Wonderful places⚓️. This is our Dream cruising the ocean. Exploring is our favorite thing to do. Stay tuned! Cruiser cuisine is coming next. Recipes like our famous Haddock chowder and roasted veggie grilled pizza.
Saturday was a cloudy, overcast day. But that did not stop us from going out to explore.
One of the places we went was a sandy outcrop called the “Sore Thumb” which is on the north side of Fire Island Inlet. This small peninsula is a popular spot for 4-wheelers to drive out to, and it forms a cove that a great spot for boats to anchor during the summer months. Saturday we mapped a large area of the cove with bottom contours using our new Garmin side imaging sonar. On this cloudy April day, we had the whole place to ourselves.
Here is a great drone video of Sore Thumb:
This Youtube video shows some of drama that happened a few years ago when a large number of boats rafted up in this area during a busier time of the season. It appears that the boats were not far enough into the cove; and some the current of Fire Island Inlet caused some mayhem.
Lots of folks like 4-Wheeling on Sore Thumb:
There you have it:
Exploring “Sore Thumb” from land, sea, and air!
Awoke at slip, first night sleeping aboard for this season. A very picturesque morning. Trains in the distance, songbirds, ducks, geese, and a distant pressure washer all compete for the loudest noise award. All combine to be this “Spring Concert” at a Long Island boat yard.
Precious Cargo launched yesterday, and now joins us at the end of S-Dock.
Here is a nice quiet place to tuck into, away from boat traffic, and also be in the lee of this island, taming the wind and waves. Shelly is heating up some leftovers down below for our lunch!
The big red arrow marks our position on this Navionics chart. Again, charts show this area as non-navigable, but I found it safe to go in here from the Lindenhurst Cut with fish finder sonar. 5+ feet of water at low tide all the way. (Use this advice at your own risk.)
I’ve published our bathymetry at Garmin’s site. https://connect.garmin.com/en-US/start/quickdraw.
Finding “favorite spots” enhances boating! This is true for fishing, or boating in general.
Shellerina’s new berth has a “finger”.
Back in Maine most every slip had fingers, or “side docks” as shown here. Fingers are more rare here on Long Island. Here people back in between a couple pilings, go up forward, and tie a line to each side piling (logs driven into the bottom mud). The problem has been our boat’s design makes it a pain to go up forward every time we want to untie and go, and every time we come back and need to secure. The “finger” solves this.
We think we will be heading out much more frequently for those short runs, like after work for a sunset cruise, or supper on the bay. Fortunately, all the owners in our new neighborhood welcome us to this other end of S-Dock!
This is what it looks like inside the cabin of Shellerina. It is pretty comfortable for a boat of this size. The full canvas top around the cockpit also makes for good protection from the rain and wind. So long as the sun is shining, early season boating like this month of April is remarkably warm beneath this canvas cover.
Meet our son, Nick! The first pic above, is the night that he first arrived at MarineMax marina where we were living aboard Shellerina. As you can see, he was exhausted after the long drive from Maine, his longest road trip to date. A few days after Nick’s arrival, the three of us, aboard Shellerina, took our first voyage into New York City by boat! We docked for that Saturday night at MarineMax marina at Chelsea Piers on the West Side. After dark, Nick and Ray headed into Times Square, one of Nick’s favorite places to visit.
To get to NYC, a boat has to pass under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge which connects Long Island to Staten Island, and one has to navigate past the Statue of Liberty. Shellerina has circumnavigated the island of Manhattan, and on the east side we took this picture of the United Nations building. The picture at the bottom was taken by our dock mates Steve and Tina aboard their boat Simi on July 4, 2016, after a holiday weekend together in Sandy Hook Harbor NJ. We were all cruising home to the south shore of Long Island after a few days with other dock mates, Marc and Colleen aboard their boat, Precious Cargo. If you look closely at the horizon on this bottom pic, you can see the Manhattan skyline just above Shellerina, and the towers of the Verrazano Narrows bridge to the left!
This week a year ago, dear friends and former neighbors, Britta and her mother Tammy Anderson of Harrison Maine, visited us right here on Long Island. They they got an early season boat ride aboard The Shellerina on Great South Bay Long Island with our son Nick and Shelly below.
