North Fork LI, Cutchogue Harbour/Peconic Bay Exploration

I have been exploring this region by kayak looking at diamondback terrapin habitats along with the local phenomenon of snapping turtles utilizing brackish and saltwater habitat. Would like to have some human explorers to come along and discover who knows what:)? The North Fork is a welcome respite from the insanity of the Hamptons and reminds me a bit of my home region in eastern Nova Scotia

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  • erik k.

    A marvelous day on the water with headwinds in the harbour, but with respite from them in the numerous creeks and backwaters explored---sadly, no turtles sighted, although due to the cold spring, not unexpected, but procured the future assistance of local residents in turtle nesting observations, who were happy to see kayakers, with the exception of one woman who sternly remonstrated against our going further down a creek due to the presence at the head of it of a "nesting swan," whose activities this Mother's Day were to presumably be honoured. I did not have the heart to tell her (or identify my association with the NYSDEC) that swans are considered invasive species and technically, their nesting should be discouraged, as perhaps any future forays would not be accompanied with as much enthusiasm, or worse.... Sadly, this wonderful day was experienced solely by myself and Jonathan. No one else showed (we waited an hour before launching)!

    May 12

    • Michele S.

      I saw 54 terrapins in the creek on the originally planned date.

      May 29

    • erik k.

      That's great, can you give me the precise location.

      May 29

  • erik k.

    A final comment--i realise the date was pushed back the night before the event, but from the outset, i notified everyone that weather could possibly result in an alteration of plans and to watch the listing for any changes. Since I did not know the skill level(s) of all respondents and possible guests, I opted for prudence when considering the go/no go. When the change in fact did occur, not only did i post it but i individually emailed all who had signed up to go with the new date and time, and also asked that whoever could not attend on Sunday to re-calibrate their status and/or otherwise let me know if they were coming or not so that I would have a proper head count. With two exceptions, NO ONE RESPONDED. In the future, please let the group know if you are attending a trip or not. Your presence was sorely missed! I will be scheduling future explorations in the region, and weather and conditions depending, would like to cross the bay to the South Fork and explore North Sea harbour.

    May 12

  • Jonathan

    Erik -- is 12:30 the meet time or the put-in time?

    May 10

    • erik k.

      12:30 pm is the meet up time. We will put in on Hawaiian time, i.e., whenever everyone gets there. This trip is about leaving stress behind. :-)

      May 10

    • erik k.

      12:30 pm is the meet up time. We will put in on Hawaiian time, i.e., whenever everyone gets there. This trip is about leaving stress behind. :-)

      May 10

  • Nicholas C.

    As it is Mother's Day and my daughters requested my company I can't make it Sunday. ( Sat. was ok) I love you all and you all look forward to further meetups.

    May 10

    • erik k.

      But you are their FATHER, unless I am forgetting what I learned in my human physiology classes.....we will, nonetheless, miss your presence

      May 10

  • erik k.

    So that there is no confusion, the trip is STILL for Sunday. If you are joining Michele and NOT going to come on Sunday, PLEASE change your response to "NO" for not attending the paddle. Michele's trip is independent of the trip scheduled now for tomorrow. I need to have a proper head count so I know who is going to be coming on SUNDAY< which is the date for the "North Fork" paddle. Thanks

    May 10

  • Michele S.

    I will not join you Mother's Day, but will be launching from the planned site today, Saturday, arriving at 10:30 am. Nick and Jonathan, others, are welcome to join me. I am already in Mattituck, have other plans for Sunday.

    May 10

  • erik k.

    Please note that due to unfavourable weather and seas forecast for Saturday, the paddle has been moved to SUNDAY, 05/11/14 @ 12:30 PM. The later launch time is to account for possible traffic problems on Mother's Day.

    May 9

  • erik k.

