Monday, May 18, 2009

Lloyd Point

"the long, bare, unfrequented shore that I had all to myself"
Walt Whitman
When I was first tossing around ideas about a blog devoted to Long Island Sound, I thought about a grading system for the parks and beaches. Eventually I decided against this idea because there were too many variables and intangibles. A beach that might be perfect for a winter walk was a poor place to spend a summer afternoon. An ideal place to read a book would be an inappropriate place to bring the kids. A beautiful municipal park might be a poor choice for a nature lover. I decided to treat each location for what it is. Had I decided on a rating system, Caumsett State Park would have scored an A; maybe even an A+. In my opinion, this is one of the premier pieces of public coastal access land on Long Island Sound. Acquired by the state in 1961, the former Marshall Field III estate is 1600 acres of farmland, salt marsh, horse stables, and footpaths. One drawback here is that a significant amount of walking is required to reach the water. In many ways however, this can be seen as a positive. The two mile walk along the bridle path is an easy one and it tends to discourage the beach cooler crowd from overrunning the park. My visit in early April focused on Lloyd Point which is a sandy peninsula in the northwest corner of the park. A few hikers and early season fishermen dotted the shoreline, but for the most part it was as if I had the beach all to myself. New York Parks: Caumsett State Park The Caumsett Foundation Map

Sunday, May 17, 2009

New York Harbor Waterbloggers

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy"
Benjamin Franklin
"Ah that's just drunk talk. Sweet beautiful drunk talk"
Homer Simpson
My memory is a bit foggy. But yesterday afternoon a group of New York Harbor waterbloggers got together at Pier 66 on the west side of Manhattan. In attendance were Barbara from Going Coastal; Karen and Brian from Movable Bridge; Harry and Nancy from Hudson Kayaker; Christina from Bowsprite; and Will from Tugster. Let's just say that I am a little dehydrated this morning. It was a fun afternoon (and evening) and it was great to actually meet and speak with some of my fellow waterbloggers. With the skyline of Manhattan at our backs, we drank beer and watched the activity on the river. Pier 66 is a fantastic piece of waterfront property that includes the Frying Pan lightship and the John J Harvey fireboat. Unfortunately, I learned that my photography skills deteriorate sharply with each pint of beer consumed. The conversation for the first few hours focused mostly on blogging, but it eventually devolved into lowbrow discussions about tattoos, scars, and body hair. Christina from Bowsprite is a riot! I could get in a lot of trouble hanging out with her. I have no idea what time it was when we all left. It was that type of party. YouTube: Show Me The Way To Go Home

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fog Happens....

Compared to Maine and the Canadian Maritimes, fog in Long Island Sound is relatively mild. But we do get our fair share of it this time of year. As a warm air mass moves over the cooler water, the water vapor condenses and fog develops. Water temperatures in the Sound are presently between 50 and 60 degrees while the air temperature has been in the 60's and 70's. This photo was taken along the Mystic River on Thursday morning. By 11 AM the fog had cleared and visibility seemed endless.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Up Before Sunrise

Jack's Bait & Tackle, City Island 5:13 AM, April 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Springtime On The Connecticut River

Ida May Oyster Boat

The next project for the Oyster Bay Waterfront Center is the restoration of the 1925 oyster boat Ida May. She was donated by the Frank M Flower & Sons Inc shellfish company. The Waterfront Center hopes to restore her through donations, grants, and volunteer efforts as they did with the oyster sloop Christeen. The boat is presently located on the grounds of the Waterfront Center, just east of the main building. Oyster Bay Enterprise-Pilot: Ida May To Undergo Restoration Newsday: 1887 Frank M Flower Company Founded Map SOUNDBOUNDER: Oyster Sloop Christeen

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spring Commissioning

Old Saybrook, April 2009

Saybrook Point

Years ago when I was about 7 or 8 years old, we stopped at Saybrook Point for lunch during some extended road trip along Interstate-95. One of the small buildings here served fried seafood and steamed clams on a picnic table patio. They must have had good prices because my parents let all of us kids order whatever we wanted. I ordered the fried clams. Previously, the only fried clams I had eaten were the clam strips offered on the childrens menu of all the Howard Johnsons that once lined the turnpike. When my order of whole-belly clams arrived, I was more than a little surprised. In typical 8 year old fashion, I spent about five minutes playing around with each clam, never quite sure when to stop chewing and finally swallow. When no one was looking, I tossed a few half-chewed lumps to the gulls. Eventually my father moved in and finished my plate. The clam shack is now gone; replaced by some overpriced, upscale, tourist trap selling frozen shrimp with views of the river. There are some exceptions, but I am usually skeptical today of many of the waterfront eateries. Too many of them are selling the same food that can be found in Omaha or Bakersfield. You pay for the view, and the fantasy that your meal arrived via the docks, rather than the interstate. Saybrook Point offers an attractive view at the mouth of the Connecticut River. There are restrooms, benches, and a miniature golf course. There is also a building called The Pavillion that is used for town functions and is available for rent. This is a nice spot to watch the activity on the river. As for the whole-belly clams,,,,....they are now the only type I will eat. No offense, Howard Johnson. CT Coastal Access Guide: Saybrook Point Map

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

An Oysterman At Work

Noank, April 2009