ATLANTIQUE:10 Best Things About Atlantique

By Kirsten CorssenThe ShackThere is nothing better than after a long day at the beach to stop at The Shack. The laid back atmosphere, the delicious 5 o’clock Rocket Fuels, the crispy fries, the live music and the smiles from behind the counter make The Shack an all around amazing place to be. Throughout the summer, they have many events that go on including delicious drink specials and multiple live bands that perform on the weekends. These events bring in huge crowds and a guaranteed good experience with all the other sun-kissed Atlantique locals.Locals OnlyIn order for one to dock their boat at Atlantique Thursday through Sunday, the captain must have a town sticker, proving Town of Islip residency. This creates a community full of familiar faces and friendly hellos when walking down the dock at any time of day. Most, if not all, of the boaters know one another and live generally in the same area, creating common ground. This forges many good friendships that last beyond Columbus Day, the official closing of the marina.Shark FishingYou may not be aware of this (or want to know) there are sharks in the Great South Bay. Don’t get too worried because you are more likely to get burned in the hot public showers at Atlantique than to get bit by a shark swimming in the marina. If you have spent long periods of time in the Marina, I am sure you have seen people fishing on the ferry dock and if you are lucky watched them catch one. These Nurse sharks are scavengers that feed off the bottom. Don’t worry about possibly falling into the marina, no recorded shark attacks have occurred.The LifeguardsNot only are they nice to look at, these Town of Islip lifeguards are the most highly trained lifeguards on Long Island. They are required to pass a rigorous mental and physical test unlike any other, making these guards the best of the best. Whether you need your umbrella securely dug in the sand or a helping hand when stuck in the rip current, they have the whole beach under their watchful eye.The Ferry WakeIf you ask any boater what their favorite thing about Atlantique is, you would hear a response describing the peaceful sound of the water lapping against the side of the boat at night. There is nothing better than falling sleep to this gentle “lap-lap” sound. This sound is often created by the wake of the ferry that comes in and out of the marina. Although the engines may wake you up, the lap of the wake will help you fall back to sleep.Handball CourtsThese classic giant white walls and cement courts serve many purposes that the locals love to enjoy. Walking past there at any hour of the day you will see children playing, hear teens socializing, or see the adults setting up the barbecue to feed their family and friends; all ages enjoying the area.Rich Mahogany ConcertSpeaking of the handball courts, the best event that takes place there, in my opinion, is the annual Rich Mahogany Concert. This live concert attracts a large crowd of people who come from all over the Island and supplies them with the raw talent of Rich Mahogany and his wonderful band. This annual event is a monumental one. If you have not been to this concert, it should be added to your summer bucket list.The Clam TournamentWho doesn’t like clamming? Grab a couple of your friends, maybe a few cold ones, head out to a nice sand bar in the GSB and dig your toes in the sand to find some famous Long Island clams. The Annual George Hallock and Friends Clam Tournament’s goal is to see who can collect the most clams in one day. This event takes place the third weekend of August (Aug. 22, 2015) and has been going on for six years now. This event was started by Larry Hallock in honor his father George, along with all those who enjoy the Great South Bay and the tradition of clamming.OWS SwimThose who like to keep the perfect summer body all year around are members of OWS (Open Water Swim), a program run by Bryan Krut that trains swimmers to endure long distances in the water. Bryan is a very experienced swimmer who has worked as an Atlantique lifeguard since he was a teen. Along with the year round swim program, OWS also holds an annual Charity Fundraising ocean swim, with the starting line located at Atlantique beach. The swim is a fun event to attend or enter because of the variety of races that take place. The distances range from 1 mile to 5K and 10K, creating an all day event with racers crossing the finish line throughout the day. This year will be the third annual swim; it is held on Saturday, July 11, so make sure to sign up or stop down to catch some of the excitement.Perfectly in the MiddleFire Island consists of many quaint towns along the coastline that make the beautiful Island even more appealing. These towns are full of shops, boutiques, supermarkets, restaurants, nightlife and many places to fulfill your every craving, without the big city feel. One of the best things about Atlantique is the location in relation to the main towns on Fire Island. Atlantique may have a limited town life besides The Shack, but well-stocked food markets, delicious restaurants, and cute boutiques are only a short walk away. Ocean Beach, one of the main towns on Fire Island, is only a short mile walk east. If you walk west, you will find a variety of towns without even walking a mile such as Fair Harbor or Kismet. These short distances make Atlantique a perfect middle ground to reach any fun town east or west.Have Atlantique news tips for Kirsten? Email her at [email protected].