Paddling to West Fire Island from LI, NY

Paddlers dream of owning property on the water, I have surpassed that dream, I own property UNDER the water, Great South Bay, to be precise. I like to think that when my dad purchased the very small plot on West Fire Island it was above sea level but that it sank in a big hurricane in 1954. I had no illusions that the property was valuable since the tax is less than $5 per year, and the reason was confirmed by an aerial map supplied by the National Park Service. It is, however, my ambition to paddle to and I guess over MY LAND. So I am asking paddlers familiar with the area, from where should I launch? and as I have not paddled in the ocean, much less this area before, how should I best prepare for this trip?

Beginner Territory?
I go out on my sister’s power boat on the great south bay, and it looks too challengiing for a beginner to me. Some of the inlets looked fine, but when the bay opens up, it can get kind of rough, with some wide crossings with heavy boat traffic and some pretty irresponsible boating going on. I’d collect more information. Look up a place called the Dinghy Shop out by Copaigue that’s right off the Great South Bay. Drop by and talk to them. There’s a tour guide named Mike Bogart who works out of this shop who could speak authoritatively on this area. You could also take a tour and check it out.

Good Luck with your dream. Let’s make it a good one…Lou

sensible advice
thanks for the great advice Garyr and Lou, this is a dream, not a death wish! I’ll be driving down from upstate NY and had thought I could just DO it, but perhaps I will take a trip or two first, talk to people and scope it out, get charts and a compass and rustle up some fellow paddlers.

It’s still the ocean

– Last Updated: Apr-21-07 10:56 PM EST –

That bay can whip up fast, and if you haven't paddled the ocean before this could be a really dicey just-do-it trip. Take Lou's advice and check in with a local outfitter who knows the area.

As above, you have a great boat. But it still needs your skills to make it safe to use for a trip like this.

Great south bay
I make that trek weekly from Patchogue.Its approx 4 miles across. Weather permitting. As stated in another post the bay can get VERY choppy.Easy paddle when weather is fine but i have crossed in decent winds and it can be tough. Just check for craft advisory that day.But my biggest conern in the bay is motorized vessels. There is alot of traffic out there.BTW i launch from any sandy spot i can get to and the if you use the town ramp to just slide into the water they will charge you $35.00 or so, same as motorized vessel. Ha,thats the town of Brookhaven for ya.Theres no shortages of launch spots on Long Island.