Friday, September 12, 2014

East End Boating Series: Montauk

Montauk: The End 
At the very tip of Long Island, jutting out into the Atlantic, lies the hamlet of Montauk. Located on Long Island’s southeastern fork, Montauk is one of the east coast’s most popular tourist beaches and commercial fishing locations. Montauk also has, at different times in its history, been occupied as a strategic military base for the army, navy, coast guard and air force.  
Montauk is a popular destination for fishing, whale watching, cruising, and a wide range of water sports. Visitors also can tour the renowned Montauk Lighthouse (the first established lighthouse in New York and fourth oldest active lighthouse in the U.S.), and can visit any of six state parks. Other things to do on land include shopping (Gosman’s Dock is a popular shopping area with quaint shops), dining, bicycle rentals, sight-seeing, and other recreational activities.
Montauk Lighthouse, the quintessential symbol of Montauk,
is the nation's fourth oldest lighthouse still in use today. 
Getting There By Boat
Montauk Harbor is a good waypoint for boaters with a Block Island destination. Block Island is just 12 miles from Montauk Harbor and boaters should consult weather forecasts and tidal charts prior to departure.
Montauk Harbor is one of the busiest harbors on Long Island. It accommodates the largest commercial and recreational fishing fleet in New York. Much of the boat traffic comes from the east, when larger fishing vessels travel inland. Small boaters should steer clear to avoid collisions with large wakes.
The deepest part of the channel will be on starboard side when entering the harbor. The first landmark visible is the US Coast Guard station immediately ahead. The Station is located on Star Island, which separates the west harbor from the entrance to Lake Montauk.  
Gosman’s Dock is on the starboard side. Here, visitors on land can enjoy hours of shopping, people watching and dining.
The western shore is home to the town dock, which is used exclusively for fishing vessels. The west basin has slips for many commercial, recreational and fishing vessels. As you depart this area, the waterway becomes more congested. West Lake and Snug Harbor are at the bottom of the channel and Star Island Marina, a large marina, is on the east side.
The channel headed toward Lake Montauk becomes very narrow in parts, but is clearly marked. Shoals and shallow depths are present around Lake Montauk. Take care when passing buoys 5 and 7 behind Star Island.
There are ample marinas with transient slips and marine services in Montauk Harbor.
Montauk Harbor also offers good protection for seasonal or transient boaters. Anchorages include the southwest corner of Star Island, close to many marinas and with access to nearby shops; and deep inside Montauk in the southern portion of the harbor. Here, the water is about 8 feet deep, and boaters have access to nearby beaches on foot. 
Montauk, known affectionately as “The End” among many, rewards thousands of summer visitors by providing breathtaking sunrises, alluring beaches, legendary fishing, beautiful scenery and memorable summer fun.   

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