ROXBURY, NJ - The organizers of today’s “Salute to Veterans” cruises on Lake Hopatcong - wherein the Miss Lotta is taking war veterans around the lake for free - are hoping lots of people come to the shoreline to wave and cheer as the boat passes.
One problem for Roxbury people: Neither of the two excursions (one at 9 a.m. and another at 11 a.m.) comes particularly close to a public place along the Roxbury shoreline that's been designated as a viewing spot.
“It isn’t that easy to locate a spot that the Miss Lotta can access (in Roxbury), said Lee Moreau, who captains the Miss Lotta, in an email.
He said weeds and water depth preclude the boat from coming close to one possible viewing spot: The Shore Hills Country Club. And although Hopatcong State Park’s beach is in Roxbury, it could not be designated as an official viewing (and waving) spot because it’s “already full of paying customers before Miss Lotta would glide by,” Moreau said. (The park, and all other state parks, was closed anyway on July 1 due to a state government shutdown.)
The issue was raised at a recent meeting of the Roxbury Mayor and Council by Roxbury resident Christine Houtz, who is on the Salute to Veterans event support and planning group. “I want to get a spot on the Roxbury side to welcome these veterans on the ship,” Houtz told the council.
Roxbury Mayor Mark Crowley agreed. “Our goal is to be able to bring in the Miss Lotta,” he said. “Hopefully by next year you will be able to say they are coming all the way down into Landing Channel.”
Moreau said the people involved in the cruises “will review the event after this weekend and discuss options to further enhance this worthwhile endeavor to say thanks to local veterans by as many as possible from the shorelines of the four lake border towns.”
The Miss Lotta is owned by Lake Hopatcong Cruises. Each of the lake border towns - Hopatcong Borough, Jefferson Roxbury and Mount Arlington) nominate up to 24 veterans for the cruises, which are not open to the public.
The Miss Lotta departs and returns to Nolan’s Point in Jefferson.
“We look forward to crowded shorelines with lots of red, white and blue and people waving, cheering and saluting our veterans,” said a statement by the organizers. “We were thrilled with the support from the shorelines in 2016.”
This is the planned itinerary for both cruises:
- Depart Nolan's Point
- Jefferson Fire Boat DEFENDER Water Salute (departure)
- Windlass Pass
- Capp Beach Pass
- Halsey Island Moon Tower Flag Salute (stop)
- Raccoon Island Pass (Southern Tip)
- Cow Tongue Point Pass
- Byram Bay Pass Lady Liberty (BBCC Kayaks)
- Sperry Springs Shoreline/ Wildwood Shores Pass
- Elba Point Beach Pass
- River Styx Bridge + DEFENDER pedestrians on bridge 11 am cruise pass
- Live Tribute Music from the Malanga Boathouse (stop)
- Point Pleasant (Commodore Ken Salute)
- Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club pass (cannon salute)
- Bertrand Island pass
- Mount Arlington Beach docks
- Miss Lotta Crabtree Cottage pass
- Jefferson House pass
- Conclude Nolan's Point