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September 24, 2009

Fall Sunrise

Filed under: Fall,Photo's,Sand, Sea & Sky by Bill @ 9:26 am

I got up early on the first day of fall to see what the dawn of a new season looks like. It was quite beautiful…

A lone gull at the end of the pier (click pic for full size)

Hmmm. Could this be the same guy from last year’s fall sunrise?

September 13, 2009

Hummingbirds on Long Island

Filed under: Sand, Sea & Sky by Bill @ 7:23 am

I saw a hummingbird in the garden on Friday and then again on Saturday. Luckily, I had the camera handy and snapped a few pictures before it flew away.

From what I’ve read this is either a juvenile male or female ruby throated hummingbird. Ruby throated hummingbirds are the only kind we see here on Long Island, and at this time of year they are migrating south to Mexico.

Incredibly, to reach their final destination they fly right over the Gulf of Mexico, a trip that takes 18 to 20 hours of non-stop flight. By mid-September (now) there will be very few of these guys left on Long Island, so I must have seen one of the last to leave.

I shot these pictures in a panic (Quick, get the camera!) and was shooting through a window, hence the lack of clarity. Maybe, when it opens again next summer, I’ll visit the Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary and take some better pictures.





August 24, 2009

Hurricane Bill at Robert Moses

Filed under: Photo's,Sand, Sea & Sky by Bill @ 7:17 am

I love a good storm, so as soon as the beaches were open I drove down to Robert Moses State Park to see what the surf was doing and if there was any damage to the beach.

I wanted to climb the Fire Island Lighthouse for a bird’s eye view, but unfortunately that part of the beach was still closed. I ended up at field 2.

It was apparent that the surf came all the way up to the dunes. I am not familiar with this part of the beach so I couldn’t really tell how much sand was lost.

Here are some pictures.










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 17, 2009

Greenport Harbor Brewing Company

Filed under: East End,Food & Drink by Bill @ 6:57 am

Just when you thought the town of Greenport couldn’t get any cooler someone goes and starts a brewery.

I had heard about Greenport Harbor Brewing Company but didn’t think it was open yet. I drove by last weekend to see how things were coming and, well, see for yourself:

Right next to the jail behind Sweet Indulgences

The tasting room

In the tasting room you can taste beer, and buy pint glasses, tee shirts, bumper stickers…

First impressions: The beer (3 ales the day I was there) is excellent, and co-founder Richard Vandenburgh (in the doorway above) is an enthusiastic and gracious host. I expect good things to come.

Greenport Harbor Brewing Company
234 Carpenter Street

More about Greenport

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!

June 29, 2009

Field Day at the Long Island Maritime Museum

Filed under: Events by Bill @ 6:55 am

CQ, CQ, CQ field day…

That was the mantra heard across Long Island this past weekend as local ham radio operators took part in Field Day, an annual exercise in emergency preparedness. (CQ is an invitation for anyone hearing the signal to respond.)

You might have seen them in open fields at schools, parks, parking lots, malls; small groups of people huddled over radio equipment connected to antennas strung between trees or held up by twine.

I came across this group, members of the Radio Central Amateur Radio Club, at the Long Island Maritime Museum in Sayville.

field-day-1Establishing a satellite link for long distance communication

field-day-sat-antennaThis portable antenna can be set up in a matter of minutes

In the event of a natural disaster, extreme weather (or worse) standard means of communication are sometimes knocked out leaving amateur radio operators, hams for short, as the only link to vital emergency services.

To demonstrate their emergency operating capabilities hams take their equipment outdoors for a 24 hour period running from 2pm on Saturday to 2pm the Sunday on the 4th weekend in June. During this time they try to contact as many other hams as possible sometimes making upwards of 50 contacts per hour.

It’s nice to know that on a moment’s notice amateur radio operators can set up effective, long distance and local communication systems that don’t rely on telephone, internet, power grid, or any other infrastructure that can be compromised in a crisis.

As a former ham myself, I think this is pretty cool.

More information about ham radio

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 18, 2009

Tractor for Sale

Filed under: East End by Bill @ 5:22 am

You have no idea how bad I want to buy this tractor. If you’ve driven on Rt. 25 on the north fork lately you may have seen it. Never mind that I have no idea what I would actually do with it (other than ride in circles in my backyard). I just want it. Only $2500! It’s killing me to just let it sit there.

1950ish Ford tractor

I’ve had this infection ever since I was a kid. I think it started after my first trip to City of Glass on Melville road. Do you remember those giant green houses? There’s nothing but condos there now. It was either that or the TV show “Modern Farmer.” At 6am every Saturday I was glued to the television.

If you’re into this farm stuff like I am you might want to check out The Barns of the North Fork. The book documents all 734 of Long Island’s north fork barns and includes beautiful photographs of 150 of them. It’s much cheaper that a tractor and takes up a lot less room too.

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.

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