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.
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
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!
Just got this from Jack Gilman.
The 10th Annual Hudson River Greenland Festival will be held Thursday, June 23rd through Sunday, June 26 at Croton Point Park.
Meals, lodging, and all instruction included — strokes, rolls, rescues, and fun races for adults and youths, ages 8 and up.
Greenland paddle-carving workshop on Friday with Don Beale of Beale Paddles, Oregon.
Special guests include Dubside!
Registration is open and space is limited. See the website http://www.hrgf.org for information.
Great place to work on your roll!
Article By Rhonda Moziy
On Saturday, April 9th NACK had some very special guests from the Coast Guard Auxiliary join us for an enlightening and informative presentation. This special event took place at Town of Babylon Sport Fishing Education Center (Cedar Beach Marina), Ocean Parkway in Babylon
Two members from Division One Bayshore/Babylon Coast Guard Auxiliary, Mark Stone and George Barnes, were on hand discussing important safety measures when kayaking. The following were imperative points to always remember.
- The most important rule they spoke about was to always WEAR YOUR PERSONAL FLOATATION DEVICE (PFD). Wearing your lifejacket will help keep your head above water and add insulation to your body, keeping you warmer in cold water.
- Tell someone your float plan, which includes: where you are going, what you will be doing, how long you expect to be gone and how many people are in your party. Then stick to your plan.
- Stay hydrated. Always bring plenty of water and food.
- Before paddling, check on tides and currents, shoreline conditions, weather patterns and water temperature.
- Marine VHF radios versus a cellular phone. The VHF radio gives greater amount of coverage to a wider range of people as opposed to one-to-one only contact. This extensive coverage ensures a distress call will be heard and responded to by the Coast Guard. A marine VHF radio also allows you to listen to weather forecasts and severe storm warnings from NOAA, giving you time to get to shore ahead of a storm. When using a VHF radio, call on channel 16 and use Distress signal “MAYDAY”, spoken three times. Try to give position of your kayak by distance to a well-known landmark.
- Kayaks and canoes must carry a minimum of three visual distress signals. Night signals include red flares, either handheld or aerial.
- Vessel identification stickers can save the Coast Guard a great deal of time and effort when they find a canoe, kayak or standup paddleboard adrift with no paddler and no identifying information. Without these stickers the Coast Guard must assume that a person is missing and in distress, and that requires a full-scale search and rescue. Plus, it dramatically improves your chances of getting your boat back.
We were also shown how to download a Coast Guard Phone App It’s available for both iPhone or Android and it lets you create a float plan and email it to family or friends. Of course this app is free to all boaters and you’re strongly encouraged to use it.
Mark and George spoke about how the Coast Guards offer mariner training and certification standards for recreational boating safety. Afterwards, they took us outside and provided boat inspections to those of us who brought our kayaks. After total inspection, Steve and John were proudly given a Coast Guard Seal of Approval.
The delicious lunch afterwards was superb. We sat down to two big huge hero sandwiches, one was American and the other was Italian. Potato salads, potato chips and other side delicacies kept our plates full. We had beverages galore and assorted cookies. Best of all, our great camaraderie is the essence of our club.
We once again wish to thank our Coast Guard guests Mark Stone and George Barnes for educating us with pertinent information to make sure that we all stay safe while navigating the waters.
The Coast Guard Auxiliary is about fellowship, education and safety. The US Coast Guard was established well over 200 hundred years ago and became a unit of national defense, one of the five branches of the Armed Forces. Today, people have become more aware of an array of their many responsibilities extending far beyond military defense. Their many vessels comprise not only boats, but airplanes, helicopters and other equipment. Thousands of non-military, volunteer personnel are part of their daily functions. Search and rescue (SAR) helping boaters in distress, saving people who may have underestimated the dangers of the open seas is just one of the Coast Guard’s oldest missions. Watching the coastlands of the United States and protecting the numerous waterways, harbors, ports, intercepting drug smugglers, enforcing fishery laws, stopping unauthorized ocean dumping, preventing oil and chemical spills and maintaining maritime aids to navigation, signs, symbols, buoys, markers, light houses, and public education make-up some of their many important tasks.
For more information or to volunteer with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, you can follow this link http://www.cgaux.org/
The Grand Opening celebrates the community effort and support that helped make the water trail a reality. The South Shore Blueway is a collaborative project by state, county and local government agencies, conservation organizations, volunteer groups, and the paddle community. It took years of advocacy and tireless work. NACK members have participated in each phase of trail development, from suggesting launches, participating in outreach sessions, and conducting field surveys of trailheads.
Now it’s time to celebrate what all that hard work has accomplished!
The Blueway Trail Grand Opening features a full day of activities and paddling at Bay Park in Hewlett. Bring your kayak, canoe or SUP to participate in the Inaugural Blueway Paddle! Saturday, June 4, 2016 on National Trails Day.
The South Shore Blueway Trail spans the southern coast of Nassau County encompassing the western bays of the South Shore Estuary Reserve (SSER), comprised of West, Middle, and East Hempstead Bays and South Oyster Bay. From the western border of the Town of Hempstead the project area stretches 18 miles to the Nassau/Suffolk County line at South Oyster Bay. One of the largest undeveloped coastal wetlands systems in New York State, the large complex of shallow, interconnected bays is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by Jones Beach and Long Beach barrier islands. Two openings separate the barrier islands and connect the bays with the ocean at Rockaway Inlet and Jones Inlet. Hundreds of acres of tidal wetlands, barrier beach and back-°©‐barrier lagoon, creeks and channels, marshlands, mudflats, and salt marsh islands characterize the south shore region. The area supports a diversity of fish and wildlife providing vital habitat for migratory shorebirds, wintering waterfowl and finfish. South Oyster Bay and the Hempstead Bays are on the Atlantic Flyway, a major bird migration route. Multiple species of seals winter in the bays. The South Shore Blueway Trail spans the Town of Hempstead and Town of Oyster Bay,the Village of Freeport and the City of Long Beach, Jones Beach Island, and several other villages and hamlets.