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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.