Happy / sad to say I have sold my home at Gilgo Beach. Hence the end of live images of the ocean and the weather station on gilgo.com. Will be shutting down cam and weather station the middle of December. I hope the site helped you find some bumps. Shutdown on January 2nd, 2022.
Every day a gift, make the best of every session. waves, peter
Update 1/4; updated tide tables so site serves a small purpose! Check the tides and click thru to the buoys… can’t help myself, so used to looking at it for conditions.
The origin of the Gilgo Surf Cam: I was living in Hauppauge at the time, working crazy hours with a good 30 minute ride to Gilgo Beach. I was getting fatter by the minute and decided to try surfing as I always loved body surfing as a kid.
Rode or tried to ride my first wave at the age of 38 in 1991. Was instantly hooked but didn’t get in the water much due to work. When I could, I would end up in the white water going straight ahead or regularly, not even get outside. I remember getting eaten alive after I got out of the water as I was too exhausted to run back to the house.
FYI; Mosquitoes were real bad at east end of Gilgo Beach before West Nile disease caused the county to spray the area starting in 1999 to control the little varmints.
Attempting to surf was good exercise and helped control my growing belly. More importantly, it was a fun diversion from realities of life. Forgot who said it to me, but they gave me a definition of happiness in life that resonated. Happiness is Doing Anything where You Can Not Think About Anything Else. Surfing did that for me.
Bought a house at Gilgo in 1995 so could have my surfboard and a shower allowing me to chase waves and work. With waves on the brain, I would leave work as I thought there were waves. Then get skunked after driving to Gilgo. Issue was usually wind conditions as the NOAA buoy system gave you an idea on swells. Used to drive me crazy to waste the hour and half by leaving work and then not get to surf. There is no free ride in life. I paid the price when I was not at work, when I should have been. It was worth it, but wanted more.
Gilgo Surf Cam Launch
Bunger’s Surf Cam was the only way to check beach conditions and it had reliability issues back then. Had a Hughes satellite dish with its super slow, funky internet service installed. It allowed me to upload a 20k jpeg image every 5 minutes. But alas, gilgo.com had the same reliability issues as Bunger. At least I knew if the image viewed were updated or old. The surf cam ran this way for a couple of years. It was a pain in the ass to keep running as the satellite internet service was poor, but it served its purpose, for me anyway.
Don’t Litter, It Makes Ugly Glitter
gilgo.com was brought to life to solve my issue with current surf conditions and I figured it would help out all Surfers on Long Island. I did not want to commercialize the site, so decided on attempting to reduce garbage at the beach and promote surfing as a wonderful life adventure. I became an attempted poet for a year or so, creating the web site you see today. Don’t Litter, It Makes Ugly Glitter! – were my first lines…
Updates over the Years
In 2002, moved to the gilgo home where the surf cam is today and added a weather station. I am a Cable TV engineer by trade, it took a couple years, but gathered up the information and electronic gear to install a line of sight, unlicensed microwave link across the bay to access an Optimum internet modem on the mainland for good internet connection. Think maximum bandwidth then was 20mg with my microwave link delivering a whopping 2mg upload.
Activation was an adventure from finding a transmit site on the mainland to installing the 3 mile link across the bay. This was new technology at the time, many thanks to my cousin Bob at Tri- State Technologies. Many thanks to Gus at Sea Services for the mainland transmission site. The microwave link was activated in November 2003 and the Gilgo Surf Cam became reliable.
January 21st, 2006 changed the surf cam from a 5 minute update to a 1 minute update and added the gilgo movie file that allows you to see the last 30 minutes of ocean conditions in just 30 seconds! Added the larger images on February 10th, 2006 and the surf cam became the reliable source of ocean conditions at gilgo beach that it is today.
The surf cam ran for the next 14 years pretty good. I have replaced 3 Sony Pella cameras over the years and 2 or 3 Davis weather stations with various computer, cable and software issues, to many to list.
