Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Point Pleasant Beach, NJ (8/20/2019)

Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Today was the field trip for the boat cruise in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. We had nearly a dozen people with rollator walkers, and they were first to board the Rhoads motorcoach, while the walkers were placed in the luggage compartment. The driver, Martine, was very helpful in loading passengers and walkers. It was a full busload!
The motorcoach was definitely more comfortable for the two-hour drive to Point Pleasant, and included a restroom stop.
We arrived at The Shrimp Boat for our lunch of pre-ordered entrées. Two waitresses ran ragged serving the large group. Small glitch in that it was a choice of soup or salad, not both, and the salad was from a salad bar. Large portions of decent food. Kent had the stuffed shrimp, and I had the broiled salmon, both with baked potato and sautéed vegetables.
Our next stop was a mere block away, but we all boarded the bus for the ride over, then we all piled off. Next was embarkation on the River Belle, an 1989 reproduction Mississippi Paddle Wheel River boat, which included many steps. The River Belle crew was extremely helpful with those needing assistance.
A blast of the steam whistle and we were off.
The Rhoads motorcoach at the River Belle dock
Steps, more steps, a gangplank...
The stern paddle wheel does not appear to be attached to any motor
River Belle life ring buoy
Forest of fishing boat masts in the Broadway Basin
Passing The Shrimp Boat where we had lunch
Loughran Point with a statue of a fisherman at the Fishermen's Memorial
(2000) that is dedicated to locals who lost their lives at sea
The Manasquan Inlet is the unofficial northernmost terminus of the
Intracoastal Waterway; it also marks the traditional boundary between
North Jersey and South Jersey and is the border between the rich, fertile soil
to the north and the sandier soil of the "Pine Barrens" to the south
River Belle's sister boat, the River Queen
Our turnaround point was at Crystal Point Yacht Club
Osborn Island
"In May 1888 the author, Robert Louis Stevenson, spent time in Brielle, NJ along the Manasquan River. On the river is a small wooded island, then commonly known as "Osborn Island". One day Stevenson visited the island and was so impressed he whimsically re-christened it "Treasure Island" and carved his initials into a bulkhead. This took place five years after he had completed the novel of the same name. To this day, many still refer to the island as such. It is now officially named Nienstedt Island, honoring the family who donated it to the borough." (Wikipedia)
The Point Pleasant Canal (1925, as the Manasquan River-Bay Head Canal)
was built to connect the Manasquan River
to Barnegat Bay as part of the Intracoastal Waterway
The Point Pleasant Canal has been plagued with problems, with tidal currents causing erosion and shoaling (development of sandbars) that resulted in strong currents (like rapids). Also, the water from the Manasquan River became diverted down the canal, resulting in the Manasquan Inlet closing up. Steam shovels were used to open up the inlet and jetties were built by 1931. Wooden bulkheads were built 1935-1947 along the canal to prevent erosion, but they became eroded themselves, and were eventually replaced with steel.
We did see an osprey at this nest
Clark's Landing, where a boat building business (c 1872) was started by
Roderick Clark, a Civil War veteran who fought with General Grant
Clark began renting boats and people would bring picnics to enjoy the wooded seclusion of Clark's Landing. Clark's wife decided to sell pies to the visitors, and soon their son added entertainment in the form of a steam organ and electric merry-go-round (1896). Continued expansion made the area a popular amusement center for generations. Later it continued as a marina, and now has condominiums.
Route 35 Drawbridge/Veterans of All Wars Memorial Bridge (1952)
Somewhere near this spot is the location of Brogan's Deep Sea
Fishing Center; where an earlier generation of Brogans gathered
volunteers and sailed through a gathering northeaster storm to
rescue passengers of the Morro Castle ship that caught fire in 1934
The Brogans' boat, The Paramount, managed to save 67 lives, more than any other rescue boat or ship in the area.
Brielle Drawbridge is a railroad bascule bridge (1911)
The single track of the Brielle Drawbridge
Plant-covered shoals at Crabtown Creek
A point of man-made Gull Island, the repository of dredging spoils
We ended the day with a motorcoach ride back to GFE and box dinners!

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