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Ballard Sailor

More Oyster Bay then Northport Harbor

Rating: 83 votes, 5.00 average.


On Friday morning we dropped our mooring and motored around the corner of the bay to find an anchorage in the middle of the SCYC mooring field. Great spot found, we set the hook and dinghy’d in to the SCYC pier and let the launch guys know it was our boat anchored there and headed up to the pavilion for team picking. It was just like elementary school, you here, you here, you here. Fortunately they placed Jennifer with me as I had volunteered to be a helmsman. They also put two very nice people with us - we had no idea this couple had just become members. They were new to the yacht club and got thrown on a boat with the cross country non-members. Not a problem though ‘cause we had a blast!


Before the start, the RC had us swing by the committee boat and one of them, JP, jumped aboard (we think to cover for the newbies and make sure us Leftcoasters didn’t screw things up). But it didn’t matter, as we won the start and the first beat and had to do a circle to wait for everyone to catch up so we could be part of the team battle. It was a blast, tight 3 on 3 team racing in some very forgiving small keel boats. We switched up the teams every 2 races to try and level the playing field and after 8 races we called it a day and headed back to the mooring field to put the boats away and catch the launch back to the yacht club.


SCYC is a very fancy, exclusive looking club with a huge amount of acreage and clay tennis courts right next to the clubhouse. The clubhouse is a suit and tie affair with dark wood bar rooms and upstairs even has overnight rooms for members to reserve and use for the weekend. Needless to say, us sailors were kept out on the South porch but the beers and snacks were plentiful as we did a quick debrief of the race. Rules were brought up and roundings and various engagements were brought up to make sure everyone understood the rules and what exactly happened. Then we all spent some time downing beers and getting to know each other.


I gotta say, the members I had a beer with and spent time spinning yarns about sailing with did not act in any way like they were members of an exclusive yacht club. They were a great group of welcoming sailors glad to have us there and share their club with us. On the way out, the evening launch crew gave us grief for anchoring in their mooring field, even going so far as to tell us it was illegal for us to anchor there. To which I told him to check his colregs, as he was wrong. No big deal, as we were heading out to pull anchor and move back over to SYC for band night. It was sad to end such a great day at SCYC (with such welcoming members) with a SCYC employee being rude to us, but humans are a crazy bunch and we won’t hold it against the very kind, welcoming and friendly members of SCYC.


Back over at Sagamore and on anchor, we dinghy’d in and joined the crowd at their band night. They set up a full band, strings, drums, horns, you name it, on the balcony and let it rip ‘til the wee hours with a full bar just inside and a restaurant down below. You couldn’t ask for a better way to spend your Saturday evening. We met more happy people that night than we had the entire trip. They welcomed us, fed us, served us (maybe a bit more than we needed) and then returned us to our boat in the launch so we wouldn’t have to take our dinghy back out to Libra. If you ever spend time in Oyster Bay and are looking for a low key, fun type yacht club to spend some time at or join, Sagamore Yacht Club is your place.


Sunday dawned early, well early for us, as we were completely worn out after 4 days in Oyster Bay. Sad to leave but it was time to move on. We hoisted anchor and motored out of the inner harbor where we set sail and began our trip to Northport Harbor near Huntington Bay. The sailing didn’t last long, well only a few miles before it completely crapped out and it was time to hoist the iron genoa. Rumbling away, she kept us moving at well over 5 knots in the glassy conditions and soon we were rolling our way through the powerboat waves into Huntington Bay and turning the corner into Northport Harbor.

Bryant McElroy, who I had sailed with on the Sonar back in Manhasset Bay, had invited us up to visit if we got to Northport. Bryant had told me his boat Mercy was anchored off of Duck Island and that his yacht club, Eatons Light YC, had a mooring at Price Bend that we could use if it was empty. Ok, so we motored in to Price Bend and looked all over for this mooring. We couldn’t find anything that looked like the mooring ball he had described. Hmm, so we motored back out towards the entrance and looked through a small mooring field near Sand City Island. Bam, right there next to the Island. ELYC right on the ball and it was empty. We picked it up and promptly stripped down to our shorts and jumped over the side. MacIntosh and I swam to the Island as Jennifer rowed the boat over. It was just too damned hot for us Leftcoasters to take.



Sand City Island is now a very cool weekend anchorage with beach to walk and deep water all around it. It is covered with foundations and rebar left over from a sand quarry set up for the bridges of New York. Seems the deep water here didn’t exist ‘til it was dug out for the bridge foundations all around New York. The leftover buildings had to be torn down a few years ago to protect the public, but the foundations still exist to fill the wandering sailor’s mind with wonderment of what exactly used to be here. Soon Bryant came motoring by in his dinghy and lead us across the bay past Winkle Point to the entrance of Duck Island Harbor were his Halberg Rawsey Mercy is moored. Also, it was a closer point to jump ashore and come visit him, his wife Mercy and many friends at their house on Eatons Neck.


Ashore we went and found a great community park where we pulled the dinghy up and hopped in Bryant’s car for the short ride to his house. Now we hadn’t been in a car for well over a month and this was an experience in itself, but the scenery and community we passed rivaled any we had experienced in the San Juans or other PNW Islands. Once at the house and introductions made, we were treated to a 3 piece band playing every tune imaginable while Mercy served up the food and MacIntosh chased the raccoons away from the BBQ, fun for everyone. By sunset we were back aboard Libra and crawling into the forepeak for some well deserved rest. We’re meeting some great people along this trip and, well, it’s wearing us out! We wouldn’t trade a moment of it though, it’s all part of the experience.


Monday, Memorial Day, dawned hot, and I mean hot and still, no wind. We don’t do too well with that kind of weather and once someone started dragging a screaming kid around behind their runabout and MacIntosh started running and chortling around the deck - sure that the kid needed saving, we decided it was time to move. We pulled anchor and motored back over to the ELYC mooring and immediately jumped in the water for a swim. It was just too damned hot and we were getting cranky. Soon the McElroy’s motored up in Mercy and we jumped aboard for an afternoon sail out to the light house.


We ambitiously pulled the mainsail cover off in the anticipation of a sail, my idea, and low an’ behold, there was nothing, glassy water disturbed only by the putrid annoyance of bayliner waves cresting across the soft water. Wind aside we had a blast. Bryant, Mercy, Zow, Helene, Jennifer, MacIntosh and myself enjoyed an afternoon of motoring around the inlet of Hutington Harbor with our very own tour guide and galley chef. Mercy brought out treat after treat of cold snacks to keep us lazy as the afternoon sun beat down on our backs. Some fun friends we have made on this short trip and as they dropped us off on Libra and motored away they waved while yelling, call us if you get to Greenport, we have a cabin there! Left alone on Libra we headed ashore for a walk on the beach before dinner and crawling into the steamy hot forepeak - how do people cruise to Mexico? That has to be a very hot adventure!
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East Coast Cruise for 2012

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