Tuesday, October 22, 2013
DESTINATION: THE OYSTER BAY OYSTER FESTIVAL; Part One
The reason for my Columbus Day voyage was to have one last cruise for the season and attend the 30th annual Oyster Bay Oyster festival. It was an event I wanted to attend for years but, for one reason or another never got to. So this year I made it a priority. I don't think I ever ate a raw Oyster though I have had it cooked in fried Oyster Po Boy sandwiches and in Oyster Stew. So I was gearing up to definitely try some as the Oysters for this event come fresh right of the local Oyster Bay waters. To add to the adventure I downloaded the book The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell by Mark Kurlansky and started reading it a few weeks before heading to the event.
I arrived in Oyster Bay on the Monday before the weekend festival. Electro sailing past the markers that staked out the areas of the Oyster beds worked by a commercial Oyster harvesting company:
I also cruised passed houses of some of the rich and famous on Centre Island like Billy Joel's:
After I motored past the moored boats in the harbor and anchored over on the other side of Centre Island in an area called West Harbor. I was alone in the anchorage and spent several days enjoying the beautiful autumn foliage around some of the houses on the shore:
The only other people I saw were the Bayman who were out early on their work boats scratching the bottom of the harbor with rakes digging for Mussels and Clams.
Some no doubt would be offered on the following weekend at the Oyster Festival. I had reserved a mooring at the Oyster Bay Marine Center for the weekend of the festival so I would have the convenience of a launch service and be closer to the festival. The weather called for some gusty winds starting late Thursday. So I decided to get on the mooring a few days earlier than planned in order to not try be raising the anchor in the gusty winds by myself. Plus it would give me a chance to explore the town before the crowds of festival goers arrived.