Patriotic paddlers to set sail

Manorville yoga instructor to lead Fourth of July paddle board excursion

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What better way to celebrate America’s independence than by paddling out to the middle of the Bay and watching the fireworks on the open water? That’s what Amanda Bruno, a certified yoga and paddleboard instructor, thought and so now she hosts a paddle in the Moriches Bay on the Fourth of July.

This is the third season Bruno will take paddlers out as part of her Fourth of July holiday paddle. The event costs $50 per person and includes equipment, a lesson and a guided tour. Bruno, who owns a yoga studio in Manorville, hosts an early, midday and sunset paddle on July 4, but said the sunset paddle, is the most popular because of the fireworks.

“From Moriches Bay we are able to see Westhampton Country Club’s fire works and all the residential fireworks on Dune Road. We can see the fireworks in Center Moriches, Moriches, East Moriches - they pop up everywhere,” she said.

Event-goers can either bring their own paddleboard or rent one from Bruno. The event generally lasts for about an hour and fifteen minutes but the duration of the paddle and the launch time is based on mother nature, according to Bruno who checks the tides frequently leading up to the excursion. Either way, paddlers can expect to enjoy their time paddling around, enjoying nature and enjoying the water.

“On a great night we can have over 20 boards in the water,” she said.

For Bruno, paddleboarding is a healthier and more environmentally efficient option to boating.

“Paddle boarding is such an amazing way to enjoy the water. There isn’t much skill required to get started. It’s so peaceful with no motors, no pollution and no disruption to wild life,” she said. “There really is something magical about being able to ‘walk on water’ - add a gorgeous sunset and friends and it’s a slice of heaven.”

Bruno hosts other paddleboarding events throughout the year as part of Long Island Vibes, a hybrid for her love of yoga, paddleboarding and wellness. Monica Rani Sharma, a client and friend is always first to sign up for special events and holiday paddles, according to Bruno.

“I discovered paddleboarding during quarantine,” said Sharma, who has been taking classes with Bruno since June of 2020. “It got me out of my comfort zone. I found new friends and a new way to enjoy the beach during summer.”

“Not only is it a great workout but I enjoy the connection to the water,” she added. “I think I’m free on the water. I’m away from my noisy, busy life and enjoying moments of serendipity. Here on Long Island we are surrounded by amazing beaches and bays.”

Sharma has quickly taken to paddleboarding, according to Bruno, and recommends the sport as a way to better connect with Long Island’s nature and waterways.

“Paddleboarding gives you more control over where you travel. You can explore better on a paddleboard than on a boat – and it helps me be one with the ocean,” said Sharma, who attended last year’s Fourth of July paddle. “What a beautiful way for me to celebrate Independence Day – by me finding my independence during the pandemic.”

According to Bruno, novice paddlers are welcomed to the event. Being able to swim is helpful, but all paddlers are given life vests.

“I give a complete lesson on land and stay with all of my paddlers,” Bruno explained. “If anyone is having issues, uncomfortable or unable to paddle I simply tie them to my board and tow them along.”

For more information about the Fourth of July event visit www.longislandvibes.com

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