Our Kadey Krogen Trawler

Our Kadey Krogen Trawler

Monday, August 14, 2017

Shelter Island Stopover

Shelter Island Stopover
The between the forks – Shelter Island – was our next stop. This destination has been on our list for years, but we just never got the time and weather to make a stop.  The city fathers provide a designated anchoring area in Coecles Harbor a short dinghy ride from the marina or one of many beautiful beaches.
We put our bikes on the shore and rode into Dering Harbor and toured around the historic district of Shelter Heights… a scenic and hilly 11 mile ride. On a more sedentary note, we visited the lovely Ram’s Head Inn on Ram Island for a special meal on the terrace with live music.

Sadly, our stay also included a visit to the North Fork Vet office on Shelter to give our Princess Annie kitty her final good bye.  With her kidneys failing we did not want to prolong her suffering.  The folks at Coecles Marina kindly rented us a golf cart for her last ride and we were grateful for their help and sensitivity. After more than 35 years we are now without a pet – coming back to the boat we still expect to find a welcome meow.  Adjustments continue.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Cruising Long ISLAND’s South Fork

Cruising Long ISLAND’s South Fork
Finally leaving Block Island, we hopped over to Lake Montauk at the tip of Long Island’s South Fork. Apparently after one hurricane in the past, the Mon
tauk area was in fact an island for a period of time. We made three stops on our tour of the south fork and were amazed at what we found.  First, two of the three anchorages were pleasantly spacious and virtually empty during this peak August vacation time. Second, it was not only the playground of rich people.  There was a deep appreciation for the history of the area which was easily accessible in museums and exhibits.

Coast Guard Station at entrance to Lake Montauk

Lake Montauk is expansive but easy to navigate and well-marked.  We dropped the hook at the extreme southwestern corner just beyond a small mooring field.  The balls were widely spaced and most occupied by local boats but that seemed to be rarely used.  Only a few other boats anchored around us during our four-day stay.  We had shore access via a beach a short ride away where we could leave our bikes for excursions. (note – bikes were landed on the beach and carried up to the path and back – THANKS Steve!)  The only real negative to this anchorage is the remoteness to towns.  However, this was a nice change from our previous stops so we are not complaining.  It was about a 3 mile ride to anything – 3 miles to Montauk village with all needed amenities, 3 miles to the beautiful lighthouse at Montauk Point, and 3 miles to Montauk Harbor and its shops and eateries.  Besides biking the hills we also walked over to Ditch Plains a famous beach on the south shore – facing the mighty Atlantic Ocean. Since we sat out another front while here we can also attest to the secure holding provided by the muddy bottom.

On one of our bike rides we passed the tiny Montauk train station – miles and miles from the beach, so in the end we were glad that our fine crew Rob, did not have to navigate a transfer here.  As it turned out – the trip from Jamestown was much easier and more convenient than the trip from Montauk would have been.

The ride out to the point was well worth the effort. In addition to the lighthouse climb and view, we enjoyed the museum which educated us on the history of the area from earliest settlements. Thanks to the work of a local environmentalist, Giorgina Reid, the cliff has been stabilized and the sturdy well-constructed structure stands today much as it has since it was built in 1796. We were also interested to learn that the slave ship Amistad came ashore in this neighborhood and Roosevelt’s Rough Riders had a training camp in the area.

date for the additional 14 feet

caught the fisherman's eye

 For much of the early colonial era, Montauk was grazing land and was mostly inhabited by the livestock. The village of Montauk, therefore, is more modern than historic.  It kind of reminds me of the 50s and a beach town devoted to summer fun of that simpler time. We had breakfast in a cafĂ© that looked unchanged from that era.  The harbor at the mouth of the lake also has a bounty of what look to be mom and pop low rise motels overlooking the inside of the fork. The cute Gosman’s complex of shops and restaurants was clearly a more recent addition.  Built to blend with the beachy surroundings, it was also tempting with the delicious treats and food items in their market. 

