This post is a bit overdue, because each time I found time to sit down and type something, I ended up getting involved in other things on this computer. Games, which are a complete time-waster, take up some of my time when I’m on the computer. I play Age of Empires III with two of my real life friends (games are about an hour each for us), and then when I don’t feel like playing that one, I get sucked in to spending a large chunk of time playing The Sims 2 Pets. It’s only been a couple weeks since I found out my male Sims can get abducted by aliens and come back pregnant, so I’ve been having LOTS of fun with that! 😉 Of course, that’s not all that I’ve been doing though.
A few weeks ago, my sister and I got together for “Sister’s Day Out” and headed to the beach. We visited Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, DE (the first town in the first state!), and walked along the shoreline of the safe harbor which was built in World War II at the mouth of the Delaware Bay. Since all the tourists were gone for the season, it was a very peaceful and enjoyable walk.
Once you start walking on this stretch of beach, one of the first things you notice is the Breakwater East End Lighthouse, built in 1885 to replace the Cape Henlopen Beacon. It was operable until 1996 when it was finally deactivated from lack of necessity.
I was stunned by the amount of dead baby crabs all along the shoreline and all over the beach. Some were as tiny as 1/2″ across! We saw a lot of young dead horseshoe crabs, spider crabs, calico crabs and even blue crabs. Among all these dead crabs were broken shells and bits of seaweed, along with an occasional lost fishing line and pieces of plastic; plastic Walmart bags, garbage bags and packaging from fishing rigs and hooks, rubbery fishing lures and also plastic gallon jugs. I dare say that beaches everywhere are polluted this way, and it’s frustrating to know that people are the culprit. If people would just throw their trash away properly in the garbage cans that are provided, the beaches (and the whole world, for that matter) would be so much safer.
I spy… with my little eye… an Atlantic Ghost Crab (can you find him?), and this one was about an inch across total, and FAST! They skittered quickly away when we walked near, and some went right down their ghost crab holes. And of course, I was completely fascinated by them. (Click on any of the thumbnails to enlarge them.)
During World War II, Cape Henlopen was home to a military base called Fort Miles. In 1941, the U.S. Army built these concrete observation towers along the coast to spot any enemy ships or submarines. If you’re interested in learning more of this interesting bit of history, you can read it here:DNREC.
The Cape Henlopen fishing pier stretches out into the Delaware Bay for a quarter mile, and many people fish and crab off the pier all year long.
While we were walking, we saw the past meet present day when the Cape May-Lewes Ferry passed the Kalmar-Nyckel beyond the rock jetty of the Breakwater East End Lighthouse.
The Kalmar-Nyckel is “Delaware’s Tall Ship”, and has quite a history behind it. The original ship came from Sweden in 1683, and brought settlers that established what is now Wilmington, Delaware. The current ship is owned by the Kalmar-Nyckel Foundation, and they offer tours and sailing trips for educational purposes. Very fascinating history, and you can read all about it here:Kalmar-Nyckel: The Tall Ship of Delaware.