Friday, July 25, 2014

2014 North End Beach Walk

It's been a couple years since I've walked to the north end of Brigantine.  I had an idle afternoon so I decided to see how the various storms have altered the undeveloped part of this barrier island.  Newbies to this blog can view the pix from my earlier excursion here and here.

In the interest of time we drove rather than to ride bikes to the north end of Brigantine Avenue, and parked near where the road dead ends.

These houses are still under repair almost two years after Hurricane Sandy.

The City has repaired the promenade and the narrow, adjoining beach has had its sand replenished.

This photo, taken a few days after Sandy, in roughly the same location as the one above, shows how the storm had scoured the sand away, leaving the rip-rap exposed and the prom somewhat in disarray.

The end of the promenade provides access to the "wild" beach.
One still finds odds bits of storm debris.  This was part of a deck from someone's house.

The small observation platform survived.  This structure provides a shady perch for birdwatchers.

The north end of Brigantine is part of a wild life refuge.  You can read about that aspect here.

Neon green sea weed.  Mermaid's hair?  I'm not sure.

This one I recognize:  bladderwrack.  Nature's bubble wrap.

Just a few fishermen in beach buggies this day.

I encountered this odd totem.  Who constructed it and its meaning are mysteries.

An old gum shoe, a brick, a shotgun shell casing propped up on a block of  flotation foam with accompanying line, wood and plastic pipe.  Most unusual.

The gloved hand reaching towards Heaven reminds me in a vague sort of way of work by the sculptor Carl Milles.

Milles' The Hand of God.
Another totem.  This tree or one just like it was here two years ago.  Either Sandy spared the original or its perpetrators are persistent enough to erect replacements.  A crispy dead Christmas tree complete with a cross on top.  Are odd beach rituals conducted here or is this a way for surf fishermen to mark the location of a favorite fishing hole?

Apparently Sandy couldn't be bothered to remove the stumpy remains of the old jetty when deliciously tempting beach houses were on offer.
This fencing, running from the dunes to the surf beyond the low tide line is new and different.

The State is getting a bit more attentive to the needs of beach-nesting birds.
Juicy looking clouds were forming as the day wore on but the sea breeze kept them more or less over the mainland until sunset.

As we near the end of the island one can see uninhabited  Pullen Island on the other side of the inlet.  One can see fresh vehicle tracks in spite of the fencing.  Perhaps a fish and wildlife agent was checking up on the State's dwindling supply of Piping Plovers.

Another view of Pullen Island across the north end sands.  We used to beach boats and picnic there before the wildlife  restrictions were put in place.

It was too hazy to see the southern end of Long Beach Island.  On a clear day one can see Holgate and Beach Haven.

The breaking waves mark the location of the bar in the unmaintained Brigantine inlet.

It's very restful.  We didn't see another person north of the fence.

Walking back we encountered a kite boarder.

As we exited the wild beach I noticed this enclosure.  At first I thought it was a holding pen for wayward plastic Adirondack chairs.  Further investigating revealed that this is a "dog park".  The chairs are provided for dog owners who apparently are the dog equivalent of parents who want their kids to get exercise but don't particularly want to be engaged in the process.  And so with that observation, to home and to a nice cold beer. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

2014 Brigantine Moth Boat Regatta Pix

All the "big wind" sailors who stayed home from this year's BYC Moth Regatta because of uncertainty over the status of the new club house missed a great event.  We had 9 boats: one vintage, 5 Gen I and 3 Gen II.  Yes, the clubhouse was slightly unfinished, but we did have flush toilets (you had to go to the bar to find a sink that worked to wash your paws, but come on--that's not a big deal).  And we had plenty of breeze out of the NW.  Enough to make the wires sing and produce white caps in front of the club dock.  Yes, launching was a PITA but once overboard the the racing was close and exciting.  Friday night, prior to the racing, Judy and Joe Courter wined and dined us as is their custom--good times!  The bottom line is that Bill Boyle took the Vintage award in his Abbott, Walt Collins, sailing his Europe won Gen I and John Z won Gen II sailing his Collins-constructed Mistral. 

Bob Patterson (Shelley Mk I) blew up after crossing the starting line during the first race and there were other casualties as the day worn on.  Next year we might be civilized enough for linen tablecloths and candle-lite, and yes, perhaps even complete plumbing in the restrooms but don't count on it!  What you can count on is a good day of racing.  Photo credit:  Ingrid Albaugh

Launching into the strong NW wind is always a bit of a hassle at BYC but nothing we can't deal with.

