Thursday, June 25, 2009

Schooner Harvey Gamage

Schooner Harvey Gamage, Mystic River, May 2009 Ocean Classroom Foundation: Harvey Gamage (specs)

Rainy Day On Block Island

Rain (and fog) at Payne's Dock, Block Island, September 2008

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sheffield Island Lighthouse

Sheffield Island Lighthouse, September 2007
First Lit: 1868
Decommissioned: 1902
New England Lighthouses
Lighthouse Friends (map)
Flickr: Sheffield Island Lighthouse
Norwalk Seaport: Sheffield Island
Norwalk Seaport: Ferry & Tour Schedule

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Since the September 11 attacks, there has been a much larger Coast Guard presence on Long Island Sound. Despite the increase, it is still rare to see a Coast Guard ship this large, west of New London. Last month I sailed by the TAHOMA in the waters between Orient Point and the Connecticut River. The 270' ship is the eighth of thirteen "Famous Class" cutters built. Her keel was laid at Derecktor Shipyard of Middletown, Rhode Island in 1983, and she was commissioned in 1988. With a crew of 14 officers and 86 enlisted, the TAHOMA was the first major marine military asset on the scene in New York Harbor following the September 11 attacks. TAHOMA is a Native American word for Mt Ranier in Washington (Tacoma). Her current homeport is Portsmouth, New Hampshire. USCG: TAHOMA YouTube: TAHOMA Drug Bust Wikipedia: Medium Class Cutters

Monday, June 22, 2009

Morgan Park In Glen Cove

"All yields its place and goes"
It seems as if every cruising guide and article I have read about Glen Cove has included a paragraph about what used to be here. The famous Station 10 of the New York Yacht Club was situated on the grounds of this park along Hempstead Harbor's eastern shore. It was here that J.P. Morgan's CORSAIR and William Vanderbilt's ARA were moored in the early decades of the 20th century.

Despite reading about this and sailing into Hempstead Harbor many times, I was never quite sure of the exact location. My visit to Morgan Park answered these questions.

Morgan Park is an attractive, 40 acre, landscaped parcel that is open to residents only from May through September. With the ground saturated from the recent storms, and more rain in the forecast, I was fortunate to find no one at the gate checking for residency requirements. A woman in a lawn chair with a clipboard looked at me twice with a suspicious eye, but then resumed her cell phone conversation.

Opened in 1932, the park was constructed and donated by John Pierpont Morgan in memory of his wife Joan. Like many parks bordering this section of the Sound, it maintains the feel of the 1920's in its design and layout. There are gazebos and a bandstand that contribute to that mood. Just offshore, a mooring field still exists where the yachts of the New York Yacht Club once were. The former clubhouse (Station 10) once stood where a picnic pavilion is now located. When the park first opened, Station 10 was moved just south of here before being transported to Mystic Seaport in 1948, and eventually to Newport Rhode Island in 1999.

 "Gone is the glitter from the Glen Cove yachting scene" writes A Cruising Guide To The New England Coast. The post war years were not kind to Glen Cove as development seemed to turn inward and away from the waterfront. The attractive village streets were carved up as well, with four lane thoroughfares lined with car dealerships and fast food replacing the downtown. Glen Cove's connection to the water became displaced.

I walked north along the shoreline eventually reaching a breakwater that extended to the west. The rocks remained wet from the recent rains and I concluded that walking them would be a poor idea. I continued north along a seawall that provided open views of the Sound. Despite the poor weather, a small sailboat race could be seen in the distance (lasers maybe?). A few small fishing boats drifted near the mouth of the harbor. Reaching the end of the seawall, I came to a walkway that climbed a small bluff overlooking the park.

 Rather than climb the bluff for a better view, I turned around and retraced my steps. Unfortunately I was running out of time. It was late in the afternoon and I was due to meet someone at another famous piece of municipally owned waterfront land known as LaGuardia Airport.

