sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Photo Gallery Cruising Australia Cruising USA Cruising Canada Boats for Sale Sail-World Racing FishingBoating
Video Gallery Newsletters

 

Sail-World.com : Long Island is, well, a Long Island....

Long Island is, well, a Long Island....

'Blown Away Too at Sunset Harbour in East Patchogue'    Ben Amato
Wherever in the world you live, life takes on a different flavour when you see it from the water. Ben Amato lives on Long Island, New York, and has been sailing those waters for 40 years. Currently he sails a 32-foot catamaran, Blown Away Too.

I’ve always wanted to see if I actually live on an island, even though it is called Long Island. You commute on the highways, visit the malls or trek into the city and you forget that the shoreline, the beaches and the waves encircle us. My crew and I aboard my catamaran sailboat went completely around Long Island and came to realize it is really long. It took eight days to travel 226 nautical miles, including several stops between Montauk and Manhattan, eight drawbridges, a dozen or so lighthouses, two thunderstorms and crossing paths with one fin in the Atlantic - a sunfish - but I swear I heard the theme music to “Jaws” the whole time we circled it. Here is the first part of our journey.

Casting away the lines which held me to the Sunset Harbor Marina, in East Patchogue was a bit scary. Instead of my natural tendency to compromise and head out for another weekend trip or day sail, it was time to face the unknown and take the first step towards 'The End,' as Montauk Point is called. The cozy confines of the Great South Bay were replaced with a cathartic exit through Moriches Inlet. People have died there. I’ve had boats for over 40 years and for the last 30 have lived within six miles of this outlet to the Atlantic. Yet I never ventured beyond the stone jetties and into its ripping currents and breakers until the second day of this odyssey.


Stone jetty at Moriches Inlet looming ahead -  Ben Amato  

Inspiration and preparation produced a lot of perspiration, for just moments before we broke free from the inlet’s grip, only a wall of white water loomed ahead of us. On the right was the too near Fire Island shore, to the left the breakers and then all of a sudden, up ahead to the south was a channel. There were some swells, one dip of the boat’s bow and then we were in the calm Atlantic Ocean. You go through Moriches Inlet, and there's some turbulence and rocking down below and then you’re out in open waters before you know it.

The allure of sailing is the sound and sight of being pushed through the water with only canvas, lines and skill to drive you. There is an “ancient” feel to it, making headway without the technology that fills most of our lives. The fear with sailing is that in any confrontation, the ocean wins. So the trick is to avoid conflict through patience, practice and the good sense to buy every nautical toy there is that might keep you afloat, including, but certainly not limited, to a Global Positioning System (GPS), laptop charting programs, automatic pilot, an inflatable life boat, EPIRB personal locator beacon, transponders, radar, sonar, flares, photon torpedoes, and phasers.


Montauk Yacht Club -  Ben Amato  

And then you plan - there are books to read and guides to ponder. The “Eldridge Tide and Pilot” book offers invaluable information about currents, tides and courses to take. On the paper charts or the mapping program on my laptop, you move your pencil or mouse and visualize your voyage and pleasure. But once underway, the BlownAway Too’s Garmin GPS becomes the guide, for along with reporting the course and speed it also indicates every shipwreck, submerged rock and sea monster you will encounter along the way. Sailing is filled with contrasts, tensions between fulfillment and fear, ropes and readouts, sails and software.

The Great South Bay, the Atlantic, Block Island Sound, Gardiner’s Bay, Plum Gut, the Long Island Sound, Hell’s Gate, the East River, New York Harbor and then back to the Atlantic and home. Some boaters will read this list and cringe. Others will drool over the course while some will wonder why the rush to take all these beautiful waters in just eight days. This circumnavigation was a voyage of discovery, an exploration for future places to visit and linger at.


Commercial fishing vessels Montauk -  Ben Amato  

Montauk Harbor is a fisherman’s home, where outriggers, coiled nets, and fish traps provide the dockside restaurants the daily catch and tables filled with happy diners. The Montauk Yacht Club on Lake Montauk was our home for the evening. They had us amid the mega-yachts and towering sport fishing cruisers, so clean, new and beautiful compared to the hardened hulls of the fishing trawlers which populate the other side of Star Island. Between these two stood the Coast Guard Station, a brick house of stability in the busy harbor. The wealth and glamour of the Yacht Club had its perks - fine dining, luxurious rooms, a spa, three swimming pools (both indoor and out) and other amenities that illustrate how five stars are earned. But the blue collar feel of the fishing boats tasted like an ageless era gone by, when rods and reels were all you needed for a day on the water, rather than laptops, a Blackberry, and sunblock.

Gardiner’s Bay, the Island and the legends dominate my thoughts about the sail between Montauk and Greenport. We skirted the shore of this mysterious island, once a plantation paradise for the original owner Lion Gardiner. In 1639 he purchased it from his good friend Wyandanch, the shaman of the East End tribes, and also received a Royal Grant from King Charles I, establishing it as the first English settlement in New York State.

Ancient stone fortress The Ruins on the north side of Gardiners Island at Bostwick Point -  Ben Amato  

The Pirates of the Caribbean did not spend the summer down in southern waters off of America’s coast. They visited New York and Gardiner’s Island, both safe harbors where privateers and pirates could get provisions, new crew and a place to bury their booty. A monument stands on this island to Captain William Kidd, erected by his friend John Gardiner, the third Lord of the Manor. It commemorates the spot where the fabled Captain buried his treasure.