Drew--our RC.  Well done sir!
Lining up for the start of the 1st race.

A few seconds after the whistle.  Bob Patterson is Nr 217.

The fleet stretches out as we encounter a goodly gust.

That same gust ripped the center traveler horse out of Bob's Shelley!  Joe Courter tries not to run completely over Bob's sail...
Your old diarist had a good day out.
As did diaristson.  Say isn't Nr 43 Richard Petty's NASCAR number?  May have to paint that boat blue...
The jet ski kids were out in force but not a problem.
Vintage champ Bill Boyle in his Abbott Moth.  For those familiar with Fran Abbott's boat, the original hull number of this one is 1603.  Bill was borrowing a sail from Tweezerman for the day.
Walt Collins the Generation I champ in his Europe.
John Zseleczky sailing Walt's old Mistral Y2K Bug to victory in the Generation II division.  Hey John--time to finish Y2K2!
Occasionally I got lucky.
But most of the time I had a splendid view of Walt's transom.
While we were out racing, a young man from Maine arrived to buy Tweezer from Bill Boyle.  He rigged her up and sailed around a bit before packing up for the long ride back home.  Maine is getting to be a hot bed for Moth Boats.  Perhaps a northern regatta in a couple years?  Road Trip!
Back at the float at the end of the day.  Looking for my launching trolley and a beer.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Cape May Walkabout. What the traveler saw; it's all in the details.

Long term readers may recall my previous posts about Cape May.  If not you can see them here and here.  Diaristfamily is monotonously repetitive.  If we liked something last year, chances are good that we'll like it this year as well.  And so, dear reader, we once again embark on the hour long drive down the Garden State Parkway to Exit 0.  The main draw for the diaristwomen along for the ride is shoe shopping at Casale's on Washington Street and the Shoe Rack, just across.  Sadly, neither Casale's or the Shoe Rack ever seem to have my size in stock; this leaves your diarist unencumbered for an hour or so.  Did I remember the camera?  Well, yes, as a matter of fact I did.

A proper "Fred" bike very much like my old blue female Phillips 3-speed.  My bike doesn't have the front wire basket but does have collapsible wire rear baskets similar to the ones above.  A most suitable conveyance to/from the island liquor store.  

As you might have guessed from the title above I'm going to zero in on small differences and details during this stroll.  The row of cottages above is a good as any starting point.

How many differences can you see in this photograph?  (sort of like those picture puzzle photos in the Sunday newspaper)  The three houses, white, grey and yellow all have porches but all have acquired differences over the years.  The grey house has a second story porch while the white house does not.  The main porch of the white house has arched trim unlike its neighbors.  Two of the houses have retained the decorative piece at the roof peak.  One could spend hours picking the picture apart.

I liked the various shades of green on this house:  the main sea foam green is contrasted against the darker shades of the shutters, awnings, and foliage.  All those greens are set against the verticality of the porch columns, railings and awning stripes.
When walking around Cape May one needs to look down as well as up.  I like this solution of mixing "hardscape" with "softscape".  The grass growing in a symmetrical pattern provides visual interest as well as more practical percolation for this driveway.

A vision through the equisetum.

OK, a less arty view.  I like the mahogany doors and cedar shakes on this little garage--or is it more noble-- a boat house perhaps?

Here I liked the interplay between the hanging basket and the tapered columns.
The swirling snickarglädje (carpenter's joy is a close translation) above the second story porch roof of this house evokes creamy breaking waves on a blue sea.

If this house had twin chimneys it would look like a steam boat plowing through the foliage!

"For ladies & gentlemen on seaside holiday".  A tad pretentious or merely an innocent attempt to capture the phraseology of a supposedly more genteel era?  You decide.

Another "grand" bit of signage.

I find this little sign a bit more welcoming.

This porch interested me because it was built on a diagonal.  Kinda reminds me of a "cow-catcher" on a steam locomotive.
Zooming in on the porch details.
The greens played against the cream are very soothing.

I could see myself sitting on that porch, with an appropriate beverage of course--more the life of a dilettante than a proper gentleman.

This little roof adds interest and practically to the adjoining doorway.  House painters in this town will NEVER go hungry.

One of the best signs in town.  The lunch menu is limited but well done.

After a successful hunt at Casale's the diaristwomen were kind enough to save me seat.

The sky that day looked more like fall than early summer.
The crisscrossed mono-filament above the lighting is a sea gull deterrent.
This pair of laughing gulls were desperate to figure it out.  We finished before they could.

Back at diarist HQ after a good day out.  Daylilies in our garden.