In 2020, with me no longer surfing and bored, a couple of osprey made a nest across from my home, I moved the Bay cam to the osprey nest. I didn’t like the image quality, so I changed the cam set up so the upload went from 20-30k to 200k. It worked out fine with my ISP, so I changed the ocean surf cam to the same higher resolution setting! Wish I would have done it sooner! Pix looks better, need a new camera outdoor enclosure as the cover is getting funky.
In August of 2020, John from the NY Kite School in Amityville emailed me the weather station was displaying wind speeds 5-10 mph less than what was real. Thank you John! Changed the wind vane for the 3rd time in 15 years and we were back in business as a good a good source of surf information.
Gilgo Surf Cam Current Summary
Currently, the camera’s and weather enclosure are showing there age. Need to replace them, deciding on how to move forward as I have not surfed in 3 years. I am 68 years old and my shoulders and neck are shot. So, might be the end of gilgo.com as you know it.
Gilgo Surf Cam’s Future and More
Think we will put Gilgo Beach home up for sale in the next year or so. If someone out there wants to buy a great surf cottage at Gilgo Beach and own to operate gilgo.com, give me a call; peter 516-220-5630. Waiting on an appraisal to determine a fair selling price.
As a side note, put my home in Tortola up for sale at 720k. Had bought it for winter surfing, it is a magic place. Check it out; applesurf.com. It is a strong rental property for when you are off island. If interested, give me a call. Winter swells in Tortola are so predictable, its crazy. 3-4 days after most nor’easters, warm water, booming ground swells go off along the north shore of Tortola.
Hope gilgo.com has helped you in the pursuit of surf and bliss.
As any old guy knows; make the best of every day, every session is a gift.
Internet came back up, seems lack of power was the problem for the last 2 weeks. In past storms, Cablevision had trucks with generators powering up the cable system. Many beautiful days went by with power and we had no TV or internet as their receive site had no AC. The State Cable Commission states that cable systems have to respond and repair outages within 2 days! Something has changed and it is not for the good.
UPDATE: August 17th
Surf Cam and weather station down as Altice’s Optimum Internet Service at Gilgo Beach is still not working since the storm on August 4th, 2 weeks ago!
Have called Altice a number of time to talk to a machine or a person who has no idea of the geography of the area.
The company offers a terrible response to problems and outages violating many of the rules of the state cable commission concerning service disruptions and responses to customers.
Call the NYS Cable Commission to complain at 800-342-3377. The cable company is required by law to respond to customer complaints within 48 hours!
Finally August 17th around 9 pm, internet was restored! 15 days later. Great service and communications from Altice.
Weather vane arrived on the 12th. I installed it on the 13th so when the internet comes back up, wind readings are accurate again.
Original post; Found that the wind reading from the gilgo.com weather station were coming up low. Many thanks to John from the the NY Kite Center for the heads up. The Wind Anemometer bearings are failing, ordered a replacement unit and will advise when installed. Estimated to receive the shipment by August 12th.
I stopped surfing three years now, due to body parts failing, so do not follow the weather as I used to. Thought wind reading were off as cups were not spinning in light winds last week. After John’s email, can say during tropical storm this week, we showed maximum wind speed of 54 mph and max gust of 60 mph. Most stations on the South Shore of Long Island showed maximum gust over 70 mph with a 78 mph gust at one station.
Walked the beach after the storm, beach looks like it lost 30 to 50 feet, saw the high water marker 30 feet or so away from the base of the dunes so the beaches flooded pretty good. The beach was packed good the morning after but the swell was a disappointment, guess the storm tracked to far inland.
Looks like there will be plenty more chances for waves, check out NOAA Hurricane forecast for the rest of this year.
Parking Barriers Installed May 11th at Gilgo Beach
Not sure what and why this is happening. Guess it is about coronavirus control. Someone has decided that the beach is a problem and so I guess this is their answer. Open the beach but limit the parking. Estimate they blocked off 50% of the parking lot, about 175 parking spaces.
As of today, the Town of Babylon has blocked out all the parking spots east of the entrance. Not sure why they would use concrete barriers unless they are planning to limit the parking for a long time.
