Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Lifestyle: A Trip To Sandy Hook, New Jersey, USA

(Drivebycuriosity) - New York City offers a lot of pleasures. Part of them are the ubiquitous islands and beaches close to the metropolis. Many of them can be reached easily with public transportation.

Last monday my wife and I took the ferry from Manhattan to Sandy Hook, New Jersey. The boat is operated by SeaStreak, a private ferry company (seastreak), which offers this service from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. The very fast and modern vessel departed at the East 34th Street Ferry Landing on the East River in Manhattan. There is another service that starts at Pier 11 at Wall Street. The trip is pricey (a round trip for 2 persons costs 90 dollar) but is worth the expense.

The scenic boat ride to the island lasted around one hour. The trip went along the fascinating skyline Manhattan´s and passed underneath landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge and by the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The boat  also passed Governor´s Island (a small piece of land close to the southern tip of Manhattan) and Staten Island, one of the 5 boroughs of New York City.

According to Wikipedia the barrier spit Sandy Hook is approximately 6 miles (10 km) in length and varying between 0.10 and 1 miles (0.16–1.6 km) wide (wikipedia). The place also can be reached by road from New Jersey (Route 36). At the ferry landing there is a free shuttle bus to take visitors to the island`s 3 public Atlantic beaches: North Beach, Gunnison Beach, and South Beach, which are all on the east side of the island.

Unfortunately, no one is allowed to walk along the full length waterfront. Between the public beaches are restricted areas which are reserved for breeding birds.

One of the beaches, Gunnison Beach, is clothing optional. But while similar places in Spain or in Germany have almost a cross section of the population this beach is highly frequented by elderly male who don´t show much interest in swimming. Hence Gunnison Beach is certainly a matter of taste. But there are the 2 other beaches and therefore enough alternatives.

I was impressed by the clean water. There are not many of the usual algae to see. The surf (if the word could be used here) is very mild. But you need insect spray - the mosquitos are plentiful and aggressive. And there are many (small) jelly fish in the sand, but I didn´t get bothered while swimming.

Generally I enjoyed the trip and hope to go back to this place sometimes.

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