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Credit: Courtesy photo

Get out on Peconic Bay in a pontoon boat through Lighthouse Marina in Aquebogue. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

When you want to explore the bays and harbors of the East End, swimming sometimes just doesn’t cut it.

If you don’t have a boat, you may feel your options are limited, but have no fear. When you get tired of floating around on one of those hipster swan floats, consider these fun and easy ways to get out on the water around the North Fork this summer.

Charter a Boat

Porgy North Fork
Freshly caught porgies aboard a North Fork charter fishing boat. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file photo)

Family-owned Port of Egypt Marine has been a North Fork institution for more than 70 years. New to their lineup of services is the Captain on Call program, which allows the family to share their love of the water by way of charters. Relax on a voyage out of Southold while a captain takes the wheel. Strongs Marine is another great family establishment that lets you steer your own course, but they’re happy to get you a captain as well. and

Rent a Paddle Board

Paddle boarding instructor Evelyn O’Doherty gives the group some pointers during the Tuesday night community meet-up. (Credit: Krsten Massa)

If you’re thinking of joining the stand-up paddle movement, but aren’t quite ready to invest in your own setup, rent a board from One Love Beach in Greenport. Owners Chris and Blake Dowling will hook you up with a board that’s right for both your size and what you want to do. Whether it’s touring the East End or joining them for a Tuesday night meetup around the North Fork or Sunday morning yoga, there’s something for everyone. Not sure where to start? They offer private and group lessons, too.

Ride with Peconic Water Sports

Credit: Peconic Water Sports, courtesy

Skiing, wake boarding and kite boarding are the perfect water activities for the bold and daring. Offering captained charters on boats suited for these sports, the guys at Peconic Water Sports provide the equipment and lessons for all levels to ensure a safe and exciting adventure on Peconic Bay or Long Island Sound. Want to go on your own cruise? Take advantage of their jet ski rentals and tours.

Glory Going Green

Glory Going Green
Captain David Berson aboard the Glory Going Green. The solar-powered boat offers tours of Greenport Harbor all summer long. (Credit: Photo: Iri Greco / BrakeThrough Media)

The environmentally friendly Glory tours the harbors of Peconic Bay with Captain David Berson at the helm. He and his business partner Andrew Rowsom say they run Long Island’s only non-polluting electric-powered boat, a 1990 reproduction of a 30-foot Fantail launch. It’s a fun way to get on the water and respect a marine environment that is continually threatened by pollution. This calm and quiet summer ride is as relaxing as it sounds.

Lighthouse Cruise

A scene from an East End Seaport Museum lighthouse cruise. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

Get a little history lesson with lighthouse excursions run by Greenport’s East End Seaport Museum. Experience the iconic Long Beach Bar “Bug” Lighthouse up close with a narrated tour aboard the Peconic Star Express, or visit other area lighthouses and islands and look for seals in the waters around the North Fork with the “Lighthouse Super Cruise.” As a bonus, you’ll be supporting the museum’s mission of preserving local maritime history.

Rent a Pontoon Boat

Credit: Courtesy photo

Essentially a super-cool version of Huckleberry Finn’s raft, these flattish boats float on pontoons, providing more deck space than traditional rental boats. Aquebogue’s Lighthouse Marina offers vessels that can accommodate six to 10 passengers either by the day or for the whole season. They’re great for tubing, skiing or just relaxing. There’s even an option to hire a captain if you don’t have boating experience.

Walk on the Shelter Island Ferry

It’s simple and gets you somewhere great. For $2, you can walk onto the North Ferry to Shelter Island and take a quick cruise across Peconic Bay. Hop on or off in either direction and you’ll be within walking distance of some of the best waterfront spots in Greenport and Shelter Island. For $1 more, you can bring your bicycle and go even farther.

This story was originally published in the July 2017 edition of northforker magazine