    PLEASE NOTE THE DATE AND TIME CHANGE FOR THIS MEETUP...THE WEATHER DOES NOT LOOK PROMISING FOR SATURDAY (HIGH WINDS AND SEAS) WHEREAS SUNDAY'S WEATHER IS IDEAL. I HAVE ALSO PUSHED THE LAUNCH BACK TO 12:30 PM, IN ANTICIPATION OF TRAFFIC PROBLEMS ON MOTHER'S DAY. the water temperature still makes wetsuits/drysuits a requirement!!

    May 9

  • erik k. changed the date and time from Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 11:00 AM to Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    May 9

  • erik k.

    Here is the marine forecast link: click on the Peconic Bay section...Note that current predictions include 10+ knot SW winds plus seas 1 to 2 feet, which could be limiting for open water exploration. Regardless, wetsuits or drysuits are REQUIRED for this trip. Remember, dress for the water temperature, not the air!

    May 7

  • erik k.

    Below is the link to the NOAA weather forecast for New Suffolk, the area closest to our launch spot. So far, it's not looking too bad! :-)

    May 7

  • erik k.

    Hello all--i have posted the date for May 10th, a Saturday, for those who might be calendar challenged like me. I also put the time as 11:00 am so that those coming from afar don't have to get up too much in the middle of the night to make it out there. I will post the precise launch spot once I have more information, and can remember the place I launched from last year...I will probably make a reconnaissance foray out there well in advance of the invasion date, and perhaps will be able to come up with some inexpensive lodgings available, for those who are not inclined to do early morning schlepping followed by kayaking-will keep y'all posted

    March 31

    • Michele S.

      Nick - check out Eastern Long Island Campground in Greenport. Hen and I stayed there a few years ago in a tent spot and it was fine. Reviewed on TripAdvisor.

      May 5

    • Jonathan

      Nick - are you still looking to carpool? I'm still not sure what day I'm heading out - and almost definitely staying overnight either way -- but if you're thinking of heading out Friday and back Saturday, I might be able to give you a ride if I end up going Friday. It would be a late leave though - after work (and preferably after rush hour).

      May 5

  • erik k.

    Please note that the weather is not looking too promising. I will post HERE on Friday if the trip is still on. If it's not, I will post a rain date. Erik K.

    May 5

  • Michele S.

    My brother, a boater from Southhold, suggests we put in at Broad Water Creek on the east side of Cutchogue Harbor. In August 2010, I spotted terrapins while kayaking east from Veteran's Park in Mattituck towards New Suffolk. Deep Hole and West Creeks were the sites. If we put in at Broad Water, we could paddle west to Deep Hole Creek and explore eight creeks. High tide at New Suffolk is at 9:29 am. I will overnight on the island, and could be ready to launch as early as 9 am.

    April 30

    • Michele S.

      I am concerned about 9 cars at one small launch place, so may put in earlier at my spot and meet you at 11. You mentioned North Sea Harbor, which is 4.5 nautical miles on the other side of Great Peconic bay. With high tide at 9:30, water will be pretty low by early afternoon. Depth is only 2' at max ebb.

      April 30

    • erik k.

      Depth is 2 feet where specifically?--although kayaks can transit at that depth. The bay crossing decision should be left to the day of, and based upon conditions. I am very happy with just exploring the various estuaries, creeks, etc. There is plenty of on street parking available, but I don't know the parking rules on Beebe Drive. I would appreciate it if you can check the parking rules at your site. Email me to discuss these issues in more detail.

      April 30

  • erik k.

    I have posted the location, which is a dead-end street, at the dead end of which is a grass slope that leads directly into an inlet. Parking is on the street, and I do not see any prohibitions related to same. (There are no signs restricting parking to residents--there are no signs whatsoever, actually, but since this is a quiet residential area that is not generally subjected to invasion by hordes of rambunctious kayakers, I strongly urge that we curtail our stronger urges before and after the paddle, and celebrate whatever might be worth celebrating elsewhere, at any one of many restaurants, wineries, etc., in the region., provided all our vehicles have not been towed away or set alight by outraged residents.) Depending upon wind and tide, we might paddle across the bay to the north side port of the south fork, North Sea, which has a nice harbour to explore.

