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South Shore Blueway Grand Opening Event
By Rhonda Moziy
The June weather on Saturday the 4th was perfect for the South Shore Blueway Grand Opening Celebration. Sunny, warm, clear skies and high 80’s. Bay County Park in East Rockaway was filled with a vast amount of kayakers, paddle boarders, a huge swan paddleboat and many exhibitors. The Coast Guard lined the trail for all diverse water craft. On the shores, Coast Guards were on hand issuing vehicle safety check stickers to emphasize the importance of vehicle safety. I celebrated with joy when a sticker was proudly placed on my kayak. (A sign of my great training from NACK)
Our NACK exhibit stood proudly nearby the stage where dignitaries representing Nassau County expressed efficacious pleasure for this long-awaited trail way.
Executive Edward Mangano, Senator Todd Kaminsky, and other local officials from surrounding towns were among proud ribbon-cutters that opened the way for us to disperse into our fine scenic salt marshes along the southern coast of Nassau County. This is just the start for us to tour and bask in the serenity, beauty and peacefulness of pristine, undisturbed natural areas amongst a network of trails and launches.
As the red ribbon dropped, all water craft hit the waters taking us across the way to land at Hewlett Point Park Beach. For me, paddling this mile long trail among the many other water travelers, reminded me of rush hour on the Long Island Expressway. But I do have to admit, it was really a lot of fun. Drones flew over our heads and spectators lined the Bay Park Beach Shore to capture it all.
The paddle back awaited us with a gamut of special events and presentations. NACK was among the first to perform wet-exit rescue and recovery and rolling demonstrations. Our President John Weickert, Jr. took the bull by the horn (literally speaking) as he shouted through a huge bullhorn the step-by-step process demonstrated by our brave members Steve, Debbie, and Alan. Of course Chris, our exceptional boat rolling expert, was not to be missed. Everyone cheered.
Elizabeth O’Connor demonstrated, handling, maneuvering and how to pack a kayak. Empire Kayaks Stand-Up paddle board yoga then took the stage (or should I say water). Hobie fishing team gave a kayak fishing seminar. Freeport Kayak Rentals provided hourly family kayak launching. Empire Kayaks also gave an eco-tour. Among the many other kayak clubs on site were Long Island Paddlers, Like Island Kayak Enthusiasts, North Shore Kayak Club and surrounding Kayak business venues including Dinghy Shop. All took to the waters for various tours.
Besides NACK, among the many other exhibitors present were first and foremost Friends of the South Shore Blueway (they gave out duck whistles, mini duck toys and Blueway maps), Town of Hempstead – Marine Nature Study Area, Norman Levy Park, Jones Beach & Theodore Roosevelt Park, Kayak Fishing Association, and many other exhibitors.
A great day was had by all.
When you’re on the water or on a remote shore it’s a given that it will be a while before help can get there. That’s why First Aid and CPR training is so important. That’s why NACK has again teamed up with Port Jefferson EMS to provide initial training and/or recertification for our members.
All NACK instructors are required to be First Aid and CPR Certified and many members are also trained in this vital, life saving skill. The First Aid component of our instruction also included a discussion of hypothermia and hyperthermia, allergic reactions and the use of an epi-pen epinephrine autoinjector, lacerations, shoulder dislocations and other injuries common to on-the-water activities.
Out on the water is no place to take chances. It pays to have the skills to deal with situations that may occur and to be able to call for help if necessary. That means preferably a VHF Marine Radio or at least a cell phone in a waterproof case. Always bring your first aid kit, wear your PFD (Life Jacket) and prepare a float plan to let folks where you will be and when you’re returning. Be prepared, stay safe, and enjoy your day on the water.
Thought March was supposed to ‘come in like a lion’, not MAY ! Oh well. Just a short trip summary to report here to you that neither snow nor sleet nor gloomy, cold, rain-threatening May days will keep us from getting our boats, blades & bodies into the water. The 54° degree water at the Northport boat ramp was only about 2 degrees colder than the air yesterday but eight of us still managed to make an enjoyable outing over past Eatons Neck light & back.
Though I will say Lynne definitely came up WAY, way short with her promise of bringing us some FL sunshine for our trip!
It still was a nice, scenic paddle. (even with that completely cloud-covered sky. & when I say completely covered I mean we could barely make out the bottom half of the powerplant stacks on our way back).
It was a good exploratory day, mostly finding out that the entire peninsula surrounding the Eatons Neck basin is CoastGuard-controlled land with no private boat landings allowed.
