The Work We Do: Alison O’Malley, Eagle’s Neck Paddling Company

Hi, I’m Alison O’Malley, owner of Eagle’s Neck Paddling Company in Orient Beach State Park.

This is our 15th season here and we’ve been in business for 28 years. It’s kind of just been a labor of love. It was a business that my father had run since I was little, so when he passed away and I took over it’s kind of connecting me to him.

Our biggest motto has always been, “Remove the land static — just add water.” Land static is just all the stress that we feel during the day. It’s so calm, so quiet and beautiful here. There are no boats. You can reconnect with nature. Taking that time and quiet — it’s like a form of meditation.

Alison O’Malley of Eagle’s Neck Padding Company. (Credit: Rachel Siford)

We do tours and we also do rentals and deliveries to people’s homes. If we have a 6 a.m. tour, I’m usually around here at about 5 getting everything set up. Then we do whatever deliveries are going out for the day, the week, the month. Then we get back here around 9 a.m. and we start setting up for the day: bringing boats down, cleaning everything, getting the paperwork all ready.

In the morning, we go out into Hallocks Bay. That seems to be when all the wildlife is waking up. We just kind of paddle around into the marshes trying to catch the herrings all feeding. Then, in the evening tours, we usually try to go across big Hallocks Bay into Narrow River because you seem to get the best sunset over there and that’s when the birds are usually settling in for the evening.

We start doing our rentals at 10 a.m. and our last ones go out at 4 p.m. Then cleanup begins and then evening deliveries. Sunset tours are at 6 p.m. and then we get out of here around 9, 10 o’clock.

The tours tend to be my favorite, so that way I can get out there and paddle and just be one with everything. It really helps get all the land static away.

‘The Work We Do’ is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. This weekly feature is made possible by Peconic Landing. See more photos on Instagram @thesuffolktimes.