Archive for the ‘Cape May’ Category

Another circle bites the dust in NJ

NJ’s circles being phased out, which is a shame cause the traffic circle originated in NJ. And I know some folks loathe them, but when done properly they are more efficient then a traffic light. Generally the bigger they are, the more effective they are allowing for a smooth flow of traffic. This of course takes up a larger amount of real estate, but it’s long sweeping ramps on the entrances and exits to the NJ Turnpike that helped make it the envy of toll road designers worldwide because it made for greater safety. Yeah, yeah, imagine that, something done in Jersey that folks thought was good!

The only problem is knowing whether the people in the circle have the right of way or the people coming into the circle have the right of way. Generally speaking, in north jersey it’s people in the circle, and in south jersey it’s the other way around. And I don’t think either way is necesarily right, I think it depends on the road configuration.

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See what the inside of Coast Guard lighthouse look like

Back in 2004 I asked politely, and was granted, permission to tag along with the Coast Guard on their spring maitenance tour of Delaware Bay lighthouses. It was for a project I was working on and they were happy to oblige. We started out at the Wildwood Coast Guard base and we drove up to a dock near Salem where we put into the water. it was a relatively small boat and 5 Coast Guard members and myself boarded the boat and headed out for several lighthouses. For safety reasons we all wore these gigantic orange life suits. not life jackets, life SUITS. reminded me of those sumos suits you could wear and wrestle in at the state fair a few years back. The thing is huge but it would save my life if I fell overboard. Some of the lighthouses were on rocky shoals with docks, but some were basically giant tubes built into shoals so you had to climb from the bow of the boat straight up a ladder on the side of the wall of the structure. All the pictures are on flicker. here’s a handful below

People need to get a grip

The Cape May cops want the mystery knitter to come forward, as some folks are concerned about god knows what. It’s folks w/their panties in a bunch that make everyone else miserable. I realize the cops aren’t going on and on and ripped them down and threatening arrest or anything but jeez, what’s wrong w/a little whimsey in our lives.

It’s a mystery. It’s amusing. Let’s enjoy it, M’k?

Firs there was the midnight walker… now the Midnight … Knitter?

Someone has been knitting cozies on signs and trees in West Cape May. understand this isn’t knitting something and placing it on a tree or sign… this was knitted *around* the signs and trees. Even if they did 99% of the work beforehand, they’d still have to knit the seam together at the spot. In the middle of the night.

Family Island Fun park

As a kid who lived in north jersey, I went to Jones beach or Sandy Hook more then I went to Wildwood or Seaside. I enjoyed the simple pleasure of the beach, and really didn’t begin to enjoy the boardwalk and games experience till I met my wife. All of that said, even I knew who you meant if you asked about “the big gorilla in Wildwood.” He was a giant gorilla who had a slide and he sat in front of Family Island Fun Park. They had mini-golf, go karts, batting cages, and lots of other popular shore entertainment. There’s a picture of him on the Roadside America page about Mighty Joe the gorilla.

When you got off the GSP onto Route 47, once you saw the gorilla, you only had to cross the bridge and from there it was 2 minute ride to the boardwalk. In 2002 the facility closed down. 16 people wanted the gorilla, 15 from Wildwood. The owner told me that some people tried to steal the gorilla, which is rather amusing. I mean, how can you think you’re going to walk off with a 25-30 foot tall gorilla without someone noticing? As it happens, it cost the man who bought Mighty Joe about 10-15K to transport him from the mini-golf facility to his gas station in Tabernacle.

He sits there now, a large sign covering the hole in his chest where the slide came out. Larry Valenzano, was reminded of his son who had died 5 years prior of a brain tumor. He now stands as a permanent memorial to his son, watching over the patrons at the mini mart gas station where the owner brought him.

As for the facility, time has not been kind to it. Most of the fake grass is gone, the reeds and plants have taken over, and the paintball players have made a mess of things…. typical for an abandoned building in jersey…

All the rest of the photos are here

The Cape May Bunker is no longer out in the ocean!

I received the following email and pictures from a reader

Just returned from Cape May and thought you’d appreciate this.

The attached pictures are of a naval gun emplacement fort on the beach just northeast of the Cape May light. The emplacement was completed in 1942 by US Army Corp of Engineers for use by the Navy as a coastal defense against German U Boats. The fort originally had 2 large naval guns that had the ability of firing 17 miles. What’s so weird about it? Well, most people think that WW2 was fought ‘over there’ with the exception of Pearl Harbor. Not true. In fact this very fort and several coastal gun batteries from New Jersey to Delaware defended the entrance of the Delaware Bay against several attempts by German U Boats (submarines) from disrupting US cargo shipping out of Philadelphia.

The German Navy had sunk numerous Liberty ships, fuel tankers and civilian cargo ships in and around the Cape May and Lewes, DE coastal waters. Of further interest, German U Boats prowled the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and got as close as New Orleans port waters. Anyway, this was my first trip to Cape May where I could get close enough to explore the exterior. The fort is now under the control of the NJ State Parks and is being preserved.

Cape May Bunker

This bunker for munitions had 6 inch round turret guns on the sides, and in front are Panama Mounts which held 4 155 mm coast artillery guns.  A sister bunker sits across the Delaware Bay. Originally built 900 feet from the shoreline, 60 years of rising tides and erosion have now brought the ocean to the bunker. As recently as 20 years ago you could, you could walk underneath it during low tide. Now it remains in the water at all times. Park officials have removed access ladders which used to allow you to climb inside and on top.