Archive for the tag 'cruises'

It’ll soon be a year since we first reported a seal sighting at the dock of the Miramar Yacht Club. The adorable animal was seen just lounging around, getting his tan on. At the time a yacht club member said he has never seen a seal in the waters of Sheepshead Bay; it was unheard of.

Then in March of 2011 there was another seal sighting, but this time it was at Brighton Beach. A month after that it seemed the same seal that appeared at the Miramar Yacht Club resurfaced again in Sheepshead Bay.

Apparently, a Rockaway cruise vessel is taking advantage of the seals’ affable nature, and is giving tours to those who don’t want to wait for them to sun themselves on lonely Sheepsheady Bay marinas.

During a recent American Princess cruise in which a New York Post reporter tagged along, seal-spotters laid eyes on a dozen of the water-bound furballs.

“The nicest part is that they are just as interested in us as we are in them,” said Jack Goldstein, the captain of the American Princess. “Sometimes, it feels like they are staring back at us.”

The cruise leaves from the Rockaways and proceeds towards Staten Island. The vessel stays idle around Swinburne and Hoofman, the two man-made islands off of the Staten Island coast that have played home to the seals for the past 10 years.

Paul Sieswerda, the cruise’s tour guide, says there has been a great increase in seal sightings in Jamaica Bay since 2006.

“There is a growing population of harbor seals in the East Coast,” said Sieswerda.

He has devoted much of his life to the mammal. In the summer of 1976, he kept and raised a baby seal in his bathtub until he was able to find a proper aquarium for the animal. Also, in 1994 Sieswerda cared for a seal named Andre, which was the idea behind the children’s film Andre.

Boat picture


A weekend shooting on the Golden Sunshine, a dinner-cruise boat featuring alcohol-fueled late-night parties, has led fed up residents to launch a petition for the boat’s relocation.

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Seen from the deck: subway bridge opening // Courtesy of Don Riepe

Ever needed a break from city living? The cars, buses, trains; streets teaming with people and noises and smells… the hurrying everywhere. A trip out of town will cost you, but Sheepshead Bay’s blessed with a local, cheap option: a beautiful Saturday afternoon sail along Jamaica Bay, learning about its history and wildlife.

That’s what I did on a recent Saturday afternoon on-board the Golden Sunshine; a three-hour cruise around Jamaica Bay, from Brooklyn to Queens.

Read our review of the American Littoral Society’s nature cruise, and how you can catch the next one.

Photo by nolastname

If you’re looking to escape the city streets for a few hours and relax while learning about the natural wonders so close to home then consider taking a ride on one of the Jamaica Bay cruises. These three-hour cruises depart from Pier 2 at Emmons Avenue and Bedford Avenue. The first is this Saturday, May 29, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and the second cruise will set sail on Sunday, June 27, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Riders will be regaled with a narrated tour of Jamaica Bay while sipping on wine and snacking on fruit and cheese among other refreshments.  They will also get the chance to see various types of nesting and migrating bird.

Tickets for the cruise are $45 per person. To reserve a spot on the boat send a check for $45/person to: American Littoral Society, c/o Don Riepe, 28 West 9th Road, Broad Channel, NY 11693.  For more information call (718) 318-9344 or e-mail:

What better way is there to spend a weekend afternoon than sailing on the open water and observing untouched beauty of nature?

For more information click here

Today’s 2 p.m. Succos (a.k.a. Sukkot, Sukkos, סוכות, or סֻכּוֹת) cruise from Sheepshead Bay sets sail with a full house. But worry not, you can still get on another boat set to sail today, tomorrow, or Thursday.

Sukkos – or any of its alternative names – is a week-long Jewish holiday, connected to the harvesting season. Sukkot – the plural of Sukkos – is the name of those huts, which are reminiscent of the fragile dwellings ancient Israelites used during their 40 years of wandering in Exodus. Observant Jews make the Sukkot the center of the household, eating all their meals there. Traditionally, Sukkos is also a pilgrimage holiday, when Jews are supposed to visit the Temple of Jerusalem – but in place of that, one group is offering a party succos cruise departing from our ‘hood.

Here is a listing of the details or check the Life of Rubin website for the original listing.

Succos Cruise:

A scenic cruise around Coney Island and the Statue of Liberty – 3 hours. Rain or Shine * Refreshments * Sukkah on Board * Music & Dancing * No reservations necessary. 347-326-4546.
@ Departs Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, almost opposite Loehman’s

Sailings set for 3 days:
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Thursday, October 9, 2009
Sails at:
2 p.m. (Sold out for 10/6/09)
5 p.m.

Price: $25 adults, $15 for children under 12

The pier is located on Emmons Avenue (near Ocean Avenue).

Tri-color Heron in Jamaica Bay
(Photo courtesy of vracing via Flickr)

For all the bird-brains out there, the New York City Audubon Society has planned a Jamaica Bay Sunset Cruise departing from Sheepshead Bay this weekend, Saturday, June 20th.

South Brooklyn residents are lucky to live near one of the Northeast’s best bird-watching locales – Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. This weekend, NYC Audubon guides Don Riepe and Mickey Cohen are leading passengers of the Golden Sunshine around the backwater marshes near JFK Airport to learn about the history, ecology, and wildlife of the bay. See nesting peregrine falcon, osprey, egrets, shorebirds, and waterfowl. Includes wine and cheese, fruit, drinks, and snacks.

