During my ownership over the past thirteen months, DH has been driven 21,000 miles, has visited ten states, has been as far north as Boston, and as far west as Wisconsin. This weekend I took the Accord on a whole new adventure that involved visiting a new state by traveling 34 miles without putting a wheel to the road. We went out to sea.
Friday, after work, I headed down to my family’s shore house for the weekend, once again returning to Cape May. Traffic was awful as I left work, and I fought a terrible rush hour jam for the first 12 miles, which took over an hour! Once I passed the bottleneck and made my way to Route 55, the roads cleared and the rest of the 80-mile drive was calm. I managed to arrive in time for sunset, racing to the beach at the end of our block to take some photos of a gorgeous view.
Saturday morning I awoke early, grabbed my camera and my tickets, and headed to the Cape May – Lewes Ferry. Beginning operation on July 1, 1964, the ferry system runs between Cape May, New Jersey and Lewes, Delaware. The idea of a ferry across the Delaware Bay has a long history filled with numerous false starts and failures. For instance, one plan in the 1920’s involved the use of concrete ships to create a ferry terminal. The concrete ship plan failed when one broke loose and became grounded near Sunset Beach, the history of which I detailed in this post. There were several other failed attempts in the 1940s and 1950s until the current system became operational in 1964.
The Cape May – Lewes Ferry has a fleet of three vessels: the MV Delaware, the MV Cape Henlopen, and the MV New Jersey. Each vessel is 320 feet long, 68 feet wide, four decks high, and is powered by twin 4,000 horsepower diesel engines. The route is 17 miles long and takes approximately 90 minutes of sailing time. Since it began operating, the ferry system has transported more than 11 million vehicles and over 34 million passengers. On Saturday, DH and I added our names to the roster of vehicles and people who have crossed aboard the ships.
Arriving in Delaware shortly before noon, I drove off the ferry and immediately pondered what to do. For as strong of a planner as I am, I was momentarily stumped. When the weekend began, I knew I wanted to take DH on the ferry. I knew I needed a round trip, and so had randomly picked a return time – 2:45 pm – that seemed to fit my schedule. I hadn’t given any thought as to what to do in between. Oops. Fortunately, when I had bought my ferry ticket, the kindly lady at the ticket booth had also given me a guide to sights and attractions in Delaware. I thumbed through it and saw that Rehoboth Beach was only 8 miles away.
I took Route 9 and then switched to Route 1, and found traffic to be surprisingly light for a warm weekend in late spring. From the point that it intersects with Route 9 until the beginning of Rehoboth Beach, Route 1 is basically one long mall. The prime attraction is Tangier Outlets of Rehoboth Beach, which has 128 stores and 5 restaurants and seemed to stretch for miles beside the highway. Shopaholics take note!
I headed to Dewey Beach, slightly south of the main town of Rehoboth. After paying for parking at one of the beach access lots, I got out of DH to stretch my legs. I wandered down to the ocean for a bit, picking my way through the crowds of beachgoers. Perhaps I am a bit spoiled by the quieter beach scene in Cape May, but there were honestly too many people for me. I stayed for a little while and then decided to get back into my car and go to town to get some lunch.
I had found a restaurant on Yelp that seemed promising- a brewery that also had good ratings for its food. Except… I got lost. Maybe it was the sun, or fatigue, or my own hunger, but I made a series of wrong turns and ended up nowhere near my designation. Muttering angrily to myself, I pulled into a random restaurant’s parking lot to check my map, when the restaurant’s sign caught my eye: Stingray Sushi Bar and Asian-Latina Grill. Asian-Latina? My curiosity was piqued. I checked Yelp and saw really good reviews, so I decided to give it a try, and had a wonderful meal. Full and happy, I made my way back to the ferry terminal for the 2:45 pm departure.
The adventure over, I headed back home. Arriving in the driveway of our shore house, I checked my odometer- I had only driven 36 miles during the day, yet it felt like I had gone so much farther than that. The day was fun, exciting, and relaxing. The Cape May – Lewes ferry was a great adventure, and I can now say that my car has been to sea. 21,000 miles, 11 states, and 1 ocean (well, it’s actually a bay, but who’s counting?).
‘Til next time.
Postscript: A link to the song that gave its title to this article.