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Service with a Smile > July 15

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Written by Staff Reports Friday, July 15, 2011 01:00 am

Tim Volpe and Iris Phillips of Elements Salon and Spa of Sea Isle City. Tim Volpe and Iris Phillips of Elements Salon and Spa of Sea Isle City.

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One Kook’s Safari with Bill Barlow > So where do these waves come from, anyway?

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Written by Bill Barlow Thursday, July 14, 2011 11:52 pm

(photo by) Karen Barlow The writer takes off on a fast wave with a nice line on Saturday. He’s not scared, just concentrating.  (photo by) Karen Barlow The writer takes off on a fast wave with a nice line on Saturday. He’s not scared, just concentrating.

Not much seemed inviting about getting in on Saturday morning.

The surf report called for big, clean waves early, coming in about shoulder high. In a surf report, “clean” waves mean they are smooth and glassy on the surface, and come in one wave at a time. On a clean wave, a surfer has an area of the wave to glide along. The white water of the breaking wave is behind you, and ideally that break cascades along the wave in a smooth, even line, giving you both the wave’s energy to keep the board moving, and the unbroken water ahead in which to play.

Bumpy, textured or choppy waves can mean that the waves break in tiny peaks, leaving nowhere to surf, or the nice, clean line of the wave is broken up. Sometimes the waves are huge but the seas churn like an enormous washing machine, which is almost no one’s idea of a good time.

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Geocaching offers a new way to explore the shore

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Written by Christie Rotondo Thursday, July 14, 2011 03:36 pm

To special needs educators and Geocachers Jennifer and Rob McMahon of Deptford say teaching someone about the area they are exploring is one of the most important aspects of geocaching. Here, they are accompanied on a geocaching hunt in Wildwood by their friend’s son, Brayden Rafferty. To special needs educators and Geocachers Jennifer and Rob McMahon of Deptford say teaching someone about the area they are exploring is one of the most important aspects of geocaching. Here, they are accompanied on a geocaching hunt in Wildwood by their friend’s son, Brayden Rafferty.

A business card. Noisemakers. A temporary tattoo. To the average person, these items aren’t exactly buried treasure. To a geocacher, finding the container that holds them is like striking gold.

“It’s like hiking, but with a purpose,” said Jennifer McMahon of Deptford, the public relations coordinator for South Jersey Geocaching. McMahon has found more than 2,000 caches and hidden more than 50 since she began caching in 2007.

Geocaching.com describes the pastime as a “real world outdoor treasure hunting game.” Caches, which are usually waterproof boxes containing a log book and a few treasures, are hidden in different locations for hunters to find by using GPS coordinates. The findings are then shared online.

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One Kook’s Safari with Bill Barlow > First lesson: Shun crowds

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Written by Bill Barlow Thursday, July 07, 2011 10:58 am

Three riders take off on the same wave the morning of July 4. It may look tight, but it’s wide open compared to the same area that afternoon. Three riders take off on the same wave the morning of July 4. It may look tight, but it’s wide open compared to the same area that afternoon.

Here’s one for the kooks. Yeah, you – the one at the water’s edge, furiously rubbing wax on your brand new 8-foot soft board, trying to figure out the Velcro on the leash, ready to take on the world. My people.

Let’s say it’s about 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 2 and you’ve already been waved away from one lifeguard stand. It’s hot, and the water’s fine, and you can’t wait to get started.

Trust me, I know how you feel. Believe that it is with love and admiration that I advise you to put the board down and just take a swim. Maybe go buy a body board. You already bumped that little kid with the nose when you turned around, and you almost dropped the board on your foot after that.

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Service with a Smile > July 8th

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Written by Staff Reports Thursday, July 07, 2011 09:55 am

Dave Plybon and Elizabeth Murphy of Mama Mia’s Ristorante in Seaville. Dave Plybon and Elizabeth Murphy of Mama Mia’s Ristorante in Seaville.

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One Kook’s Safari with Bill Barlow >Surf lessons teach the ways of the waves

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Written by Bill Barlow Friday, July 01, 2011 02:27 pm

Luke Phillips gets a ride into the shallows in Avalon. Luke Phillips gets a ride into the shallows in Avalon.

The latest batch of new surfers lined up in the sunshine Monday morning out in front of 7th Street Surf Shop on the Ocean City boardwalk, squirming into wetsuits. A stack of foam-top longboards leaned off to the side, and if this were an old movie, the grizzled sergeant would stride up at this point and start berating the new recruits, while promising to mold them into something new and better.

Grizzled or no, their sergeant was Matt Ellison, a veteran surf teacher at the shop who scatters his patter with jokes and makes the class repeat the important bits. Berating was not part of the scene, although he did make sure everyone knew how to do the Hawaiian shaka sign, thumb and pinky out like a sign language “Y,” before they even got their boards. The meaning of the hand signal is obscure, but it seems to boil down to “I’m a surfer, and in a pretty good mood.”

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Service with a smile > July 1, 2011

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Written by Staff Reports Friday, July 01, 2011 11:32 am

Shelly Ackerman, Cari Young and Robin Stewart of Frog and Toad Shoppe in Stone Harbor.  Shelly Ackerman, Cari Young and Robin Stewart of Frog and Toad Shoppe in Stone Harbor.

