Crossing Long Island Sound
25 September 2007 | Port Jefferson, NY
Beth - warm and bright again
Our plan leaving Newport had included a stop in Mystic, Connecticut. Jim and I visited there a couple of years ago and really enjoyed touring the Seaport. It seemed like a good idea to sail in there and see it again, but economic issues changed that plan. The place Mary had found to stay, because it had mooring balls and seemed like the most affordable, charged $1.50 per foot - for a mooring ball! They decided they could make a car trip later on, and we had been there before so after a VHF radio conference, we all agreed to take a pass on Mystic and continue on our way further down the Sound.
The Connecticut River looked inviting so we headed through the breakwater - along with a dozen other boats - under the bascule railroad bridge and under the I-95 to the narrow passage behind Calves Island. It was crammed with moorings, but with the assistance of a couple of folks sitting on their boat, we located a spot with just enough room and dropped the hook. We sat with 3 feet under the keel at low tide and enough swing room to allow us to rest reasonably comfortably - with the anchor alarm set, of course! A glass of wine, chicken grilled on the BBQ and a tasty salad topped the evening off nicely.
We left next morning at the civilized hour of 8, and then had to circle for about 40 minutes waiting for the railroad bridge to open. A fellow in a motorboat came roaring up behind us to say he was collecting his mooring fee and we were pleased to be able to tell him we had anchored! According to Strathspey, the fee was $35.00. It keeps going up as we travel onward.
Our 43 nautical mile trip down and across Long Island Sound to Port Jefferson was a long unchallenging day. There are very few lobster buoys around now. The sun shone brightly, the wind was on our nose and the water was calm. We had the mainsail up just to make us feel like a sailboat and the engine roared away. I spent much of the day in the cabin writing and reading, and Jim spent his day on the foredeck with his remote autopilot control in one hand and his book in the other. We arrived in Port Jefferson on the north shore of Long Island in time to circle around the harbour and then anchor just north of the mooring field. After we gazed at the lovely pink sunset on one side, and the almost full moon rising on the other, the BBQ chef (Jim) grilled up some sausages on the BBQ that hangs off our cockpit railing. Together with the couscous and salad produced by the galley chef (Beth) they made for another fine dinner accompanied by smooth jazz on Sirius Satellite Radio. The wake behind the Bridgeport ferry was not smooth, and we rocked wildly for 20 seconds or so every time it passed.
There was lots of action about 4am when a brightly lit tug was maneuvering barges loaded with gravel within a short distance of our anchorage. It seemed like right next-door because their voices woke me up. A short 4 hours later though, all was calm and still; no sign of tugs or barges and two beautiful white swans were begging for attention - or food? - at the side of the boat. What a contrast.
An early morning trip to the waterfront enabled us to connect to the internet and make these last 3 postings before heading off to Oyster Bay. We are contemplating getting an antenna for the boat so we can have better wifi access. It is sometimes frustrating to go days without being able to connect, although even as I say this, I recognize that this kind of contact is a relatively new phenomenon and I know how lucky we are.