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Check out the latest House of the Week

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Written by Staff Report Wednesday, August 15, 2012 02:58 pm

The home at 1017 Wesley Road in the Gardens section of Ocean City boasts five bedrooms and five and a half baths and is located one house of the beach. Click here to check it out.

   

Lifeguard Profile > Crest guard looks to defend Around the Island Row title

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, August 09, 2012 06:39 am

Brendan Cunningham guards the Toledo Avenue beach in Wildwood Crest with partner and rowing mate Terry McGovern. Brendan Cunningham guards the Toledo Avenue beach in Wildwood Crest with partner and rowing mate Terry McGovern.

Brendan Cunningham joined a rather exclusive list last summer.

In just his second summer competing for the Wildwood Crest Beach Patrol, Cunningham and teammate Terry McGovern shocked the field last summer by winning the Around the Island Row, perhaps the most demanding race on the lifeguard competition circuit each year.

Only the very best crews have notched a win in the race – a 19-mile row around the island of the Wildwoods.

“At first I didn’t really know the extent of what I did,” Cunningham admitted. “But then it kind of connected with me when all kinds of people kept congratulating me on winning it.”

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Beach Reads > Aug. 10, 2012

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Written by Marjorie Preston Tuesday, August 07, 2012 11:38 am

Books-scrapbook  The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston, HarperCollins. The past few years have seen the rise of the graphic novel. Now Caroline Preston introduces what may be the first scrapbook novel, and the unusual format absolutely works.

This is the story of Frankie Pratt, an aspiring young writer living in 1920 in small-town Cornish, New Hampshire. Frankie’s father has died, and she despairs of finding a way to go to college. Thanks to an unexpected windfall – a wealthy would-be seducer turns out to be married, and his family offers a financial settlement to hush it up – Frankie heads to Vassar, then to New York City, then to Paris, along the way working at a lurid True Confessions-style magazine, encountering Edna St. Vincent Millay, and living in the Paris of Hemingway and Josephine Baker.

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Cheese can take your grilling from average to amazing

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Written by Staff Reports Saturday, August 04, 2012 02:33 pm

The sun is shining and the smell of charcoal is in the air - it's officially grilling season. Eighty-five percent of consumers will take to the tongs for some outdoor grilling this summer, according to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association. So what's on the menu?

The California Milk Advisory Board has developed a host of smokin' tips and juicy recipes that will make you say "cheese please" at your next backyard feast.

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Crabs continue to be the catch of the day

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Written by Heather Holtzapfel James Friday, August 03, 2012 04:14 pm

Kaylee Davis, 7, of Ocean View snags a shark on light tackle while fishing with captain Zig Black of First Fish Adventures out of Sea Isle City. Kaylee Davis, 7, of Ocean View snags a shark on light tackle while fishing with captain Zig Black of First Fish Adventures out of Sea Isle City.  Flounder now showing up at wrecks, reefs

Keeper flounder are now showing up in the ocean at the wrecks and reefs. It took a couple of weeks for the flat fish to settle in, but they are now biting the lines. Occasional keepers are being taken in the back bays but they are few and far between. Many shorts that are slow to make their move out front are still being caught and released from the back.

Joan Barrett of Dolfin Dock in Somers Point said the Ocean City Reef was a hot spot last weekend for flounder. She said anglers are using live spots and whole squids for bait.

Tom Christ of Brennan Marine in Somers Point said some keeper fish were taken from the Atlantic City Reef recently. Chris Guiliani and party caught numerous flounder. His daughter, Adrienne, had five flounder from 21 to 25 inches. The group was using a combination of spearing, Gulp, squid and minnows. Marty Yususko and gang fished the Ocean City Reef aboard Big Ol and came back with six keeper flounder with the largest one measuring 28 inches and weighing 7.81 pounds.

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Minimalist ride: Catching a wave without a board

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Written by Bill Barlow Friday, August 03, 2012 03:55 pm

Catching a wave without a board Catching a wave without a board

Coming to Ocean City in the 1970s, I had a pretty clear idea of what ‘cool’ meant.

