The Scoop

Flying Over Westhampton Beach in the Hendrick’s Gin Blimp

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.

Line Pilot Caesar Mendez and Dan's Papers web editor Brendan J. O'Reilly in the frontrow seats of the four-seat blimp. Photo credit: Steve McKenna
Line Pilot Caesar Mendez and Dan’s Papers web editor Brendan J. O’Reilly
in the frontrow seats of the four-seat blimp.
Photo: Steve McKenna

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.

“Walking Figure
30-foot aluminum sculpture “Walking Figure” on display at the entrance to Gabreski Airport in Westhampton.
Photo: Brendan J. O’Reilly
Military planes at Gabreski Airport.
Military planes at Gabreski Airport.
Photo: Steve McKenna
Dune Road, Westhampton Beach. Photo credit: Brendan J. O'Reilly
Dune Road, Westhampton Beach.
Photo: Brendan J. O’Reilly
Westhampton Beach Bath & Tennis. <br>Photo: Brendan J. O'Reilly
Westhampton Beach Bath & Tennis Marina.
Photo: Brendan J. O’Reilly
Dune Road, Westhampton Beach. Photo credit: Brendan J. O'Reilly
Dune Road, Westhampton Beach.
Photo: Brendan J. O’Reilly
Quogue. Photo: Brendan J. O'Reilly
Quogue. Photo: Brendan J. O’Reilly

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.

An ocean sunfish, also known as a mola mola, off the shore of Westhampton Beach.
An ocean sunfish, also known as a mola mola, off the shore of Westhampton Beach.

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.

The Hendrick's Air blimp comes in for a landing.
The Hendrick’s Air blimp comes in for a landing.

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.

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