Thirty-second Lighthouse Expedition
August 20 – 27, 1998
New Jersey & Delaware Bay Cruise
August 20, 1998, Thursday
(High of 82 and low humidity)
(All times EDST)
- 8:05 am
- Left Home. As we were driving east along the Ohio turnpike, we decided to stop in Vermilion to take a look at the replica of the Vermilion Light.
- 11:10 am
- Arrived at the replica of the Vermilion Light in Vermilion, Ohio. We were here before in October of 1991 when only the base was completed. The replica is now completed and the Maritime Museum will be celebrating their first anniversary. This project was completed due to the efforts of Ted Wakefield who remembered the lighthouse as a child and wanted the important landmark duplicated. Left at 11:25.
- 11:40 am
- Lunch at McDonalds near Amherst. Continued east on Ohio and Penn Turnpikes. Beautiful drive.
- 6:35 pm
- Dinner at Hoss’s Steak House in Exton, PA.
- 7:25 pm
- Checked into the Holiday Inn Express in Exton, PA.
August, 21, 1998, Friday
(High of 88 and low humidity)
- 8:45 am
- Left the Holiday Inn Express in Exton, PA.
- 10:00 am
- Arrived at Tinicum Rear Range Light in Billingsport, NJ (off HWY 130 between Gibbstown and Paulsboro. Use Billingsport Rd. The light is away from the river in the Paulsboro Little League ball park at the end of Beacon St.) This is cyndrical steel tower painted all black. Left 10:15.
- 11:00 am
- Arrived at Finns Point Rear Range Light in Pennsville. (Take Finns Point Rd off 49, it’s on the left when going south at the Supawana Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Light is at the entrance to Lighthouse Rd. Lighthouse Rd. also goes to 49) There was once a keepers dwelling at this sight and a front range light was on the river. This is very similar to the Tinicum Light and also all black. Left 11:15.
- 1:35 pm
- Arrived at the Cape May Lighthouse in Cape May, the southern most tip of the state of New Jersey. The lighthouse is on Lighthouse Ave. off 606 at Cape May Point. We climbed the 199 steps. A very friendly gentleman named Ed was at the top to greet us and answer any questions. The view is beautiful. From the top we could see a WWII bunker with the waves lapping at its base. Ed told us when it was built, it was 900′ from the water. Erosion has washed away that much shore in 50 years. Left at 2:30.
- 2:40 pm
- We parked in Cape May and walked around the town and ate lunch at the Jackson Mountain Cafe. Even this late, they are VERY busy. After lunch we walked around the town some more.
- 4:30 pm
- We drove along Beach Dr. to see the Condo’s, Victorian Homes and B & B’s before heading north to Millville (closest place we could get a room – note: if going to the Jersey shore in the summer you must make reservations far in advance. We started calling about 5 weeks before the trip and often could not stay where we wanted. Don’t take the chance of trying to find a room each night as you travel, as we often do on our lighthouse trips.)
- 5:50 pm
- Arrived at Country Inn by Carlson in Millville, NJ. We had a late lunch so didn’t have dinner this night.
August 22, 1998, Saturday
(overcast in the morning, very hot by afternoon with high humidity)
- 8:15 am
- Left the Country Inn by Carlson in Millville, NJ for the 50 mile trip back to Cape May.
- 9:15 am
- Arrived at the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse in North Wildwood. It’s on Central Ave. between First and Chestnut. This light has been renovated and the gardens around the lighthouse are BEAUTIFUL, with brick paths and wooden board walks. All kinds of flowers and shrubs blooming. We bought their Cat’s Meow, took the tour and climbed the tower. Left at 10:00 and took the Parkway into Cape May.
- 10:25 am
- Back to the Cape May Lighthouse for morning pictures. Don wanted the sun on the other side of the light from those we took yesterday. Left at 10:35.
- 10:50 am
- Arrived at the parking lot for Miss Chris Whale Watchers in preparation for our boat tour. The traffic going into Cape May was unbelieveable. We purposely got there extra early. Some people missed the boat ride! We walked to a nearby restaurant for brunch. Then we took a 25 minute walk.
