What is it about the Manasquan Inlet?
The movement of the water?
The boat traffic? Aren’t we jealous of those beautiful, privately-owned yachts?
The party boats? The Norma K III is a popular one, as is the Gambler.
The fishing trawlers? A thankless job in cold or stormy weather.
The calm water? Ahhhh.
The rough water from an offshore storm (which I love to see)?
Personally, I find it relaxing, just watching the soothing flow of the tide.
My longtime friend, Carmen Scharibone, and I usually dine out on Thursdays (guys' night out, you know) and we often (weather permitting) end up at the Inlet, enjoying a quality cigar while chatting about nothing specific, certainly never politics. Or we try to avoid some issues, like the economy.
Most times, it’s a one-cigar visit to the Inlet, unless the weather is so good. Then it might be two cigars. Needless to say, we always come prepared.
Carmen always stops for a coffee between the restaurant (most times Due Amici in Brielle) and a favorite bench, close to the jetty on the Point Pleasant Beach side.
Of course, we’re never alone. There’s always a crowd along the Inlet side of the municipal parking lot, where you have to pay to park, which annoys me to no end.
That’s what I hate most about living at the Jersey Shore. You have to pay to park. You have to pay to get on the beach. I can never understand how anyone can own the beach. But that’s a debate for another time.
I’m happy sitting on one of the benches, enjoying my cigar and chit-chatting with Mr. Scharibone, a friend of about 40 years or so, from back home in Hamilton Township, just east of Trenton.
He now resides in Point Pleasant, and still owns one of my all-time favorite bars – Jo Jo’s Tavern in Mercerville, in a town where I was the president of the Mercerville Fire Company eight times and where I am still a member, now in my 42nd year.
I’ve often wondered what lures so many people to the Inlet, even Carmen and myself.
Are they looking for a place to relax, too?
To unwind from a world gone mad?
One day I’m going to ask some of those people.
Or you could tell me here.
If you are an Inlet visitor, whether during the day or night, tell me why.
I’m curious to know.
Please, share your thoughts with me.
You can reach Don Wino at firstname.lastname@example.org