Captain Frank Rizzo and his crew draw on 35 years of navigation experience to pilot the Freeport Princess along the placid waters of Freeport’s Nautical Mile. On the night of their dinner cruise, passengers stroll up the gangplank of the 105-foot Coast Guard–certified yacht to wave kerchiefs at land-bound friends or don mermaid costumes and clamber onto the prow for luck. Once at sail, patrons can settle into plush stools and couches lining the main deck’s sumptuous windowed lounge, and slide past the cash bar for libations (not included in the dinner cruise) to toast the luxurious evening. The steaming buffet tempts diners with four gourmet appetizers and entrees in the formal dining area on the lower deck ringed with clear lucite tables to protect guests from having their shoelaces tied together while eating. Passengers can mount the elegant glassed-in stairs to the upper level, where DJs spin tunes on a large dance floor sparkling with disco lights and an outer deck lets passengers relish ocean breezes and peaceful views of the Nautical Mile’s cozy harbors.
As he steers the Freeport Water Taxi, Captain Rick Cohen safely transports passengers around local South Shore areas between Freeport and Point Lookout. As passengers hop on his floating taxi, they’re often seen in the company of a bike or pet, both welcome on water-taxi trips. A ride on the water taxi also makes it easy to visit several waterfront landmarks and eateries, including seafood haven Fisherman’s Catch and Crow’s Nest Mini Golf.
Wednesday through Sunday, Captain Cohen tours the bay with passengers on 60- and 90-minute daytime and sunset cruises. As the blazing sun begins to hide behind the horizon, passengers breathe in the salty sea air and draw close to their companions or ask a seagull to hold hands with them. The boat can also be chartered for bird- and harbor-seal-watching tours based on the season, as well as fishing trips.
Every summer, Angler Fishing Fleet's Captain Ken welcomes youngsters aboard his fishing boat for a weeklong fishing camp. He schools campers in fishing techniques, conservation, and boat safety in a demonstration of the company’s initiatives to empower budding fishermen in exploring local waters. In addition to camps, staff captains host frequent lectures that cover subjects such as anchoring techniques, bait, and which fish are the likeliest to grant wishes.
On private charters, the crew seeks schools with onboard sonar equipment and supplies passengers with fishing gear and bait. The Angler II ferries up to 39 passengers on fishing trips in the western Long Island Sound. It is a 50-foot Coast Guard–inspected vessel. The sleek Angler III, another 50-foot Coast Guard–inspected vessel, also escorts passengers through the sound, but it can hold up to 49 passengers and includes a cozy cabin with a galley that serves snacks and beverages. Plus, it offers both indoor and outdoor seating. The smallest member of the fleet, the Angler Express, is designed to hold up to six passengers on private charters. All three vessels in the fleet are equipped with state-of-the-art safety and fish-finding equipment.
Atlantic Outfitters facilitates maritime excursions with its stable of paddle-propelled vessels. From the fiberglass-ensconced safety of two sleek kayaks, or from the commanding view afforded by two standup paddleboards, seafaring friends can spend two hours exploring the watery expanses, tributaries, and wooded shorelines of the pristine Manhasset Bay. During the journey, paddlers can picnic on the open water, use their feet as anchors in the shallows along sandy beaches, or reenact favorite scenes from a documentary about waterfowl. Numerous kayak launch sites along the coast provide easy access to the bay.
Each vessel in Island Current’s four-boat fleet ferries 21–110 passengers across the fish-filled waters of Long Island Sound and Snug Harbor. Fishing charters reel in catches such as blackfish, ling, and cod, and sightseeing tours fill eyes with up-close views of the Statue of Liberty, historic lighthouses, and other landmarks. After each schooner sets sail from City Island at Jack’s Bait & Tackle, fleet owner Captain Chris comes on deck to share his angling expertise and introduce first-time fishermen to knowledgeable local mermaids.
Helmed by United States Coast Guard captains, Western Sound Charter’s premium boats can just as easily jaunt through Long Island Sound to the Statue of Liberty as they can wend their way along fishing routes replete with striped bass. The fleet encompasses six boat styles, which range from a 25-foot hardtop to a child-safe sightseeing and fishing vessel, whose floodlights can illuminate night expeditions and easily stand up to the bullying of pompous lighthouses. The company can accommodate parties of up to 100, and an advanced pairing service matches each client to an activity-appropriate boat.
Mike Cannon fell in love young, and he fell in love hard. He was only 6 years old when he first stepped on board a fishing boat. For the next three years, his seasick father dutifully took him fishing every weekend, until one day, Mike told his dad that he didn’t need to come along. So it was at age 9 that Mike began his career as a bucket cleaner. At age 13, he became a deck hand for Capt. Mike Abbaticchio aboard the Capt. Mike, which he purchased for his own 16 years later. Today, he still commands the Capt. Mike, setting off into Jamaica Bay and the New York Bight with fishers of all experience levels for full- or half-day charters. Mike provides rods, bait, and tackle and doles out advice for catching winter flounders or avoiding direct eye contact with enraged striped bass.