Cruisin' The Loop Aboard Kibon
Home Page            Log Index         Pearce's Paintings       

Saturday, May 29, 2005…Kibon was unwrapped and launched just before the Memorial Day weekend. To celebrate the occasion, we were joined by friends Marilyn and Steve and Margaret to watch the Air Show over Jones Beach. We anchored in Zach’s Bay to enjoy the show while we munched on Pearce’s Caesar Salad with grilled chicken. There were several stunt pilots whose maneuvers made us gasp. Because of our spot on the bay side of Jones Beach, which is behind dunes, it appeared that the planes were disappearing into the ocean at the bottom of their dives. Then they would magically reappear and swoop up into the sky again. There were displays by fleets of jets and older prop planes, which all kept our heads spinning back and forth and up and down. The Air Force Flying Thunderbirds concluded the five-hour show. Their close formation flying was spectacular, but we gasped when they separated and then flew back toward each other. We thought this day was a fitting start to our 2005 season.
Saturday, July 2, 2005…We left our dock in Copiague for a two-week adventure "out East." After a cold spring and a lot of rain, we’ve had some sunny and humid days. Today was delightful, and Great South Bay was alive with boats. We passed the Fourth of July Regatta at Babylon and waved at Narrasketuck Commodore Rudy Sittler who was racing his Narrasketuck. The other ‘Tucks were too far away to wave at, so we tooted our horn.
We dodged the many ferryboats headed toward Fire Island and continued East. About three hours later we tied up to the dock at Bellport. Just as we adjusted the last line, the Dock master informed us that docking was only allowed around the corner where they had four transient slips. We could tie up there for the day for $35. We would have to drop the dinghy because there were no finger piers, and we would have to get ashore from the transom/swim platform. Since we intended to spend the night at anchor, we decided to go to anchor a bit earlier. We dinghied ashore to let the dock master know our intentions and discovered that there was another $35 fee to stay overnight if we had wanted the slip.
After a walk around the waterfront, we headed back to the boat to watch the activity on and around the water. We were anchored offshore from several large homes, and we could watch their residents wade in the water or canoe out to their sailboats and sail around the bay. Toward the end of the day we watched many boats return from Bellport’s beach on Fire Island. The Marina has 150 boat slips, 20 moorings, and an anchorage. A ferry also takes the residents over to their "Ho-Hum Beach".
Bellport is one of Long Island’s old towns with many houses dating back to the 1800s. The village is about ½ mile from the dock up Bellport Lane. There is a grocery store and many specialty and antique shops. During the summer there are band concerts and films at the Bandshell adjacent to the dock. A summer stock theatre, the Gateway Playhouse is a short taxicab ride away and presents shows from May to September.
Sunday, July 3, 2005…We left at 8:30 am for a stop at the Mastic Beach Yacht Club to pick up daughter Caryl. The bridge at the south end of William Floyd Parkway that goes over to the barrier beach is the first in a series that don’t answer on any channel. All you do is blow your horn, and the tender stops car traffic and raises the bridge. There is no schedule. When we reached the Yacht Club and asked if we could stop at their dock to bring Caryl and her bag aboard, the fellow said, "I see you don’t have a Vessel Safety Check sticker. May I inspect your vessel?" What do you say? We said sure! He tied us up stern to on the launching ramp (the only place wide enough for our beam – it is a small yacht club). He ran through his checklist, and, of course,  we had all the appropriate and necessary items. We had to chuckle at some of Dick’s comments. He wanted to be sure we had a bucket to bail with. He was surprised that a diesel engine didn’t need a flame arrestor. He also appointed Kay to be in charge of waste management. She was ready to retort that was a sexist remark when she realized that the Captain wouldn’t do it, and she was the only crew available. He also encouraged Pearce to take a certified Boating Safety Course!!! We think this is the biggest boat he’s ever had the privilege to inspect.
Traveling through this part of the waterway is tricky. The channel is constantly changing and shoaling. The charts are not reliable. It appears on the chart that marks are not needed, and that the passage is straight. Actually the channel twists and turns. There are no marks on the chart because they are often moved. Watch them carefully, go slowly, and believe your depth sounder. I talked to a boater who also flies over the area. He said he could watch the boats stray just a few feet off the channel and dig up the bottom. Passage is made even more interesting by the many boats fishing right in the channel. We had to go around a head boat that lay right across the channel.
The barrier beach from Jones Inlet to Moriches Inlet is a combination of state and federal beaches with some villages in the middle that are viewed from afar.  Some of the huge houses that lined the infamous Dune Road that was erased during a winter storm a few years ago have been rebuilt cheek to jowl. What used to be summer cottages built on wooden stilts have changed into marble mansions (monstrosities?) built on concrete pilings. Then the waterway narrows, and you can look right into the huge homes on both sides.  There are still some attractive homes along the waterway, and most of the people will wave a friendly hello.
