Shelter Island Ny kayak trip

July 3, 2023
Trip time - 6 hours
Avg speed 4.2 mph

Journey through the eastern shores between the north and south fork of Long Island NY. Circumnavigated Shelter Island going around the Shelter Island Sound, Noyack Bay, and Gardiners Bay. This is my 2nd trip around this Island in less than 30 days. Last time was on June 10, 2023 and this trip is on July 3, 2023. This area of Long Island is beautiful with pristine waters! I am in the yellow kayak filming the trip. This is a trailer video for now. Will make a longer one to detail the trip.

Wilderness System Tempest 17 with greenland paddle
Necky Chatham 18 All Carbon with Werner Ikelos carbon 205CM paddle

Attached 2 gps maps. Iwatch battery died so one map shows incomplete trip. iPhone gps data messed up showing 48mph with incorrect 5.7mph


One of those bays can be a major handful with good wind and fetch. Glad you had a good trip.

My next trip is to circumnavigate Gardiner Island (circled in red) in this same area. Any inputs on this? Where i was today is circled in green

See photo.

Didn’t go very far.

? I think it’s far. Have another trip in same area for 30 miles. Also a Manhattan circumnavigation at night if I can get the right folks to do it with me. That would probably be my max. Going ultra long distances is not appealing to me. I am amazed at folk’s that do multi day to weeks but I would never do it

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Why does this person’s distance matter to you?

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Sounds like a good trip - thanks for the report and video.

It looked like the Chatham paddler was paddling a lot on their left side (presumably to offset weather cocking). Was the skeg in use?

Not sure about the short trip comment either myself. Sarcasm? 20+ miles is pretty long for most people. I am rarely doing even 10 miles.


Looks like a nice area to paddle, thanks for sharing.

I found it better not to use the skeg in use when the currents are confused and moving in from many different directions. I only had it down a quarter majority of the trip. In that part of the video, I did not have my skeg down at all. It felt more in control without the skeg. I’m still messing around with the skeg to see what works and so far skeg goes back up when it gets turbulent so that way if I need to turn quickly into a wave, I can do that quickly before getting sideswiped.

Joke distance posted in his screen shot says ZERO :laughing: ZERO speed too :laughing:

I think he was barbequing and made a red mark and green mark :laughing:

:rofl: Joke

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Lot’s of sharks at the point of Long Island.

Breeding ground for GREAT WHITES :scream:

Bring a bang stick.

My opinion is you’re over extending your ability. Certainly above my comfortable ability level.

Speaking of sharks, has anyone else observed that stories about shark-kayak encounters seem to involve Hobie (or other) pedal power boats more often than not? Those paddles kinda look like seal flippers don’t they? See video @ about the 10 sec mark .


Best ad yet I’ve seen for a free meal. :scream:

Regarding the over extending my ability, are you referring to this shelter island trip or my inquiry to Gardiner Island trip!

Both but more so Gardiners Island.

You have great enthusiasm for the sport but at times put yourself in possibly bad situations.

Gardiners Island is more of a open water situation. Weather forecast are great but can change drastically in short order. Boats, waves, BIG :tropical_fish::fish: with big teeth. You need better recovery skills and instincts were a situation can become worse faster than a bay.

If you need more experienced kayakers with you then you are dependent on them. You put them at risk also. Partners are good but everyone should be able to handle situations themselves and not burden others especially in open waters and strong currents. Because you did Shelter Island twice doesn’t make Gardiners Island a breeze.

I think in open waters you need a bombproof roll in rough water or at very least a fast scramble self rescue ability in rough waters. You need the ability to feel calm in rough waters and be able to brace without even thinking about it.

I know my limitations and stay below them in most situations. I mean I did go out in 35 mph winds to play and see what it was like. It was rough but if I failed it was a short swim or blow to shore in summer bay water in daylight.

Balance risk like going out at night I do it in the summer but on clam warm water nights in the bays lit up like a Christmas tree. Still had a few close incidents. To try to paddle around Manhattan at night especially if you never did it in the daylight would not be my choice as you discussed doing. Boat traffic wakes you can’t see and all types of debris are present around Manhattan you’ll never see at night. Currents are not very visible at night either like daylight. I wouldn’t take my boat around Manhattan at night.