While we like Long Island, we miss our friends back home. So this visit was a special day. Getting to go boating here while their boat was waiting for ice-out back in Harrison, Maine, was a bonus for them!
We launched the boat on a stormy, cold, ugly day last Friday (3/31/2017) around 3:00pm. But we were IN! Everything worked, and nothing went wrong.
Saturday was cloudy, which was fine because we really needed a “work day” aboard to get things organized for the start of what we hope to be a great season again this year. Everything needed re cleaning. (A clean boat is a happy boat.) There were two other boats already on S-Dock on our launch day, one of them was Contingency, Brian and Andrea’s gem of a boat, a 37′ Formula. Saturday, Brian came aboard Shellerina for a late lunch, he picked up for us at a nearby sandwich shop (TNX Bri!). He was in the area to assist Marc with a stereo upgrade aboard Precious Cargo, who was still up on the hard. Boaters are a great community of friends to get “in” with, and we have found this to be every bit as true here on Long Island as anywhere else we’ve been. We did go out for a little cruise late in the afternoon before calling it a day.
At this time of year, once the sun goes down it gets chilly real fast.
Back at the apartment, when we woke up Sunday morning it was still chilly. We didn’t rush to go over to the boat. We knew it was going to warm up and become a prize boating day. 60F temps were predicted, and with our full cockpit canvas of dark blue for the sun to beat down on, we knew we’d be comfy out in the water on a day like this. With our new side view transducer mounted to the transom, I was itching to experiment and explore the waters north and NE of Fox Island where we think we might become a new favorite place for us to drop anchor and swim and stay over night on the hook. The charts show this to be non-navigatable. But Google Earth shows there should be good water there, worthy of exploration.
Hemlock Cove is a nice place to go and hang out. But Ocean Parkway is nearby. We love that highway by car. But when we are out there by boat, we prefer a sense that we are out at a natural place to hang out for the night or for the afternoon (without the noise of passing cars). We’ve been looking for a place like Shellerina’s Rock, our favorite spot back in Maine, but here on Great South Bay. Perhaps this new spot north of Fox Island will become the place?
Anyway, after exploring that area, which is definitely safe and navigable, we docked up over at Cedar Beach. When we got there, we were the only boat around. This is a hopping place during the summer and the contrast this time of year is striking. I think we love it both ways, both empty like today and bustling during mid-summer. After tying up, we walked up to the Beach Hut, and met a number of other beach explorers enjoying the perfect spring day. It was fun to tell some of them what we knew of the place, as if we were locals. “There is nightly entertainment here all summer!” “Tuesdays and Thursdays are lobster nights.” “Weeknights there are hundreds of young people totally enjoying themselves here.” I guess in reality we were fast becoming locals.
While at Cedar Beach’s marina we got a call from Brian. He and Marc had finished their stereo installation work, at least for today, and Brian was going to be bringing Contingency to Copiague to have some canvas work done during the week ahead. He asked if we would follow him over and give he and Marc a ride back. “Sure!” any good excuse for a boat ride with friends sounds good to us. So we met them at the intersection of the North Channel and the Lindenhurst Cut and followed them over to Amittyville Marina at the head of Woods Creek in Copiague.
Once we were there we saw Brian had his wife, Andrea, aboard along with their two daughters, Lennon (9yrs) and Layla (8months). It was going to be a full boat for the ride back to S-Dock, so we made room. Layla did not like the feel of a life jacket constricting her every move, but Shelly seemed to have a way to keep her smiling, even giggling aloud! It was fun to watch the two of them. Shelly did some “nanny” work for them months ago.
Once everyone was on board Shellerina, Brian asked if this boat would be able to get up on plane with so many on board. I honestly did not know for sure. But I did not really care to make the attempt. Why rush the ride back? We’ve got friends aboard! Especially with the kids, one of them an 8 month old infant, why force everyone to hang on for a bumpy ride back? Everyone seemed content to just putt back to S-Dock at Marine Max. So day three afloat and and log count 3+0, it really was the perfect spring boating day. We were grateful to be in so early again this year.
Shelly says “Yes” to having supper on the boat tonight!