By Gianna Volpe
While Stand Up Paddleboarding is undoubtedly the hot trend among teens, 18-year-old Mill Creek Marina employee Glenn Maliglow says that as we enter the dog days of summer, kayaking is a rather popular pastime for folks of every age.
“We get a decent amount of flow toward both [SUP boards and kayaks],” said the marina employee of five years regarding the rental patterns he’s witnessed since he began working Mill Creek Marina’s kayak stand in Noyac this past year. “Younger girls my age through their 20’s that really want to work out tend to get the paddleboards while kayaking seems to be for anyone from infants to the elderly.”
This includes Mr. Maliglow himself whom said he’s been known to utilize the sporty canoe-like craft himself after a long day of renting them out to others.
“I work seven days a week, so I like to relax when I can find the time,” said the Dix Hills resident of taking sunset paddles from Mill Creek Marina out to Jessup’s Neck. “There’s really easy access to [Noyac Bay] and the [Elizabeth Morton] nature preserve here, plus you can see the sun set or rise really well if you go out a little bit to right where the channel opens.”
Though beaching kayaks around the refuge is a no-no this time of year, renters still enjoy kayaking through the refuge waters because the area is home to species of wildlife many don’t get to see up close and personal such as the tiny, mighty Piping Plover and our nation’s most majestic mascot, the American Bald Eagle.
In fact, Mr. Maliglow said there’s a Bald Eagle from Shelter Island that has been known to show his face around the marina from time to time.
“It’s always nice to see him,” said Mr, Maliglow. “It’s rare because his nest is over on Shelter Island, but a few times per season you’ll see him here.”
Even those whom avoid the refuge are sure to witness wildlife for fiddler crabs and mussels can be found right around the area where Mill Creek Marina’s kayaks are launched. “People love looking at the cool ducks and turtles and different things around here,” said the marina’s owner, Jeff Kelsey, of Sag Harbor. “I tend to kayak when I have company in town because it’s a good family activity.”
Mr. Kelsey isn’t the only Sag Harborite whom finds kayaking to be the perfect activity for entertaining out-of-town guests; 73-year-old novelist and educator Susan Pashman decided to do exactly that when her grandchildren Lily and Jacob came to visit her from California last week. “We didn’t get up in time for surfing lessons, so we had to see what else we could do at this time of day,” said Ms. Pashman, whom touted the kayaker’s ability to traverse previously inaccessible spaces as she and her grandchildren walked down to the docks alongside Mr. Maliglow.
“You get to explore places in a kayak you can’t get to see otherwise,” she said. “We’re probably going to do the preserve today.”
Mr. Kelsey said two hours is generally “more than enough” time for the average person to rent a kayak, though customers have been known to rent the watercraft for the day or an entire weekend. “Some people want to take to the beach and I understand that,” he said. “You can fit a small kayak right into an SUV.”
Single kayaks cost $20 to rent for the first hour, while doubles cost $25 and SUP boards cost $30, but prices dip depending on how many additional hours customers want to take them.
Mr. Kelsey advised those whom are new to the activity stay close to shore, lest they find themselves lost in East End waters.
Though it’s not common for a kayaker to get lost, the 52-year-old marina owner said it’s certainly happened before.
“We’ve gotten calls from people saying, ‘I think I’m in North Haven,” Mr. Kelsey said with a laugh.
Mill Creek Marina is located at 3253 Noyac Road in Sag Harbor. For more information, call (631) 704-2320.