The Cape May-Lewes ferry makes four round trips each day between the two ocean-front towns.
My childhood was dotted with occasional rides on these steam ships with my sister, parents, and grandparents. I remember waiting on cushioned chairs in the Lewes, Delaware terminal, staring out the tall windows, watching the ships dock and travelers disembark. And all the time wasted in the small gift shop, looking at keychains and miniature lighthouses.
Once, a few years ago, after attending the wedding of two very good friends near Cape May, I found myself in the New Jersey terminal. It’s something of a south-facing, funhouse mirror image of the building in Lewes. A generous friend shuttled me from my motel. I purchased a one-way foot passenger ticket, and sat, waiting for my boat, in the cushioned chairs, staring out the tall windows.
An hour or so later, we departed. The ship pointed square into the beautiful, clear, September afternoon. I stood on the deck for ninety minutes as we glided through the water under pristine, cotton clouds, floating in the rich, blue sky on the way home, toward Delaware.