I love autumn at the Jersey Shore. Yes, autumn! I’ve been neglecting the blog and am a little bit behind. Is it acceptable to still blame the holidays, even though it’s February? This was a beautiful November day at the beach. Compared to our most recent weather it seems darn near tropical.
A few weeks ago I took a trip ‘down the shore’ and came across the newly minted Guinness Book of World Records World’s Tallest Sandcastle at Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. At 38 feet, 2 inches, it’s just slightly taller than the sandcastle’s I used to make on this very beach. OK, OK – it’s about 37 feet taller than my best sandcastle effort.
Photos from a visit to Island Beach State Park late last summer.
Two months after Hurricane Sandy the barrier island was opened up to non-residents. We decided to take a ride down and see firsthand the damage Sandy did to the Jersey Shore. Some houses looked untouched. I’m sure they were flooded and the insides were damaged but from the outside they looked as they would’ve on any other winter day….no one at the house, the outside furniture put away for the season awaiting the owner’s return in Spring. Yet a block away, houses were completely destroyed. I still can’t believe what has happened to the place I’ve spent every summer of my life since I was a newborn.
It was shocking to come over the Mantoloking Bridge and see so many houses missing. Homes once stood on all of the sandy open space on both sides of the new metal retaining wall. This is where the island was breached when the bay was met by the ocean. The brown house on the left was the lone survivor as all the homes around it were washed away.
Boats and cars damaged in the storm were collected in a field. This is one of the un-claimed boats sitting in a field where kids once played.
The porch fell right off the side of this house. You can also see the side street is still covered in sand.
The Jet Star roller coaster in Seaside Heights ended up in the ocean when the pier collapsed. I rode that roller coaster so many times when I was young. A few weeks ago a trespasser climbed the Jet Star to raise the American flag atop the coaster. The police escorted him from the premises but I think the flag at the top of the coaster is a nice touch.
Debris piles line the streets in front of homes and businesses, waiting to be picked up.
All that’s left of the Lavallette boardwalk is the support structure. There were sand dunes between the boardwalk and the ocean that were intended to protect the boardwalk and the homes behind it. It is all gone. I logged a lot of miles walking this boardwalk throughout the years.
Small ocean front cottages were ripped apart like they were made of cardboard.
The larger beach front home didn’t fare much better than the smaller cottages.
Pallets of transformers are lined up in a church parking lot waiting to be used to restore full power to the island. In the distance you can see a port a john, which are placed periodically along the main road. You forget that the people working on the island for the past 2 months working to restore the infrastructure and utilities must’ve needed a place to ‘go’.
We saw some new signs on the island that weren’t there in September when we left for the summer.
Viewing the barrier island from the mainland it’s hard to fully appreciate all of the damage. It looks like another peaceful winter day at the shore.
Seagulls are often considered the pests of the beach. However, after spending some time at the shore this summer I’ve realized they are very much like you and me.
They like to eat…a lot. They are omnivores and will eat just about anything. I bet they’d even eat a tin can if given the opportunity. I noticed they are not big fans of sharing their food, just like some people I know.
After a big meal they like to take a nap. There is nothing better than a nap on the beach.
In order to keep in shape, seagulls like to exercise. In addition to flying they enjoy all types of exercise: yoga, swimming and dancing just to name a few.
At the end of a long day they enjoy looking out across the ocean, reflecting upon they day they’ve had and dreaming about what adventures tomorrow will bring.
Just like a child or favorite pet, as soon as you have a decent shot lined up, they turn their head. Damn them!