Monday, November 10, 2008

Four Boats

One more post from Cape May, this one a story about four boats.

The first was The Osprey, our salt marsh tour transport. Smile, Susan - you're birding in Cape May with The Flock!

Susan (center), Jay (blue jacket),
Laura (standing), Lynne (right rear),
and assorted other birder-boaters

At one point, we snagged the marker buoy for a crab trap, and we were temporarily stalled when the rope became entangled around the boat's prop.

The captain had to cut it to remove it. I'm taking bets on who won when the captain with the incapacitated boat met the crabber with the damaged gear.

Passing a boat dock with upscale housing in the background

Click to enlarge and see the young cormorant loafing on the dock.

Others have shown you photos of the birds we saw on this trip, but no one has told the tale of the scuttled scallop boat. According to the young assistant on our trip, the former owner of this vessel went broke, and his boat was impounded. If I remember correctly, it was to be held pending sale to pay back taxes. Before it
could be sold, a storm caused it to break loose and float away. It ended up here, in the salt marsh. It has been scavenged of anything useful or profitable, and the rest remains marooned, acting as a perch for local birds and a photo op for bloggers.

boat-tailed grackles and assorted gulls

The third boat of the day was the ferry I took from Cape May, New Jersey to Lewes, Delaware to meet my friend, Holly. I have ridden several ferries in my life, ranging from the Jet Express on Lake Erie from Port Clinton to Put-in-Bay, Kelley's Island to the tiny two car ferry across the Ohio River from Higginsport, OH to Augusta, KY (A ferry has been in operation at this site since 1798!), but nothing prepared me for this experience.

The ferry terminal looked like an airport, and security was almost as tight. Photo ID was required, and signs were everywhere
warning you not to leave your bags or carry things for strangers. They stopped short of X-ray screenings and removing one's shoes, but there was a police officer assigned to open and close the gates that allowed cars on and off the ferry.

My first look at the Twin Capes. Wow, what a boat - looks like a cruise ship.

Five stories, complete with bar, gift shop, arcade, children's play area, and an elevator, for goodness' sake! This is a ferry?

The forward lounge, where I sat watching the view, until the rocking motion dissuaded me from any more sightseeing and I looked for a more stable place where I could curl up and pray that I wouldn't be seasick.

Calling my sister: "Lisa, talk to me.
I'm on the ferry and I think I'm going to throw up."

L: "No, you won't."
Me: "Yeah, I think I'm gonna."
L: (firmly) "NO, you WON'T. Just don't think about it.
You will NOT be sick."

(Thanks, sis. You helped.)

The curved staircase leading up to a mezzanine. The seating area there overlooked the DeBraak Room, which appeared to be yet another dining area. Note to self: Do not attempt to walk up (and especially down) a curving staircase on a moving boat, especially while trying not to be seasick.

While strolling around the upper deck to get some fresh air, I met this fellow passenger, heading home after enjoying his day trip to Cape May.

Vacationing dog owners who miss their pups while traveling will understand why I was drawn to him. He seemed to be having a better time than I. Perhaps four legs are better than two?

Finally, the fourth boat of the day, the ferry ride back to Cape May. After a big dinner with Holly, complete with dessert, I was worried about the return trip. Could I hold it together for the 75 minute crossing?

It was dark when I boarded, so it wasn't until I was actually on deck that I realized this was a quite different boat from the one I was on earlier.

No luxury accommodations here. Three decks - an open-air deck above, one for cars below, and one serving this multipurpose function with a snack counter and booths with vinyl seats.

Now, this is what I expected a ferry would look like!


denapple said...

We took a ferry from Vancouver to Victoria BC that was more like an ocean liner. It carried cars, trucks, tour buses like ours, and semis! All crammed in bumper to bumper! There were even overnight cabins for those taking the long haul.

NCmountainwoman said...

My five bucks is on the crabber. I have so enjoyed the Cape May posts and this one is no exception. Thanks for sharing the fun with us.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Thanks for the trip back down Memory Lane, Kathi. We took the kids on that ferry a few years back and they saw their first bottle-nosed dolphins right offshore. Yes! It was fantastic. We thoroughly enjoyed our ride, but then it was summer, and I'm sure yours was rougher. I'm right with you on the roll...I used to be highly seaworthy, but a switch got flipped and now I go all green on the swells. What a drag. Good thing I'm a Leo; lions don't need to be around water all that much anyway, unless it's quiet canoeable lakes.

thanks for taking us to Cape May with you!

Bummer about your staff not letting you take their pictures for the blog. I dread the day my kids tell me that. Well, they already tell me that. "Mommy, you are NOT going to put THAT on your blog!!"

And they say it about all the best stuff, too. Darn!

Susan Gets Native said...

Four legs ARE better than two! They can lean fore, then aft, then port, then starboard....
Sorry. Did I make you feel queasy?

holly-the-person said...

Be really glad you didn't come over the week before (the week when I showed up) because the water was *really* rough that day. I stood out on the wharf while waiting for you looking at that choppy water and wondered how you were making out. As it turned out, you were doing quite well in Ohio!

Kathiesbirds said...

Both those ferries are bigger than anything I have been on to cross the Connecticut River, where I grew up. Sorry you were seasick. Glad you got to see your friend. I read Susan's story about coming to pick you up. Sounds like you allhad such a good time!

holly-the-person said...

Lat year my sis and I were at Cape Henlopen (state park just south of Lewes) and I was coming back from the parking lot on the walk when...did I just see what I thought I saw?....several dolphins just beyond the swimmers, looking like they were practicing their butterfly stroke. Up and down, up and down. Pretty cool, don't always get to see 'em when I'm down there.

How was your jam?

verification: Resinki - when one sinki just isn't enough.