Last summer some friends of ours took my wife and I sailing out of Oyster Bay and in the Long Island Sound. I was thrilled they let me steer quite a bit. There’s nothing quite like the feeling your going to tip (or heel) the yacht over as you steer into a strong wind. We sailed, we took a dip in the bay, we fished, and we ate oysters. On our first visit we spotted Billy Joel with family in-tow as they embarked on his completely restored vintage “downeaster” or oyster boat.
Billy Joel is, in fact, a serious small-scale fishermen advocate and his song the Downeaster Alexa captures his feelings and activism beautifully.
With all that in mind, I went back to Oyster Bay this weekend to hit the beach at Centre Island. The beach was serene, quiet–the exact opposite of the thousands jam-packed together at Jones Beach that day. The water was cool and refreshing, a bit stained as the sound always tends to be. The cool thing about Centre Island is that you can swim in the sound, or walk a few hundred yards and swim in the Bay. Both have beaches that guarantee you beautiful views and peace. The surrounding area is quite tawny with mansions and quaint villages.
After a spot of rain and no luck surfcasting plugs and bucktails, we hit the town of Oyster Bay to grab drinks and seafood at Canterbury’s. Canterbury’s is fixated on two things–oysters, ‘natch, and Teddy Roosevelt, a one-time resident. The malpeques, kumamotos and pine islands were bright, briny and fresh.
Pictures of the great president and outdoorsman, Teddy Roosevelt were carefully curated. Some celebrated and “satirized” his time in Oyster Bay.
I didn’t take to the clams on the halfshell, but my fried oysters were perfect.
My friend has the New England clambake which came with tons of steamers and oysters…it was carnage.
We dithered over pints of Great South Bay Massive IPA.
Afterwards we ended up at a pier on Cold Spring Harbor throwing sandworms, watching the sailboats come in and the night anglers heading out as the sun set over the bay. Couldn’t ask for a more perfect perfect summer day.