Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Given that we have a northeaster on the way (again) and given the fact that Nor'easters are notoriously capricious, I took advantage of the mild (read: neither raining nor sleeting nor snowing) weather--hey, 48° feels balmy after 7.5°!--to head to farther south than I usually go running errands. Since I neglected to check if one stop was actually open (it wasn't) I decided to turn left, instead of right and homeward. This took me to the end of the state known as Sunset Beach. It was too early for sunset and not precisely the best daylight (hazy, milky sky with the sun barely peeking through and rather high up--spring is coming!) but good enough for photo possibilities.

And thus, I present this use for now-unwanted Christmas trees… Anything to build up a dune, I suppose.

Looking up and out from the attempt at saving what little beach there is here (without spending millions of dollars), we find...

Our concrete ship. Er, what's left of our concrete ship. Yup, concrete. Concrete floats if you form it into the right shape. Simply web-search "concrete ship cape may" and read all about this fascinating piece of maritime history (WWI)/experimentation (well, they couldn't use steel, you see...)/oops (it wasn't supposed to be put there, exactly; they meant to sink it, just not there).

A remnant of the next war; Cape May MidAtlantic Center for the Arts runs tours at the restored and opened-to-the-public watchtower. There is also a bunker, a huge, also-cement, once-buried fortification off the beach in Cape May Point State Park that I must photograph sometime before it falls. It used to be inland (and underground) quite a ways but is now standing on its pilings out at sea and has been inaccessible for about twenty years now. (Although how far on or off the beach it is at any given time is dependent upon whether the sand on that stretch of coast is coming or going, with or without millions of dollars to help move it…)

As a little girl my mother spent summers in Avalon with her grandparents, and she remembers enforced blackouts along the coast and hearing gunfire out at sea. Even when I was little, everyone we knew with a shore house kept a canister of Crisco by the door to take the tar off your feet: well into the '60s you'd come off the beach with black soles, there was so much oil/fuel in the sand, left over from the '40s. (And other decades of poor transoceanic practices, I'm sure.)

I saw three ships a-sailing... (Click on the photo; there are three shadowy ships on the horizon.) Given that there is probably even more traffic out there now, we should be grateful the beaches are as clean as they are. (And the unfortunate amount of trash I see these days obviously started out on dry land.)

Not too bad for an unplanned photo trip, if I do say so myself. (*phew*, because I remembered the camera and forgot my binoculars. Again.)