Most Popular   >>>    The Nautical Mile     Greenport     Greenport Hotels     Fire Island     Long Island Wine Tasting

The Long Island Blog

August 23, 2009


Filed under: Events,Sand, Sea & Sky by Bill @ 10:40 am

Battle on the Bay is one of several events that take place on the Great South Bay each summer. I went yesterday for the speed trials, today the actual races will take place.

Boats are lunched from the pier with a crane.

Precarious, but it works

This is a jet engine powered boat. It sounded like the Bat Mobile as it screamed past at who knows how fast. I spoke to driver for a while and he told me they were running 3700 horsepower today, but the boat can run up to 6000 horsepower with the bigger engines. It has been clocked at speeds as high as 213 mph.

The Miss Geico racing team runs the world’s fastest offshore catamaran

There are plenty of food vendors at events like this, but I opted for a crab cake sandwich at Nancy’s Crab Shack right next door. Nancy’s has good food and I just feel more comfortable eating food from a known establishment rather than a truck.

Great food in a very casual setting. And yes, there really is a Nancy

August 15, 2009

It’s Snapper Time on Long Island

Filed under: Sand, Sea & Sky by Bill @ 10:44 am

The snappers are running and some people will do anything to catch them.

Jake and Kevin of East Islip carry their fishing gear to the dock with a neat  little bike rack that they built themselves. Their custom rack carries 4 poles and a couple of tackle boxes. Good job guys!


Snapper fishing is fun, easy, and the fish taste great. Right now they’re still a little on the small side, but they will be growing by the day.

Anyone can catch these fish—even 4 year olds—and they are a great way to introduce your kids to fishing. All you need is a pole and some bait.

See my complete guide to snapper fishing on Long Island. Everything you need to know is there including a video that shows you how to catch, clean, and cook them.

Good luck!

May 31, 2009

Scene on a Sunny Afternoon

Filed under: Sand, Sea & Sky by Bill @ 9:44 am

Sunshine has been scarce lately and today is not looking very good at all, so I’m glad I took a few minutes yesterday to snap some pictures down by the water.

It was a beautiful day with a brisk wind forming large swells and whitecaps on the Great South Bay. The wind and the waves must have kept most boaters home because the bay was deserted.

Other than the wind it was a perfect day with blue skies and big white clouds.

Sayville Dock

A lone fisherman tries his luck

Rays of sunlight beam from behind a cloud

Strange clouds race past the trees in my yard. (Looks much better in BW than color)

May 3, 2009

Big Bluefish in Long Island’s Great South Bay

Filed under: Sand, Sea & Sky by Bill @ 5:07 pm

I went down to the dock at the end of Foster Avenue in Sayville for lunch and was surprised to see a lot of people fishing—in the pouring rain.


Now fishermen are as dedicated as golfers when it comes to their sport, so it takes more than a little rain to keep a good fisherman home. However, if you’re going to fish in the rain, the fishing better be good, so I could not begin to imagine what brought so many people out today.

Within minutes I had my answer: Giant Bluefish.


These guys were pulling in the biggest bluefish I have ever seen, and right off the dock no less, one right after another.

I wanted to run home and grab a pole, but I know how these things go. If I had gone home the fish’d be gone by the time I got back. I figured I was better off just taking some pictures.


I know there are normally plenty of bluefish in the Great South Bay, but I have never seen big ones like these so far from the Fire Island inlet.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Many different species of fish use the bay as a nursery during this time of year, so the big blues are probably in the bay feeding on them.


Lesson learned? Keep a fishing pole in my truck at all times.

February 9, 2009

Three Sunrises

Filed under: Photo's,Sand, Sea & Sky,Winter by Bill @ 6:41 am

Here’s three quick shots of Long Island’s beautiful sunrises taken last Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. (I missed Saturday because I was sick.)

On Thursday I was lucky enough to catch a sun dog. That’s the bright little rainbow to the left of the sun near the seagull. Sun dogs are caused by ice crystals in the clouds reflecting the sun’s light and are fairly common during the winter.


Friday’s sunrise was brilliant red with a beautiful reflection of the sun over the frozen Great South Bay. The reflection shows where the bay is frozen and where it’s not, and I thought that was pretty cool.


This last picture, taken on Sunday morning, reminds me of something you might see in the arctic. There was ice everywhere and hardly any sun. In spite of what you might feel by looking at this picture, it was a relatively warm 40+ degrees F and I was quite comfortable without my gloves and hat.


So that’s three pictures of Long Island sunrises all taken in the same place, at the same time, within a few days of each other. It’s amazing how quickly the sky and the bay change isn’t it?

Edit: 02-11-2009

In reviewing the pictures I took on Sunday morning I found this one, taken with my back toward the sun. This is what the sun was looking at as it was rising.


