Eighty miles from New York, nine from Orient Point - here we are in Greenport, New York, our launching & landing for another great Sebago field trip. I originally had planned to spend the weekend at home after a whole series of weekends out of town - but when Ilene emailed me saying she'd snagged the last tent site available for Walter & Tony's North Fork weekend & did I want to come, how could I say no?
I've been to Sag Harbor on the South Fork a couple of times. Beautiful there, but I liked the North Fork better. All the farms - I guess I didn't realize that there was still so much farming going on out there. Flowers, herbs, produce - even saw a llama farm! Here's a field of zinnias -
Of course with all the farms, we ran a positive gauntlet of farm stands. We were doing pretty well 'til we got to Harbes Farm Stand in Mattituck, where we happily succumbed to fresh roasted corn, blackberries, and peaches. I'd picked a big bag of cherry tomatoes & basil at the club in the morning & was delighted to find that the stand also carried the one ingredient I was missing for caprese salad - fresh mmmmmmozzarella!
Topiary horse & cart!
Ilene loved these miniwatermelons!
The stand was a big one. In addition to produce and cheese, they had a glass-sided beehive, picnic tables, cornholing, a little setup where kids could sort through gravel for pretty stones, and some very friendly (and well-fed) animals in a couple of large paddocks (alfafa pellets 50 cents a handful). I could see a car-weary family spending a couple hours here.
There's a stairway for the goats inside the windmill.
Molly the horse lives in the paddock next door. Hi, NEIGH-bor! ha ha ha! I was introduced to her by a friendly youngster who seemed to know her way around - I wonder if she was of the next generation of Harbes. At any rate, isn't Molly pretty?
Bidding adieu to the critters - time to hit the road again!
Well, maybe not quite wilderness :D! We were actually staying at the Long Island Kampground, a privately owned campground very popular with RV's. Couldn't get over some of the setups - wooden porches, festive lighting on the awnings, can't even start to describe. Even the tents were huge - multi-winged affairs, for all I know some of 'em may have had lofts. If I ever wanted to get into serious kayak camping, I might want to invest in some stuff that's smaller - but the setup Ilene & I had looked positively minimalist next to these spreads! It was sort of fun though - seemed like a place where people could just sort of let their kids go kick around on their bikes with their friends. Nice to see kids still get to do that every now & then these days.
Ilene, Tony & Fran - sorry out of focus, but cute picture anyways! BTW, Tony & Fran's tent is twice the size of mine - but still restrained for this place!
Ilene & me & Fran. Happy to be here at the Long Island Kampground! And a few minutes later, we went for a nice little warm-up paddle - out to a local lighthouse called the "Bug Lighthouse" - it has a concrete foundation now but at one time it was on stilts & people thought it looked like a giant bug. Unfortunately my camera was in the car, but I hope maybe some of Ilene's pictures came out well. At any rate, something to go back for!
Next morning - here we are, bright & early, at our put-in in Greenport. There's the Shelter Island ferry, and that's Shelter Island in the background. Forecast had been looking iffy but the weather gods mostly smiled. Except for that headwind near the end. But no thunderstorms - just one distant squall that threatened, then went somewhere else!
Roger's kids love beachcombing. They're in heaven!
And we're off! The large bird sculpture on the pier is Greenport's 9/11 memorial. Appropriate to the area, the bird is meant to be an osprey - we'll see & hear ospreys everywhere on our paddle today. The beam on which the sculpture is "alighting" is from the WTC.
Greenport waterfront. I could easily spend the whole day just nosing around taking pictures here, I think - but we've got plans!
Tony, Ilene, Walter & Roger. Couldn't ask for a better group to paddle with.
Tony's happy. There's some nice little (ha ha) beach houses in the background. Must be tough to leave those & go back to the city...
Another nice little place. Please note hammock location of perfection at the left side of the picture.
Roger pauses in front of the place that must win the Most Spectacular View prize. Wow.
They also win for "most stairs to get to your boat". That's a Sunfish wedged in behind that tree, btw. This side of Shelter Island faces Gardiner's Bay - next stop, Block Island Sound & the Atlantic. Got to be a pain to drag that dinghy up there (my heart is bleeding for them, poor souls!) but I guess that keeps it out of harm's way if the weather kicks up.