Would guess it cost at least 15 thousand dollars to do what they have done thus far. Had the Excavator towed here approximately 30 miles. Then 4 dump trucks hauled the barriers with 4 pickup trucks to assist. Total 10 trucks and men for the day plus whomever where on the other end loading the barriers.
Cuomo says June 6th latest date, have heard June 25th also. That is in a couple of weeks, so whats with the town installing barriers? Heard happening at Cedar Beach also. The state ocean beach parks are open, Tobay Beach is open. Guess we will find out in the coming weeks.
UPDATE JULY 1st, 2020
The town came couple weeks ago and moved all the cement blocks to a corner of the parking lot so that the lot is back to capacity. Note; thus far, the town is closing the lot when it is around 50% capacity.
UPDATE JULY 12th, 2020
The traffic coming over the Robert Moses Bridge hit the ridiculous stage this morning. By 9 am traffic was backed up to Montauk Hwy!
This afternoon around 2 pm, for as far as I could see in both directions on Eastbound Ocean Parkway, hundreds of cars were parked up on the dunes with people going over the dunes to get to the beach.
The number of vehicles on Ocean Parkway West that are airing down and up at Coast Guard entrance to Gilgo State Park has increased. Maybe people are thinking it is OK to park after driving by.
Maybe this is happening due to frustration of driving for hours in traffic and not being able to get into any of the town or state beach parks. There has to be a better way.
We have had a fly box at the east end of the Gilgo Marina for years where it helps control the green fly invasions each summer. A surprise this spring has been a young Osprey couple decided to build their nest there.
Ospreys have made a real comeback here on Long Island and guess that nesting areas are getting scarce. The nest was started the 1st week in April with the build going smoothly when a spring storm came up with gusty west winds and blew it away. They started a rebuild right away, but within days, another 30 mph west wind coming thru and shredded it again!
On April 12th, they came back for a third try. A determined couple of birds for sure. Decided to change the Gilgo Bay Cam to an Osprey Nest Cam on the 16th and got it running that day.
An unintended consequence of the Osprey Nest Cam is because the camera is at maximum zoom to get on the nest was not happy with the image quality so looked into software settings. The image quality and size was set up last decade when 20 kb meant something.
Decided to try full image and movie files uploads with no compression. Jpegs uploads went from 20 kb to 300 kb with the image not that much better. So reset sizing so image is bigger. Thought it looked better so reset image settings for the Ocean Surf Cam too. Will see if my ISP complains. So the birds brought a better picture of the waves for the gilgo beach surf cam, you never know.
Hope you enjoy, watch the live Osprey Cam of their nest here
The Surfers View website also provides a live video feed and a forecast with the surf cam displayed also from Long Beach Surf Shop located on Main Street. There are Surfline cams at West End and Lincoln Blvd with the Lincoln location being a premium only cam, have to be a Surfline member to view. waves, p
This photo of me was taken by photographer walking the beach back in 2007, had it up for 1 day and he called for an acknowledgement. I did not want to commercialize the site, so I took it down. If he sees this post, please send me link information. Hope all get waves, peter
Seems like Swellinfo ongoing forecast issue is lingering. Looked around for alternative, found stormsurf.com.
Graphics are last decade, but the surf forecast and weather information is extensive. Mark Sponsier created the site back in 1998. He packed the site with information on how waves are created, tracked and forecasted.
The 5 day forecast for Gilgo is part of a broader New Jersey to New York forecast, but serves up some good info.
There is also a buoy forecast looking out 5 days that has couple of different reporting screens, here is Buoy 440025, 30 miles south of Islip.
Check out their Tutorial Page for some in depth explanations. Last, one odd situation is that the site is not https, site is still running in the clear.
Put up link on gilgo.com to mobile page with jpeg and the mov files.
The mov file actually works on iphones very well.
am working on weather and tide display.
Let me know if mov works on other phones please; email email@example.com
mov file does not seem to work on some computers and or browsers, just like on main gilgo in the last year or so, apple stopped support of quicktime mov files. on my mac, sometimes you do not even see the video frame, most just says not supported.
update 12/17, upgraded cam software to mp4 format, seems to work on many more computers.