Yes Virginia, We Carry 18 Wheelers

In any one day , 90%+ of all vehicles getting on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry have the standard four wheels and range from Mini-Coopers to mini-vans.  But, almost weekly, a much larger vehicle can be seen boarding. It’s the Lorric Auto Transport tractor trailer out of Newtonville, NJ.  The vehicle is an 18-wheeler in its own right, but most often is spotted  carrying an additional 6-8 cars behind.

Richard Schmidt is the veteran driver who’s been doing this type of work for almost 30 years.  Almost weekly he carries vehicles traded in at Burke Auto in South Jersey to car auctions in Virginia.  It takes a unique driving skill, and Schmidt has encountered almost any situation, including a few no one wants repeated.

Whereas most Ferry travelers check the schedule for the most convenient sailing, Schmidt checks the tides. He’ll take whichever departure is leaving at lowest tide in Cape May when he has a full load. The low tide helps him have a less steep ramp climb getting on to the boat. This day in February, he was traveling at mid-tide — and didn’t have any worries. It’s only true high tide he likes to avoid.

Most crossings are happily event free.  However, January 2018 provided a new challenge for both Schmidt and the Ferry crew.  After the boat was fully loaded, the Captain uncovered a minor switch problem in the wheel house, but it was enough for him to call a time out for that sailing.  The second boat was pulled out of dock to the first pier and all cars were asked to off load by backing up back on to the staging lanes.

The crew were worried about Schmidt’s long vehicle, but he didn’t blink an eye. “I can go backwards as easily as forward,” he noted having done it for so many years. And, he did!

Loric Transport is one of many commercial carriers who regularly take the Ferry to shorten their road trips and give drivers a rest on long hauls.  In any one week furniture retailers,  moving companies, fisheries, and clam and oyster shell services take the Ferry between locations on both sides of the bay. Frequent traveller commercial accounts generally sail with  contracted rates tied to business invoicing services handled through special arrangements negotiated with our Customer Service team.  If you have a commercial vehicle and want to learn more, call our Customer Service Manager Terry Anstead at 800-643-3779.

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Man On A Mission Takes The Ferry

man on a mission 1It was a raining day in May when a very different looking truck pulled through the tolls at the Cape May ferry terminal.  The cab was 1947 restored antique truck, but the back was something different. Inside, Mark McBride, admitted he wasn’t from John Edwards & Sons as the cab label indicated, but rather a dedicated mechanic from Lexington, IL who restores and custom rebuilds old trucks for people around the country.

This truck, however, was special. It was his, and was in its third year of service raising funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Once a year, McBride sets out across the country and challenges supporters to donate a penny for every mile he covers. His first year, he covered 3,500 miles. In 2016, he put on 6,650 miles in fourteen days travelling from California to Vegas. This year, he’s doing the Northeast corridor from Bangor, Maine to Key West, FL with the goal of close to 8,700 miles, or a desired donation of $87 for the entire journey.  Next year, he has his sights set on Alaska, and he’s sure his truck can do it.

His truck states he’s a man on a mission, but he’s part of a larger Convoy for Kid’s truckMan on a mission 2 show held on Father’s Day in Mason City, Illinois to raise funds for the same St. Jude’s cause.  McBride’s cross country trek is his way of raising funds plus awareness on a broader playing field.  He tries to stay on older roads that match the age of his truck, but loves ferries so took the relatively modern Cape May-Lewes Ferry, circa 1964, to give both himself and the truck a bit of a break on the raining afternoon he cruised through Jersey.

The truck does additional service throughout the year hauling various payloads McBride books, but during his annual treks for St. Jude’s, his own custom built wooden camper goes on the back to house a small bed, kitchenette, and water stores inside. The entire camper dome comes off when the truck is in regular working mode.

To learn more about McBride’s mission, visit his Facebook site,  or write to Wrenchit2001@yahoo.com. Meanwhile look for him on the by-ways of I95 en route to Florida!

Cape May Greenways

Cape May Greenways

The Cape May area has miles of scenic trails and byways that run through forests, farmland, state and county parks, wildlife-management areas, historic towns, and the dunes of preserved beaches.

Birds and other wildlife abound. In fact, the Cape May peninsula is one of the top birding spots in North America. Cape May Point State Park, for example, is a major migratory route, especially in the spring, when many sea and shore birds come through. At the end of the summer, dragonflies and monarch butterflies can be seen as they make their way to cross the Delaware Bay.

Three blazed trails will lead you through a variety of habitats in the Cape May Point State Park. On the wheelchair-accessible Red Trail, viewing platforms overlook ponds where wading birds, ducks, swans and, sometimes, osprey come to feed and breed. The Yellow Trail is 1.5 miles long with views of wetland marsh and coastal dunes. The Blue Trail is the longest of said trails.

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In Cape May Point State Park, you’ll also find a 157-foot lighthouse, built in 1859, with 199 steps you can climb to take in a view of the cape. As a reminder of its days as a military base, the park also has a bunker. It now stands as a monument to the strategic defensive role the area played during World War II. At low tide, you can still see the gun turrets.

At the more-than-200-acre Cape May County Park, you’ll discover a zoo that’s home to more than 500 animals representing 250 species, and the admission is free! At Cape May National Wildlife Refuge, free family nature walks are available on Saturdays throughout the summer.6-2-15 Osprey shutterstock_262753520

Birding is always excellent at Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area, especially from spring through early fall. In spring, when they are heading north, birds will rest and feed there after crossing the Delaware Bay. In summer, a number of species come to breed. Because of this, pets are not permitted on the beach from April until September. This is also a good place to see dragonflies and butterflies, including monarchs. Higbee has more than two miles of nature trails with viewing platforms.

