By Ellen Abramowitz
Dunewood Off Shore
At 5:30 a.m., two Dunewood residents and avid fishermen, 16-year-old Allie Henner and her father, Kevin Henner, woke up to begin a day of fishing for sharks. Allie who has been chasing sharks for the last three years, began begging her father to let her come along on a shark fishing expedition since she was 9 years old. Her brother, Jake Henner, four years older, started at the age of 13. That was the rule set in place by their parents Jane and Kevin. As it turned out, Jake’s nautical interest has leaned towards sailing. Jake is currently a sailing instructor at the Dunewood Yacht Club (DYC). However, Allie’s seafaring interests were to go offshore and catch some sharks.
The Henner’s boat pulled out at 6:30 a.m. on that bright Saturday morning. The shark bait was ready with a combination of chum comprised of bunker fish and fish oil to spice-up their chum slick. This type of baiting is similar to leaving out a trail of breadcrumbs that lead up to the mackerel on the hook. When they were 8 miles off shore they began shark fishing. The first two sharks they caught were both under 6 feet in length, which is below the legal limit and were released. After several hours, they hooked onto a 250-pound, 8-foot, 9-inch mako shark that was all muscle. It took about an hour and half, with Allie and Kevin splitting the work of reeling in the shark and steering their boat. Allie said: “The key thing is to be fast and calm” then added, “it is important to move quickly while keeping focused, it’s easy to get a finger caught in a line causing an injury and even easier to lose the shark.”
After docking their boat in their slip at the Dunewood “L- Dock” six hours later, local residents arrived to get a look at the substantial catch. Kevin, after removing a hook from the shark’s mouth, noticed that it was not theirs, a sign that they were not the first to attempt bringing in this shark. Allie concluded, that by the look of that hook, which was not rusty, that “the shark was most likely hooked by another fisherman within the last week.”
As in the past, the Henner’s cleaned the shark and shared their catch feeding at least half of the community. Around the same time as the mako catch, Jerry Jerome, another one of Dunewood’s ardent fishermen, was one mile off shore from the Fire Island Lighthouse, when he and some of his family members noticed quite a commotion in the water. Jerry pulled his boat over to get a closer look. What they saw was quite a surprise. A tremendous striped bass leaped out from the water in shock after being bitten in its tail by a hammerhead shark. Ace fisherman Jerry, without his fishing pole, reached over with his large net and pulled in the 40-pound striped bass as other hammerheads began to circle. This was a perfect birthday gift for Jerry, who was out for his annual birthday fishing adventure.
Jerry may not have had the first bite, but the Jerome family and their friends had last licks at Saturday night’s dinner table.
DYC Doubles Regatta
On Saturday, July 18, The DYC held their annual Dunewood Doubles Regatta. The 12 racers where divided up into six teams. The course consisted of a four-port triangle race that was set with buoys in the Great South Bay between Loneyvllille and Dunewood. Out of the four races, each team was permitted one throw-out of their highest score. The winning team is the duo with the lowest combined score. Even with a light wind, that at times seemed to be barely blowing at their backs, there was a large 18 point spread of points between the six teams. Jake Henner was the commodore of this year’s regatta and sailing student Miles Coleman served as crewmember on the committee boat.
Congratulations to Jake Singer and Sanjay Day who combined for a low score total of 20-½. This is the first time that either of these racers came in first place in DYC’s Doubles regatta. Their names will now be added to the list of champions on the DYC Doubles Trophy.
The Seventh Annual Dunewood Swim-A-Thon, a fundraiser for Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society, took place on Saturday, July 25th at 11:00 a.m. at the Dunewood Bay Beach.
Catrina Christensen, Dunewood’s head swim instructor, organized the event. Catrina has also been teaching swimming in the community for the last thirteen years. This event is one of the many terrific tournaments that Catrina has created and organized during her tenure.
There were 25 participants with their families at this year’s gathering, swimming more than 200 combined laps. Participants received colorful rubber bracelets from Catrina at the completion of each of his or her lap. The bracelets aided in keeping track of their progress while also serving as a fun incentive to keep on swimming. This successful function raised $220 through the generous support from its sponsors: RK Landscaping who contributed the colorful 7th Annual Swim-a-Thon tie-dye shirts, along with a sensational assortment of raffle prices that were donated from Kline’s, Albatross, Bocce Beach, Houser’s, Scoop’s, The Landing, Matthew’s, Sandbar, and Island Mermaid.
As one mother said while cheering her child on from the water, “This is my favorite day of the summer.”