Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Winter Trip to Raritan Bay

A trip down to the bay is an attempt to get rid of those winter blues.  This morning (2/3/2013) I went down to Keyport and Union Beach to see how things were rebounding from Sandy.  As you cross the route 35 drawbridge you begin to see the remnants of hurricane Sandy. Looking down from route 35 you can see Viking Marina.  Though desolate this time of year, you can still see the building heavily damaged, boats still scattered around the marsh and banks just where Sandy left them, and there is still a boat lying in the Old Bridge Police lot. Otherwise, many boats looked perfectly normal, wrapped and blocked, in the marina for the winter. 

The next area that lets you know there was a problem is as you cruise down route 35 looking out into the marshes and seeing boats still stuck out in the reeds and grasses.  I immediately think, how do you get a boat out of the marsh?  You would need a crane to pick them up, but how would you get a crane there, if you can't get a boat there? Does this mean these boats will be there forever?  What's the life of fiberglass? 

As you turn off route 35 onto Amboy Road and drive just a half mile there are many reminders of Sandy.  Boats are still all over the Blue Rock Cafe parking lot.  The catamaran sailboat is now blocked up in the parking lot along with a few others.  Crossing the bridge you immediately notice Up The Creek Tavern is no more.  The building has been demo'ed to the only evidence there was a building there is the power wires hanging from the pole. I wonder if they will rebuild?  From my understanding the flood insurance for many of these businesses will be outrageously expensive.

As you get near town there is work beginning at Ye Cottage Inn.  There is now a fence surrounding the property. It appears demolition or rebuilding will begin shortly. Just across the parking lot sits the new Mike's Subs building which is very similar to the old building, but is all brand new.  This will be the first new building since Sandy.  Up the street I make a left and head down to the boat ramp.
I find it a little funny that there are other people just like me, taking a ride along the bay stopping and watching the bay for a little while and moving onto the next spot.  Today there were about eight cars sitting there with people just staring out at the water.  The parking lot for the ramp has sections of rail missing, but it appears they are missing so they could pull the floating dock up and into the parking lot.

It was just a little after sunrise and you can see the factories on the horizon contributing to our global warming. The cloud layer was low and it felt like we were going to get more snow.

I headed over the Olsen's Boat Works to see how things were.  Olsen's was one of the lucky ones during Sandy.  Most of the yard was saved and being they are up so high, the water had only made it to the top of the ramp.  The place is packed with boats.  The most I have seen there! Being the other marinas were hurt in some manner from the storm, he was able to take in a few more boats. Plus, many must be there for repair from Sandy.  I didn't even try to pull in as it looked like I would have to back up to get out of there.  I headed back toward town and went to the waterfront.  Things are pretty much the same with little progress.

The museum and bar look just like the week after Sandy.  You have to wonder why some places can be totally rebuilt and others don't seem to be making any headway.  Is it the insurance or is it the finance? 

Heading on to Union Beach I see some progress.  With most of the debris cleaned up and some organized work on buildings and homes.  While stopped and looking out toward New York I was able to see the new Freedom Tower reflecting the rising sun.  I tried to take a picture but it just didn't show the glow I saw.   It was still heavily overcast so I headed on back home to get things ready for our annual Super Bowl party.  Just before I got to the route 35 drawbridge I took the right and went down to the channel and saw about a half dozen people fishing under the bridge.  What they were fishing for I have no idea.  I continued home and wrote this blog.

Hope to have some interesting blogs this season. Keep in touch.

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