For fishing enthusiasts, Cape May Point State Park waters are home to weakfish, bluefish, flounder, tautog, and striped bass.

For more information and an interactive map of Cape May County greenways, visit www.gardenstategreenways.org.

 

 

A Ferry Happy Valentine’s Day

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What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than on the Delaware Bay? Plan your weekend getaway with us and travel to an amazing bed & breakfast or spa on either side of the bay. Escape your busy work schedule and take time to relax and enjoy some alone time with the one you love.

Delaware Destinations:

The Inn at Canal Square

New Jersey Destinations:

Built in 1882, this elegant bed & breakfast in Cape May offers individually decorated rooms with ocean views. Located within walking distance of Cape May downtown attractions, this B&B is your destination for tranquility. Wake up to their famous french toast in the morning before embarking on your daily activities. The Mooring’s rooms are updated yearly to keep up with the changing styles. So come explore the only Cape May B&B originally designed as a guest house. Want to learn more? Give them a call at (609) 884-5425, or visit their website.

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Cape May Day Spa

For more Delaware and New Jersey fun check out our day trip ideas including wineries, breweries, shopping and historic treasures. So leave the planning to us and climb aboard!

Snowy Travels Across the Delaware Bay

snow1The winter has finally arrived. The nights are longer, the days are colder, and there are a few flurries in the sky. Even with all of that, the Cape May-Lewes Ferry is still making daily crossings on the Delaware Bay.

When Jack Frost decides to come into town and freeze over the bay, our vessels are on the job. The ferry acts as an ice breaker during those cold winter months so passengers are still able to cross during the off season.

What better way to travel in the freezing weather than on one of our warm vessels with a hot chocolate in your hand? I don’t think it could get much better than that. No matter the season, enjoy a ride on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry!snow2

 

Get to know the Gateways of Lewes

Gateways of Lewes

The “Gateways of Lewes” are six roads forming a continuous network of greenway leading into the town and out to the ocean. The Gateways also provide an active and enjoyable way to explore the more than three centuries of Lewes history. You’ll definitely want to make a day of traveling these trails by boat, car or bike, leaving plenty of time to take in the natural beauty and interesting stopping points.

The “Gateways from the Land”—Kings Highway, Savannah Road and New Road—run generally east to west, perpendicular to the coast, passing through numerous historically significant areas, including downtown Lewes. The “Gateways from the Sea”—Pilottown Road, Gills Neck Road and Cape Henlopen Drive—run approximately north to south, parallel to the coast. This route follows the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal and the beach.

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Canoeing at Trap Pond State Park near Lewes.

Among the interesting places you’ll find along the Gateways from the Land are the Lewes Presbyterian Church (est. 1692) and churchyard, the Zwaanendael Museum (built in 1932 to resemble the ancient City Hall in Hoorn, Holland) on Kings Highway, and Bethel Cemetery and the War of 1812 Memorial Park just north of the Canal Bridge on Savannah Road. Along the Gateways from the Sea are the Cannonball House (with a War of 1812 cannonball embedded in its foundation), historic Victorian homes of Delaware River and Delaware Bay pilots, the Lightship Overfalls (a floating lighthouse built in 1938), and Canalfront Park.

At the end of the Gateways from the Sea greenway is the 5,193-acre Cape Henlopen State Park. There, you can hike a three-mile paved loop trail, six miles of beach along the Atlantic Ocean, or the 1.6-mile crushed-gravel Walking Dunes Trail, which ends at the 80-foot-high Great Dune. They’re called “walking dunes” because they actually move slowly across the park.

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(Image source: Delaware State Parks)

In the park, you’ll discover a World War II observation tower that was part of Fort Miles and used to spot enemy battleships. It’s a shorter climb up one of the former military bunkers in the park, but the view is still impressive. Be sure to visit the Seaside Nature Center to check out the live Osprey Cam.

Visit www.delawaregreenways.org for more information.

Last Minute Gift Shop Items

Forgot a few key items on your trip? No need to worry because the Cape May- Lewes Ferry gift shop has all the key items that you need!

Whether you’re at the ferry terminal in Cape May or Lewes, or even if you’re on board the vessel, the ferry gift shops have the necessities for your trip, and some awesome ferry swag as well!

In a hurry and forgot your sunglasses? Pick up a pair to help protect your eyes from the sun while you watch out for wildlife on the Delaware Bay!

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And don’t forget to pick up a Cape May- Lewes Ferry hat!

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For the kids, we have captain and pirate hats, and maybe you’ll bump into a few captains or pirates along the way!

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Don’t forget to pick up one of our travel mugs in a variety of colors to hold your favorite cold beverage while relaxing on board the ferry!

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On those chilly days while crossing the Delaware Bay, get one of our super comfy sweatshirts to keep you warm from those bay breezes. One of these shark buddies with matching hoodies makes a perfect companion during your travels!

Last but not least, a ferry travel tote would make a handy accessory to have so you can carry all of your items together in one place!

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No matter where you are heading, the Cape May-Lewes Ferry has got you covered for last minute items! We hope you enjoy traveling across the Delaware Bay as part of the ferry family. Stop by our gift shop while on board or at our terminals to check out all the awesome gear we have!