Gales of January

We made it through January. No real polar vortex crashed on our shores. The last day of the month is a reminder of what could have been.

John Cooke Selfie Poverty Beach

This morning it’s a frigid eighteen degrees and the wind is gusting to 35 miles per hour. Conjuring up Gale warnings and wind chill advisories. To say it is unpleasant¬†along the coast¬†would be an understatement. The Golden Retriever doesn’t care. So out we go. No beach walk today.

Girded with insulated long johns and a nylon outer layer to block the wind I’m fairly comfortable. The wind is still brutal and stings the face. The trick, aside from the nylon jacket and pants, is to walk between the buildings that block the wind. Down the mall ( who cares about the signs in January) toward the Victorian Towers. The cross streets of Jackson and Decatur are like wind tunnels. We press on.

Sunrise Congress Hall parking lot

The only sunrise pictures today will come from the warmth of my car sitting in the Congress Hall parking lot. After our walk, Joy and I take a quick spin through town. We will skip the beach for sure. We (I) would only get sand blasted, colder and just plain frozen. It ain’t happening.

My first winter in Cape May almost eleven years ago locals warned me about the wind. Now I find myself offering the same advice. These January gales seem to be normal anymore. No snow, but oh the wind. Funny how it doesn’t really seem to faze you anymore. On days were you do brave the beach you know where the dunes are to block the wind.

Northwest gale stay of Higbee, Noreaster stay off Poverty beach and so on.

In today’s weather the sand is blowing off the beach into the street at the Cove. Not nearly as bad as it did during Irene and Sandy, but the city will be out next week and push it back. There is still plenty of winter left. Plenty of Gale’s to visit us. This last January Gale will blow itself out.

Cape May Cove Beach Avenue

To quote my desk clerk arriving at work: “It wouldn’t be bad if it wasn’t windy out.”



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  1. Ann keen
    January 31, 2015 / 11:04 am

    Thanks for helping me to get to Cape May in my mind. This morning I am warm and cozy inside my house in Delaware, but missing the ocean.

  2. Jeff
    February 4, 2015 / 3:36 am

    Hi John … great words as usual. Have you thought about a book … perhaps fiction or non fiction regarding Cape May?