A Day in Davis Park, Fire Island
Overly dressed they were not. A bathing suit and tongs might have been considered formal wear. Without tongs, it would be considered casual. However, what they carried was quite different, ranging from a bottle of water to a trunk that proved to be too heavy to carry and was thus designated "freight." It required early check-in and the payment of supplemental fees if there was a flight with cargo that could be transported at all. The location was not even all over the world. In fact, I believed that I could extend my arms across the ocean and feel it. It was, however, remote and isolated in its own unique way. It was almost alien. The ship I, along with a number of others, embarked at the sandspit next to the Brookhaven Town Recreation Park on Brightwood Street in Patchogue was not a luxurious liner. Once christened the M/V Kiki some time, if not decades ago and operated as part of the Davis Park Ferry Company, it was 70.7 feet, carried 46.55 tonnage, and had two decks (the one on the upper deck was open), and accommodated the maximum number of passengers, or four more in the event that crew members were added. Visit:- https://www.idcgili.com/ Bathroom facilities included a 20-minute "hold it" during the trip across the island (Long) to the other (Fire). People continued to pour through the hatch like they fed the boat's endless appetite: parents, children, grandparents, college students, dogs. It didn't matter if they had two legs feet or four, their goal was the same: to bridge the gap to Fire Island. This was not a relaxing cruise. It was a necessity, a basic transportation system-and the only public option of getting there and back. "There" was pleasure, escape, and in a way, home, at least for most of them in the summer time. What most do not do is go home. This was different. It was reported that the Davis Park Ferry Company offered more than a dozen round trips during summer weekends to the destination of its name. If you are not a Long Islanders, you would be forgiven for not having heard of this frequently-served community. The ship was later separated away from docks on a crystal blue, 80-degree, late-August day, amid a roaring noise from its engine the M/V Kiki moved down the last several yards down the channels, a massive ape next to the small boats that were squatting in the opposite direction. Bathed in slipstream and boring into the deep sea of Great South Bay with its bow, it was no opposition to the numerous sailboats, whose massive sails and tiny wakes indicated something more of an aqua dance than relay races. A slender line, like if drawn with an dark green felt tip pen, was visible across the sky, marking the ferry's Fire Island destination. It hardly seemed exotic, but was certainly evocative in its name. "Combining the excitement and drama of fire with the tranquility, isolation, and mystery of an island, the term suggests three of the ancient elements: fire, earth, and water," according to Madeleine C. Johnson in her book " Fire Island: 1650s-1980s"(Shoreland Press, 1983, p. 1.). "In two short, memorable words, it evokes the powerful, frequently opposing attractions presented by the barrier beach." It is formed by currents that transport eroded glacial debris, Fire Island itself is anything other than static, because wind waves, waves, and the weather constantly alter and shape the thin ribbon of sand and scrub, as if it were the string made of clay. The fragility of the island is more evident from the air than the water. "Seen from the air," according to the National Park Service, "Fire Island looks fragile and isolated. Atlantic waves pound upon the white shore. The trees are smothered in a sea of noticeable homesteads... Centuries of devastating storms off the Atlantic Ocean have battered dunes, opened inlets, and threatened to destroy (it). But this barrier island is resilient. The beaches that get eroded by winter storms get replenished with sand that has returned from the sandbars off-shore. Beach grasses take up residence on dunes that are growing slowly." The trip we took today is, in some sense about two centuries of work. Although it is now primarily used as a vacation spot and home with a small skeleton population who cling to its shores throughout the rest of the year, the population prior to the 1850s would have hardly made the debutant list. Indians as well as pirates and ghosts, who made brief or even more constant appearances, were thought to be terrifying or even risky. Tourists, it is true were not in a rush to reserve rooms in the resort. Then, again, there were none to book, till David Sammis purchased 120 acres of grassland just east at the Fire Island Light Station in 1855 and constructed the massive, 1500-room Surf Hotel complex on it in an effort to establish it as one the most luxurious tourist resorts. Access to it was as necessary as the sand and the sea that surrounded it. This led to the introduction of the Great South Bay's initial ferry service, which was operated by a steam-powered ship Bonita, or "pretty" in Spanish it was-and the trolley line that ran from it's Babylon Station to the dock at which it set sail. Sammis needed to consider all kinds of things and, when it came to accessing air to the area, it was the Wright Brothers were a half century late. The peak of its prosperity between the 1850s and 1880s. The era attracted attention and also people who began making small communities of summer. Fire Island represents the most fundamental conflict, man against nature or man against nature depending upon which came first and which can be considered the more powerful culprit. It is conflictive. It both attracts and repels-in the former , the human, and the latter, the ocean. It creates a balance between the ocean and sand. It shields and protects in the case of residents are present during severe weather. This balance depends on the elements. While the trans-barrier island Ocean Parkway suggested by Robert Moses in 1927 would have improved connectivity to the island and around it making it easier for trips on a day and same-day mainland return, its protected status would surely resulted in its storm, wind and hurricanes to end. The roadway itself, a symbol of the unbreakable relationship between man and nature would have marred its aesthetics by destroying the unique nature which was the basis of its. It is the reason why it is often described as an "treasure." Inspiring by Moses's attempts in introducing pollution over the population of the area, and thus weaken the already fragile nature of the area, President Johnson signed a 1964 law, creating the 33-mile Fire Island National Seashore between Robert Moses State and Smith Point County parks situated, respectively, in the east and west with a federally protected area between them for the purpose of protecting the natural beauty of the area and deterring any kind of overly-infrastructure construction. Communities that were then in existence, whose design guidelines and limitations had already been established, could continue on a limited basis. Other than the extreme boundary roadways, ferry transportation as I used it of even today, was the only scheduled access. Hardly a young concern itself The Davis Park Ferry Company was founded in 1947, which has kept "ferrying" ever since. The crests, which resemble avalanches, were projected in white from its sides The M/V Kiki was able to cut bow-high into the otherwise deep blue of the Great South Bay, at times, appearing to crack sun-glinted, crystal-like wave peaks that are now slicing across however, it was beaten by aerodynamic-hulled speedboats. Speedier travel means that the destination is reached sooner, however, less of it allows for more travel to enjoy until it does-that is, one can be there to flourish or coast to contemplate. In any scenario, Davis Park, the one with the most eastern aspect one of 20 Fire Island communities and one-and-a-half miles away from its closest neighbor was advancing towards or, perhaps, I was about to approach it. However, the perspective changed perception. On June 8, 1945, when Allied troops arrived on the shores of Normandy and Normandy, so, too, did the first structure of the community land that would later be located on the beaches of Davis Park. An emigration from Blue Point, Long Island and a restaurant was moved by barge and tugboat through into the Great South Bay, literally placing the town upon the Fire Island map and the construction of the building along the shores. It was planted next to Marina, the supermarket store-cum-snack bar was one of the very first along the sands of this stretch. Civilization, even if a single facility could be so labeled, attracts civilisation, but not immediately. Despite its status as an outpost and its ultimate victory in overcoming its electricity and water problems, it was in a position to not be able to satisfy its lack of customers. They were very few and far between and occasionally alighted from the few sailboats that anchor off the area of sand. This continued until the town of Brookhaven built an open-pile dock to accommodate motorized vehicles on the parcels of land that were donated by Davis Brothers of Patchogue.  

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