Jul
23

Oak Beach to East & West Fire Islands

By

Everything about the kayak trip was perfect:

The weather was spectacular. Although we all know that you should dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature, the water was mostly near 80°, the air temperature about 85°, with a mild southwesterly wind topping out at about 10 MPH.

Heading out from Oak Beach

Heading out from Oak Beach

Lynne, Paul, Troy and Bob completed a 13-mile round trip from Oak Beach parking lot, to the island of East Fire Island, and back.

Lynne’s maiden voyage as an ACA Level 3 Trip Leader showed she was ready for the task. Along the the way, she was announcing the island names and markers from her chart as we were passing or approaching, and kept an eye on the weather, conditions and her paddlers.

Paul, who was the Trip Leading Back-up in Training, was assigned to be the navigator, as we were paddling in his “Stomping-Grounds,” and it showed. He also was the historian.

We stopped along the way at Sexton Island for a quick snack, and then continued around the north and east sides of West Fire Island, stopping along the southwest side of East Fire Island for lunch.

Taking a Break

Taking a Break

There, Paul found laying in the sand an old friend named “Wilson” (remember the volleyball that Tom Hanks had befriended in the movie Cast Away)? “Wilson” made the voyage back to Oak Beach on the deck of Lynne’s boat.

"Wilson" on the way home

“Wilson” on the way home

On the way back, Paul showed us the location of some of the oyster beds and fish trapping areas, both along a section of the bay called Wing Inlet.

Troy, a Licensed Master Boat Captain, who operates a water taxi in the summer right in the area where we were paddling, also offered lots of local knowledge, and made “SECURITE” calls on his VHS radio, advising powerboats to be aware of four kayakers crossing the busy channel and asking them to minimize their wakes.

Bob added some amusement to the end of the trip when we were loading our kayaks back on the car. Bob had his end of the kayak in one hand, and the beautiful “snail-shell” he just plucked from the bay, in his other hand.

Collecting sea shells

Collecting sea shells

Well on the way to the car, Bob had the escargot scared out of him, when the critter, acting like a fish out of water, was slithering out of its shell onto Bob’s hand. The animal was returned to the water immediately. Bob never knew he was supposed to be wary of shells.

Additional Pictures by Lynne, trip planning and navigation by Paul,  on water communication by Troy, Map and narrative by Bob.

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