Posts Tagged ‘Pier’

Ocean Grove, NJ is so peaceful.

Ocean Grove, NJ is so peaceful. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of quaintest things in Ocean Grove was the Fishing Pier with its Fishing Shack and of course Ralph, the resident (dummy) fisherman who perpetually cast his line in hopes of snagging the big one.

Ralph has been a fixture on the pier off and on since 1993.  He was created by Carol Boniello and Bob Borders as a symbol of hope for the future of the pier which was in the process of being rebuilt.  In December of 1992 a nor’easter took the fishing shack and part of the pier down.  Ralph has been a bit of a transient.  He fell into the ocean in 1994 only to be rescued by two Grovers.  He lived for a while on Carol’s porch, he even marched in a local parade. He’s been the subject of paintings, sketches and hundreds of photographs.  Children loved Ralph, giggling and pointing at him from the beach below.

Well that was then and this is now.  Hurricane Sandy wiped out the Fishing Shack, part of the pier and alas, Ralph disappeared into the angry swirling sea.  Perhaps he heard a mermaid calling his name.

Losing the Fishing Shack isn’t the worst thing that happened to Ocean Grove during Sandy, the Frankenstorm.  BUT, now looking at the ruptured landmark breaks my heart.  It’s almost like “Serioulsy? You had to take the shack and Ralph AGAIN?” “Isn’t destroying the boardwalk enough? Didn’t tossing the lamp posts and benches across the road and down side streets enough” ?  “Wasn’t flooding basements, depositing tons of sand along Abbott Avenue and Broadway enough”? “Isn’t the fact that we’re 5 days without power and cold enough”?  “And we had to throw out all the food we couldn’t eat in 48 hours bad enough”?  Guess Not!

Watch the videos; Short one shot during the Hurricane and then post Sandy. 

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Did anyone in Ocean Grove really sleep last night? Every hour or so, one of us got up and went downstairs checking the basin and pail for overflow, looking out the front door to see if Broadway was a road or a lake, then stumbling back up the stairs to bed for another hour of sleep.

Sunday morning dawned and we cautiously looked outside to see if there was any damage to the front of the house and if there was a layer of sand on Broadway indicating the storm surge actually breeched the dunes, the boardwalk, Ocean Avenue and rushed down the road to us.  Thank God, NO!

After opening up the doors and pushing the storm windows up and bringing the screen back down,  my thoughts turned to the shore.  “Let’s go see what happened at the beach”.  By the time we got to the Boardwalk, it was already highly populated with fellow survivalists who like us wanted to see what happened at the source.

Shocked and suprised, we found an intact boardwalk but some heavily damaged dunes.  There was less sand on the boardwalk than there was after last winter’s Nor’Easter.  But the concrete benches were pushed away from the railings like so many pawns in Mother Nature’s chess game.  There was a salt water pond between the dunes and the boardwalk which looked to stretch from the Broadway beach entrance to the Beach Office.    Peter and I walked to the Fishing Pier which still had police tape across it, where a large group of people  had gathered.  A utility shed had been torn off its base and now rested up against the boardwalk.   Then we walked onto the beach  at the South End entrance to get a closer look at the angry foaming sea.  I noticed that I only walked down two steps and I was on the sand – that stair-case has a least 6 steps!!!!

The beach was very small and the shore line significantly closer.  Hopefully the tides will revert to their normal height over the next couple of days.

hurricane Irene, Ocean Grove boardwalk, Ocean Grove, NJ
Mother Nature re-arranged the furniture
hurricane Irene, ocean grove sand dunes, ocean grove nj
Dune Fence Uprooted
hurricane Irene, sand dunes Ocean Grove, Ocean Grove, NJ
Ravaged By Irene
hurricane Irene, Ocean Grove nJ
Irene’s Foot Bath Behind the Dunes
hurricane Irene, Ocean Grove boardwalk, South End beach Ocean Grove
And Where Are The Other 4 Steps?
hurricane Irene, Ocean Grove nj

Storm-surged Shed

hurricane Irene aftermath, Ocean Grove, NJ

The Angry Sea Foams at the Mouth

All photos taken by me.

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