Over the centuries the Gardiner’s have seen military invasions by two separate British fleets during the Revolutionary and War of 1812. During Prohibition, their island became a warehouse and haven for another sort of pirate, the likes of Al Capone and Dutch Schultz. Their offshore booty traveled through the East End towards the speakeasies of New York.

The Second World War militarized the East End, symbolized by the gigantic radar dish that still stands at Montauk Point. But just as impressive is the ancient stone fortress called “The Ruins” that juts out on the north side of Gardiner’s, at Bostwick Point. Though a target for practicing pilots and gunners, it withstood those years to still protect this refuge from poachers, pirates, and prying eyes. No one is allowed on this island, six miles long and several wide. What remains of the original buildings, now hundreds of years old, or the Captain Kidd monument itself? Even the vast resources of Google could not produce even the text of what is written on the plaque or an image of the monument itself.


Radar Dish at Montauk -  Ben Amato  

Southeast of Gardiner’s, the sailing was easy. When close to shore, the wind stopped and so did we, for a swim, some lunch and a glimpse of a mystery island I would love to set foot upon. North of the island, our wind and course resumed and Shelter Island and Greenport loomed ahead.

The East End of 2008 is strangely devoid of power boaters, with dozens of sails dominating the seascape. But that changed when we arrived in the bustling harbor of Greenport. Every dock space and slip was filled with happy power boaters, drinks in hand, but they were swapping stories rather than making new ones.

The Town Dock at Mitchell Park is in the heart of the town itself. Pulling into the slip was like parallel parking on Main Street, which was just on the other side of the carousel. At dusk on thi




by Ben Amato, www.hamptons.com

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=49020

8:03 PM Fri 19 Sep 2008 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World











Springtime Greening: Boaters Tips for Earth Day by BoatUS Foundation/Sail-World Cruising,










British rescuers go for their own circumnavigation challenge by Derby Telegraph/Sail-World Cruising,


How sailors really do have a voice in the future of our oceans by Sandra Whitehouse, Sailors for the Sea,


Message-in-a-bottle record - 102 years by AFP/Sail-World Cruising,














Canadian solo sailor rescued north of Auckland by Sail-World Cruising round-up,
























Free online fuel spill course - how much do you know? by BoatUS Foundation/Sail-World Cruising,




Product of the Week: Chafe guards save lines from friction
Government sneaks through the 'Affordable Boat Act'
Japan's Antarctic whaling program harpooned
Yacht of the Week: Kokomo III - and she could be yours
Life-shattering event sends 'rookie' couple sailing the world
Mysteries of the seas, happening right now - missing, sunk, foul play
Sail Norway and Russia this summer - your own boat, or charter
Sunshine4kids' 'Fleet of Hope' sets off again
3,200-year-old boat found in Croatian waters
Product of the Week: the LineGrabber
Mediterranean Mooring - How to moor stern-to to a dock or quay
Canadian storm bomb threat - sailors advised: get off the water!
Carbon monoxide poisoning - is it possible on YOUR boat?
Sailing family condemmed for taking 3-year-old on circumnavigation
New contract-free plan for satellite communicator on your smart phone
Yacht of the Week: The Dashew creation: no sails, but eco-friendly
No laughing! Sailing mistakes I don't want to make
Multihull Solutions Phuket 2014 Regatta - new sponsorship
Destination: From Moscow Sea to the White Sea
Land sailors of India on adventure across the Rann
Jet stream gets fish in hot water   
Still no plans for e-Borders   
A Paint App to (almost) replace your marine store assistant   
Air warms but water slower - be careful, sailors, of hypothermia   
Volunteer Canadian rescue team homeless - any offers?   
Hilary Lister and Nashwa Al Kindi set a new trans-ocean record   
How to anchor and 'never utter a word'   
Non-pyrotechnic flares for my boat - Can I or can't I?   
Health benefits of sailing   
Cruising in the Maldives - some nuts and bolts   
ISAF Guide to Offshore Personal Safety for Racing and Cruising   
Halyard Tension - a video   
Winchrite - for lazy days or extra muscle-power   
Researcher examines 'current leaks' that may change the way you sail   
Paris off to attempt to circumnavigate the world again   
Need a tow from that helicopter? - watch the video and don't laugh   
Certain oil spill products shown to be ineffective and toxic + Video   
The Constrictor: a powerful 'Queen' of sailing knots!   
British leisure craft permitted to use red diesel in Belgian waters   
Boat painting - simple but best tips   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  



















 
Our Advertisers are committed to our sport, please support them!
This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia Pty. Ltd and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.

Photographs are copyright by law. If you wish to use or buy a photograph you must contact the photographer directly (there is a hyperlink in most cases to their website, or do a Google search.) with your request.

Please do not contact Sail-World.com as we cannot give permission for use of other photographer’s images.

Only if the photographer named on the image is Sail-world.com, Powerboat-world.com, Marinebusiness-world.com or NZBoating-World.com.
Contact us .
Ph: +61 2 8006 1873 or complete our feedback form    Contact us .
   View our Privacy Policy.    [Go Home]     [  Banner Advertising Specification]    [Bot Archive ]

Customised news feeds -Marine Industry companies, Clubs and Associations have their own customised version of our news feed on their website.
Look_here_to_see_examples

X6XL WAS CRU NH