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One Kook’s Safari with Bill Barlow > Veteran surfers, newbies turn out for International Surfing Day

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Written by Bill Barlow Monday, June 27, 2011 02:31 pm

Matt Brelsford and Zack Spatol get a ride on one of the stand-up paddleboards on the beach at 59th Street in Ocean City. Matt Brelsford and Zack Spatol get a ride on one of the stand-up paddleboards on the beach at 59th Street in Ocean City.

By Monday night, the water was getting warm.

At least, it felt warm when your feet went in.

The dozen or so folks cavorting in the waist-high waves at the International Surfing Day in Ocean City’s south end were mostly wearing rash guards or bathing suits, seeming perfectly comfortable at long last ditching the wetsuits.

Charlie Bowman, who heads up the Ocean City beach patrol for the public safety department, suggested the warming could be for good – or at least for the season.

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One Kook’s Safari with Bill Barlow > Do beach projects kill surf spots?

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Written by Bill Barlow Wednesday, June 08, 2011 01:00 am

Work means big money locally, so why do so many surfers hate it?

Sometime soon, walk down to the beach. You should probably do that most days anyway if you’ve got one in walking distance, but this time, take a good look at the waves, see what the break looks like. Get your feet wet. Now stoop down and gather a handful of sand. Take a good look at it – the grey and beige of the grains, with a couple of quartz crystals sparkling in the light, maybe a tiny fragment of shell.

Chances are that sand was pumped onto the beach at a cost of millions of dollars.

It doesn’t matter whether you are in Ocean City, Cape May, Avalon or another resort; the entire coastline of Cape May County has either had a beach replenishment project or been studied for one. Even in the Wildwoods, which have had monstrous beaches for a long time, North Wildwood turned to beach replenishment when the waves started hitting the Anglesea seawall.

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Cinemania > Not another chick flick

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Written by Joe Bell Friday, May 27, 2011 04:02 pm

Bridesmaids Bridesmaids

The premise has been overdone, but ‘Bridesmaids’ is great fun

An unlucky maid of honor is forced to lead wacky attendants in ghastly gowns through the usual pre-wedding rituals in this laugh-out-loud comedy.

Based on the premise alone, “Bridesmaids” is sure to be shrugged off by some as just another "chick flick." Think again. This is an often hilarious film that succeeds despite its rom-com premise, mainly due to strong performances and a refreshingly smart script.

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One Kook’s Safari with Bill Barlow > George Gerlach gave South Jersey surfing image its first break

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Written by Bill Barlow Wednesday, May 25, 2011 01:00 am

In 1962 there were plenty of waves at the Jersey Shore, but surfers were scarce at best.

Surfing started in the Pacific, so the consensus goes, and a member of Captain Cook’s crew spotted Hawaiians riding waves in 1769.

Surfing didn’t come to the mainland until the turn of the last century, and it took a few more years before it reached the East Coast. It grew slowly – first as a curiosity demonstrated on weighty wooden boards at exhibitions.

Things exploded in the 1960s with the advent of Gidget and the Beach Boys release of the single “Surfin’” in 1961. A towering wave of fuzzy-guitar-filled surf rock and B-movies was cresting on the outside. Suddenly, surfing was no longer the pastime of Hawaiian kings. It was a lifestyle.

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One Kook’s Safari with Bill Barlow > It’s spring, and the waves are waiting

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Written by Bill Barlow Thursday, May 05, 2011 01:00 am

One Kook’s Safari One Kook’s Safari

Have you ever shown up for work late, with your hair wet and a board on the car? It’s a sunny summer day and you’re in trouble, but still smiling as you try to think up some kind of excuse other than the bald fact that the waves were good and “five more minutes” and “one more ride” kept stretching longer and longer.

This year, I’m planning on having a brand new excuse at the ready: research.

In years past, we’ve had good writers and excellent surfers take on the task of writing a surfing column. They had the experience, the talent, and that connection to the surf scene that comes from a lifetime in the water.

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Service with a Smile > Sept. 03, 2010

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Written by Staff Reports Friday, September 03, 2010 02:50 pm

Nicole Hearon, Kate Holden and John Yoak of Primo Hoagies in North Wildwood. Nicole Hearon, Kate Holden and John Yoak of Primo Hoagies in North Wildwood.

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Service with a Smile > Aug. 6, 2010

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Written by Staff Reports Friday, August 06, 2010 12:02 pm

Dylan Pomykacz, Ben DiYenno and AJ Kammerer of Hoy’s Five and Dime in Stone Harbor. Dylan Pomykacz, Ben DiYenno and AJ Kammerer of Hoy’s Five and Dime in Stone Harbor.

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Service with a Smile > Jul. 30, 2010

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Written by Staff Reports Friday, July 30, 2010 01:56 pm

Lyndsey Griffin, Kerrey Collins and Alyssa Waldron of the Free Shop in Stone Harbor. Lyndsey Griffin, Kerrey Collins and Alyssa Waldron of the Free Shop in Stone Harbor.

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