We turned north up Shinnecock Bay and entered the Canal. Caryl had come with us because she’s sat in the restaurants along the Canal and watched the boats – big and small – go through. She wanted to be in the other place. I think we were gypped because they open the lock 2 hours after high tide at Shinnecock Inlet and leave it open for the next 6 hours. Guess when we went through? It was an adventure anyway because of the swift current with tiderips, masterly handled by the Captain!! We stopped at Modern Yachts on the port side before the end of the Canal. It is owned by Dave Bofill, an old friend of Pearce’s. Caryl and Kay went swimming in his pool while Pearce took a well deserved nap. Later we went to Dave’s house and joined his family/friends barbecue.
Monday, July 4, 2005…Caryl got a ride into Hampton Bays to take the train back home, and we headed out into Peconic Bay. We turned west into Flanders Bay. That entrance is also very interesting, but not apparently as critical as Moriches Bay. We followed the buoys around the shoals at the entrance, and then we joined a parade of slow moving boats into and along the Peconic River. There were a few hot doggers that zoomed around us. Unfortunately, they knew the waters and didn’t go aground. We passed several marinas and private clubs and eventually (a mile or so) came into Riverhead and their municipal dock. We were just past the Atlantis Aquarium and easily found a spot to tie up. A Riverhead Recreation person told us that we could tie up for $25 a night. That included electricity, water, and cable TV. Sounded like a winner. Then we found out that Riverhead was sponsoring a Blues Concert the next weekend. If we wanted to stay that long then docking would be free during the concert. What a deal! But we needed to go on, so we only stayed two days.
I can’t imagine why anyone would pass this deal up, but there is also a Marina next to the Aquarium, the Treasure Cove, which has transient slips at $3 a foot. They give you showers, restrooms, a swimming pool, a laundry, if that is what you need.
Atlantis Marine World is a rather good venture. Admission is $17.50 adults, $15.50 children 3 – 11 and seniors. All prices plus tax. We went there several years ago with our grandchildren 3 to 8 years. They had a good time. There is also an Atlantis Explorer that takes a 2-hour environmental tour of part of the ecosystem on Long Island. That is an additional price of $18.50 for adults and $16.50 for children under 12 and seniors. Scoops Ice Cream Shop is an additional incentive for the boater – just walk around the Atlantis hoopla and go in the back door near the Treasure Cove Marina.
Riverhead has shops and restaurants along Main Street that can attract the boater. West Marine is within walking distance. There are delicatessens and food emporiums that cater to the transient trade. Cliff’s Rendezvous, just up the alley from the waterfront and west of Atlantis, is renowned for their marinated steaks. The Luncheonette, with original fountain and booths, is open for breakfast and lunch. The only place that I found within walking distance that carried meat was Only for "U", a kosher grocery that also carried bread and groceries. It is just up on Main Street, a block north from the waterfront. There is also a great organic store a few doors down on the north side of Main Street, which carries all sorts of fresh foods. They also have fresh bread, but I think it sells out early. This street has all sorts of stores, bagel shops, a delicatessen, some art and furniture stores. There is even a Laundromat about a ¼ mile on the south side of the street
Wednesday, July 06, 2005…We left Riverhead and headed east, following the zigs and zags out of the Peconic River. We thought we would look at the bays or marinas along the North Fork. One of the boats that docked behind us in Riverhead was from Jamesport and said transient docking there was not available and the town dock was shallow. We continued onto Mattituck. The entrance was well marked. Strong's Marina was within the cove. We followed the river. There is the possibility of an anchorage within the cove beyond the Marina. There is a mooring field and some room for an anchored boat or two. We continued up the creek to find many deep docks and residences, but no access to the town.
We continued back out to Peconic Bay. After carefully following the marks around the shallows, we headed north of Robins Island and into Cutchogue Harbor. Kay was looking for a farm stand because Cutchogue is well known for fruits and vegetables. We headed into the main harbor to find that it was short and shallow. There were several other entrances, but they seemed to be into residential areas, so we gave up this search.
We headed out around Little Hog Neck and up Little Peconic Bay, looking for Southold. Kay read that the town dock in Southold is only 2 feet, so we decided to pass that by. We went onto Port of Egypt to have lunch at the Barge. The dock persons had problems about where to put us. They finally found a finger pier long enough, and we went in to have fabulous lobster salads. After lunch Pearce took a nap, and Kay bought some tuna at the Southold Fish Shack right there at Port of Egypt. We look forward to enjoying it for dinner.
We came over to Dering Harbor on Shelter Island. We motored through the mooring field and found a good spot in the eastern quarter. There is a yacht club here, we did not call to ask for courtesy docking, but we enjoyed watching the boats out for their sailing programs.
