In the past couple of years popular culture has given The Hamptons a bad rap. What could be worse than being the setting for the TV shows The Real Housewives of New York City and the Kardashian's Kourtney and Khloe Take The Hamptons? This summer take your boat and find out what the real Hamptons are all about.
The Hamptons lie along the South Fork of the eastern end of Long Island, New York between Montauk Point and the Moriches, and are comprised of two dozen villages and hamlets. The most well-known destinations of this seaside resort are Montauk, East Hampton, Sag Harbor, Southampton, Shinnecock Hills, Quogue and Westhampton. Of course, there is a Northampton as well, and it all can be a bit confusing to the first time visitor since Westhampton and Northampton are legally part of the Town of Southampton. A good cruising guide and spare batteries for your handheld GPS are a must.
Long before Andy Warhol, Paul McCartney, Jerry Seinfeld, Christie Brinkley, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kurt Vonnegut and Truman Capote bought homes in The Hamptons, it was the Shinnecock and Montaukett Indian tribes that lived there. When the Long Island Rail Road made its way 90 miles east of New York City to Bridgehampton in 1870, well-to-do Manhattanites gave up the summer heat of the city for the cool breezes on the Atlantic Ocean beaches.
All the harbors, anchorages and marina for The Hamptons are most easily accessed by cruising between the North Fork and the South Fork that make up the Fishtail at the eastern tip of Long Island. Whether entering the Fishtail from Long Island Sound or Block Island Sound, spend some time planning you cruise by reviewing the charts of Lake Montauk, Gardiners Bay, Three Mile Harbor, Sag Harbor Bay, Little andGreat Peconic Bays, Shinnecock Bay and the Shinnecock Canal.
It is possible to enter the Fishtail through Shinnecock Inlet from the Atlantic Ocean, however, the U.S. Coast Pilot advises "the inlet should not be attempted without local knowledge because of the frequent changes in channel depth" and "tidal currents through the inlet can be dangerous; caution is advised."
Other than visiting the Montauk Point lighthouse, it's all about relaxing on the beautiful Atlantic beaches. Don't forget to pack your beach umbrella, flip flops and a good summer read and head to Cooper's Beach in Southampton, Ponquogue Beach in Hampton Bays (Shinnecock) or Main Beach in East Hampton.
While your summer plans are starting to take shape make sure to add a few of these events to your bucket list.
Capt. Jeff Werner has been in the yachting industry for over 25 years. In addition to working as a captain on private and charter yachts, both sail and power, he is a certified instructor for the USCG, US Sailing, RYA and the MCA. He is also the Diesel Doctor, helping to keep your yacht's fuel in optimal condition for peak performance. For more information, call 239-246-6810, or visit MyDieselDoctor.com. All Marinalife members receive a 10% discount on purchases of equipment, products and supplies from Diesel Doctor.