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AJ Meerwald: The NJ State Boat…Who Knew?

In reference to the title of this post, who the heck knew that the great state of New Jersey had its own state boat?? You see, as corny as it sounds, you do learn something new every day. Cliches are cliches for a reason folks…

I had the opportunity recently to take a 3 hour cruise on the AJ Meerwald which is, in technical terms, a Delaware Bay oyster schooner. In layman’s terms, it’s a fishing boat. She was a very majestic, classic boat…one similar to the ones you probably saw in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Before the sails went up

Before the sails went up

We (my girlfriend and I) went on a nice 3 hour evening cruise up the Delaware River, leaving out of the  Trenton Waterfront. The evening was full of enriching educational talks, live music on the boat, and all the wine, cheese, grapes and crackers one could ever hope for (if that’s something that people hope for anyway). The waters were calm, the breeze was gentle, the temperature was balmy and comfortable. Can’t ask for much more than that.

Sails flying high

Sails flying high

On to the boring history stuff…I know, I know…bare with me. As stated before, The A.J. Meerwald is the state ship of New Jersey. She is a restored oyster dredging schooner, whose home port is in Bivalve, Commercial Township, New Jersey. Launched in 1928, A.J. Meerwald was one of hundreds of schooners built along South Jersey’s Delaware Bayshore before the decline of the shipbuilding industry which coincided with the Great Depression. Today, A.J. Meerwald is used by the Bayshore Discovery Project for onboard educational programs in the Delaware Bay near Bivalve, and at other ports in the New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware region. (Thank you Wikipedia for this beautifully succinct and detailed history)

Heavy duty rigging

Heavy duty rigging

Okay, done. No more history. Now, on to a little free plug (and I mean free…I get nothing for doing this) for the Bay Shore Discovery Project which runs the AJ Meerwald cruises. They have cruises going on throughout the fall season leaving from all different ports throughout New Jersey. Tickets are decently priced anywhere from $15-$30 for different types of cruises. Support these people! Without stuff like this, life is boring! Go check them out and support New Jersey culture…see their website below.

http://www.ajmeerwald.org/index.htm

Incredible sunset to cap off the night

Incredible sunset to cap off the night

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