Never heard of the place? I bet most visitors to New Jersey's shore have set foot on it's flat sandy beaches and not known that the Original Name for Ocean City was "Peck's Beach".
Thought to have originated the Whaler John Peck who used the island to store freshly caught whales in the 1700s. In 1879 Four Methodist Ministers chose the island as a religious retreat and later formed as a Borough separate from Upper Township in 1884 and later a city in 1887.
Growing up, this stretch of beach between 8th and 9th streets did not exist except during low tide. A combination of sand replenishment, moving the rock jetties, and current shift has move the beach ever eastward. Where the waves once splash strollers on the boardwalk at high tide, the sand is so high you can barely crawl beneath the supports.
Nestled neatly between the towns of Somers Point and Ocean City, Great Egg Harbor Bay is a deep and wide body of water with a number of small marshy islands, pretty but very busy with boat traffic in the summer as people head into or out of the Great Egg Harbor Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean beyond.
With it being winter, all is mostly still upon these deep waters, the fog slowly burning off to expose Ocean City's skyline beyond while a lone clammer in his small skiff heads off to parts unknown.
I have taken pictures here before. The ancient dock is crusty and photogenic, the background is scenic, and the location is just off of the White Horse Pike going into Atlantic City. It is easy to get to, but hard to see. Perfect in every respect for taking a few pictures on the way to work.
These past couple of weeks have seen the East Coast covered in artic air and then hit with a blizzard. While I actively dislike the cold, it is pretty when these combinations line up just right.
Saltwater freezes at a lower temperature than fresh. 28.4 degrees as opposed to 32. It may not sound like a lot, but it is the difference between a light skim on a sidewalk puddle and the sea grinding up anything in it's way.
These shots were taken behind work of the Clam Thorofare one of many salt water estuaries that run between Atlantic City and the mainland. With one side "hardened" with boulders made of granite, it's path is pretty much ordained for the time being. At the moment it is completely frozen and it's surface is going nowhere fast.
I am not sure if the Surfaris ever made to the mountains, but if they experienced a blizzard, I am sure they could have done a snow version of "Wipe out!" As the snow as just starting to come down last night I thought I would try to get shots of the spooky Maple behind the house through it. Three were done with the Camera's Flash, the other with a highpowered flashlight and no flash.
I make no bones about it, I intensely dislike the cold. I do not mind snow and ice, but the face numbing, lip chapping, and bone chilling cold is something I will have none of. This week has been full of polar freezing and it shows no sign of ending any time soon.
But there is beauty in it too. Running through the marshes from Absecon to Atlantic City are several large waterpipes that keep the taps from running dry on the island. These ancient iron straws pull water from the wells and reservoir in Absecon and ship it to Absecon Island to water Atlantic City, Brigantine, LongPort, Margate, and Ventnor.
When built, they must have used a barge to ferry the pipes as each one has an arrow straight canal cut through the marshes right next to it. With the freezing cold we are enduring here in South Jersey, the Salt Water that is ordinarily in these Canals is getting solid.
One day I will row up one of these pathways, but not today
I am a creature of the boundary areas where the sea meets the land. Aside from a brief stint in the middle of Pennsylvania, I have never been far from the sight, sound, and smells of the sea. As such the areas I haunt are in that area of rich biodiversity. Littoral waters are the areas between the high tide line and the land that is permanently inundated by the sea. It is the shore, and that is where I choose to live.
For some reason, renewable energy seems to be a polarizing issue. Some people love it, and some people absolutely hate it. As a sailor who derives great pleasure from the wind, I love it. It may not be as efficient as typical fossil fuels in terms of sheer energy production, but the maintenance is minimal and the impact on the world around is negligible.
Atlantic City has one of the few Wind Farms here in New Jersey, and while the supporting buildings are ugly (they are also part of the sewerage site) the windmills themselves are pretty awesome to watch. On a quiet day you can just hear the sounds of their blades spinning in the air.
With the first snowstorm of the year bearing down on us here in Southern New Jersey, it is hard not to be reminded that winter is almost here. Most of the trees have lost their leaves, the birds have all flown south, and the remaining critters are laying low over their cache of stored foods.
The biggest reminder though, besides the falling flakes, is the bare trees that dot the landscape. These are outside of work sitting above some up lights, giving them a spooky look against the golden paint of the building.