Our chariots await
Walter reviews the charts, showing where we'll have breaks, where we can play in the waves, and where things might get interesting.
And we're off!
Susan Cruisin - with Walter & Tim
Jen, w/ Mary Ann, Pei, Tony & (half hidden red boat) Liz, also cruising...
all photos of me courtesy of clubmate Mary Ann - thanks, Mary Ann!
At Orient Point
Approaching Plum Gut. Orient Point lighthouse in the distance.
Through Plum Gut. You can see there's a bit of a race there, and the last time I was here it was big enough to surf - this time, it was pretty quiet & everyone went through without any unintentional swims.
How could you not smile like this on as nice a day as we had?
Cruising Committee Canopy & ferry to New London. The day was so clear & calm I'd proposed a LI Sound crossing - although I was kidding & we didn't do it, Walter said you could actually do that if you could figure out where New London was - that way you could catch the ferry back.
More on that canopy in a bit!
For first dessert, Walter took us blackberry picking! Second dessert was ice cream, a bit later in the trip.
Picking! Have to say midsummer kayak wear isn't the ideal costume for dealing with the brambles, but we all braved it & the berries were delicious.
Yum yum! Oops, Mary Ann didn't take this one - I'm afraid I forget who did but thank you!
Liz was the undisputed Blackberry Queen - picked enough to fill up a Nalgene bottle & even shared them at breakfast the next morning - nice surprise! The rest of us weren't as restrained, it was one for me, two for...me.
Oh, yes, the canopy. Apparently this canopy has an established history of being taken on Cruising Committee trips but never successfully set up. This time we did it. Tony said that it was because he finally stopped trying to help!
Eugene's boat - the Ultimate Urban Kayak! I told him he has to learn to roll to show off that bottom properly. He wants to!
The sides are also cool. Eugene has 2 funny stories about this boat - 1. He built it before he ever paddled a kayak. He just likes building things. Once he had it then he learned to paddle. 2. Another urban detail - the design called for 18 feet. He did it at 16 because that was all that would fit in his basement.
Detail w/Brooklyn Bridge & Empire State Building. Interest how the paint job came about - the deck came out gorgeous but the bottom had some minor cosmetic flaws, so he came up with this incredibly creative cover-up. I loved it.
Off again after the ice-cream break at Orient Beach. Long time without pictures because between this picture & the last, I lost my camera. Launching suddenly turned into a rush to beat the next ferry & I did force myself to slow down enough to reapply sunscreen, but I apparently left the camera on the back deck & it went in the drink as I launched. Fortunately I figured it out when I went to take a picture of our crew passing the ferry. I went back to the lunch break beach & found it ONLY because I keep a bright orange float on it, which I spotted bobbing around in the water right where we launched - didn't even have to get out of my boat, just grabbed it, turned around & put the pedal to the metal (or the stick to the sea). No pictures during that catch-up sprint - and boy did that ice cream taste good!
Dennis, Walter & Liz
Approaching Long Beach Bar Light, aka the "Bug Light".
So called because the original base was pilings & looked like the legs of a giant bug.
Passing Bug Light
Bug Light from shore. There's a nice little rip & we'd gone to play there; I got to help with one rescue & then suddenly Walter got a terrible hand cramp. Dotty & I helped him get to shore & we took a good long break there.
Launching from Long Beach Point.
I think the last two miles were harder than the rest of the trip put together -
but it was still beautiful...
and in the end, everybody made it to the takeout under their own steam.
Wild rose on the beach
Lined up at the pull-out, waiting for the cars. One nice feature of the planning of this trip is that there are 2 takeout options - with a little tiny portage across a sandbar, you can actually circumnavigate the point, or, if you aren't feeling so spiffy (and nobody was after the last stretch) you can take out on a beach a good bit earlier & be at a nice loading zone a short walk from the parking lot. We took the earlier one, of course.
Long Island Kampground. Really a nice place to stay - lots more RV's than you usually see on kayakcentric camping trips, but it's a great family atmosphere, kids running around on their bikes, people sitting around campfires talking instead of glued to the TV, and pancake breakfasts on Sunday mornings. I think I had the modest-est campsite in the entire camp - no car even, just a little blue tent sitting back in the woods.
Some people left Saturday night - of those of us who were left, the rest of us went for a short paddle in Hallock Bay & the adjacent Little Bay. Beautiful marshes & the perfect activity for a much hotter & windier day.
Elizabeth & I launching Elizabeth's boat - we'd come out earlier than the rest because we wanted to get back to NY a little sooner - Elizabeth & Mary Ann both have pets to get home to, plus we hoped to miss the worst of the traffic (and we did, without missing out on seafood for lunch & a stop at a farm stand for corn).
Osprey. Tons of osprey platforms around here & the birds are thriving.
Into the marshes in Little Bay.
poked around in the marshgrass for a while, saw lots more birds (including a red-tailed hawk which perched very close by, but flew before I could even think about going for the camera). Then, time to head for home.
Ran into the rest of the group on our way out...
paddled back against a solid breeze
au revoir, ospreys!
And as I said, our early-ish departure did the trick of letting us get back before the worst of the traffic, even with a stop at Braun's in Cutchogue -
where I had a lobster roll that was pretty good - but next time, mmm, I think I will have to go for something fried - just look at this oyster sandwich!
Oyster & out!