Cruising Around Long Island by PWC (Personal Watercraft)

Saturday June 4, 2011. I decided to navigate around Long Island on my Jetski. I’ve ridden the different areas before but decided that a trip around the Island would be a challenge. I wanted to get an early start and complete it in one day.

I left the Great River ramp in East Islip at 7:45 am Saturday morning with a full tank of gas in my 2010 Kawasaki Ultra 260. It was a cool morning but I was wearing my wetsuit top and long sleeve rash guard so I knew I’d be warm. I also had my riding gloves and shoes, with an extra pair of heavier gloves in case the ocean was cold. I decided to head west from Great River so I could get the ocean part of the trip out of the way early. I took the Great South Bay to the Intercoastal on the South Shore  to the East Rockaway Inlet. Before heading out the inlet I refueled in Island Park just west of the LIRR bridge.

The ocean was pretty flat so riding was nice. The water was cold when getting sprayed so it was good to have the wetsuit jacket on. Approaching Manhattan is always a thrill. Under the Verrazano Bridge and past the Statue of Liberty. I took the East River past the South Street Seaport and cruised up the river enjoying the city scenery. Again I was lucky as it was a calm ride and the tide was with me. Took the east side of the river past Roosevelt Island and through Hell’s Gate, past Rikers Island and under the Whitestone and Throgs neck Bridges. My fuel alarm started going off just past Maritime College so I took it easy to Glen Cove, where I got gas at Brewers Marina. 85 miles so far. Had an egg sandwich at the Shack run by Zach. Nice guy. A perfect stop.

Back out to the sound. I have been in the Sound when it’s rough but today it was relatively calm with maybe 1 foot seas. Fuel was on my mind as I never ran from Glen Cove out to Orient Point on this ski, but I figured I could fuel up at Port Jeff  if  necessary. It was a nice ride but the Sound can get pretty boring. I probably should have gotten gas in Port Jeff but too many gas stops can really take alot of time so I opted for going further to Mattituck Inlet. I made it but it was too unsettling and I think next time I would get fuel at Port Jeff so I wouldn’t be thinking about it the whole time. 141 miles and I was refueling at Mattituck Inlet. Real pretty in there. I should’ve gotten lunch there but wanted to get to the other side of the Island before taking any real break, so I headed back into the sound and east toward Plum Gut. The sound was still cooperating and was not rough. Through the gut and I decided to head toward Greenport instead of Sag Harbor as I was having some issues with my ski and felt it would be prudent to take the shorter route. This part of the trip, past Greenport, Shelter Island, and through the Peconics and to the Shinnecock Canal is, in my opinion, some of the prettiest and nicest riding when it comes to Long Island. I refueled again at Modern Yachts on the North side of the Shinnecock Canal. The gates were open to the locks at the canal so it was straight through with no delay with locking – always better then having to wait. South side of the locks to the Shinnecock bay, the  Tiana shores toward Westhampton Beach, where I was looking forward to a quick bite to eat and some coffee.Going  through the Quogue Canal is a beautiful and peaceful ride at any time, but especially at the last leg of a long trip. It’s about a 30 mins 5 mph zone but I always enjoy it. Westhampton Beach is one of my favorite stops. Awesome town where you can relax and eat. It’s a great stop, even for an overnight. The last leg of the trip was through Moriches Bay (a breeze on my ski but always unnerving in my boat with the shallow water) and into Bellport Bay and Great South Bay toward the Connetquot River and completion of my loop. The wind had picked up and the bay was choppy. Not the way I wanted to finish the trip but it was nowhere near as bad as I’ve been stuck in on the Bay.

Overall I couldn’t have asked for better water conditions for the trip. I wish it would’ve been warmer temps but still I can’t complain.  The trip was 224.1 miles and 8 hours 23 mins of engine run time. I got back to the dock at 6:45 pm so an 11 hour day. Fuel was $322.00. I thought the receipts had the gallons on them but they don’t so can’t say for sure how much fuel I used in total, but I can guess around 65 gallons.

I had no intention of writing about this trip so I didn’t keep logs or take many pictures. While I was riding though, I started to think that other people would like to do trips but think it can’t be done, so why not post it so others will know the possibility. Before going I was doing searches on the internet but only found a few sailing  journals about circumnavagating the Island. Maybe this will encourage or help with your planning. I do long trips in the winter on my snowmobile as well so maybe I can post some of those when the winter comes again. The thing to remember is that the trips can be done over a few days. I chose to do it in a day, but you would be able to make more stops if  an overnight was built in. With a little planning you’d be surprised what trips you can make on your ski. I’ve been to Montreal and Quebec City on mine, but those are for another day…..