Friday, September 2, 2022

TGIF - Labor Day Weekend

Today's "Marsh" Webcam (note the marsh grass has begun to turn golden)   

Mornin'!  It's 67° in Wildwood NJ.  It's got that "back to school feel" outside this morning.  It's cool with humidity down to 79% and a dewpoint of 65°.  Breezes are out of the E-NE at 5-10mph.  And, Ms Sun's up and shining over the island filling my house with bright light.  All the houseplants are happy.  It'll be another beauty down the Shore.  Expect sunny, blue skies, temps around 80° and East winds at 10-15mph.  Tonight... partly cloudy, temps back down into the upper 60s and East winds at 5-10mph.  Tomorrow... partly sunny with some clouds in the mix and temps in the low-mid 80s as well as NE breezes.  Sunday... partly sunny/partly cloudy with temps in the low-mid 80s with light SW breezes.  Monday... mostly cloudy with 50% chance of rain and temps in the low-80s.
High Tide: 12:55PM
Low Tide: 6:59PM
Ocean Temp: 78°
Sunrise: 6:28AM
Sunset: 7:29PM
UV Index: 7.5
Rip Current: Low Risk
Corona Virus Cases in NJ: 2,679,272
Corona Virus Deaths in NJ: 35,567
Corona Virus Cases in CMC: 26,711
Corona Virus Deaths in CMC: 320
And, it Friday!  It's the "last" of the beach tips!

