Jetty jumping

Jetty at Scott Avenue beach, early July evening

I grew up jumping on rock jetties along the Atlantic. We’d run along the top of these jagged walls, leaping off one rock, planning our landing as we launched. We were younger, made fewer mistakes, and healed faster when we did.

The jetties call, especially at sunset. The outcrop of rocks sitting at the end of a short walk along the wooden wall calling like a Siren, alluring and dangerous.

If the rock is green, it’s slippery. If it’s green and wet, it’s dangerously slick. God gave us four limbs–use all of them.

Barnacles are sharp–oyster shells hones by the tides are razor sharp. I once managed to slice my big toe to near the bone by the ferry jetty, hobbled back to my bicycle, then dripped a bloody trail all the way back home. Cleaning the sand out was, well, unpleasant, but had to be done. I have a deep scar to remind me.

Be aware of the tide–the bay swings up to 6 feet in 6 hours, and a few of the groins along the North Cape May beach are underwater. You can wait or get wet.

Worth the small risk

Each jetty along the beach has its own characteristic wooden walkway and rock formation. Over the years you get to know them. If you’re just down here for vacation, though, you might want to stick to the ferry jetty–it’s level and (usually) dry, though you do need to watch when larger boats push water in the canal.