If you are cruising along Great South Bay, and can handle shallower waters, then step into some adventure and come ashore at the South Bay Sailing Center and explore all the fun activities at the Dinghy Shop. Located at the South Bay Sailing Center, just north of Buoy 20, the Dinghy Shop has a beautiful sandy beach on the mouth of Ketcham’s Creek with vistas of the Great South Bay.
There’s a lot to do at the South Bay Sailing Center. You can rent a kayak by the hour, either a single, tandem, sit-on-top, or even a fishing kayak (bring your own pole and tackle). There are lots of fun places to explore, such as the Amityville River with its old boathouses and tiny islands, or the many marsh islands with abundant wildlife. If you are a bird watcher, these islands are heaven! You can also kayak just east to Tanner Park, get lunch and paddle back.
If you come onWednesday afternoon, you can catch a twilight kayak tour, which starts at 6pm and comes back at dusk. These tours start the first week in June and end in October. Also there are Full Moon Kayak tours (see dinghyshop.com for schedule) which leave at 6pm and stay out to watch the full moon rise above the bay. This is a truly magical experience; paddlers are always treated to the bay’s exceptional natural beauty during this atmospheric time of day. On one such tour, the conditions were just right for our paddlers to experience a bioluminescent bloom. When this occurs, the bay’s phosphorescent plankton lights up when disturbed, causing every paddle stroke to light up in the darkness. You can also set up a private or group tour in advance and the Dinghy Shop will have a guide available for you.
If small dinghy sailing is your joy, you can rent a Sunfish to splash around in or sail over to one of the many marsh islands to explore. The sailing here is excellent, with steady seabreezes that clock in most days around 1:00 in the afternoon. You can learn also how to paddle a kayak or sail a small dinghy. Set up a lesson with the Dinghy Shop at 631-264-0005.
If you are really adventurous you can take kiteboarding lessons. Contact Best Kiteboarding Amityville, 631-691-0793 (which is also located at the South Bay Sailing Center) and make reservations ahead of time. There is also some very good fishing here at the mouth of the creek - this is one of the best fluke fishing spots on the Great South Bay.
So come to the South Bay Sailing Center and play for a day, just north of Buoy 20, directly across the bay from Gilgo. You may also want to visit the friendly bay Village of Amityville, NY, a quaint little hometown with graceful older homes, beautiful gardens, and friendly residents.
Sue Koehler is the co-owner of the Dinghy Shop.