The Jersey Shore famously bustles with Ferris wheels, roller coasters, boardwalk shops, and restaurants, but the action doesn't stop at the waterline. Propelled by twin diesel engines, the 75-foot Queen Mary trolls the waters in search of both entertainment and mammoth striped sea bass, Atlantic bonito, bluefish, and long-buried swim trunks. The crew specializes in teaching newbies—including kids—how to handle a fishing pole, and enclosed lounges and separate women's and men's restrooms keep less sea-weathered sailors comfortable.
In the early 1900s, entrepreneurs were rapidly taking over the Atlantic shore in a race to please throngs of seafaring tourists. Despite this, Charles Jenkinson managed to acquire most of a quiet boardwalk on Point Pleasant Beach. But it didn't stay quiet for long?that sleepy beach soon boomed to life with a soda fountain, candy shop, dance hall, and mini-golf course. Even the Great Depression couldn't dampen Jenkinson's rapid expansion. By 1934, his empire had grown to include a bathhouse, a pavilion, and the entire beach. Jenkinson's Boardwalk continues to grow in both size and popularity with each passing year, drawing in tourists with its thrilling rides, sandy beaches, and sweet treats.
The John Jack is a US Coast Guard–certified, 50-foot titan of the sea, operated by a friendly crew and knowledgeable captain. Two Caterpillar engines––each producing 800 horsepower––propel the red and white ship through the waves, staving off currents as passengers embark on chartered fishing and diving trips around the Point Pleasant Beach area. It can reach speeds of up to 25 knots and travel up to 350 miles between fuel stops, so it’s not uncommon to see the vessel docked in ports at Montauk, Cape May, Virginia, or Cape Hatteras. The interior is air conditioned, and houses a refrigerator, microwave, icemaker, and power outlets. Outside, quartz halogen lights illuminate the deck, creating a night atmosphere that still provides enough light for fishing, diving, or reading Magic 8-Ball responses.
Aikido is the "loving protection of all beings," in the words of Morihei Ueshiba, who created the martial-arts style. Although it sometimes incorporates wooden weapons, at its heart, aikido seeks to act as a replacement for violence. Greg O'Connor, founder and chief instructor at Aikido Centers of New Jersey, brings Ueshiba's tenets to his students, who have included children and seniors, as well as members of the New Jersey State Police, the Department of Homeland Security, and the US Secret Service. O'Connor and more than 40 other instructors teach students self-defense tactics that redirect attacks, as well as more advanced methods that include wooden sword and staff training and aikido's dramatic falls and rolls.
Since 1962, Ocean Ice Palace has given youngsters the opportunity to lace up their skates and participate in the healthy, active outlets of ice skating and hockey. The center is the vision of Dr. Leon J. Dwulet, who oversaw the building of the facility and whose daughter runs the show today. In keeping with its founding mission, the rink takes hockey seriously. Not only do instructors coach beginners through skating and hockey clinics, but the rink hosts several traveling teams and even furnishes hockey campers with dormitories in which to sleep. The rink also invites more casual skaters to visit for public skating sessions on weekends and holidays.
With Captain Jim O'Grady at the helm, the 78-foot Cock Robin carries groups of bait-brandishing passengers along on the Atlantic. Equipped with two turbocharged engines and mermaid-detecting sonar, the boat?which docks behind Spike's Seafood Restaurant?springs off the New Jersey coast in search of striped bass and bluefish every day. While striped bass fishing is the Cock Robin's specialty, bluefish hauls are the most common, and the summer and early autumn months usually bring an abundance of fluke and sea bass toward Jersey waters.