February 1, 2009

New Video: Breaking the Ice

Filed under: Sand, Sea & Sky,Winter by Bill @ 2:10 pm

Yesterday was haul out day for my son’s boat. The procedure is simple: drive the boat to the ramp, wait for the hauler to show up, put the boat on the trailer, and go. Not so easy this time…

It’s been cold on Long Island! We’ve had a few days above freezing, but the nights have all been below the freezing point. For the most part the Great South Bay is free of ice, but the canals still have ice in them.


To get to the ramp my son had to break through over 100′ of ice several inches thick. Breaking ice with your boat is usually not recommend unless you know what you’re doing and have a boat that will take it.

The trick is to push your boat on top of the ice and let the boat’s weight crush the ice underneath it. You don’t want to speed into the ice and risk puncturing your hull. It also helps if the shape of your boat allows it to climb the ice.

If you have a deep forefoot and a plumb cutwater, you’re out of luck. In that case you’ll need someone on the bow with a pole to puncture and clear the ice before you go through it.


Also, don’t be fooled by thin ice. When I was a kid I saw a wooden boat sink because the captain thought he could cut through the thin ice in the marina. He was driving his boat around from his slip to the haulout slip where the Travelift was waiting.

Well, he cut through the ice no trouble at all, but at the same time the sharp ice was tearing through his wooden hull. The boat sank before he was even close.

If you do manage to break ice without sinking your boat, you’ll have a nice clean bottom as a bonus. The crushed ice scrapes everything off, even barnacles.

Here’s the video:

Breaking the ice on haul-out day

Okay, so breaking ice with your boat is not something everyone on Long Island is doing this winter, but that’s why I thought this might be interesting.

Click here for more Long Island videos from

January 8, 2009

Erosion at Fire Island Lighthouse

Filed under: Sand, Sea & Sky by Bill @ 6:30 am

I took a ride to the Fire Island Lighthouse over the weekend and was surprised to see how much beach we lost already this winter.


Staff at the lighthouse reported that 2 unbroken lighthouse bulbs from the 1940’s were exposed from the eroding dune face and donated to the museum by the finder. I think that’s pretty darn cool and have wonder if I would have been so generous as to donate both bulbs.

Here are some photos of the beach showing the loss of sand and some of the interesting things that appear when the sand is washed away.

This boardwalk used to extend over the dune and onto the beach. Here we can see that about half of the primary dune is gone.


Here is an aerial view of the same boardwalk before the washout. there used to be over 200 feet of beach. Now there’s only about 100 feet left.

Here an old push mower is seen along with some other things that I could not identify.

Look closely at this picture and you see a piece of dune fence sticking out of the dune like the ribs of some giant monster.

An old piling from a pier or maybe even a house.


A family examines a deposit of surf clams near the top of the dune.


Loss of sand is pretty common on Fire Island during the winter, and in many cases the sand comes back during the spring. I do think however, that it is going to take a long time to rebuild that dune.

January 1, 2009

Dawn of a New Year

Filed under: Sand, Sea & Sky,Winter by Bill @ 6:29 pm

While some people were afraid it might be too cold out or that there’d be too much sand on the beach 🙂  yours truly braved the sand, sea and bitter cold to bring you this beautiful Long Island sunrise.

Way off in the distance you can just make out Fire Island as a dark band on the horizon.

While I was wandering the beach I came across this horseshoe crab frozen to the eelgrass that’s been washed ashore.


Horseshoe crabs are one of my favorite sea creatures. They’re perfectly harmless in spite of the way they look, have great medical potential, and have been around for millions of years.

The morning was finger-numbing cold, clear, and absolutely beautiful. Hope we have much more of the same on Long Island in 2009.

December 15, 2008

Sun Pillar Over the Great South Bay

Filed under: Sand, Sea & Sky by Bill @ 6:54 am

Anyone catch the spectacular sunset we had on Long Island last night?

Not only was it beautiful, but there was a sun pillar too. Sun pillars are caused by falling ice crystals high in the atmosphere.

Here the sun is below the horizon and the pillar is the vertical stripe to the right of center. Of course the photo does not do justice to the beauty of this scene. You had to be there.

September 22, 2008

First Day of Fall on Long Island

Filed under: Fall,Sand, Sea & Sky by Bill @ 9:27 pm

If you live on Long Island seeing the sun rise over the Great South Bay is a relatively common sight, but I can never get enough of it.

I was up early this morning and took the scenic route to work. I was lucky enough to catch this rower just as he crossed the reflection of the sun on the water.

This almost looks like a sunset, but it is not. This is the sun at 7:08am this morning, 28 minutes after it rose. Today, the Autumnal equinox and also the first day of fall, the sun rose directly in the east and set directly in the west. Yes, you can set your compass by it.

I would love to have been the guy in the boat, but even just catching a sight like this was a great way to start a new season.

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Blog Home

Loving Long Island Home