Monday, May 13, 2013

Mothers Day Down The Bay

Have you seen that aluminum 26 foot vessel cruising around the bay?  That is the Army Engineers seeing what has changed in the bay from hurricane Sandy.  They are checking the channels and updating all the maps. It will be important to purchase on of these updated maps when they are released.  Another benefit is the debris they find and document the location.

They are still finding boats and other large articles sitting on the bottom.  If you find or see anything on your trips out, be sure to log the GPS coordinates and report them.

This may be a banner year for fishing.  While out clamming for stripers large blackfish are being caught.  Most are females and they must be let go anyway, but the size of these fish are unbelievable.  The stripers are here with hogs being caught on a regular basis.  Fluke have already started their migration into the bay. Bunker are swarming into the bay and believe it or not this may be a bigger bunker year than last year.

Down in Keyport John Olsen and the guys have been busy setting up the mooring field.  The harbor is full of the white balls with only a few vessels moored.  Within the next couple weeks the mooring field should be getting pretty full, including our vessel Lil Provo.  By Memorial Day the field will be packed with boats.  Keyport still needs to get to work on the fishing pier and bulkhead along the waterfront parking lot.

Most of the Bay Area marina and boat yards have bounced back.  I did hear Viking Marina was sold and that may be why it seems the building is still in need of repair.  Even Atlantic Highlands Marina is looking pretty normal considering what it looked like in October of 2012.   Things did not happen for a while, but all of a sudden things took a change and work began. We do bounce back pretty good here in New Jersey.

I have been monitoring by friend Byron's blog down in Turks and Caicos.  If you want to know what true island life is all about, you have to visit his blog.  They recently purchased a nice catamaran and have had it on the dry getting it reworked.  They bought it in Florida and sailed it back through the Bahamas and south to Turks and Caicos.  That takes big ones when you don't know the boat or what is on the verge of disrepair.  They did make it home with some problems along the way, but Byron is a pretty resourceful guy as you see if you visit his blog -

I decided to take a run down to the bay early on Mother's Day as to not disrupt the planned events for the day.  Got to the gym early to get my 2 mile swim in and off I go before most are out of bed.  Traffic was nil at 7:45am and I made I'd down to Keyport in a little more than 20 minutes.  Just need to see what the scoop is at Olsen's for when we have Lil Provo delivered. My the way the name comes from an island in Turks and Caicos, not Utah.  With well over 200 dives there I consider our boat my northern escape and she puts my mind in that special place. Okay enough with the boat name.

As we cross the route 35 draw bridge we can see there are a number of boats still on the hard. Though nothing in the water.  As we take the curve on Amboy Road we begin to see boats, boats, and more boats.  It seems either more people are coming here or there have been a lot of new boats picked up. I roll through town and make my left down toward the ramp and see there are a number of empty trailers parked there, meaning many fisherman on the water.  Making the right to head up to KYC and Olsen's I notice more boats on the water.  Love it!

As I pull into Olsen's boat yard I can see the place has thinned out more with more boats missing.  But there are still plenty more still on the hard.  Mooring balls are still in piles for future additions and half links of chain lay scattered along the ramp.  I walk around and take a few pictures to document the current status.  Not much more to see so I swing over to KYC to see how they are coming on the dock.  They are still at work and it should be nice when the repairs are finished.

At Olsen's they have all the pendants and flats ready as they start moving boats into the mooring field.  The sailboat "Blown Away" still sits at the bottom of the ramp. Why not get rid of this piece of scrap?it does it no good filling with water on high tide and draining on low tide.....

Time to head home. I ride along American Legion Way to see what Keyport has done, if anything, over the past week. Wow, Ye Cottage Inn is. Giant sand box.  Does this mean they will not rebuild?  I checked online and there is nothing related to them rebuilding or not.

Some places are all rebuilt and filling those slips fast.

Work continues on KYC.

As you look out onto the bay you will see barges with cranes.  I can only assume they are clearing the channels of debris or sunken boats.  From the Keyport ramp you could three rigs out on the bay and all appeared to be in the channels.

Our closing pic as the sun moves up from the horizon.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Quickie Update

We have been busy with work and working on the boat.  The trip to the bay has been a regular thing at least every two weeks.  We even tried fishing from the shore with little interest on the part of the fish.  Over the past few weeks changes have come to the shores of the bay. Jakeobob's has been knocked down and made into a pile of rumble.  The same took place to Ye Cottage Inn in Keyport.

I have no idea of what the future of this landmark bares. It think it would be nice to see it come back.  The fishing areas of Keyport waterfront still sit in disrepair, and the fishing pier remains closed.  The season is here and those thinking about fishing Keyport will have to find another spot.  Those interested trying the Keansburg pier will be in luck shortly, they have been moving along and have a good area of decking replaced.  Not much going on in Union Beach where the beach rail fence is still not fixed or replaced.

With the water temperatures in the bay hovering in the low fifties, it is time to start fishing. Over the past week the striper fishing has opened up, bunker are coming into the bay, and blues are close behind. Maybe the weakfish will follow....  The evidence of fishing picking up is the lack of parking spaces at the Keyport ramp.  One spot available!

Down the road piece there are some noticeable changes.  The old building along Amboy Road, in front of Browns, has been knocked down.  Up The Creek Tavern seems to be something in our past.  The site's only evidence of the Tavern is the sign along Amboy Road and the satellite dish looking over the boat slips.

There will be more to come over the next few weeks.  The boat will be in the water within the next two weeks. This will give us a chance to scout around and see first hand how the bay is recovering, plus if the fish are biting.