The 90 minute cruise around West Harbor on Saturday, guided by Friends of the Bay and The WaterFront Center was a big hit with 51 residents participating. Colorful Kayaks and paddleboards dotted the Long Island Sound with participants, who were a variety of ages, enjoying the guided excursion led by an experienced naturalist.
“Everybody seemed to like it so we we’re planning to make it an annual event and maybe even do more than one kayak cruise per year,” said Bill Bleyer, president of Friends of the Bay as well as an author and historian who served as one of the tour guides along with WaterFront Center naturalist Molly Gagliano.
Participants rented all of the available kayaks from the WaterFront Center and Bridge Marine, which pitched in to provide additional rentals. Then the group followed the new Friends of the Bay boat, a 24-foot Parker, as the tour guides pointed out osprey and other wildlife. They described the history of Jakobson Shipyard and the Western Waterfront, Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park, the historic oyster sloop Christeen, Frank M. Flower & Sons shellfishing company, the independent baymen, and Billy Joel’s house on Centre Island.
It was a celebration of flora and fauna, one that shared the beauty of the waterways, a place many species call home.