- 12:00 pm
- Arrived back at the boat dock. We boarded at 12:30 and left dock at 1:05. Our captain was Jeff Stewart. He started these Lighthouse cruises in the Spring of 1996 in conjunction with the Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts. Over 5000 people have taken the lighthouse trip since he started. He did an excellent job with information about the lights, getting the boat close enough and slowing down for photographs and giving us a history of the area. He was an excellent tour guide. We had wonderful refreshments (lots of fresh shrimp, too) which were served as part of the tour. We met Pam & Bruce Launhardt of E. Brunswick, NJ who were celebrating their 27th anniversary that day. They were very helpful giving us additional information about the area. (Times given on the tour are when the boat stopped to take pictures.)
- 1:55 pm
- Brandywine Shoal Light. This one is seven miles from shore where the canal empties into Delaware Bay. It was the last NJ light with a keeper in 1974. It’s a caisson style, concrete cylinder shape, painted white and red. It’s the 3rd light on this spot. Left 2:05.
- 2:25 pm
- Fourteen Foot Bank Light, DE (This is the only Delaware light we will see on this trip.) It’s 4.5 miles from Brandywine Shoal. It’s also on a caison. This is a wooden house painted white with black roof and trim. It also has an OUTHOUSE. The light (not the outhouse) is now solar powered as most of these are in the bay.
- 2:45 pm
- Miah Maull Shoal Light. It’s 4.5 miles from Fourteen Foot Bank. The shoal was named after a ship captain whose ship sank on this spot and he drowned. It’s a cylindrical cast iron tower painted red. It’s on a cast iron caison. Left at 2:55.
- 3:15 pm
- Cross Ledge Light Foundation. Not a light anymore and all that’s left is the caison. The light was discontinued in 1907. The house was burned down to the base in 1962. It’s considered a hazzard to navagation since it’s not lighted. From here we could see Elbow of Cross Ledge Light about 2 miles off. It’s an ugly steel skeleton tower sitting on a cast iron caisson. Not worth the time for the boat to make the trip. Don did get a picture but it is way off in the distance. Left 3:25. We were scheduled to see East Point Light from the water, but the tide was too low, so captain Jeff gave us directions how to reach it by land.
- 4:15 pm
- Cape May Lighthouse, this time from the water. Left 4:20. We went around the tip of Cape May and Captain Jeff gave us a history lesson of the town. We passed the WWII bunker which we had seen from the top of the lighthouse on Friday.
- 5:00 pm
- Returned to the dock and thanked Captain Jeff for a most enjoyable afternoon. We headed toward East Point Lighthouse. We took route 9 to route 47. Turned south onto Glade Rd. between mile markers 26 and 27. Sign points to Eastpoint and there is a lightouse sign but it’s difficult to see.
- 5:50 pm
- Arrived at East Point Lightouse, located at mouth of Maurice River. It’s being renovated and there is scaffolding all around it. Eventually it will look great. It’s a brick house with tower in center built in 1849. Left at 6:05. (Other people from the boat trip arrived before we left.)
- 6:45 pm
- Arrived at the Econo Lodge in Marmora, NJ. Very overpriced! We went to Wendy’s for dinner as two nearby restuarants had 45 minute waits. Returned to motel at 7:30.
August 23, 1998, Sunday
(hazy and 88 and humid)
- 9:00 am
- Left the Econo Lodge in Marmora, NJ.
- 9:50 am
- Arrived at Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City. It’s painted cream with a wide black band. Unfortunately the newly restored keepers dwelling had been burned (arson suspected). The tower looks very nice and plans are to build the house again. It’s located on Rhode Island St. between Atlantic and Pacific. We left at 9:55. We parked at the Taj Mahal, and walked through the casino (we’re not gamblers) to get to the boardwalk. We stopped at the Hard Rock Cafe to buy the kids T-shirts. We walked along the boardwalk about 18 blocks (also bought some "original" salt water taffy, funny how every place seems to have the "original"). Left at 11:20 and returned to Absecon Lighthouse for another picture as Don wasn’t sure he had his camera set right. Left at 11:25.
- 11:50 am
- We stopped at Burger King for lunch and left at 12:15.
