Avid ice men Rick Pier, left, and Peter Wright prep Wright’s ice boat Tuesday afternoon for a little frolicking on the frozen Navesink River in Red Bank. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Days like these don’t come around often, when you can get up close and personal with the Navesink River. On foot.
About a dozen bundled men, and a dog, took advantage of the recent cold weather’s effect on the Navesink and took a stroll out on the river Tuesday afternoon off the pier at Monmouth Boat Club and the North Shrewsbury Ice Boat & Yacht Club.
“This is great. I’ve been looking forward to this,” said Peter Wright, who was spraying WD-40 on his 1930s-design ice boat in preps for an afternoon race with some fellow revelers. There’s a makeshift course just beyond the dock, he said.
A view from the deck at Monmouth Boat Club overlooking the frozen Navesink. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)
“Whoever happens to pull up, it’s ‘ready, set, go,'” Howell resident Rick Pier said.
Pier said the ice didn’t get thick enough until Sunday, and that’s when folks started hitting the river for either a race or a stroll, which he said is a luxury.
“Some years there’s no ice and nothing happens,” he said.
If you like your rivers hard, put this number, for the ice boating club’s ice line, on speed dial: 732.747.5665.
Meanwhile, the current crust isn’t expected to last long. The National Weather Service forecasts sun and highs ranging between 35 and 45 degrees the next couple days, with nighttime temps that may not be low enough to rebuild the melt.
Here’s what the NWS HAS to say for the next week:
Wednesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 35. Northwest wind between 10 and 13 mph.
Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 26. West wind between 6 and 9 mph.
Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 41. Northwest wind 5 to 7 mph becoming southwest.
Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 27. West wind between 5 and 9 mph.
Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 47.
Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 32.
Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 45.
Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 31.
Sunday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 43.
Sunday Night: A chance of rain and snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 30. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Martin Luther King Day: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 39.
Monday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 28.
Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 37.