Huntington Yacht Club, Long Island, NY – Friday, 6/18
As usual, Denise was up early and began the generator to warm up the boat (it was 60°) and to brew coffee. It was calm in the harbor, other than a few passing fishing boats that periodically created small wakes.
Denise wanted to get up early to jump on getting email done, and to get the last blog update published. We were going only 20+ miles today; our destination was Huntington Yacht Club, near the Village of Huntington. This would only take us a little over an hour to get there, so we were not in any hurry to leave our mooring.
Finally, at 9:00 we left Port Washington and headed out of Manhasset Bay onto Long Island Sound in near perfect conditions. It was a beautiful day and there was hardly any wind (less than 5 kts), with barely a ripple on the water. We could even see the NYC skyline as we turned north. Along the way we got to see the hilly eastern shore of Long Island Sound, and passed a few lighthouses; some on land and some in the water.
Before long we were entering the Huntington Bay Inlet which is wide open and has a power plant on its northern shore which is very visible. At the eastern end is the Huntington Inlet Light which signifies the start of the “no-wake” zone all the way into the harbor.
The shoreline surrounding the inlet, the bay and eventually the harbor are speckled with enormous and beautiful homes, as well as natural preserve areas. It really was quite beautiful and Denise took way too many pictures of the homes.
At 10:30 we arrived at the Huntington Yacht Club (HYC) and initially pulled up to the fuel dock to fill our water tanks. We met Dockmaster, Otto and he gave us our mooring assignment, all the required marina information, and a bag of ice for our cooler. We then headed to mooring ball #42 which was not too far from the docks and just along the edge of the shore. It was a great spot and we got to see all the action: boats coming and going in the harbor, birds on the shore, and Yacht Club activities.
We spent the rest of the morning working, doing emails, and talking with family on the phone. After lunch we called for the launch so we could get off the boat and investigate the Yacht Club. We walked around the grounds checked out the pool area, the snack bar at the pool, the clubhouse, and the marina. The wind had picked up considerably, so we were not anxious to go back to the boat, which was rocking around in the waves. Since it was such a nice day, we just hung around the patio area of the club, with its bright colored umbrellas and comfortable chaise lounges.
Eventually, we had the launch take us back to the boat for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Due to Covid, the club’s restaurant and bar was still closed, but we had already made plans to eat on the boat for dinner anyway. Although working intermittently throughout the day, the reach of the Yacht Club Wi-Fi into the moorings was just too erratic for us to try and stream TV or a movie this evening. Plus Mark was wanting to read his book instead, so that is how we both spent the rest of the evening.
Huntington Yacht Club, Long Island, NY – Saturday, 6/19
Figuring she could use her run as a reconnaissance mission, Denise plotted a course to go into Huntington. But first she had to get the launch to take her (or get Mark up early) to get off the boat. The launch was not available until after 7:00, and she was getting impatient waiting. It was getting hotter each minute, and finally when he did come the temperature was already at 73° – normal by FL standards, but she has not had to run in temps like this for a few weeks.
Heading out of HYC, Denise headed up a big hill and then down a narrow 2-lane road, canopied with beautiful trees, lovely homes, and no sidewalks or shoulder. About a quarter of a mile down the road, she passed a few businesses, and the neighborhood firehouse, where finally the road widened and there was sidewalk the rest of the way. She ran past the marinas that lined the edge of the harbor, through a rotary and into the Village of Huntington and some of its many shops and restaurants. After 2 miles she turned around and headed back; a shorter than desired run, but the heat and the hills were taking its toll.
When we first decided on Huntington as a venue, we had wanted to go visit Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, which is the former home of Teddy Roosevelt. In addition to his summer home, there is also a museum and trails to hike on the grounds. We also wanted to see one of the Vanderbilt homes, and both of these venues were within 20 minutes of HYC. So, we tried to rent a car through both Enterprise and Hertz; both of whom had locations less than 15 minutes from the HYC. However, neither agency had weekend hours and would charge us for a rental from Friday until Monday, even if we only wanted the car for one day. The cost would have been over $250 and we felt like we could pay for a lot of Uber rides for that. What we didn’t know was that Uber would present its own challenges.