Thursday. July 7, 2005…We decided to go across to New London. The weather may turn tomorrow with Cindy traveling up the coast. We left Dering Harbor early to take advantage of the light morning winds. But the wind was from the East, so we did a bit of bouncing. By the time we were approaching Orient Point, we had encountered rocking seas (probably caused by passing boats), but Kay anticipated the seas out beyond the protective islands and decided that this was not fun. Isn’t boating supposed to be fun? She suggested that she take the ferry across and meet Pearce in New London. That didn’t seem to be a solution, so we headed back to Greenport where we tied up to Preston's Dock. It’s free for costumers who need to purchase marine items. We bought a new water hose and also found a windshield motor in the "Bargain Bilge." Claudio’s also has docking for its restaurant customers. Greenport offers many specialty shops and a variety of restaurants. There is an IGA grocery store within walking distance from the main docks. There is also a Laundromat near the IGA. Dockage at the marinas or anchorage a bit further east will necessitate a taxicab ride or a walk into town. Just before sunset we headed across to Dering Harbor and anchored in this morning’s spot.
Friday, July 08, 2005…The rain from Cindy finally came in, so we spent the day sitting at anchor in the harbor. Pearce worked on the windshield wiper that we had – the one we bought was missing essential parts and Prestons refused to take it back ("you bought it from the discounted rack"). Does that mean that discount is no good? The manager said he couldn’t say all the parts were there. He said if we could find the missing parts through the manufacturer or somewhere else, we had a great bargain. Daughter Caryl and we have purchased many things from Prestons. Kay already had things in hand from the Preston’s Dry Goods store next door. She left them on the counter along with comments about the reliability of merchandise.
This statue of an osprey was made by a local artist using steel from the World Trade Center Towers.  Kay still wants to go into Shelter Island just to go ashore and look around, so I guess we will wait until tomorrow to dinghy in.
Saturday, July, 09, 2005…The weather and the seas sounded great for a Sound Crossing, so we left Dering Harbor and headed toward Orient Point. It was choppy in The Race because the tide was still coming in and the winds were West 10 to 15 knots. But the crossing was pretty good except for those errant waves that caused us to bounce around a bit. At our hull speed of 7 knots, it took us 50 minutes to cross from Orient Point Lighthouse to the buoy off of Millstone Atomic Plant just west of New London. Since we had not been able to make the crossing two days ago, we did not call Pearce's sister Marje and husband Gene to let them know our intentions today. By the time we called them, they were out for the day. We entered Niantic River and cruised up to the end. Kay thought she recognized a point of land where nephew Tim & his wife Janice lived, so we went around it into a quiet cove, anchored, and had lunch.
Marje called and we tried to make contact on the water. Tim sailed out in his Sailfish and led us into their beach where we re-anchored. Unfortunately, the anchor slipped, and we decided to go to a marina. Everyone was closed, but we tied up at the fuel dock at Bayreuthers, which we found out later was one of the few marinas that accepted transients. Marje and Gene picked us up, and after we had dinner we went to the Thames River waterfront to watch a fantastic fireworks show put on by the Mashantucket Pequot Indians.  Just another perk gained from the casinos.
Sunday, July 10, 2005…We left the marina, which was situated several miles up river beyond the town, and headed toward the marinas near the river entrance. We wanted to do some shopping, which the Waterway Guide said was available there. We could not find any marina that would accept a temporary tie up, and several said they wouldn’t accept any transients. We were also trying to find a place to pick up Marje and Gene, but we were told that this area doesn’t really cater to transients. There wasn’t even a dinghy dock where we could tie up.
Tim and Janice said they would bring Marje and Gene out to the Sound. We should go out of the River and head east around Millstone. The winds that were supposed to be 5 to 10 out of the west became a bit wilder, and with the tide still coming in, the ride was a bit splashy. We rounded Millstone and entered the cove where niece Shaler and her husband Christopher live. It was still very rolley. We stayed there.  Marje and Gene joined us. Shaler, Chris, and Jasper also motored out to tie up. We had a nice, if rolley, few hours enjoying everyone’s company.
We decided that today might be a good day to go back to Long Island, so we headed out. The tide was slack, and winds were from the West. The wind made the crossing very rolley. I had to tie everything down. Even Mr. Patch’s cage had to be secured on the floor. Pearce later commented that he needs to install seat belts to keep him secure up on the bridge. The crossing was a bit longer than yesterday, but we slipped through The Race very nicely because the tide was in concert with the wind.
We entered Dering Harbor in Shelter Island and headed toward the town dock where we could tie up for 2 hours. There is a gourmet grocery store that has some produce, a delicatessen, some meat, and lots of specialty items. There is a hardware store, an Italian restaurant, and taxis to some other restaurants. The Shelter Island Yacht Club has a very active sail training program. It also offers moorings to reciprocal yacht club members. We had sufficient room to anchor outside of their field. If we had wanted to dinghy into a dock, there was room at the town dock.
