829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Monday, April 30, 2012

Comfort Zone

Seaside Park Race Finish, 1969.  Now that's a committee boat.

Many bloggers recently have been taking Tillerman's latest writing
 assignment very personally, and I'm no exception.  The New Jersey
Shore is my sanctuary.  When I daydream, this is where the dream
usually takes place.  It's re-assuring to know that a mere hour's
drive to the east gets me to my comfort zone, a place where I've
spent endless days and where I am drawn to still.  If you didn't
know by now, I'm a nostalgic kind of guy, and the Jersey Shore,
 the Barnegat Bay in particular, is the Top Sailing Destination
on my Planet.  If I've bored you before with this, bear with me.

Where did I put my sandwich?

When I was little, the shore was always there, waiting
for me, staying exactly like it was when I last left.
The smells down there were summer smells:  in the
garage was turpentine, bottom paint and plywood. The 
kitchen smelled like limes, quinine, toast and bacon, and 
out front there was bayberry, spearmint, salt air, 
Coppertone and that sulphury sedge gas, mixed
in with an occasional Newport or Garcia Vega .

No Diving!

There was always a dock to be out on.  Something about being
over water is very cool for me.  Riding bikes on the dock was 
fun too.  I used to keep my Laser out on the end of that dock.
When we weren't sailing, we fished and crabbed from the dock.
On really hot days, my Dad and Uncle would float in tire tubes
and hang on to the underside of the dock and drink beer.
Under the dock.  Cool.

Uncle Don (Mojo's Dad) and Mom in Cedarcroft, up the Metedeconk

As with our parents before us, there were always boats to play in, 
on land or in the water.  Every family had boats, didn't they?  It was 
just a given that the shore houses would always be there and 
we'd be down the shore all summer long, for the rest of our lives. 

There were always cousins around, and they were expected to be
there.  I mean, that's where I usually saw my cousins.  If we got
there first, I would stay awake and look up South Drive for
headlights to come down to the end of the street.  It was hard
to fall asleep until they arrived later that Friday evening.

As the cousins got older, they all came down at different times,
with different friends, with different agendas, in different cars.  
But once they got there, they all seemed young again.
At least for the weekend.  I miss those days terribly.

An older photo, this looks south from somewhere in the Tice's
Shoal area, with the Barnegat Lighthouse around the bend.
This is much like what the pirates and merchant ships from 
hundreds of years ago saw while exploring the shallow estuary 
known as the Barnegat Bay.

I don't know much about inland lake sailing, but there's a
certain warm and fuzzy feeling I get from coming back to the
dock completely encrusted in salt. The windier and
rougher the bay is, the crustier you become.  And knowing
that a certain someone's ashes were lovingly sifted into 
this bay eight summers ago, I gotta believe that a little part
of him comes home with us every time we sail.  Goddamn,
I wish we had more time with him.

In retrospect, that cover was made for this post.
Imagine our surprise at the airport newsstand!

October sunset up the Metedeconk, 1964

Spectacular sunsets are the norm, if you're paying attention at the
time and not bending over with your head in the cooler.  But hey,
while you're down there...........

July 4th, 2010 at Tice's Shoal

I've been blessed for having grown up near and on the water.
It's awe-inspiring here, where earth ends and heaven begins.
The Barnegat Bay is my obvious choice for The Top Sailing
Destination on the Planet. And to have this resource in my
back yard is more than I could ever ask for. Come visit.


  1. Color me blue with envy. More blue than the blues on your pages.

  2. Great story - proof that our species originated evolved from the sea and it continues to be part of our primordial DNA.

  3. Perfect. I love the Jersey Shore! These pictures are so great. I can't wait for summer.

  4. I think I've said this before, but I love the history your family has of growing up and spending time on the water - gives me something to look forward to with my kids. the black and white photos are always great.

    but in full disclosure, a few of those swimsuits are close to getting outside of my comfort zone!

  5. You said it, I wish we had more time with him.

  6. BD -

    Your finest post on my daily trail of bookmarks.

    As for the lost sandwich, liverwurst & onion??

    Fairwinds and Family!


  7. This was one of your finest posts! Nice job Baydog!

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Thanks Dave. Right in my wheel house. Come for a sail?

  10. Thanks Dave. Right in my wheel house. Come for a sail?

    1. I'd love to, just need to find the time. Good to know you're only an hour or so away!

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