Crossing the Long Island Sound with no VHF I wouldn’t do either. I went out from Norwalk Connecticut weather changed fast we made it to an island to hold up a bit. I forget the name of the group of islands. Found ourself in some fairly choppy waters with breaking waves. Partner was panicking stiff winds hard to turn 22 Libra XT tandem. She basically refused to help me edge the kayak probably was really fighting against me. Hardest I ever had to paddle with sweep strokes. As that all was happening we were watching water spouts towards Long Island side. Weather forecast was all wrong for they day.

In one of your video’s you got caught by a small quartering stern wave and let go of the paddle on one hand to try and keep you balance. Natural instinct if your walking down the road but not in a kayak. No paddle in your hands your toast more experience and muscle memory that won’t happen. You need to be more comfortable in waves before sticking your neck out in open water.

I personally would not feel comfortable going around Gardiners Island with my skills. I can amuse myself in Jones Inlet with an incoming tide in warmer water when boats are present if I want a few bigger waves. Plus CG station is three minutes away. :laughing:

Something popped up next to my kayak in the inlet and I was :scream: probably at least a porpoise but I could have touched. I wouldn’t want to be around a :whale2::whale: whale surfacing even in my boat.

Things can go smoothly for ten times then the eleventh who knows. Good luck on your choices it’s about the risks you are comfortable with.


Thanks for being on-point about safeties and risk with to skill levels. I am only trying to get a feel of the Gardiner trip and not planning to do that anytime soon until I have a bomb-proof roll in rough waters. I have been training regularly with seasoned as well as certified aca level3 folks but still a very long way to go. Have been testing self-rescues regularly and I am comfortable with them. This includes testing them with the folks I go paddling with so they know my abilities and I know theirs as well. The Manhattan trip is also the same then as wishful dreaming as a goal to work towards. I like to have a goal to work towards for some excitement and life accompishments. Ok if I never get to it. I have jumped on any formal trainings I could get and looking to signup for another weekend of it in the fall if time permits for it.

The Shelter Island trip I think is not exposed because we were hugging the coastlines and its not facing open oceans and I was with experienced paddlers that are comfortable out in the open oceans. I think it was a managed risk for the Shelter Island based on the weather, currents, and folks I was with along mainly with my skill levels to handle the condition of the day that I observe firsthand. I have turned around and call it quits on many trips on simply of feeling uncomfortable. I’ll always err on the side of safety then trying to be a macho person even in a group.

Also I think you mixed up my trips about the VHF. I always have a VHF with me including the LI Sound crossing. I even went back to re-check my video notes and my float plan to confirmed I did have a HX300 VHF with me then on that specific trip. I have upgraded to a higher end model HX800 VHF that shows GPS coordinates.

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Your FB posts lead me and others to figure you were going soon around Gardiners Island as in this season. Asking if someone is available to be a support boat.

Going out in the dark in Port Jefferson Harbor alone not recommended either. Getting close to a car ferry in the harbor doesn’t make the captain to comfortable either I would imagine.

Port Jefferson Ferry 2022 Summer Farewell - YouTube to close for me captain has no ability to hit the brakes or know your intentions .

Crossing the Long Island Sound and no ability to self rescue is not good. Comments were made by others also on not having VHF radio.

Wish an you enjoyable future kayaking . Be a bit more pessimistic and risk attentive. Never let your guard down Mother Nature’s a beast at this.

Your FB posts lead me and others to figure you were going soon around Gardiners Island as in this season. Asking if someone is available to be a support boat made me think it was now. If you want a support boat you’ll need more than a motorized fishing kayak.

Going out in the dark in Port Jefferson Harbor alone not recommended either. Getting close to a car ferry in the harbor doesn’t make the captain to comfortable either I would imagine.

Enjoy the sport you’re making great progress. Be safe!

There are some races coming up one in Oakdale/ Great River.