When: Saturday, June 20th from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: Golden Sunshine, departing from Pier 2 in Sheepshead Bay
Price: $45
For reservations, call 718-318-9344 or email

Whoever said that Sheepshead Bay party boats are dispensable probably never had their boat overturned in the windy waters.

Early Sunday morning on May 10, 2009, a 25-foot boat carrying six anglers was overturned when the winds and waves forced them into the chilly waters of Jamaica Bay.

Thankfully, a dance cruise boat carrying high schoolers celebrating their graduation was nearby. The captain and crew of the Capt. Dave II rushed to the mayday call — originating through the Coast Guard radio — and were able to rescue the entire crew of the capsized boat.

The rescued fisherpeople were rushed to nearby Coney Island Hospital and Maimonides Hospital in Borough Park, with all being released with a clear bill of health a little while later — free to check out their boat now docked at Sheepshead Bay.

Check the NY Daily News full story and see some pictures of the Capt. Dave II and its heroes, Capt. Dave Paris,Daniel Paris, and Larry Patrin. There’s no picture of rescuer Salvatore “Capt. Cody” Catapano, but we’re sure everyone whose life was saved will never forget his face.

Royal Flush Entertainment & Soundwave, who brought you the Bang on the Bay New Year’s Eve Cruise, is at again with another party sailing from Sheepshead Bay.

For those of you who are not into all that sappy candlelight and huge Valentine’s day markups, you can head on over to Pier 8 for a Reggae, Soca, Hip Hop, R & B, and Old Skool dance cruise.

Next Saturday, February 14, the Sheryll Princess Yacht will be dubbed the The Love Boat and head out for “The Valentine’s Midnight Cruise”. With the amount of promotion these events get, it ought to be called the Black and White and Read edition.

Although the organizer of this event, Legaci, specifically told me that the upscale partygoers (as opposed to Booze Cruise Lovers) on his exclusive cruises do not pollute, this advice can be useful for anyone: This Valentine’s Day, show a little love for Sheepshead Bay, keep our streets clean.

Here are the details from the promoters:
THE LOVE BOAT — “The Valentine’s Midnight Cruise”

Red, White & Black Edition
Saturday February 14th 2009

Aboard the Sheryll Princess
Pier 8, Emmons Ave. & East 21 St
Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY 11235

Boarding time starts @ 11:00PM (Feb. 14)
Boat departs @ 12:30AM SHARP!
Cruise the seas of NYC from 12:30 a.m. – UNTIL

(See Declan McCullagh’s image of the Capitol Building before Sheepshead Bay was added to it at his website.)

I had wanted to “answer” our reader, ‘z’, — who sent us a cryptic comment to our Bang on The Bay New Year’s Eve Cruise post — much earlier, but was almost dumbfounded at how to respond.

After so much concentration on race for the past few years — both Presidential and ethnicity — and now that America’s historic and great (especially because of its inclusiveness) Presidential Inauguration day is here, this seems the appropriate time to acknowledge ‘z’s comment.

Here’s a little background. I had written a post announcing a New Year’s Eve party cruise leaving from Sheepshead Bay, thinking that our readers might like to know about the celebration. ‘Z’ wrote in letting us know who the party was for with a comment saying that “it’s a black oriented party, just an fyi…”.

I really don’t want to be the one to assume what our commenter was trying to tell us. But something about the way that ‘z’ approached the subject of a party in Sheepshead Bay by talking about race — couldn’t sit well with me. While it may be possible that people of all colors and creeds were welcome at the party cruise and ‘z’ may not have meant to exclude any one particular race from the party, it did leave me puzzled about reader’s perceptions of Sheepshead Bay and Sheepshead Bites.

Do visitors who come to our site get the impression that we represent a particular race? If so, which one and why? Was ‘z’ under the wrong impression that the population of Sheepshead Bay is of a certain race? Was the comment placed as a way to welcome people of all creeds to the party or as a way of keeping certain people away?

Please feel welcome to participate in this dialogue, because we’re not oriented in any leave-you-out kind of way. Until we hear from you, Sheepshead Bites has just this to say for now about our blackness, whiteness, and colorness in general: We are colorful, colorless, color-safe, and color-neutral all at once.

We’re honored and humbled to share 2008 — the year we had our start — with Barack Obama. As he is about to be sworn in as our next President, we all stand proud together.

It is in the spirit of change and hope — just as President (if you’re reading this after he’s taken the oath) Obama has united us in this message — that we welcome all of Sheepshead Bay to put aside unfair prejudices and negativities.

The Everyone-Oriented music of unity is calling you to our community dance floor and it feels so good that not even our friend ‘z’ will want to stay away.

(Flyer and information for Bang on the Bay New Year’s Eve Party)

A Bang on the Bay Party cruise is leaving from Sheepshead Bay and headed to New York City for some fireworks to bring in 2009.

The event is organized and arranged by Soundwave Entertainment and Royal Flush Entertainment and is sure to be lots of fun.

Here are some the details from the flyer:
Bang on the Bay: The New Year’s Eve Cruise
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Boarding begins at 7 p.m. with departure at 9 p.m. (Sharp!)
Yacht: Sheryll Princess
Departing from: Pier 8 at Emmons Avenue
Check the flyer or link for more information about pricing and tickets.

Remember that the Sheepshead Bay Piers are part of the NYC Parks Department and visitors are asked to conduct themselves in the same way they would in their favorite park. In order to preserve the beauty of Sheepshead Bay and to avoid noted party cruise problems, we would like to request all partygoers to dispose of litter responsibly, carpool or take public transportation, and please don’t drink and drive.

Thank you and we wish everyone a safe and healthy new year!