Glen Cove Yacht Club: Station 10 Photo Gallery
New York Yacht Club: Station 10
Morgan Park: Summer Music Concerts
credit: A Cruising Guide To The New England Coast; Robert F Duncan, W.W. Norton & Co 2002

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Stonington Thunderstorm

One of the nice things about a thunderstorm is that it is often a sign that a front is passing through and better weather is on the way. That has not been the case recently, as one storm has been followed by another, and another. It has been a very wet month of June. I took these photos along Water Street on Stonington Point during a brief respite from the hard rain. Stonington Blessing Of The Fleet SOUNDBOUNDER: Stonington Fishing Fleet

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Neither Out Far Nor In Deep

The people along the sand All turn and look one way They turn their back on the land They look at the sea all day As long as it takes to pass A ship keeps raising it's hull The wetter ground like glass Reflects a standing gull The land may vary more But wherever the truth may be The water comes ashore And people look at the sea They cannot look out far They cannot look in deep But when was that ever a bar To any watch they keep?
Robert Frost (1874-1963)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Morgan Point

Morgan Point, July 2008

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Caumsett State Park

Caumsett State Park, April 2009 Soundbounder: Lloyd Point (Caumsett State Park) Caumsett Foundation

Friday, June 5, 2009

Eatons Neck 1872

Eatons Neck by John Frederick Kensett (1816-1872) Metropolitan Museum Of Art, New York New York Times: Final Strokes Are Kensett's Best

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


One of the great things about the Mystic area is the large number of vintage boats that ply the waters. The Sabino is one of the last wooden, coal-fired, steamboats still in operation. Built in Maine in 1908, she she served as a passenger excursion boat along the Damariscotta and Kennebec Rivers. Acquired by Mystic Seaport in 1973, she underwent a five year restoration and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1993. She is on display at Mystic Seaport and is available for charters and excursions. This photo caught her winding her way down the Mystic River recently just north of Morgan Point. Mystic Seaport: Sabino National Park Service

Saybrook Lighthouses

Lynde Point Lighthouse and Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse 2008 Lynde Point: First Lit 1839 Saybrook Breakwater: First Lit 1886 Lighthouse Friends: Saybrook Breakwater (map) Lighthouse Friends: Lynde Point (map) Cyberlights: Saybrook Breakwater Cyberlights: Lynde Point

Fees and Access

This time of year unfortunately brings restrictions and fees to many coastal access areas of Long Island Sound. I have little problem with a modest fee to park a car or enter a park, especially when it appears that the money is used to maintain the property. But fees do destroy the spontaneity of simply stopping by for 20 minutes or an hour. A walk along the beach after work or having your lunch at a waterfront park becomes less practical. A bigger issue I have is with beaches and parks that are open to residents only. This is done in many underhanded ways. Oftentimes the beach is open to everyone, but a resident pass is needed to park a car. Other times the fees for a non-resident are outrageously high. A third, more cynical policy is to require visitors to purchase a non-resident pass at the town hall that is only open from 9am to 4pm on weekdays. The beach and the town hall are usually miles apart. Originally these restrictions were only in place in a few exclusive enclaves that bordered larger urban areas. Now, residency requirements are quite common on both shores. In some cases I understand the need for them; but other times they disgust me. The argument is usually that residents pay the taxes to support the park, therefor access should be limited to them. What these residents usually ignore is the fact that they use the services and infrastructure of other municipalities without similar restrictions (imagine if every resident of Greenwich or Great Neck had to go to city hall before they could enter Central Park). What is one to do? The state parks are open to all for a modest fee, but they are often crowded on summer weekends. There are also very few state (or county) parks in the western end of the Sound. Most of the places I have written about include a link that will provide information about access and fees. Also, if you have any questions about a particular place, you can email me and I will do my best to assist. Unfortunately, if you email me on a Thursday night, I may not be able to respond by Saturday morning. It may take me a week to respond. That brings up another subject. As some of my regular visitors have already noticed, my pattern for posting has changed drastically. For most of the winter months, I posted two or three times a week. My schedule has changed and I presently have limited access to a computer (no internet access on the boat). I still hope to put together a similar number of posts each month, but they will come in bunches, followed by a week or so with no entries. The same holds true for the blogs and sites I visit. I may not comment regularly, but I am still checking in every ten days or so to see what you have posted. Connecticut Coastal Access Guide New York State Parks: Long Island Westchester County Parks New York City Parks Rhode Island State Parks

Tuesday, June 2, 2009