Age of Aquarius
By Sal Vaglica
From the calmer waters in the sound, bays and rivers to the whitecaps of the Atlantic, options for getting wet abound along both our coasts. Our south shore has long been one of the finest surfing havens on the eastern seaboard and lately, a growing number of kite boarders are taking to the waves. For a deeper rush and a little discovery, the shipwrecks off the island can make for interesting scuba. To relax, paddling on our rivers, lakes and calmer waters could lend summer a new vantage point. Whatever your speed, make this the summer to find your new aquatic addiction. Whether you point your way to our eastern or western extremities, instruction and supervision await to get you outfitted and off to a safe start.
East End Surf, Montauk: Accredited instructor Jeremy Grosvenor has mastered all things water. eastendsurf.com
Skudin Surf, Long Beach: A full service, accredited school run by the Island’s first family of surfing. skudinsurf.com
Scuba Network Long Island, Carle Place: The full range of lessons for beginners to shipwreck exploring for veterans. scubanetwork.com
Tiedemann’s Diving Center, Levittown: Take the plunge in pools at Hofstra, Adelphi, CW Post, Nassau Community College or Farmingdale University before heading for the open water. tdconline.com
Standup Paddle Board (SUP)
Paddle Diva, East Hampton: “Walking on water” for women on the East End. paddlediva.com
Kostal Paddle, Port Washington: Take paddle lessons or paddle yoga on both shores in Nassau County. kostalpaddle.com
The WaterFront Center, Oyster Bay: Sunset tours of the Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge. thewaterfrontcenter.org
Shelter Island Kayak Tours: There is no better way to explore the nooks and crannies of Shelter Island. kayaksi.com
Hampton WaterSports, Southampton: A host of lessons, some even for kids. hamptonwatersports.com
ABK Board Sports, Southampton: Freestyle lessons from September 20-22. abkboardsports.com
Finding the Fish
By Sal Vaglica
It’s that time of year again. skip the party boats and hire a charter to get back to what fishing is supposed to be about: Quiet relaxation.
Serious fishing doesn’t happen on a boat packed with sixty people. As fun as those party boats are, they’re really more about knocking back a few drinks than connecting with the water. To catch real fish this summer head east for deeper, colder waters, which is what the fish do when the water warms. Grab five friends, find a licensed captain out of Montauk or Orient Point and book a six-pack charter to go where the bluefish, fluke, porgies and striped bass are.
Pick a summer day in the middle of the week and there will be less competition. Stick with morning trips from 6 to 11am, which is when fish are most active. Leave a cooler in the car and pack only a small one for lunch—the captain will have a cooler to keep your catch cold on board. Remember the boat provides bait and rods, but bring sunscreen and sunglasses, water resistant shoes and a jacket because out on the ocean is usually 10 degrees cooler than on land. Prone to seasickness? Pop a Dramamine an hour before leaving because taking it once you’re sick isn’t going to do you much good. And save the celebratory round of drinks for when you get back on terra firma.
Not the seafaring type? These inland fish holes are the place to try your chops at a different style.
Montauk: Double Haul Charters for striped bass in the Peconic and Gardiner’s Bay; allmontaukflyfishing.com
Fresh water fishing
Montauk: Sea Wife IV for cod, bluefish, fluke, porgies and sea bass off the point; seawife.com
Lake Ronkonkoma: Largemouth bass is the big draw here but perch, bluegill and sunfish are available.
By Sal Vaglica
Much of the Island’s history is tied up in boats. Celebrate our nautical tradition by taking in a boat show. Watch a regatta around Long Island, enjoy a Chinese race or practice your pirate accent.
Long Island Maritime Museum,
Pirate Festival & Classic Boat Show
Costumed pirates entertain the crowd while enacting pirate history, dueling sword flights, cannon fire and treasure hunts. Arrrgh. thepiratesfestival.com
37th Annual Around Long Island Regatta race
Rockaway Point east to Hempstead Harbor
Sailors charter the 190-mile course that combines ocean and coastal waters racing as the teams sail along the south shore, around Montauk and into the Sound heading for Hempstead Harbor. Closing ceremonies at Sea Cliff Yacht Club. alir.org
22nd Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
Flushing Meadows Park
Lion and dragon dance troupes kick off the festivities that include over 170 teams racing on Meadow Lake in brightly colored dragon boats. hkdbf-ny.org
New York Tugboat Races
Pier 84, Hudson River
Watch local tugs battle it out in a race on the river and feats of strength like nose-to-nose pushing contests. Land lovers can practice line tossing, knot tying and stuffing their faces with spinach in homage to Popeye the Sailor Man. workingharbor.com
Sublime Seaside Settings
by Richard Scholem
Pulse’s sage food reviewer Richard Scholem knows where the food/waterside ambiance is most powerful on the Island. Among his picks:
A LURE CHOWDER, Tom Schaudel’s seafood skewed spot in Southold offers locally sourced seafood and an extensive deck overlooking the marina.
HARVEST ON FORT POND in Montauk serves extra large portions of excellent Tuscan-Med dishes and offers great sunset views from a lovely garden overlooking the pond.
LOMBARDI’S ON THE BAY in Patchogue with its spacious multi-table, multi-level deck churns out sizable portions of seafood and Italian slanted dishes as well as striking views of Great South Bay.
MILL POND HOUSE on Mill pond would draw crowds just for its exceptional food, its placid waterfront views are a much appreciated add-on to some of this Island’s best seafood, steaks and sushi.
PRIME on Huntington Harbor with multiple decks on the water and inside waterfront viewing. It features excellent new American and Japanese dishes, everything from steaks to sushi.
Top 10 Beaches
A not-so-scientific, not-so-formal reader survey of the Island’s margins (in no particular order)
1. Napeague Dunes: Go there on 4th of July and the place is still all yours.
2. Point Lookout: Long Live Long Beach
3. Captree (Babylon-ish): Where else would you go fishing mid-span?
4. Cupsogue (Westhampton):The Beach Hut music shack
5. Cooper’s Beach (Southampton): It’s $40 to park, but includes bragging rights and great people watching
6. Smith Point: Bathing suits optional and a whole different type of people watching
7. Shadmoor (Montauk): The cliffs punctuated with houses make for some fantastic visuals
8. Cedar Beach (Mt. Sinai): Terrific sunsets and ghosts of spies past communing across the Sound
9. Ditch Plains: Surfing. Montauk.
10. Kismet: Fire Island’s family friendly locale is also a happy hour haven—In and Out anyone?
Fishing photo by Matt Furman, Sailboat Photo by Pedro Sousa