Friday Beach Tips:
*Stuff to pack for the beach - shoes. Always remember footwear as the beach sand is extremely hot.  That includes the kiddies... always insist they wear footwear.  I pack bottled water, a spray bottle of water for you never know what, a hat, sunblock, insect repellent (in case the winds shift from the west (land breeze) those "West winds" bring the biting green head flies), first aid kit (I include a tiny bottle of vinegar for jelly fish stings just in case), a towel, shade (umbrella, canopy of some type), a bungee cord to secure your umbrella for those windy days, something to read, sanitizing wipes or wet washcloth, a small trash bag to collect the trash you may accumulate. I always pack my crocheting project as I find crocheting on the beach very relaxing.  Some of my best baby blankets are full of briny, salty yarn!  
*When setting up your spot at the beach, give those around you a little courtesy and not set up too close to them.  It's always amazing to watch arriving folk completely unaware of their actions as they begin setting up their umbrella, blanket and chair only inches away from folks settled in.  Most beaches are huge (with the exception of North Wildwood) and there are blocks and blocks of available, open beach space yet it sometimes feels like new arrivals seek out people to sit right next to.  It happens more often than not and I have yet to figure out this strange phenomenon. There's plenty of beach to go round.
*Know your "tide" times.  You can always ask the lifeguard as they will know high tide.  If the tide is at its highest when you arrive, you can set up right at the water line and watch the beach as the water recedes creating a bigger and bigger beach. It takes the water 6 hours to slip into low tide.  It takes 6 hours for the tide to go from High to Low and then turn around and begin to go from Low to High (12 hour total).  The beach tides are one hour sooner than the back bay / marsh tides too by the way. 
*Tips for setting up your umbrella: be aware of the wind direction and wind speed.  On a windy day, take those extra steps to secure your umbrella.  Sand screws or sand grabbers are great for securing umbrellas and it's best to dig a hole first before twisting that screw in and of course packing the sand around it.  Also, a bungee cord attached to the umbrella and then to your cooler, beach cart or beach bag works wonders for securing it for those real windy days. It's not uncommon to see umbrellas launched by the winds and more often than not into unknowing folks who are about to be impaled by your airborne, out of control umbrella.  It's inevitably happens while the entire family is in the ocean not realizing that their umbrella flew 2 blocks away.  Oh... when opening your umbrella... always point the umbrella toward the wind as this phenomenon never disappoints.  Most of the time, folks turn their back toward the wind and open the umbrella bringing about an inside out, uncontrolled umbrella giving you lots of air time. 
*Beach Courtesy: Begin by teaching your children courtesy at the beach. Teach them not to run or chase one another around someone else's blanket or chair.  Teach them not to walk or run on or close to someone's blanket. I've seen toddlers who take off running onto anyone's blanket in their path.  Wildwood's sand is light and very fine and is inevitably kicked up innocently by those passing by your chair or blanket.  Wildwood sand is fantastic but can be a nuisance if wind-blown all over everything and everyone.  It's always getting kicked up.  Keeping aware of it really helps.
*When shaking out towels or blankets, be conscious of the wind direction and shake away from those in the line of "sand" fire.
*Advice for parents of toddlers on the beach (1-2 year olds)... bring a "pack-n-play" for them as I can assure you that your beach day will be much more enjoyable with those babes surrounded with toys and snacks in their little mesh, private encampment under an umbrella.  Your babe will enjoy the beach much more when she/he has had some controlled beach time right alongside you.  Not to mention they won't be as sandy while enjoying snacks, lunch, a bottle, a diaper change, not to mention a nice sea-breeze induced nap.  You'll be nearby relaxing and enjoying your beach time while they do the same.  I recently saw a young couple of a baby not old enough to walk, dig a round trench about 6" deep and place a piece of plastic (much like a part of a shower curtain) over the 2-3' wide hole and fill it with the ocean water so the babe could sit inside the makeshift puddle being entertained and cooled off as they played in their own little ocean pool.  It was ingenious.
*If you enjoy music on the beach... remember to pack your headphones.  Believe it or not, the majority of beach folk would much rather listen to the sounds of the surf or perhaps soft conversation; not the loud bass or hip hop profanity blasting next to them from your Bluetooth speakers.  Sorry... but it's something that happens quite often and it sucks.  I've left the beach many times due to loud, obnoxious music. And, sometimes it's coming from 3 different directions as beach-goers compete for who's the best DJ.
*There is "no smoking" on the beach (at least where everyone's camped out).  That includes cigarettes, pipes, cigars and joints.  Wildwood Crest has a designated smoking area by the dunes.  There's also "no smoking" on the boardwalk.  New Jersey has legalized Marijuana and you can smoke it privately on your property but you can't do it in public.  There are no Pot dispensaries in Wildwood.
*For the pooches, there are two dog parks right on the beach.  At 24th and the Beach in North Wildwood and one in Wildwood between Glenwood and Maple on the Beach as well (it's exceptional).  Read the posted rules... no food being one of them.  Dogs must always be on a leash when not in the dog parks. *Feeding seagulls is a no-no.  Eat and snack smartly.  Waving hands when expressing oneself while holding lunch is a magnet for swooping gulls.  Drop just one potato chip and you'll have seagull havoc.  Eat conscientiously under your umbrella or chair canopy.  Seagulls are vultures and are smart and endlessly eyeing beach goers eating habits.  They're relentless in trying to find the opportune moment to swoop down and pluck lunch right out of your hand or mouth (seen it happen many times).  By the way, seagulls know "chip bags" and if you have an unsupervised beach bag with chip bags exposed, they'll think nothing of helping themselves to that bag and will share their newly acquired bag of chips with all their gull family and friends while you're in the ocean as 40 gulls enjoy a beach party on your blanket.
*Playing ball, Frisbee, horseshoes, corn hole, kite-flying, ladder toss, spike ball, paddle ball, volley ball, Kan-jam, beach darts, you-name-it etc. are not allowed to be set up and played where beach-goers are camped.  Go back by the dunes where the big beach is empty and no one is sitting to enjoy your more active beach games.
*Observe all posted signs and warnings. Beach closures for whatever reason... lightning in the area, rip currents, storms, "surfing only" beaches etc.  If in doubt, just ask the lifeguards.
*Never leave trash on the beach.  Better yet, pick up any that you may see whether it's yours or not.  There are many, many trash and recycle containers on the beach and surrounding areas.  You might as well use them rather than let all that trash make its way into the ocean for the fish to eat or get tangled in. Remember... whatever the fish eat, we eat too.  Plastic is an epidemic.  Speaking of plastic... New Jersey no longer has plastic bags available.  It's now all about bringing your reusable bags to save the planet from those fly-away, take-forever-to-disintegrate plastic bags.
*Lastly, be courteous. Courtesy is key.  Be kind and considerate to all those enjoying this beautiful moment right along with you. It's a lot of fun being at the beach.  Try not to bring those unmindful, mean spirited, (sometimes "vulgar") nasty, moods. We can all take the time and effort to make a really nice beach day even nicer.  It's easy. Happy Beaching!

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