Posts Tagged 'great south bay'

Forgetting About Winter

robert moses bridge in winter

I recently saw this picture my brother took of the Great South Bay and was reminded that it’s winter. You see, here in northern California there really are no seasons. The calendar says it’s February, but in terms of climate changes we typically deal in either wet or dry. We should be smack in the middle of wet season, but ask any ski bum with a pass to a mountain in Tahoe how conditions are and you’ll get a depressed response from a guy who ultimately spent $300 to enjoy the lodge. And while the weather’s been nice, the waves have been nonexistent, which has not been the case on the east coast. So I ate my lunch outside today under a warm sun and I thought about the northeast and its winter of consistent snowstorms and better than average surf. So while it’s brick cold outside, at least east coast surfers have waves. Figuratively speaking the grass is greener, but literally not so much, because all that grass really must be dead by now.

Gone Fishing

I often forget how great it can be to spend a day out on the bay aboard one of the Captree fishing boats. Every summer I try to make it out at least one time. As soon as I got on the boat this past Saturday I instantly wondered why I had waited so long.

The Winter Of 1888 Was A Great One For Ice Yachting On Long Island

If you don’t believe in global warming, then please explain to me why Long Islander’s are no longer able to enjoy the great sport of ice yachting like they used to back in 1888. According to The New York Times article below from January 24, 1888, ice yachting was “being extensively indulged in” when the Great South Bay completely froze over that winter.

[via The New York Times]

An “ice yacht” or “iceboat” looks like a small bobsled with a sail attached to it, and according to Wikipedia, “in 1790, ice yachting was in vogue on the Hudson River, its headquarters being at Poughkeepsie, New York.” While ice yachting doesn’t appear to be very “in vogue” on Long Island these days, the past few winters have been extremely cold and perhaps we could see a renaissance of the sport if the weather reamins cold and the Great South Bay freezes over again.

If you’re not familiar with ice yachting take a peek at this video. The sport appears to be fairly popular in central Europe.

Snow On The Beach

No one shovels the wooden boardwalks leading to the Fire Island Lighthouse, but it remains open year round. I took a walk there yesterday with a camera phone.

Frozen beach grass.

Frozen driftwood. According to my brother, who was clam digging here in August, this piece of driftwood hasn’t moved since the summer. Crazy to think that only four months ago this water was warm enough to swim in.

Time To Lace Up Your Ice Skates

When the bay starts to freeze over you know it’s cold outside. The water surrounding the dock pilings at Gilgo Beach has a thin layer of ice on top of it, and if this cold weather continues like it has we can forget about surfing and start thinking about ice skating.

Update: Reader Bill dropped this comment showing a similar photo of what the bay looks like during summer. West coast people, these are “seasons”.

[via @bmiltenberg]

Hey Fall, Where’d You Go?

This picture was taken three weeks ago in my backyard. It was pants and sweater weather – the kind of weather that made you feel good. But now…

…all that has changed. All the leaves have fallen and the temperature has dropped into the low 30′s. Today it hit 23 degrees and the Great South Bay started to ice over. I hope everyone has their 5/4 wetsuits ready, looks like it’s gonna be a long cold winter. Robert Moses bridge looking as cold as ever.

Clam Power

At the West Islip County Fair this past Saturday I came across a t-shirt with a clam on it that said, “Clam Power”.  At one point in time, the Great South Bay, which borders Long Island’s southern coast in between the barrier beaches of Fire Island, was full of clams.  And at one point in time, clamming was a huge industry on Long Island. When my father moved to Long Island from Chicago back in the 70′s he got a job as a clam digger. Unfortunately, the Great South Bay has been over clammed,  and the clam digging culture associated with it is dieing out too.

Originally designed in the 1970s and just recently brought back into production to keep the Long Island clam culture going strong, the people at Clam Power are selling these great “Clam Power” t-shirts. Part of the money from every shirt goes to reseeding the clam population in the Great South Bay.  Go to the site, read more about them and buy a shirt to help keep clamming on Long Island alive.

Fluke Fishing Long Island’s Great South Bay

It’s 6AM on Saturday morning and I’m not quite fully awake as I drive towards the marina, passing only a handful of cars on what is usually a busy highway. I was meeting up with my friend Mike (the captain) who was prepping the boat for a morning of fluke fishing on the Great South Bay.

Fluke fishing is great because all you have to do is let your weighted hook sink to the bottom and just jig your line a bit. According to captain Mike, the Great South Bay is full of fluke right now. We fished between the Fire Island Lighthouse and the Kismet Inn. Although we reeled in a number of fish, size regulations that require each fluke to be at least 21 inches long forced us to throw a few back.

We managed a few keepers, but ultimately the size regulation is good as it helps to rebuild the fluke population around Long Island. And there is nothing wrong with catch and release…”Honor of the Fish.

23" Fluke

Great South Bay Cross Bay Swim

The Maggie Fischer Memorial Great South Bay Cross Bay Swim went down yesterday, July 24th, with 95 swimmers and 95 kayakers taking to the water. It is a 5.3 mile swim from the Fire Island lighthouse to Gilbeak Park in Bay Shore — a great event put on by an amazing family.

For me, this was my first attempt at the swim and the nerves were there, but

I had done too much trash talking not to finish. The 15 mph NW wind didn’t make the swim any easier, and it also put a healthy chop to the water in the middle of the bay.

I finished in 3 hours 15 minutes, and the best part was my 57-year-old father (my kayaker) finished too. Over all it was a beautiful day to be out on the water out on Long Island.

If you think yourself a waterman, you should swim the bay.



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