Cool was a cherry red Trans Am. Dark aviators were cool, as were very loud T-shirts and expensive sneakers that were an accepted brand name: Adidas were cool, while despite my mom’s frustrated assurances that they were exactly the same, ‘Adios’ sneakers were very far from cool.

Star Wars? Immensely cool. It’s hard to get across how cool Star Wars was.

And on the beach, coolness was a frayed, beat-up pair of cutoffs – you had better have cut them yourself from a pair of jeans that were getting too worn out – and body surfing a wave.

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Small Wonder

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Written by Christie Rotondo Thursday, August 02, 2012 04:47 pm

Artist Autumn de Forest, 10, is being called a child prodigy. She opens her first solo exhibition this weekend at Ocean Galleries

When Doug de Forest first noticed his daughter’s artistic talent, he wanted to capture it, like “lightning in a bottle.”

At the time, Autumn was 5 years old. He was working in the garage when she came up to him and asked if she could try painting something “for fun.”

He handed her a brush, some stain and a piece of plywood.

When he looked back a little while later, she had created a masterpiece, he said.

Autumn remembers the day, too.

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One Kook's Safari > A day at the beach, and much more

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Written by Bill Barlow Friday, July 27, 2012 06:24 pm

One Kook's Safari > A day at the beach, and much more

Brendan Borek’s high school class, Wildwood Catholic 1992, just held its 20th reunion.

We can only guess what Brendan would have done for his 40th birthday this year.

Maybe he would have wanted a beach party, like his last birthday 22 years ago. But at this point, he could have been anywhere in the world, doing almost anything.

It’s a safe bet he would be surrounded by friends. I never met Brendan, never saw him surf, but I have talked to people who did, and they describe a great kid with a boundless appetite for life.

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Beachcombing tours bring people out of their shell

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Written by Christie Rotondo Friday, July 27, 2012 04:50 pm

Isaiah Rosario, 5, holds up a shell that he found on a guided beachcombing tour in Sea Isle City. Isaiah Rosario, 5, holds up a shell that he found on a guided beachcombing tour in Sea Isle City.  You never know what might turn up on the beach – a lost ring, a piece of sea glass, or a natural treasure such as a starfish.

At Sea Isle City’s beachcombing tours, participants can collect and take home souvenirs of the area’s ecosystem.

The tours are now entering their 23rd season and are sponsored by the Sea Isle City Environmental Commission. They run 10-11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 28, Tuesdays at 29th Street and the Promenade, and Thursdays at the 94th Street beach. The beachcombing tour costs $1, a tradition that dates to its inception.

Before going off to search the beach for shells, plants, exoskeletons and other natural treasures, beachcombers learn about the various types of plant and animal life that can be found at the beach. Volunteer tour guides, working with groups of about 25 children and adults, provide information on everything from starfish to seagulls.

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Lifeguard Profile > Quick-changing currents make the inlet a tough spot to guard

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, July 27, 2012 03:20 pm

Mark Gose Mark Gose

Mark Gose practically grew up on North Wildwood’s beach.

With his father serving as a part-time medic for the North Wildwood Beach Patrol, Gose started coming to the beach at age 4 and was constantly around the lifeguards.

“That’s what made being on the beach very natural to me,” he said.

He participated in the patrol’s junior lifeguard program, got to know nearly all of the senior lifeguards on the beach and even learned many of the ins and outs of being a lifeguard.

So it’s not surprising that Gose became a lifeguard himself once he got to the proper age.

“I used to come to work with my dad when he’d come in on the weekends,” Gose said. “When I was 4 or 5 years old I started coming down regularly. I definitely realized back then that I wanted to be a lifeguard.”

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With fish bite slow, crabbing provides most of the action

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Written by Heather Holtzapfel James Friday, July 27, 2012 03:00 pm

Eliza Burget, 8, of Lansdale, Pa., hefts her 19 1/2-inch flounder weighed in at Frank's Boat Rentals in Strathmere. Eliza Burget, 8, of Lansdale, Pa., hefts her 19 1/2-inch flounder weighed in at Frank's Boat Rentals in Strathmere. Bill and Bob Kingston of Philadelphia collect seven keepers to 4 pounds, 1 ounce, weighed in at Frank's Boat Rentals in Strathmere Bill and Bob Kingston of Philadelphia collect seven keepers to 4 pounds, 1 ounce, weighed in at Frank's Boat Rentals in Strathmere

Mixed reports came in this past week in regards to back bay fishing. Some marinas are reporting an improvement, while others are saying the bite has been slow. Offshore reports are all saying the action dropped off immensely.