We did find a nice spot nearby right on the South side to take our break. & once we checked out that there were no shorebird nests in the area we might be disturbing we spread out & stretched out for an enjoyable snack time
& While our trip over had some steady broadside swells with occasional breaking whitecaps, the paddle back Eastward was pretty smooth going, with no adverse winds/ currents. Maybe just the lightest mist of rain, if that.
We must’ve made good time there & back cause once outside the launch channel entrance we still had plenty of pre-K.Derby time to play & practice rolls & rescues, both self & assisted.
rare picture of chris (being the only one upright in his boat)
Glad we made it out yesterday as time is dwindling quickly for these Huntington Town launch locations. Only two more weekends left for us ‘outsiders’ before the resident-only rules clamp down hard on us.
Then again, in these days of $5 cups of coffee, even a $20 parking fee (while somewhat excessive, imo), is still worth it to me for access to some of Long Islands nicest paddling waters.
The South Shore Blueway Trail is a safe, legal network of water access points for human-powered boats and beachable sail craft, which allows people to experience the natural, scenic and cultural wonders of Long Island’s South Shore, while protecting wildlife and habitat and the safety of trail users and all mariners.
South Shore Blueway Grand Opening Celebration
Date: June 4, 2016 – National Trails Day
Location: Bay Park – Harbor Rd. & Marjorie Lane, East Rockaway, NY 11518
Time: 10AM to 2PM
Blueway Opening Celebration is supported by NY Community Bank Foundation
Blueway Waterproof Map presented by SUEZ Water
Featured Event: Blueway Inaugural Paddle
Activities awaiting locals and visitors include the following:
- 9:30am How to Pack a Kayak with Elizabeth O’Conner
- 9:45am Nassau County Executive Mangano officially opens boat ramp launch
- 10:00am Opening Remarks & Formal Dedication at Stage by Nassau County Executive Mangano and Assemblyman Kaminsky
- 10:00am Official Ribbon Cutting & Photo Opportunity at Beach Launch
- 10 – 2 Local Exhibitor Booths showcasing Blueway Attractions
- 10:30am Blueway Inaugural Paddle crossing a segment of the Blueway from Bay Park to Hewlett Point, and back. (Unload & setup at beach by 9:30)
- 10:30-12:30 Kayak Fishing Seminar with Hobie Fishing Team Member, Michael Dunne
- 11 – 2pm Family Kayaking by Freeport Kayak Rentals. Kayaks provided. Groups launch hourly.
- 11:30am Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga by Empire Kayaks
- 12:00pm Kayak Handling & Maneuvering Clinic with Elizabeth O’Conner
- 12:00pm Kayak EcoTour of Salt Marsh with marine biologist Kevin Rodger by Empire Kayaks
- Friends of South Shore Blueway
- K98.3 (10am – 12pm)
- SUEZ Water
- Town of Hempstead – Marine Nature Study Area
- Norman Levy Park
- Jones Beach & Theodore Roosevelt Park
- Long Island Traditions
- Eastern Mountain Sports/Carle Place
- Long Island Paddlers
- Kayak Fishing Association of New York
- North Atlantic Canoe & Kayak (NACK)
- Skudin Surf
- Waterfront Alliance
- Kevin Stiegelmaier, author Paddling Long Island / Paumanok Tours
Also, this will be the first time Impex will be back in the U.S. and they’ll have a full demo fleet available for paddlers to test out.
In one of it’s first public appearances, Wilderness Systems will have a demo available of their new Helix MD Motor Drive. The new electric drive will be a big game changer for fishermen looking to push harder and further.
You only need to bring something you don’t mind getting wet in, and they’ll supply the rest.
Hours are Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm.
Address: 334 S Bayview Ave, Amityville, NY 11701
Phone: (631) 264-0005
Update: Beautiful weather on Saturday so we’re moving the Kayak Fishing Seminar and Hobie Demo Day to Saturday April 30!
Empire Kayaks in Island Park will host HAPPY HOBIE DAY this
Sunday May 1 Saturday April 30 10am-2pm. Join them for a free demo of all the great Hobie products! The new Hobie Mystery product, the amazing Hobie Mirage Paddleboard!
Hobie Stand Up Paddleboards, the Hobie Mirage Drive pedal kayaks and the multi-functional Tandem Island are just some of the available Hobies to try out. Hobie Fishing Team members on hand to explain the advantages of fishing from a Hobie! Call 516 889 8300 to reserve!