Keeping out the Ocean Ocean City continues its unending battle with the Atlantic

May 26, 1991|By Linda Geeson

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blus.

If good vacations are anything like good weddings, Ocean City and its vacation visitors will be a blissful match in 1991. Maryland's grand summer resort town is sporting all its charms this Memorial Day weekend, as yet another beach season laps at our feet.

For something old, Ocean City's dowry offers the ageless Atlantic Ocean.But there is something new in Maryland's effort to hold the sea at arm's lenght: a 3-foot-high, concrete-sheathed steel bulkhead. The new sea wall stretches from Fouth Street to 27th Street, rimming the beach side of the boardwalk.

"It creates a place for people to sit," says Nancy Howard, hTC Department of Natural Resources project administrator for Ocean City's beach replenishment program. "During the White Marlin Festival parade, people were sitting and standing all along the wall to see the parade. I think it's a definite plus.

The DNR also has completed the pumping of san to create protective dunes from 27th Street to 102nd Street. The dunes have been surrounded by snow fences and planted with dunes provided access to the recreational beaches.

The beach replenishment project, which was begun in 1988, should be completed by midsummer, after the last batch of sand pumping makes dunes from 102nd Street north into Delaware.

Ms. Howard says the DNR expects the final phase of the project to begin in early June and last from six to eight weeks.

The section of boardwalk from 10th street to 27th street has been widened to 32 feet. As part of the renovation, a new `D comfort station has been added at the trams turn around.

Something else that's old with a twist is Ocean City's noise law. Adopted two years ago, the ordinance has been revised slightly in response to a Circuit Court judge's ruling that it was unconstitutional as originally written.

According to the new law, during daylight hours, police must have a complaint before they can charge someone with making a racket, and they must issue a warning instead of making an arrest on their first visit.

From midnight to 7 a.m., however, the police can still collar an offender without issuing a warning, and can act on their own observation that the noise is bothering those beyond 50 feet.

Another golden oldie making time this year in O.C. is the circus. The Royal Hanneford Circus will pitch its tent at the Jolly Roger Amusement Park until Labor Day, featuring elephants, clowns, acrobats, leopards and all the things that make the circus a favorite pastime. The park is at 30th Street and Coastal Highway. For information, call 289-3477.

Ocean City pledges to welcome you for richer or for poorer, but it certainly doesn't hurt to be richer. Several of the resort's most appealing new attractions are upscale and a bit pricey. But if you're looking for luxury accommodations, check out the new Princess Royale Hotel at 91st Street and the ocean (524-7777).

The gleaming hotel has a private beach, a huge glass-walled pool atrium and a restaurant. It's also home to a new Slapstix Comedy Club that promises to bring nationally known comedians to the beach all summer. For a schedule and reservations, call Slapstix at 723-LAFF.

Other new digs have gone up at 10th Street and the boardwalk, where the Mirage Hotel has appeared right before our eyes, and on the boardwalk at 33rd Street, where a new Quality Inn has been raised.

If you have deep pockets and think you'd like to fill them with fish, spend a day aboard another bit of newborn beach royalty: the O.C. Princess.

Weather permitting, this shiny fishing and cruise boat ships out daily (except Mondays) from the Shantytown Pier in West Ocean City. From morning to early afternoon, the Princess offers offshore fishing with an experienced and instructive crew. Tickets are $30 per person. For information, call 289-0926.

And don't fret if you're thinking thrifty this summer. The sand and water are free, there are almost always lower-cost lodgings available, and Ocean City has enacted a new policy with you in mind.

Ride the bus (or The Bus, as the city ads call it) all day, as many times as you want and wherever you want, for just $1. (On the other hand, the fare for the boardwalk tram has increased to $1.25 per trip. But who's counting?)

OK, you've got your old, you've got your new. What's borrowed?

Veteran charter boat captain Terry O'Rourke has appropriated an idea that has been a splash in Baltimore, Annapolis and other bay-blessed cities: the water taxi. His new Irish Rover ferries passengers between more than a dozen bayside bars and restaurants.

The service costs from $1 to $3, depending on how far you're traveling, and all-day passes go for $7. For more information, call 289-3783.

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