829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bayday 2010

My Brother and his family came from 
Massachusetts to NJ for the weekend.  They usually
come for one long weekend each summer, and at least one
of those days we plan to spend on the boat. Sunday was
the day, and being Olivia's birthday proper,  it was great that
her cousins were there to spend it with her. Bob and
Mom came along too, and including my niece's friend,
we had eleven all day.  A good boatload!

We spent the day sailing first, then anchoring at, you guessed,
Tice's shoal. The kids pretty much humor us while we sail,
but when we turn and head for the shoal, they start blowing up
the rafts and tubes and talk turns to clam-digging and walking up
to the ocean beach for some fun in the waves. A unique setting,
Tice's Shoal is just inside the western shore of the thin strip of land
known as Island Beach State Park. From your anchored boat,
you can swim, wade, or motor by dinghy to that shore,
follow a boardwalk through bayberry bushes, across the road,
through more bayberry, then through the dunes and out onto the
pristine beaches of the park. Dump your flip-flops and towel
and into the surf you go. You don't even need a badge, provided
you arrived by boat! One of the still free things in life!

The bay was like bath water, seeing how many brutally hot
days we've had lately, so when we made it up to the beach and
stood at the water's edge, the chilly ocean water made us hesitate
for a moment. The brisk westerly wind had blown the warm surface
water out to sea and the iciness beneath had taken its place.  After
a few minutes of acclimatizing, we forged ahead, squealing and
 hooting into deeper and deeper water.  I don't know if you 
ever become completely used to frigid water, or if the
 partial numbness just makes you think you do.   

Later, back at the boat, the kids clammed.  No digging around
with their toes; it's just dive straight down and scratch around
with your hands.  It seemed like shooting fish in a barrel how
quickly they were coming up with the clams.  In retrospect, I
know that it was the spot in which I chose to lay my anchor
that provided them with the fertile hunting ground.

When we got back to the dock, I went right over to the picnic
area and dumped the bag of Matchlight  (I'm not messing with
the chimney charcoal starter tonight) into the grill and lit it.

First on went the 19 clams they dug.  They steamed open perfectly
and all partook in the festivity.  Salty, creamy, chewy, lovely.
Barnegat Bay on the halfshell.  Pinch me.  Marinated chicken
breasts went on next, cooked by my older daughter.  They were
accompanied by a german-style potato salad that Mom made.
Birthday brownies and s'mores finished the evening just as the
Jersey state birds (mosquitos) started to move in.

We all departed around 9:15, going our separate ways.
It was a great day, as it always is, and I left wanting more.
With me, it often seems like I don't realize how much 
I need to be with my brother and his family until they've 
gone home.  As different as the two of us are, we still
share alot of great memories and always laugh really hard
at a few things, at least.  And our kids love the hell
out of each other.  I wish they could be together more often.
We'll just have to work on that.


  1. it was a great day daddy! i loved being with my cousins and loved having you teach me how to grill chicken perfectly.

    love you,

  2. Baydog! You're having the time of your life (lives). I'm happy for you and yours!

  3. Wow. It doesn't get any better than that, Baydog.