    April 30

  • Nicholas C.

    I'll mark May 10th in my calender. Sounds like a nice trip

    April 8

  • John G.

    Hi all ,I’m going wait till water warms up. I don’t have a wetsuit or drysuit.
    According to the website cost of ferry is $54.00 and additional Passengers
    are extra. http://www.88844ferry.com/Rates...­ looking forward later trips out on Long island

    March 30

    • Michele S.

      John, I can rent you a wetsuit ($15). Just need your height and weight. Mine are in excellent condition.

      April 8

  • Michele S.

    There's a KOA campground in Greenport, and if a small group wanted to camp Friday night in Mattituck I have access to a beach on the Sound with no facilities. It would have to be totally Leave No Trace.

    April 8

  • erik k. changed the date and time to Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    March 31

  • Jonathan

    Yes, the PJ ferry is not cheap. People might want to consider carpooling, since an extra passenger is only a few dollars more. You could also drive, especially if you're coming from western CT, getting to Bridgeport doesn't really save any driving time compared with going over the Throgs Neck, and bridge toll is a lot less than the ferry. Still makes sense to car pool.

    I'll be coming from Stamford, but likely will be staying overnight with my dad in Setauket. Still happy to discuss carpooling if it might work for someone.

    March 30

  • John G.

    Sounds like a great trip. Beautiful area. I am all for it when water warms up, think late May? Could be fun to car pool over on the Port Jeff ferry too.

    March 27

    • Jonathan

      May 10 works for me. Probably still requires a wet suit though. John, does the Ferry take cars with a kayak on top?

      March 27

    • Michele S.

      Yes, the ferry will. May 10 is definitely wet suit time.

      March 30

  • Michele S.

    May 10 is good for me. I've seen terrapins in Cuthchogue Harbor, four years ago on a camping trip. The local wineries have great music events on weekends, nice way to end the day.

    March 30

  • Jonathan

    What a great idea. I agree - I grew up on L.I. and the north fork is really the last vestige of the rural beauty that used to prevail. I am on board for this for any weekend in May except 5/3-4. Prefer a Saturday but could make a Sunday as well.

    March 26

  • Nicholas C.

    I will be away from May 20th-27th

    March 26

  • Ken B.

    I have every Saturday afternoon open throughout May, at this point. Of course, I defer to the group and don't want my schedule determining what is best for everybody. But that's my piece for the pot.

    March 26

  • erik k.

    Hello all:) I originally proposed this paddle last summer, and it would be nice to head out there again when and if (that is, if this winter ever ends) the turtles emerge, but ideally before the mosquitoes do, so perhaps early to mid May..i am open to most any date, but generally Saturdays are better than Sundays, if we do weekends, which i assume most people prefer. It seems as if we do have enough people to make this a "GO." So, let's go...perhaps people could give me dates in May they CAN'T go, and then we will work backwards from there..my schedule is generally open

    March 26

  • Ken B.

    Just a comment as we have not nailed down the date: Saturday afternoons are about the only time in the week I have a big enough block of time to get over to LI from Danbury, CT, although sometimes a Monday or Friday afternoon works as well.

    March 26

  • Nicholas C.

    I could probably go, depending on the date. Perhaps Michelle and I could car pool

    March 26

  • Ken B.

    I have interest but see no date. Is there a date set?

    March 26

  • Michele S.

    Erik, I was an Environmental Educator for years, now teach sea kayak. Have kayak camped the whole North Fork of Long Island, from Peconic Bay around Orient Point and west to the Throg's Neck Bridge. If you're looking to explore for terrapins or other wildlife, I'm onboard. Contact me at kayak-adventure at att.net.

    October 28

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