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Greenie Supply & Tackle maps guide explorers on a journey of imagination and adventure

Under an old weathered porch at Southold’s Port of Egypt Marine, amid the salty air and echoing calls of seagulls, an unassuming vending machine beckons those with an adventurous spirit to embark on a captivating quest.

Inside the boatyard vending machine, alongside rows of assorted fishing tackle and nautical-themed apparel, lies a collection of “official genuine” treasure maps. Priced at just $5, each map is filled with riddles and clues, guiding explorers on a journey to find a hidden treasure buried somewhere on the North Fork.

The treasure map dispenser, proudly bearing the name “Greenie Supply & Tackle” in gold lettering, is the work of Bill Moulton, a Greenport-based advertising creative, director and video producer.

Moulton’s inspiration for the venture traces back to his creation of a web-based series of nautically inspired films entitled “Tales from Mt. Striper Surf.” Modeled after 1950s newsreels, Moulton incorporated a fictional sponsor ad from Greenie Supply & Tackle into each of his short films. When a viewer expressed a genuine desire to visit the imagined tackle shop, Moulton’s creative wheels began to turn as he contemplated tangible ways to breathe life into the imaginary establishment.

“I was really into the idea that this fictitious tackle store, maybe it’s a store that’s not really about selling just tackle or something like that, but a store that would sell imagination,” explained Moulton.

Reflecting on his own childhood for inspiration, he recalled the awe he experienced when stumbling upon unexpected treasures, such as a message in a bottle floating in Peconic Bay or a painted golden brick in a field near his family home. He thought of the souvenir maps that his grandfather used to craft for tourists while living in St. Croix.

“I remember growing up and seeing these maps and being in wonder,” said Moulton. It was these experiences that fueled his decision to craft these immersive treasure hunts.

In 2018, Moulton embarked on what he calls the “Orient Experiment.” He repurposed a vintage candy machine, placing it outside the Orient Country Store and filling it with custom-made treasure maps that led to unique hidden treasures on the North Fork. Embracing the spirit of his childhood, he used small found objects, like old photographs or postcards acquired from yard sales as the treasures.

“People loved it — not just kids, but families and older people,” Moulton said. “When people found the treasure, they didn’t really care that much about what they found. It was actually just finding it that made them joyful.”

Driven by the overwhelming enthusiasm from the community, Moulton upgraded to a more modern machine in 2019 and relocated the venture to the Port of Egypt, where the machine now stands as an official “purveyor of imagination.”

Almost every month, Moulton creates one or two new treasure maps — pouring his heart into designing the maps, locating the destination, composing the riddles, constructing the wooden boxes and crafting the treasures that go inside them.

“It’s a labor of love and a true creative outlet,” he said.

He’ll start the process by carefully selecting locations on the North Fork that he deems ideal for exploration. “I fish a lot from the shore, so I’m always taking mental notes of places I love and would like to share,” he explained. As he scouts for new locations, he immerses himself in the role of a treasure hunter, identifying permanent landmarks that he can use to base his clues around.

“My goal is to engage people with the environment and pull them out of their everyday thought process — help point out a beautiful boulder, an ancient tree or hidden cove,” he explained. “The journey is about being in the present and in tune with your surroundings — almost like a meditation. But more importantly, it’s about tapping into your imagination and letting go. So I like to create mystical backstories around the locations and the various landmarks.”

As he crafts the map’s instructions, Moulton channels the voice of Captain Don, the fictional narrator of his fishing films and a symbol of Greenie Supply.

“He’s like my spirit animal,” Moulton explained, envisioning the salty sailor as a hybrid of a nature program host and a local fisherman who still relies on AOL for email.

Moulton’s instructions are often precise — down to the exact number of paces to take. As he plots out the maps, he follows the directions himself, ensuring their accuracy. “I am the guy you see oddly counting and recounting his footsteps on the beach,” he said.

Each map also comes with a checklist of essential items for the treasure hunt, encouraging adventurers to equip themselves with gloves, a handheld shovel, a compass, a phone and, most importantly, a zest for life.

Once adventurers locate the treasure box, they are encouraged to share their triumph by uploading a photo of their discovery on Instagram — without revealing the location — and tagging @greeniesupply and using the hashtag #Greeniesupplytreasure. As some maps have proved to be surprisingly challenging, he also offers hints on his website,

According to Moulton, one of the major hurdles he faces is discov- ering locations that strike a balance between being intriguing and easily accessible to people.

“With the beach parking permits and the limited amount of public beach access here in general, finding locations has become surprisingly difficult,” he said.

Because the boxes are buried at places like beaches, they’re also susceptible to the will of Mother Nature and are constantly under threat of weather damage or being washed away.

“A big part of my job is treasure maintenance,” said Moulton, who routinely checks on the boxes to make sure they’re intact and functioning. He updates the status of each treasure hunt at his online website.

Photo Credit: David Benthal

Brian Smith, a teacher who spends his summers visiting his parents with his children in Southold, is one of many who avidly follow Greenie Supply & Tackle.

“I think it’s an awesome idea. It’s exciting, fun for the kids, fun for the adults and it gives you places to go that you otherwise wouldn’t,” Smith explained. “As a kid growing up in the ’80s, I watched ‘The Goonies,’ so it kinda reminds me a little of [that].”

Invested in the future of the Greenie Supply & Tackle, Smith and his children have built boxes and helped to curate treasures at times when Moulton was unable to do so himself. “I just kind of assumed it was a lot of work,” he explained. “I contacted him and said that if he ever needed help keeping it going, I would be willing to volunteer and help him out.”

“We’re really grateful to Greenie Supply for all of the adventure and experiences that they deliver to people from far and wide,” added Yvonne Lieblein, co-owner of Port of Egypt and a long-standing admirer of Greenie Supply. “Having something that is about connecting with each other, with people, with nature, and going on an adventure together is so in the spirit of Port of Egypt.”

Those who venture to the marina to start their adventure will find the following mantra on every map purchased: “Change your day forever.”

“It’s kind of like my rallying cry for Greenie Supply,” Moulton said. “It’s really all about inspiring people to take a moment from their everyday lives, whether it’s work or school, or just a mundane routine, and just do something completely out of character and freeing.”