Monday, July 11, 2005...We left Shelter Island and headed toward Sag Harbor, going around the western side of Shelter.  There are some very large homes on very large pieces of land along this waterfront.  We headed east through the narrow channel between Shelter Island and North Haven where the ferry crosses from the South Fork of Long Island.  A car can travel from the South Fork across Shelter Island and, by another ferry, end up in Greenport on the North Fork.  We had to slow down to let the ferry cross in front of us.  We entered Sag Harbor and tied up at the town dock behind and next to two 100 footers from Manalapan and Grand Cayman.  We were tempted to knock on Manalapan's side and introduce ourselves as their neighbors from the South because our dock in Florida is next door to Manalapan.  The dock master came over to tell us we shouldn't tie up at the big dock.  They had regular slips for transients, on a first-come basis, at $2.75 a foot.  We said we just wanted to stay for an hour or so to get some lunch and supplies.  He said that would be $1 a foot for a short stay.  We told him we could do better and left.  We headed east again to Gardiner's Bay and into Three Mile Harbor, which is the docking area for East Hampton, three miles to the south (thus the name).  There are some beautiful and varied boats in the several marinas that serve the area.  There are two restaurants here, but only one was open for lunch, so we pulled into a slip at East Hampton Point Marina (free for restaurant customers).  We sat on the porch overlooking the sheltered harbor and enjoyed salmon and fish and chips.  If we wanted to stay overnight, their charge was $3.75 a foot, but that included a pool and other amenities.
We enjoyed the lazy afternoon at anchor in a large mooring field.  The town constable cruised by and waved hello.  When Kay tried to cook dinner later, we discovered the generator wasn't working.  Since the day had been warm and the engine compartment was also still warm, we had a cold salad for supper.  We'd opened all the hatches to the breezes, and we enjoyed a quiet night.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005...Pearce fixed the generator -- it needed a new impellor.  We had breakfast and took a tour of the marinas in Three Mile Harbor.  It has several boat yards, and is quite active.  We again headed out to Gardiner's Bay, this time turning to the west.  We saw another humungous yacht heading toward Sag Harbor.  We had seen two more coming from Montauk yesterday while we were traveling east.  We had also seen several at anchor yesterday as we left Sag Harbor.  I guess this is one of the harbors deep enough and close enough to Southampton where they go for the summer season. 
We decided to duck into Coeckles Harbor on the east side of Shelter Island just to look around.  There is an anchorage there and a marina.  It's pretty and sheltered and quiet.  As we cleared the entrance, we could see 75 footer that came in before us trying to dock at one of the estates.  It backed and turned and finally anchored out.  Those big boats have all sorts of room and amenities, but I like our Kibon that has maneuverability and a workable draft!  We rounded Shelter Island to the south, dodged the ferry boat again, and headed back across Peconic Bay to Shinnecock.  We docked at Dave Bofill's place again.  Kay debated unloading the bicycle for a trip into Hampton Bays, but reading a book on the back deck sounded more relaxing.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005...We left the dock early because we've decided to go all the way home today.  As we approached the lock on Shinnecock Canal, the red lights were on at the left side entrance.  We could also see right through on the right side.  The water was flat, there was no difference in height from the Peconic Bay side to the Shinnecock Bay side.  There were no other boats going through to show us which side to use, but as we approached, the gates on the left began to open.  When the light turned green, we went in.  The gates on the south side opened as the gates on the north side closed.  Pearce said, "Well, I guess we don't have to hook up to any bollards," and we continued on through.  As we headed west again along the south shore, we made our way carefully from one buoy to the next.  Somehow we mistook buoys marking the entrance to a side canal for those that mark the regular channel, and we went amud.  Not aground, just amud.  Since we were on a rising tide, and Pearce didn't want to risk any damage to the keel or props, we tossed out the anchor and waited awhile until we swung free. 
When we reached Bellport Bay an hour later, Pearce wanted to put Hal in control with Kay to monitor him while Pearce went below to nap.  Kay pointed out that the proposed track would take us over some 3 and 4 foot spots, and she convinced Pearce to wait just a bit longer until we were in Patchogue Bay and in a better line to the buoy off of Timber Point in Hecksher Park.  Pearce slept, Kay did some needlework, and Hal was in charge.  Pearce came back to the bridge just as we reached the waypoint, and he showed Kay how to find and put in the next headings.  She (and Hal) took us past Bay Shore, under the Robert Moses Bridge, past Babylon and Lindenhurst, and into Copiague.  Pearce then took over to bring us into the dock.  Kay's not that brave yet.
Back to Home Page