Coecle's Inlet & what a nice surprise - there are Fran & Dotty waiting for us! There were actually 2 separate paddles happening out here - the Shelter Island circumnavigation, and then a quieter one along a nature trail here in the harbor. I'd actually had a rotten cold earlier in the week - nearly bailed, but when I found out about the less ambitious option, that made me stick with it. From Fran & Dotty's stories, this would have been an awfully pleasant day!
Fish trap. These were dotted around here & there. Quite simple - a net strung straight across that makes a school of fish that encounters it turn into a corral of netting. The cormorants seem to like this arrangement.
Lunch break after making it through the key point - there's a narrow point between Shelter Island & North Haven & we had to be through there before the current turned. We were maybe a titch late & somehow that short distance between the neck & our lunch break seemed to take forever. Walter got a bit of a hand cramp & we were all very ready for a nice long lunch (featuring 2 kinds of chocolate chip cookies) & a cooling dip.
We all sort of wandered off on post-lunch strolls.
West Neck Harbor. What a destination.
Wonderful osprey nest first spotted by Ilene. This was along what was probably the toughest stretch - the wind had been forecasted to turn SE in the afternoon, but it was more NW. 12 kts isn't bad but when it's steady & right in your face, well, it does slow you down! We made a stop only a little way further along to verify that we were indeed crawling. We were. It became clear that our plans for margaritas at 4 was not happening, the appropriate calls were made to notify the authorities (ie Dotty, Fran & Deborah) of our changes in plans. They had not called the Coast Guard yet. In fact they were having a lovely time shopping in Greenport as we slogged on. Fun little tide thing went on up at that point with the ponds - it's really time to get the camera fixed, I couldn't pull it out when things got bouncy!
And here's the squall that went somewhere else. Seriously, I thought we were going to get drenched - but all it did was produce some lovely dramatic skies, a series of which follows. At this point, though, we've rounded Jenning's Point & we're on the homestretch, current building in our favor & whooshing along in this narrow passage between Shelter Island & the North Fork. It could have rained if it wanted to. Margaritas (or pina coladas, or coronas), here we come...
We made one last stop here. Roger & I didn't want to get out of our boats, we stayed out & did a little rolling. I did paddle in when I heard that chocolate was being handed out but Ilene was nice enough to bring me some.
More dramatic skies, and Roger & Walter on the homestretch.
The squall begins to dissipate...
A couple in a Klepper with a sailing rig enjoy the end of the afternoon as we travel on into Greenport.
And there it is, the Shelter Island Ferry! Back where we began. Is my pina colada ready?
There's the beach!
Roger's kids running to meet him.
Tony, Roger, Ilene, Walter & me. Always a good trip when you come back with the same number you started with.
Talking story about our days
Roger & Deborah on the beach
A wild rose -
could you ask for a nicer end to the day?
Later in camp, an American Pelecinid comes to join us for cocktails. The camera battery was sucking the last dregs but this was too neat an insect to not take a picture. We had no idea what it was, and were a little alarmed, but it finally settled down quite peacefully on the lantern & we let it be.
Squeezed a few last pictures out of the camera the next day. That's the Klang II on the left - quite a surprise to see her here, she's usually in the NYC area, but Captain Rip had brought her out for a haul-out at a boatyard in Greenport & mentioned that the boat may end up staying in that area - too bad for us NYC boaters, the Klang's a great-looking boat, but apparently the logistics of keeping an old wooden boat in NYC were getting discouraging. He says the barnacles here are gentler, somehow...
2nd to last picture...Greenport Jail & Police Museum...
Last picture - Orient Point Lighthouse. Ilene & I decided to do this as our last paddle of the weekend & it was fun. I WAS closer at one point, but there's a bit of a tide race in here & again, with the non-waterproof camera, I couldn't risk having it out when we went through. Which we did. It was fun - I turned around & did about 30 seconds worth of surfing (no capsizing permitted, there were zillion jellyfish out here!) - but we didn't really have the time to have much fun - just the shortest taste of the bumpy water. Oh well, guess it's good to leave something for the next trip!