The highlight of our stop, however, was a visit with Irene and Steve – friends from our Saudi days who were making their annual visit to Montauk. They have been coming to this laid back town for years so we enjoyed a long visit and an insiders tour plus a delicious Italian dinner topped with ice cream! They told us “stars” frequent this tiny hamlet although we didn’t see anyone we recognized – there was a full moon to light our way back to the boat.

The next stop was Three Mile Harbor – so called because it a 3-miles into East Hampton. Again, traffic on the major highway 27 clogged this town of contrasts. After schlepping our bikes on the dink to the blessedly empty dinghy dock next to the boat ramp, we had a flat ride into town on a mostly well paved bike path. (Oh, yes, almost all our trips up in Montauk were on designated bike paths – clearly well used and in spite of traffic, reasonably safe.) 
empty! of course OUR dink had to take a tour of the harbor on her own - thankfully rescued before we returned - do our dink woes never end???

Arriving on Main St in East Hampton we discovered a major shopping destination for the rich and beautiful who must prefer store hopping to beach combing. After a tour of the Hook Windmill and marveling at the ingenuity and craftsmanship of 19th century builders, we braved the shops. Actually, window shopping and people watching was enough for us until we arrived at the Ladies Village Improvement Society shop.  This precisely organized used book store was a delight to browse in its historic setting. The prices were excellent, the cause a good one and the books strictly fixed in ABC order. After a tasty lunch of Greek food at John Papas, we moved back in time to the earliest days of East Hampton.  

good eyes will note this is Ralph Lauren's shop

We strolled the historic district where if the cars had been banned we would have returned to the 18th and 19th centuries. Lovely and beautifully restored homes and businesses lined the shaded street offering several museums and historic tours.  We opted to see the Home Sweet Home museum which is in a traditional Salt Box home and honors Mr. John Howard Payne who wrote the lyrics to the famous song.  The museum houses the collection of the Bueks who saved the home from demolition and eventually gave it and their extensive collections to the village. The home, gardens and even another windmill made a charming contrast to the glitz and chic of the shopping down the street. 

frog warned the cup was almost empty

A final stop was the gourmet market, Citarella, where we snagged some salmon steak and bakery treats…. Such a tough life.

Before pulling the hook, we had to retrieve our bikes from shore so stopped for breakfast at the Damark’s Market and Deli. This well stocked deli is a short walk from the dinghy dock and seemed to be the hit of the district – everyone from landscape crews to the summer tourists were crowding in for early morning eats – we joined them and had no regrets.
dinking in to shore at Sag Harbor - among the big boys

not the most crowded dock we have seen

A short run put us off Sag Harbor – not a deserted anchorage by any means – in fact, it felt more like Big Major in the Bahamas with much less water clarity.  However, we managed to tuck in between the mooring field and the breakwater – an easy dinghy ride to the spacious town dock behind Long Wharf. We were even entertained one morning by the Paddle for the Pink event that was held to raise money for breast cancer research in spite of the inclement weather.

Most of our fun was had on shore, however.  We enjoyed a free concert in Marine Park – over-looking the harbor and a jazz quartet on the lawn in front of the whaling museum.  Previously we had toured the museum in the impressive Masonic Temple building just across from the library where we have been rooted to get this blog up to date! Sag Harbor also has its share of historic homes, fancy shops and fragrant eateries, but all is a short block or two off the dock – including a launderette whose services we needed. Surprisingly prices and the machines were the same as we had seen out in Oak Bluffs – and no less than we paid in Black Point Settlement, BAH. (Those who complain about prices in the Bahamas have never traveled in this area!)

An IGA, True Value Hardware and several variety stores can also be found on Main St in Sag Harbor making this a nearly perfect stop for cruisers - lots of fun and entertainment but all the essentials as well. Even the traffic did not concern us – unless we wanted to cross a street! Sag Harbor just might be a regular place to visit on trips north. (We didn’t even manage to get to all the tours, homes and museums on this trip!)

thanks for the super WIFI

great area - all our stops include FREE pump out!

RIP Princess Annie 8/7/17 - 19 years is a good life and we will miss you!