Aquatic adventures: Onset Bay Center offers summer programs

Jul 26, 2020

For those looking to get outdoors during the pandemic this summer, the Onset Bay Center has a variety of on-the-water programs for both kids and adults. 

The Onset Bay Center is the new name for the Onset Bathhouse, which was rented and rebuilt by the Buzzards Bay Coalition to serve as a hub for classes and events in Onset and on Wickets Island, which is owned by the coalition. 

While indoor educational programs had to be put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, programs for fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and other outdoor activities in Onset bay are safe to continue for the new center’s first summer. 

According to Director Katherine Garofoli, the center has 13 kayaks, 10 standing paddle boards, four Bevin Skiffs, and one motor boat. All equipment is disinfected after each use, and life jackets are left to dry for three days before they are used again.

On Tuesday, July 21, the Onset Bay Center’s Sarah Jennings and Kevin Slatterly, Captain of the “Maureen Ann” fishing boat, led a group of four girls on a catch and release fishing trip as part of the weekly “Go Fish! In Onset Bay” program. 

Everyone on board wore masks, and practiced social distancing. 

Other programs this summer include kayak adventures to Wickets Island, stand up paddle boarding and skiff rowing sessions, and “Burgess Point Bingo,” in which participants kayak to Burgess Point, and then search for crabs, fish, and rare plants.

Garofoli said that these programs are beneficial for participants because “they’re experiencing a different side of Onset Bay that is much different than just standing on the shore.” 

She added that the center’s location on Onset Beach has been advantageous. As more people have been visiting the beach lately, some have stopped by to ask about programs. 

Garofoli said that she is mindful of practicing social distancing on the beach, and making sure that program participants and other beach goers share available space. She added that everyone has done a good job of that so far this summer, even on days when the beach has been more crowded than usual.

The Onset Bay Center offers weekly summer programs for both kids and adults, which will continue to August 22. 

The programs are free, but space is limited for each session. To register, go to Onset Bay