Nov 9, 2009

Cruising the Great South Bay

Avi, John W., Elizabeth, Walter, Beth, Pete, Phil, Tony and I (photo top right) started arriving at the Club House around 8:00 AM Saturday morning. By 9:00 AM nine kayaks were on five cars and leaving Sebago, headed for Heckscher State Park, and perhaps the last cruising trip of the season.

After the fifty mile drive we all pulled into the parking lot at Heckscher State Park, just feet away from the north shore of The Great South Bay, and by 10:45 AM we were on the water (photo second from top). The water temperature was around 48-50. At put in the air temperature was 52 but warmed up to 58 by later in the afternoon. Most of us were wearing dry suits but a few had donned wet suits.

After crossing the Great South Bay we beached on Fire Island, near Sailors Heaven Center, around 12:20 PM. With the picnic area to ourselves we enjoyed a true picnic lunch. After refueling we tied up our kayaks against any rogue waves and followed the boardwalk into the Sunken Forest where we were treated to a close encounter with a five point buck. Passing through the Sunken Forest we emerged on the southern shore of Fire Island and briefly visited the Atlantic Ocean before heading back to our boats.

Putting in from Fire Island around 2 PM we paddled back across the Great South Bay (bottom photo right) from whence we had come. With wind and tide combining to provide one to foot waves for our enjoinment, the water was just a little more rougher for our return trip than it had been earlier in the day. Every once in a while it seemed like waves were over two feet, but those were few and far between.

By 4:00 PM were back on the beach at Heckscher State Park, changing, and loading boats for the return drive. Before we pulled out we were treated to a spectacular sunset over the Great South Bay.

Back at the club we unloaded and stored boats and gear, said our goodbyes, and signed out by 6:45 PM.

I have posted a more embellished report about this Great Day on the Great South Bay on my blog, Summit to Shore, complete with a link to more photographs from the trip.

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