A Nautical Neighborhood Known as the Great South Bay

By Lauren ten Hoopen“The anchor is holding!” I say as the boat rocks to a floating stop. The blaring sun is making the water’s ripple twinkle all around us. We have just completed the voyage from our boat slip, and created our personal “parking space” in the Great South Bay.Boating is unique to each boater. Some may use their vessel to fish, others to have a floating couch, and even some as a shuttle to commute in. The purposes are endless and particular to each voyager. Although, what is consistent, is the community that floats on water.The Great South Bay is a Fire Island “town” in itself. Instead of biking to their destination, boaters skim and hop over waves along the surface of the bay. There may be no lifeguards, but we do wear lifejackets. In place of markets, coolers are jammed packed full of delicious food and drinks. But best of all, a swim is wherever you want it to be.As a nautical neighborhood, it’s always fun to explore new parts of the bay with your friends and families. If you’re looking to throw a hook and tie up with other boaters head to Sore Thumb or Democrat Point. Being close to the Fire Island Inlet, the bay at these destinations is as clear as can be and has some of the cleanest water to jump into. Want to go clamming? Check out “The Flats,” an area to the west of the Robert Moses bridge, and dig your feet in. This is also a great space to tube, water ski, and wakeboard. Wherever your boat may take you, the bay will always have an exciting adventure in store. The boating community here on the Great South Bay is something I’ve grown up being a part of. It’s an experience that has given me an appreciation of how unique of a place we live in. Our neighborhood that floats on the bay shares the same waterfront property and beautiful views, although each boater’s adventure is different, and each boat leaves its own wake.Boating Tips:Being a boater myself, I’ve learned a few “rules of the road” when taking on the Great South Bay. Wherever you may be on the bay, here are five helpful tips that may be useful to you:1. Sandbars are everywhere and closer than you think. Stay in the channel.2. Crab traps are mazes. Don’t try to maneuver their path.3. “Crazy Charlie” has the same traffic on the weekend as cars during rush hour.4. If it’s a southwest wind, which is most common, get ready for choppy seas and wet clothes.5. Wave hello to passing boaters and watch out for each other, it can be rough out there.