The man's smile stretches almost as wide as the giant striped bass in his right hand. A novice fisherman, he's snagged his very first catch aboard one of Celtic Quest Fishing's group boats. A crew member snaps a photograph of the triumphant moment. Although it depicts only a moment in time, that photo recounts a much larger story. The man can point to it when he tells friends how he grabbed hold of rod and reel, cast a line, and wrestled with a resilient foe—ultimately pulling the fish up onto the dock.
This sort of experience happens frequently aboard Celtic Quest Fishing's group-fishing boats, which can carry 70–100 people at a time. The company, founded by Port Jefferson native Captain Des O’Sullivan, maintains two of the giant vessels. They carry groups out in search of black fish, fluke, porgies, or any other species Poseidon sends out to defend his honor. Regardless of the targeted catch, Celtic Quest Fishing's expert crew members supply all necessary gear, and they happily teach newbies fishing basics.
Situated on a flat-water river whose mouth opens into Great South Bay, Carman's River Canoe & Kayak has something for all levels of paddlers. In addition to providing equipment, the staff rents out single and double kayaks, as well as multiperson canoes, and suggests routes that can include the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge or––for those with a bit more experience––trips out to Fire Island.
Captain Steve Scarfogliero has been fishing the waters around Moriches for more than two decades. He shares his years of expertise during fishing charters on the Fish On I, a 40-foot sport fishing boat, and the Fish On II, a 65-foot party fishing boat.
Aboard these vessels, Captain Scarfogliero helps anglers catch everything from fluke to tuna to sharks.
North Star II Fishing & Charter Boat's crew has learned to analyze the weather, tides, and times of day to deduce when fish will come out of hiding. To supplement their instincts, the crew also gleans wisdom from a fish-detecting GPS radar and a local grizzly bear. The company's fiberglass-coated Northstar 2 meets the standards of the USCG's annual inspections, and can accommodate up to 100 passengers on each chartered trip. Extensive seating options and a sound system with Sirius radio make fishing trips comfortable. The company's newest vessel, Nautic Star, fosters a more intimate brand of fish-storytelling on its 40-person capacity boat. Fluke, flounder, bass, and live eels are among the species hauled in from the deep, whether by fishing line or polite invitations to hop onboard.
The Boat Locker, founded in 1957, continues to furnish all manners of outdoor activities with boats and boating gear alongside an extensive stock of snowboards, standup paddleboards, and accessories. Careen across wintry slopes or down carpeted escalators atop a selection of Arbor snowboards ($299+) while outfitted in Burton boots, binding, and apparel ($20+). Standup paddleboards ($799+) surf down shores while sets of Anon goggles ($65+) shield eyes from chilly mountain breezes. The protective lenses of pairs of Kaenon, Maui Jim, Oakley and Gill sunglasses ($70+) safeguard wearers’ mugs against harsh elements when snowboarding or after accidentally falling face-first into the office koi pond.
The Kiriakidis family arrived in the United States carrying more than their luggage. They also packed some true Old World values: a love of good food and family. Much of their lives was spent working in kitchens, and it became something of a dream to one day open their own eatery. It took time and effort, but under the urging of patriarch Theodoros, the octet of siblings came together to found Pontos Taverna.
The family now spends their days making the same food they grew up with, chatting boisterously with one another as they stuff marinated beef with saganaki cheese or grill octopus to tender perfection. Theodoros—or Teddy, as many call him—serves as the head chef, whipping up his signature dessert of cinnamon-infused rice pudding that serves as a cinematic end to any meal, like a plate engraved with the kitchen staff’s names in movie-style credits. How good is the family’s culinary work? The New York Times gave it high praise in a review from December 2012, stating “The… word—triumph—could be used, over all, for Pontos, a great place to go for a family-style Greek ‘fix,’ and a budget fix as well.”