While fishing can be unpredictable at times this time of the summer, crabbing is providing most of the action.

Frank Jankowski of Frank's Boat Rentals in Strathmere said crabbing is best either during the incoming or outgoing tide. While some people find success with chicken legs, Jankowski said bunker is essential. He said is it an oily fish, and as the slick is taken out with the current, it will attract the crabs. Just as long as the current is moving, the crabs will bite. Crabs tend not to bite when the current is at a standstill.

Read more: With fish bite slow, crabbing provides most of the action

   

Boaters must be their own best lifeguard

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Written by Staff Reports Friday, July 27, 2012 02:05 pm

Never dive head-first into a body of water before confirming the water depth. Never dive head-first into a body of water before confirming the water depth.

Seven safety tips for swimming while boating

Boating and swimming go hand in hand, but unlike a public pool or beach, boaters can’t count on a lifeguard to watch over them. As this summer’s sweltering heat drives more boaters to dive into the deep blue, the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety offers these seven swimming tips:

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Beach Reads > July 28, 2012

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Written by Marjorie Preston Friday, July 27, 2012 01:00 am

Niceville by Carsten Stroud (Knopf). Almost 180 people have disappeared in the Southern town of Niceville since the late 1920s. Given that grim statistic, most residents would up and vamoose, but noooo. The latest to go missing is a young boy named Rainey Teague, who vanishes near a book store in the fraction of a second between two frames of surveillance video. That incident introduces investigator Nick Kavanagh and his wife, Kate, and sets up the complex structure of this Gothic thriller, which is part crime novel, part supernatural thriller. Don’t expect the book to follow any kind of orderly trajectory. It becomes a frankly confusing web of bizarre and occasionally violent episodes – there’s a bank robbery and a massacre of cops and reporters, along with some nonsense about a haunted mirror, along with so many plots and subplots that one can admire the marvelous writing while never becoming fully engaged with the characters. They appear onstage for a chapter or two, then bow out to give way to even more supporting players. Stick with Stroud and you’ll be rewarded with a satisfying end – but you have to be patient to get there. “Niceville” is the first novel in a trilogy, which may explain the excessive exposition. No novel should require a spread sheet to keep track of the story.

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Reed Waddle gets some sand back in his shoes

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Written by Christie Rotondo Saturday, July 21, 2012 04:43 pm

Reed Waddle gets some sand back in his shoes Reed Waddle gets some sand back in his shoes

Wildwood’s got a case of the blues this summer.

Reed Waddle, a contemporary singer-songwriter with a bluesy-rock sound, will be playing 9 p.m. Sunday nights at the Oceanic Hotel in Wildwood through Labor Day.

“My music is pretty mellow, so in some places I would not be the ideal fit, but the people here seem to enjoy it,” the singer said Thursday in a telephone interview.

Waddle is a native of Destin, Fla., who has romped through Boston and New York City, winning the grand prize at the New YorkSongwriters Circle. He was a finalist in the American Idol Songwriter Competition, and in June he took home the grand prize at the troubadour competition at 39th annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Colorado.

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One Kook's Safari > If you can’t catch a wave, capture the moment

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Written by Bill Barlow Friday, July 20, 2012 04:45 pm

There were some waves out there this week.

In true kook style, I'm writing this with a headache after getting knocked by my board Thursday morning. I tried to duck a wave, and I naturally assumed the board washed behind me. Instead, it was waiting for my head to come up to give me a polite, whitewater-powered tap.

There were also some good rides to be had, and I suspect they only improved as the tide changed. The hot spots looked packed, and the sets seemed about stomach high, maybe a couple coming in bigger. When I actually managed to catch a wave, it was a nice, long, smooth ride.

Several forecasts are calling for the swell to build this weekend, but it looks like it might be a lot messier as well.

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