Plumb Beach: Brooklyn's Windsurfing & Kiteboarding Paradise
Plumb Beach is to Brooklyn what Essaouira is to Morocco: an internationally recognized windsurfing spot. But let's not forget that we're in Brooklyn, where our beloved Plumb Beach has been referred to as "that parking lot on the Belt Parkway, just east of Exit 9 Knapp Street."
Once you cross the other side of that parking lot, you'll find a small, , clean khaki-color sand beach with grasses and flowers peaking through the sand. Plumb Beach is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area. Its also ground zero for an armada of windsurfers and kiteboarders, who take advantage of the strong breezes in the Rockaway Inlet, not to mention the easy launch access (easily accessible off the Belt Pkway, parking, short walk to the beach). When winds are between 11 and 16 knots, experienced windsurfers and kiteboarders fly on the waters at incredible speed. We don't windsurf of kiteboard, but we love watching them, particularly the kiteboarders.
And because we figure you want to know, "Is it really clean to go in those waters?" We've never heard of anyone getting sick from swimming, sailing, diving, windsurfing -- you get the picture -- from being in the water.
Plum Beach, wasn't always Plumb Beach. It was Plumb Island -- an island where people lived in bungalows. That all changed in 1940 when Robert Moses filled in the island to connect it to the rest of Brooklyn in order to build the Belt Parkway (Moses really loved highways). Today Gateway National Recreation Area manages the beach area but the parking lot is still owned by New York City. In addition to being a great spot to launch a windsurfer or kayak, Plumb Beach is great for sunbathing, running and checking out the Herons, Egrets, horseshoe crabs and other wildlife. It also has an amazing view of the Rockaway Inlet and Breezy Point.
The New York Times recently published a story about Plumb Beach (they spelled it Plum. Who is corrrect?) being transformed into a "performance art-bar." Clever idea, considering seamen's affinity for rum.