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.