Once back on the boat, and breakfast done, we planned a local adventure for the day. We would go to the Farmers market in town, then go to lunch, explore the Village a bit, go to 5:00 mass, and grab dinner before heading back to the boat. All that sounded great, except that our plans were thwarted when we learned there were no Uber drivers available in the area. We attempted to get the staff at HYC to take us via car, but they are not allowed, Otto said he could not spare us the manpower. He did offer to have the launch take us to the city boat ramp area and we could walk the rest of the way into town. We asked if there was a place to rent bikes, and then Otto mentioned about the ones you can pick up in one spot and drop off at another spot; like we have seen in many big cities. As luck would have it there was one spot right near the boat ramp.
Off we went with Luis (launch captain) all the way to the end of the harbor, where he dropped us off at the boat ramp docks. We then walked a short distance to the ball fields and deli (as directed by Otto) and sure enough, there was the bike stands with a sign to tell you what to do. But what should have taken us 10 minutes to accomplish, ended up taking well over 30 minutes with all kinds of issues setting up our profiles and choosing bikes that previous renters had not ended their rentals, so it wouldn’t let us rent them. Finally after a few calls to their customer service line, we were able to get it working and got two bikes so we could ride the rest of the way in town. It was hot and we were ready to get under way.
Our first stop was the town’s farmer’s market, which proved to be a big disappointment. Although it was near their closing time when we arrived, it was so much smaller than we expected and some of the vendors were some form of franchise (selling pasta, selling dips and sauces, etc.) that we have seen at other farmer’s markets.
We were done with this within 5 minutes and decided it was time for lunch. But first we needed to find a place to return the bikes as there was no use in paying for time we were not riding them. Lucky for us the stand was right near the restaurant we wanted to go to. Five minutes later and to Mark’s delight we entered “Old Field’s” and placed our orders. The best part was the beer that was super refreshing on this very hot day, but the food was pretty delicious too.
After lunch we walked around through some of the shops along the two main avenues through town. In addition to some local places, they have a few of the usual touristy type stores (Ben & Jerry’s, Kerwin’s Chocolates, etc.). But the one really unique thing we discovered was the bookstore, “Book Revue”. It is like a Barnes & Nobles, plus a huge selection of used books, and a coffee bar. We spent over an hour and half looking through books and enjoying the air conditioning; Mark even found a nice comfy chair where he attempted to take a nap.
Realizing we had spent way too much time in the place we knew we had to leave, but we had no other plans until mass at 5:30. We figured we could go to the public library and hang out there for the next hour or so, before it would be time to walk to church. Back down Main Street we walked to the public library, only to discover that is was closed due to the newly created National Holiday of Juneteenth. We found some shade and sat at the park bench near St. John’s Episcopal Church for a bit, but it too got hot. Across the street was a Panera and we decided it was time for some refreshing drinks and a late afternoon snack. Off we went for refreshments and a place to relax, while making use of their Wi-Fi to plan our next series of stops on this adventure.
Finally, it was time for church, so we walked one block further south to the Church of t. Patrick. Here we found a beautiful church with a huge pipe organ and a warm congregation.
During mass, the expected rain came and we were wondering if we could get a ride back to the yacht club, instead of walking the mile to the town ramp and calling for the launch, as planned. After mass we approached the priest (Fr. Noel Sixon) to see if he knew of anyone who could give us a ride. He kindly offered to take us and we took him up on the offer. Along the way back to HYC we learned he is originally from the Philippines and is one of 5 kids. His father died when he was 4 and his mother when he was in seminary. He was gracious and funny and we really felt so blessed to have encountered this really wonderful man.
Once back at HYC, we made plans to order dinner from the “take out” menu; currently available for pick up only in the clubhouse. We put in our order and waited in their Regatta Room (the informal lounge and bar area) until it was available and then got the launch to take us back to our boat. We turned on our generator to charge the batteries, and then ate our delicious dinner. We were tired and retired very early thereafter to a peaceful night.
We really liked this Yacht Club. It is in a beautiful place and we found the staff to be excellent, and the food to be delicious. Our only regret was not being able to stay longer and visit the places we really wanted to see, but as it is on Long Island, we can always come back by car one day.
Tomorrow we will leave for Greenport, near the end of Long Island. We have been there before and after 4 days on moorings we are anxious for a slip on the dock. Here are a few other pictures of the HYCL