- 1:15 pm
- Arrived at Barnegat Lighthouse. We climbed the 217 steps to the top and had a FANTASTIC view. This lighthouse is white on the bottom and red on the top. It is located at the north end of Long Beach Island in the Barnegat Lighthouse State Park. It started to sprinkle while we were on top. It was coming down pretty good by the time we reached the bottom and we made a dash for the car. About 10 minutes later it stopped raining and we walked along the walkway and took several pictures. It started to sprinkle and we got wet again! We went to the lighthouse museum located on the corner of 5th and Central. They also have beautiful gardens. The museum is located in an old schoolhouse. We stopped at 2 gift shops and were able to find a Barnegat Lighthouse Cat’s Meow. We went back to the lighthouse for one last picture with the sun almost shining. Left at 3:05
- 3:10 pm
- We found a public access beach and enjoyed the surf, sun and sand. The cool water felt good. Left at 4:20. As we drove back along Long Beach Island we noticed many of the lawns were different colored rocks and stones. Sure beats lawn mowing!
- 5:25 pm
- Arrived at the Howard Johnsons Hotel in Toms River, NJ. It rained again as we were unloading the car.
- 6:15 pm
- Went to Jack Bakers Lobster Shanty for dinner – this was no shanty but a very nice restaurant with very good food and located on the Toms River. We had a booth next to the water and enjoyed watching the boats, rain and ducks.
- 8:00 pm
- Returned to the Howard Johnson’s Hotel.
August 24, 1998, Monday
(sunny, 90 and humid)
- 9:15 am
- Left the Howard Johnson’s Hotel in Toms River, NJ.
- 9:55 am
- We arrived at the Sea Girt Lighthouse in Sea Girt. It’s located on the corner of Beacon and Ocean. It’s a pretty old brick home built in 1896 and restored in 1981. The museum is only open on Sundays from 1-4 pm. The town of Sea Girt has beautiful beaches and we enjoyed a short stroll along the boardwalk. (FYI: Beach tags are required on most NJ beaches: $5.50 per day, $56.00 per year and a $50.00 fine if you are caught without one.) We enjoyed the beautiful old Victorian homes and beautiful lawns and landscaping. Left at 10:20.
- 10:45 am
- We stopped in Ocean Grove, NJ to see the Camp Meeting Association. The 6500 seat auditorium was built in 1894. Surrounding the auditorium are tent cottages. We talked to a lady staying there. The tents are rented for the season from April 15 to Sept. 15. The association puts up the tent part of the cottage for the renters. Famous preachers and entertainers preach and perform all summer The area is also filled with restored Victorian homes. The town is very pretty and the Camp Meeting Asso. very famous. Again a beautiful beach and boardwalk.
- 11:50 am
- Stopped along the highway to get picture of the Twin Lights of Navesink in Highlands, NJ. One of the towers is square and the other octagon shape. There is a long building connecting the two. They certainly are impressive sitting on top of the hill overlooking the city. Left 11:55
- 12:05 pm
- By following the brown historic site signs, the lights and museum are easy to find. This is an excellent Lighthouse Museum. I would rank it as one of the best. We climbed the north tower (other closed to climbers) and again had a beautiful view, even though hazy. This is an unusual lighthouse and we enjoyed talking to the people in the gift shop. Left at 12:40.
- 12:45 pm
- We had lunch at a cute new restaurant "Off the Hook". Left at 1:20.
- 1:30 pm
- Arrived at Sandy Hook Lighthouse located in Gateway National Recreation Area. It’s a white octagon shape with red lantern room (the tower needs paint!). Left at 1:50.
- 2:25 pm
- Found the Conover Beacon in Leonardo. It’s at the end of Leonard Street just before road curves left onto Beach Drive. It’s a steel tower which replaced a wooden structure. It’s red and white and needs paint. This was the front range light for the Chapel Hill Lighthouse.
- 3:35 pm
- Finally found the Chapel Hill Rear Range Light. We had quite a time finding this one. We stopped and asked several people. When we finally found it, the gate was open and a sign said "Welcome", so we drove in, but no one was home. This is a private residence, and since no one was there, we couldn’t get permission to include directions here in the journal. It’s a very nicely kept home, with the light tower in the middle. It’s pale yellow with white trim. Left at 3:45.
