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Sixty-Something: August In The Hamptons Is Solid Gold For Spending A Day At Sea

T.J. Clemente

A deserted East End beach. (Photo: TJ Clemente)

What I love about the Hamptons and the whole East End of Long Island is the plentiful wide-open spaces that the many bays, parks, farms, and yes, the Atlantic Ocean help create. God only knows the true number of waterfront properties, acres of sandy beaches and miles of authentic country roads of the East End of Long Island. A while back, I wrote a weekly column for a few years called, "Estate of Mind." I remember saying and still believing, "When you buy Hamptons real estate, you not only make a sound investment you acquire a wonderful lifestyle!" I truly believe that lifestyle is in its highest feather in August.

For the last four weekends, my wife and I have spirited away on my small sailboat to swim at deserted beaches that still exist in the Hamptons. We ate lunches on picnic tables with no one in sight, and, of course, ate dinner outdoors at a very safe-space restaurant. During the weekdays, we always eat at home.

With local produce at farm stands, local wines at the local wineries, local fish for sale everywhere and long, hot sunny days, all homes become sanctuaries to safe distance and to avoid crowds. With the spacious land, almost all homes are zoned to insure one could stay at home, hangout around the pool and not worry about COVID-19. At a zoning board meeting, I remember a woman standing up and saying, "We don't want Montauk turning into Brooklyn," and with over 50 percent of the actual area of Montauk being either a New York State, Suffolk County, or East Hampton Town Park, it never will.

The ocean breeze and its pure salt air transforms the whole East End into a highest ceiling salt cave. The many farm lined back roads makes avoiding the busy Route 27 a pleasant option. I think everyone who lives out east has their own unique road choices to get to where they must go.

I stopped into a local boat supply store on Three Mile Harbor this last week, and Able, who has worked there perhaps the last ten years, confirmed what I was seeing on the water. Boating is huge this summer. Store sales are at a record pace and someone else in the store said new boat sales on Long Island this summer are the highest ever. Most of those boats, it seems, are powerboats with multiple outboard motors that cost in the vicinity of $30,000 and upwards apiece. Two or three folks or even a small family are climbing aboard their boats to cruise the many bays, thus avoiding crowded public ocean beaches.

I sail by boats with grandfathers with their grandchildren fishing out in the open waters or families out to watch the sunset over Gardiner's Bay. As a sailboat guy, I get annoyed when one of those huge, noisy powerboats zooms by at maximum speed. The wake they make affects my sailboat. My sailboat rocks, but that's the way it is if you are a sail boater.

This last hot weekend, there seemed to be more dogs on boats than usual. It's amazing how dogs take to boats in the summer. Almost never do you see them jumping off boats, instead they seem to locate a place to get a wonderful cooling breeze.

August in the Hamptons is at hand. Many of the galas, charity events, and other such functions have been canceled due to COVID-19. However, sunny beach days, or days to ride bikes, take walks, or even jog a few miles are not canceled. In fact, it seems more folks are making healthier choices with all the emphasis on COVID-19 each day. I love August in the Hamptons every year. It was in August 2002 that I decided I would not return to NYC and stay out east for the rest of my life. That is a decision I have never regretted. I actually love the East End lifestyle all year-round.

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