October turns the marsh grasses to gold in the back bay.
The back bay is that slice of water wedged between the mainland and the barrier islands. An unpretentious place with no zip codes. A workaday kind of place.
In the summer, good luck navigating the channel with its surge of pleasure boats and tour boats and jet skis.
But, come October, when everyone’s gone, the back bay reclaims some of its peacefulness. On a weekday afternoon, you’ll see a fishing boat here or there, trying to snag a striper.
The mood is mellow. The air is still warm. And when the fish are biting it doesn’t get much better.
You can sense the slow pace along the whole stretch of water. The bridge between Cape May and Wildwood Crest stands in solitary silence. No lines of cars waiting to pay the toll.
A local waterfront cafe is empty. Instead of laughter and plates clanging, the only sounds you hear are the waves lapping against the dock.
On this afternoon, the air is filled with a strong salt tang blowing in from the ocean. It’s a cleansing smell.
A single sailboat circles round and round, soaking up the sea breezes and the late afternoon sun.
That sun turns the nearby marshes into a living work of art.
You can see a Northern Harrier soaring overhead. in the late afternoon light.
For the moment, the world is at peace in this quiet, overlooked place.