- 4:30 pm
- We arrived at the Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank, NJ. It’s located on the Navesink River and is a very nice hotel. We had a beautiful river view room and had an excellent dinner in their hotel dining room.
August 25, 1998, Tuesday
- 9:30 am
- We left the Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank, NJ and headed west.
- 11:10 am
- Had lunch at McDonalds near Eston, PA and left at 11:40.
- 12:15 am
- Arrived in Stroudsburg, PA and drove thru town.
- 1:15 pm
- Arrived at Bushkill Falls. We started hiking the falls trail about 1:30. We took the long red trail and finished about 3:00 p.m. It was sprinkling when we arrived at the falls, but taking our umbrellas along helped as we didn’t have any rain while on the hike. It started to sprinkle again as we got back to the car. Left at 3:05. On way back to Stroudsburg, we stopped at an Outlets Mall, the Country Store and Pocono’s Candle Factory.
- 4:50 pm
- Arrived at Four Points Sheraton in Stroudsburg, PA in the Poconos. We went for a dip in the pool and then to the Perkins Restaurant across the street. Returned to the motel about 6:45.
August 26, 1998, Wednesday
Our 31st wedding anniversary
Hot, 86 and mostly sunny. It rained hard during the night. How nice not to spoil our daytime activities!
- 9:45 am
- Left the motel and went to The Crossing Outlet Mall in Tannersville, PA Left at 11:35.
- 11:55 am
- We went to the Camelback Water and Alpine Slide Park in Tannersville. We did the alpine slide 3 times, water tube slides, body slide and tube float, all several times – it was a fun afternoon. (The kids will never believe we did this.) Left at 4:00 and drove to Mt. Pocono.
- 5:00 pm
- Arrived at the Hampton Court Inn for dinner. It was very good. We left at 6:00.
- 6:50 pm
- Arrived back to the Four Points Sheraton Motel.
August 27, 1998, Thursday
(mostly sunny, 86)
- 8:15 am
- Left the Four Points Sheraton Motel in Stroudsburg, PA.
- 11:40 am
- Had lunch at Burger King and continued heading west to Buffalo.
- 2:50 pm
- We had some difficulties with highways, etc. in Buffalo but we made it to the Buffalo Breakwater Light (Exit # 7 off I-90 and go 5 miles west. Follow signs to "The Pier.") We took pictures from the gravel parking area near "The Pier" restaurant. It’s a white octagonal steel tower built in 1961. Left about 3:00. We took the service drive south to Tift St.
- 3:10 pm
- Found a spot where we could see the South Buffalo Light. We parked in the driveway to the St. Lawrence Cement Co. Don stood on the roof of the van to get pictures over fence. It’s on private industrial property. The sun is not in a good spot for pictures. Left at 3:20. Going north on Fuhrmann Blvd., we crossed under Hwy 5 back and forth several times and followed signs to the Coast Guard Station.
- 3:35 pm
- Reached the Buffalo Main Light and the Buffalo Bottle Light. We parked outside the Coast Guard Station and followed the brick walkway to the outdoor Lighthouse Museum area. The Old Buffalo Main Light is the oldest building in Buffalo still on it’s original spot. This is a nice park area with a nice view of the Buffalo skyline. Left 4:00.
- 4:20 pm
- We took the Peace Bridge from Buffalo to Ft. Erie, Canada. We continued west through Ontario and crossed the Blue Water Bridge from Sarnia to Port Huron at 7:40. We saw the Ft. Gratiot Light (AGAIN).
- 7:45 pm
- Dinner at Bob Evans in Port Huron.
- 9:35 pm
- Arrived home.
Trip Totals: 21 New Lighthouses, 1885 miles, 8 days. .
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Lighthouses: A Photographic Journey
Conceived and Developed by David S. Carter
Photographs by Donald W. Carter
Text by Diana K. Carter, Donald W. Carter & David S. Carter
Copyright © 1995-1998 David S. Carter, Donald W. Carter, & Diana K. Carter. All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means, physical or electronic, in part or in full, without the express permission of the authors, is strictly prohibited.