About Us

 

This guide is a collection of information aimed to make your visit to Shelter Island and neighboring harbors safe and interesting. It is compiled mostly by members of our family  with contributions from many of our friends, colleagues and often by strangers who have something to share. Gordon, the father of the family and was born in Southold and still has family in Greenport. The son, “G” has been on boats since conception and first rowed his own boat at the age of five. Our family has commuted between residencies in western and eastern Long Island for over 50 years. Our extended family and friends, venture from Westchester, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Although our adventures originally focused around our boating relationships, we loved the area so much that we now have a home on Shelter Island as well as our boats.

Wherever we travel, no matter how far, we always return to the East End and admire its beauty and tranquility. Over the years we have witnessed many changes: some good, some not so good. We have seen the land that used to grow most of our produce, be sold for tract housing, golf clubs, vineyards or sod farming. The economy has changed from farming and fishing to tourism and building. We cannot stop progress and we do not want to do so. But, we all can do our part to make sure we respect this beautiful environment as well as the people who call it home.

In summer we often cruise the waters between Long Island and the Vineyards.  Whenever we travel, we want to find out as much about an area as possible. Not only do we want to know where we can anchor, moor or dock, we want to know where we can eat, buy groceries, hike, bike, play and learn. We want to respect local ordinances and customs and the environment we visit.  Therefore- OspreysGuide.com!

Our guide will grow and change over the days, months and years of its existence. We will start with information about the area that we know best, Shelter Island. Soon we will add information about neighboring harbors in Greenport, Orient, Sag Harbor and East Hampton. Eventually we will be exploring and reporting on other harbors in Shelter Island Sound, Gardiner’s Bay and Peconic Bay. Who knows where the tides will take us?  This guide is not an end all and be all, we encourage you to explore and provide you with connections to other websites or resources that will expand your understanding of this area.

The purpose of this guide is to help you enjoy the bounties of our wonderful waterways and islands in a manner that helps maintain the balance between man and nature. In this guide you will not only find information for exploring but you will also be alerted to the rules, regulations, considerations, and good neighbor behaviors necessary to protect the experience for future visitors and generations.

Why Ospreys? OspreysGuide.com Logo

The osprey reflects our image of fun and relaxation on the East End. The bird is majestic, graceful, a good hunter and very perceptive. Just like humans, ospreys will take advantage of just about anything affording a view of the water. Regardless of where you stay on the East End, I guarantee you’ll never be far from the water and most of your leisure hours will be spent in water-related activities. Many of us live, play or work off of boats in the summer to be closer to the water and it’s bountiful joys. Like us, ospreys must be near the water. They build their nests next to the water in tall trees, cliffs, buoys, telephone poles, the sides of bridges, and even wrecked ships. Most of the ospreys on Shelter Island build their nests on platforms high atop poles provided by caring conservationists. Like many East Enders, ospreys typically head south off-season and return in March or April. Like ospreys, we have great attachments to the “tree” on which we build our nest, and return to it year after year.

Just like the land and water we value, the osprey’s existence on the eastern end of Long Island was threatened by the good intentions of good people. Like many birds of prey, the osprey went into serious decline during the 60s and 70s due to DDT and other similar agricultural pesticides. The chemicals sprayed on crops ended up in our waterways. In the waterways, they began their climb up the food chain in ever more concentrated levels from the alga to bugs, to fish, to the osprey. The DDT resulted in osprey eggshells too thin to survive incubation. When our son was born in 1972 we transferred from Greenport to Shelter Island for our summer adventures. At this time, sightings of the birds in the area were minimal. Thankfully, that same year, DDT was banned in the United States. Since then these majestic birds of prey have begun to recover. As our son grew, we cheered and watched carefully as the number of sightings started to climb and each year we watched baby birds more frequently emerge from an increasing number of nests.

Ospreys, thankfully, are again quite common in this area, especially around Shelter Island. From our mooring at the entrance of Coecles Harbor we watch the Reel Point osprey’s nest. Some year’s the nest is carefully tended by adult ospreys with no chicks, other years, baby birds are abundant. One year a very confused young osprey floated with the seagulls off our boat vying for scrap food. On another instance, much to our dismay, a young bird remained in the nest long after his parents headed south. This nest is only one of numerous nests located around Shelter Island alone.

For more information on ospreys, click here.

For more about us and our boating experience click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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