks on the grill, fog in the sky, money down the drain. Such is the price of being fogged in in Atlantic City. Here we are, three days after arriving, still at the Farley Marina in the Trump Marina Casino.
Actually, we haven't bet a farthing on the dastardly machines, but we did walk around for several hours today watching the gambling set get happily fleeced. It looks like this: old retirees, bent over their one-armed bandits, smoking cigarettes and pushing the betting button (you used to have to yank down on a crank but now even sin is automated). In other sections of the casino, are the serious gamblers, huddled around black jack tables, just like in the movies. Serious business.
We're watching the weather and hoping for a Saturday getaway south to Cape May. The forecast calls for mostly sunny in the 80's with north winds, perfect for the run south. I have contacted a friend, a ship captain who used to the master of the Petersburg, an 800-ft. tanker on Guam. He lives in Cape May and he'll help us get the tools to sort the leaks out. Somehow we have to tighten the packing glands on the rudder post and the prop shaft--that's where the water is coming in.
Tomorrow, though, we expect to still be here. We're going to get an early start and go over to the boardwalk and spend the day off the boat wandering around gaping like boys fresh off the farm at this great side show that is Atlantic City.
Douglas Arvidson is a past winner of the WICE/Paris Transcontinental International Short Story competition. His short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States and he was recently invited to be a staff writer for the Prague Revue, a cutting-edge, online literary journal (http://bit.ly/1mMT6ZC). The novels in his fantasy series, The Eye of the Eye of Stallion, include The Face in Amber, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and A Drop of Wizard's Blood. His new novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, was selected as a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year national awards and as a finalist in three categories in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: Action Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. It has become part of the pantheon of Pacific literature and is now included in school literature programs. Brothers of the Fire Star is an adventure story set in the Pacific during World War II and concerns two boys of different races and cultures who escape the island of Guam in a small sailboat when the Japanese army invades. They must then struggle to survive as they master the secrets of the ancient Pacific navigators. Appropriate for young adults as well as adult readers, Brothers of the Fire Star is available on Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com (http://amzn.to/1j3axVk) and Crossquarter.com. Visit the author's website: douglasarvidson.com