Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Orient Point – Day Tripper

February 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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Orient Point
Maria Orlando Pietromonaco

Orient Point is the easternmost tip of the North Fork.

Originally called Oysterponds, Orient was and still is abundant with shellfish. It is a historic, rural place with many homes and structures dating back to the 1700s. With not much more than a post office, general store, and gas station to its name, Orient Point offers boaters a place to kick back and enjoy crystal clear, calm waters and a hush that is unlike its South Fork counterpart, Montauk.

This is one of those trips where the journey should be cherished as much as the final destination. The cruise to Orient Point is tranquil and picturesque; be sure to have a camera on hand. Along the way you’ll pass the north side of Shelter Island and its great green lawns and dreamy summer mansions, the backdrop of Greenport and boats galore, and the verdant south side stretch of the North Fork. You’re also bound to see all kinds of vessels making their way to and from Block Island or Newport. From the Long Island Sound enter Plum Gut and turn southwest at GR “MS” into Gardiners Bay until you reach R”2”. Then turn northwest into Orient Harbor.

From the south shore enter the Great Peconic Bay heading north east through Little Peconic Bay. Follow Shelter Island Sound around north and then east around Shelter Island and past Greenport and enter Orient Harbor at R N “8”.

Before you reach the Point itself, you will see at the entrance of Orient Harbor the newly refurbished Long Beach Bar Lighthouse, or “Bug Light”, resting on a small island of rocks just west of the Long Beach Point. The Harbor is home to the Orient Yacht Club, which does have limited transient docking (call 631- 323-4767 for availability) but offers little to do. A perfect landing spot is Orient by the Sea, a full service marina and restaurant nestled in a man-made basin.

This area focal point is situated off Gardiner’s Bay, adjacent to the New London and Plum Island ferries.

It has 10 transient slips available (631-323-4767); reservations are recommended.

The restaurant offers air-conditioned indoor seating, outdoor deck dining, or drinks at the knotty-pine bar while you take in the view.

Orient Beach State Park is a close neighbor to Orient by the Sea as well. If you’re looking for a little land R & R, you may want to venture over there. The park offers clean, beautiful beaches, a picnic area and playground, plus bike trails. If you want to brave some rough waters, you can cruise east to Plum Gut and the home of the Orient Point Lighthouse, known as “The Coffee Pot.” Built in 1899, it was created to mark the end of Oyster Point Reef and to guide boaters through the hazardous currents of Plum Gut, the stretch of raging water that sifts through the middle of Plum Island and Orient Point. Across the Gut you can also take a gander at the forbidden Plum Island, the government-owned island where they conduct animal disease research. Though not allowed anywhere near it, some adventurous boaters still want to say they’ve seen it!

Click on the NavTool icon to view routes to this destination.

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Sites of interest: southoldtown.northfork.net, southoldtown.northfork.net/orient.htm (for great old photos), northforkchamberofcommerce.org/, www.orientbythesea.com

regularly contributed to Dan’s Papers, Newsday, and Great Restaurants of Long Island; has written and published Images of America: Long Island’s North Fork; and enjoys boating on the Peconic Bays with her husband and two children.

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