Hendrick’s Air, the aviation division of Scottish liquor company Hendrick’s Gin, invited Dan’s Papers aboard its airship, dubbed the “Flying Cucumber,” for a flight over Westhampton Beach on Friday.
We took off from Gabreski Airport in Westhampton with Line Pilot Caesar Mendez at the controls. It takes a team of about half a dozen more people on the ground to ensure a safe takeoff. Men in jumpsuits each held on to separate ropes to guide the blimp before it was fully airborne—the airship bounced off the ground several times before taking flight, which is typical of blimps.
At a relatively low elevation and a slow pace, the blimp flight made for a great opportunity to take photos of Gabreski, Westhampton Beach Village, Quogue and the oceanfront.
Flying over the ocean, we spotted what appeared to be a dead shark or whale. After some research, we found out it was an ocean sunfish, or mola mola, a 2,000-plus-pound bony fish. And it wasn’t dead at all. It is typical for sunfish to lie on their sides and let birds land on them.
It was a fun trip that offered great views, but it had to come to an end. We returned to Gabreski, and after touching down for just a minute the blimp was back in the air with its next passengers.
Hendrick’s Gin joins Dan’s Papers for Dan’s Taste of Summer. Hendrick’s will be serving cocktails at Dan’s GrillHampton, presented by Pat LaFrieda, and at Dan’s Taste of Two Forks, presented by Farrell Building. The premier food and wine events in the Hamptons take place at Sayre Park in Bridgehampton on July 17 and July 18, respectively. For more information and tickets, visit DansTasteOfSummer.com.