Kayaking the back waters

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June 28th 2011
Published: July 2nd 2011
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None of us had ever paddled a kayak before, but that didn't stop us from trying it out.

Day 2 – June 28th

After a hearty breakfast, Emily, Mattie, Jill, and I headed to Miss Chris Marina where we had reserved kayaks for a morning of exploring the back waters and bays of Cape May. Although Jill has experience canoeing, none of us had actually been in a kayak before – we expected that, if nothing else, it would be an “interesting” time. Jill and I each had our own kayak and the girls opted to share a larger tandem boat.

I expected that the kayak would be unstable and would tip over easily. To my surprise it was quite stable and was relatively easy to maneuver. Emily and Mattie had a bit rougher time since a certain bit of coordination is required for a double kayak to go where it’s intended. Being the athletes they are, they quickly got the hang of it and were able to make the skinny boat go quickly.

We explored the narrow twisting canals the meandered through the backwaters of the island. Like following a twisting maze, we paddled left and right through the narrow backwater channels. There was little chance of getting lost since we never lost sight or the taller

Mattie, Emily, and, Jill listen to the abridged instructions we received from the young man at Miss Chris marina.
buildings at Cape May. We passed numerous jellyfish floating in the tidal waters. Most were a bout 4” in diameter but we did spot a few approaching a foot in diameter.

The highlight of the excursion was the discovery of an osprey nest, complete with two young ospreys. The Mother took exception to our being there and took off, flying figure eight patterns over our heads. We left my trusty digital camera in the car just in case we had some sort of mishap that got us wet. However, we bought a disposable waterproof camera before we left home for just an occasion. Jill diligently snapped pictures of the mother flying above her and the chicks stretching their necks out of the nest to see where mom went. The camera is a film camera and we will have to wait for a later date to get them developed.

We continued exploring the coves and marinas near the island. We were surprised when a large whale watching boat left dock on their own excursion, pulling out right in front of us. We quickly ducked into any open boat slip we could find to get out of the big boat’s
Ready or not . . .Ready or not . . .Ready or not . . .

Mattie and Emily were a little shaky at the start, but, once they actually got the boat in the water things went much smoother.
path. Emily and Mattie got their act together got into an open slip a few seconds before the 60’ passenger vessel powered by.

We then paddled under the open grate bridge that carries the bulk of the traffic into the town of Cape May, followed the channel past a few nice restaurants and finally past Cape May’s resident fishing fleet. Jill asked two deckhands who were emptying ice from the ship’s hold what they had caught. The response came back, “scallops!”

Our time was almost up so we headed back to the marina. This return trip was uneventful, but nevertheless quite enjoyable.

After our return to the house Jill and I changed and headed north to Wildwood. We had no particular plan in mind, but since Jill had never been to “the Wildwoods” I thought the trip would be worth while. We drove around and saw Wildwood Crest, Wildwood, and North Wildwood before we turned around to head home. Shortly after we headed south we spotted a colorful sidewalk hot dog establishment. We weren’t very hungry, but the neon sign announcing that they served Stewarts Root Beer hooked us and reeled us in.

We walked
We did it!We did it!We did it!

After our two hours on the water my companions proudly pose for a photo at the Miss Chris Marina.
up to the yellow-canvas roofed eatery. The front part of the colorful canvas covering was painted with a sign stating Maui's Dog House, also painted there: “As seen on The Food Network.” We were greeted by the gruff voice of a man I presumed was the proprietor. He told us where to sit and gave us menus. The front of the menu proclaimed they had been featured on “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.” Click on the above link to watch Maui's D, D, & D's segment on this eatery. We planned on just root beer but after reading the menu we decided to have Hawaii 5-O fries. The meals are served in dog dishes – after all it is a “dog house.” As we sipped Stewarts we tried to figure out the spice concoction that coated the fries. We decided on salt, celery seed, black pepper, and cayenne . . . so, that’s four, we never did figure out the fifth spice. Regardless, they were good, especially when we splashed them with a bit of malt vinegar.

The day was capped off with an afternoon nap (I’m a big fan of those) and a terrific dinner prepared by Nicole, Steph, and Jill,
Add the other guyAdd the other guyAdd the other guy

Chicks really dig a guy in a safety-vest colored T-shirt
with Nicole taking the lead and directing her sous chefs in the preparation of a wonderful meal of Mongolian beef (including sauce from scratch) and fresh veggies. Thanks ladies!

The end to a busy day culminated in chatting on the front porch and an early bedtime since we have an early ferry to catch tomorrow.

Thanks for reading our blog; please feel free to leave comments.

Don and Jill

Additional photos below
Photos: 13, Displayed: 13


Hereford Inlet Light HouseHereford Inlet Light House
Hereford Inlet Light House

Unlike many of the light houses we've seen, this is not a brick self-standing light. It is frame and was an intrical part of the keeper's residence. It cost $25,000 when it was built.
Hereford Inlet LightHereford Inlet Light
Hereford Inlet Light

Located just north of Wildwood, NJ
The keeper's wife's gardenThe keeper's wife's garden
The keeper's wife's garden

Flowers were abundent in the light house garden. These flowers were planted by th egarden club in Wildwood, NJ. The keeper would have planted veggies - not flowers.
Fourth order lensFourth order lens
Fourth order lens

This was the last lens used in the light house
Maui's Dog HouseMaui's Dog House
Maui's Dog House

"As seen on the Food Network"
See . . .See . . .
See . . .

"Drive-ins, Diners, and Dives"
Fries anyone?Fries anyone?
Fries anyone?

We just stopped for a root beer but when we saw they served their food in a dog food bowl, we had to get some fries.
Get yer salty balls!Get yer salty balls!
Get yer salty balls!

Deep fried potato balls, salted then served in a dog food bowl

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