We've spent the past two nights in the Hamptons, anchored in a very pleasant protected anchorage known as Threemile Harbor (map). The harbor is mostly in the township of East Hampton. There are several marinas in the harbor, but unsurprisingly, they are out of our price range.
Sunset over Orient. Or is that an oxymoron?
The cruise from Orient Thursday afternoon was a straight line from our last anchorage to the harbor entrance, which leads to a buoyed, dredged channel to access the harbor. We left Orient to arrive at the end of the flood, and we had a little push through the channel and the benefit of an extra three feet of depth, which proved unnecessary.
It's a lovely harbor and we enjoyed a nice dinner on our aft deck Thursday evening. While we were eating, a family of Mute Swans came right up to the boat looking for handouts. Mom and dad mostly watched over things while their six cygnets gobbled the cracker crumbs we gave them, the best we could do from our limited larder.
Swan looking for a handout. Louise got video of the cygnets feeding, but I don't have the means to upload it.
Our visit to Threemile was occasioned by the arrival of our good friend Cora, whom we know from California. She is in the process of moving into a lovely home there in the Springs area with her beau, David; they plan to split their time seasonally between here and San Francisco. Cora is a renowned yogini and the house has a separate building that she is outfitting as her east coast studio.
Cora just returned Thursday from a whirlwind trip back to SF, with one of her two cats in tow. (The cat, Tonto, was a bit overwhelmed by new surroundings and from the plane flight, but I think he actually remembered us and came out from his hidey-hole to say hello.) We arranged to meet them at the town boat ramp and unofficial dinghy dock mid-day on Friday.
Dave gave us a first-class driving tour of the Hamptons, and we brought them out to the boat briefly before we went to see their still-unfurnished house. We ended up at one of the marina restaurants for a sunset dinner before they dropped us back off at our dinghy. It was great to catch up with Cora and to meet Dave; we had a wonderful afternoon.
Sunset over Threemile Harbor from the East Hampton Point marina and restaurant. Vector is out of frame to the left.
This morning I tried to depart at the turn of the tide, so we would not have to fight our way west, but apparently slack lags low here by more than I guessed. We only had a 15 nautical mile cruise today, but it took us a full three hours. Rather than go back the way we came and then around the north end of Shelter Island, we took the somewhat longer route around the west side, just for a change of scenery.
That took us past Sag Harbor, which resembles a miniature version of Monaco, with enormous, expensive yachts anchored around the harbor, and a few tied up at the docks. Today being Saturday, the waterway was crowded with vessels of all descriptions, and we were passed close aboard by several 100+', $20M+, jet-drive yachts doing well over 20 knots; I yelled at two of them on the radio. It was all our poor stabilizers could do to keep everything in the cabinets, and we could see some other small boats faring much worse than ourselves. This, mind you, in a fairly protected bay.
The Cedar Island Light, under renovation; the lantern is missing. We got badly waked right after I shot this.
I can't really say I am surprised; this is the Hamptons, and there are probably more self-important, entitled jerks per square mile here than anywhere else in the country. (To be fair, there are surely some very nice people, too, and at least one skipper made a courteous and respectful pass.) It was a stark contrast from our friends and the very calm and delightful afternoon we spent together.
We are now anchored at the north end of Southold Bay, northwest of Shelter Island and not far from where we anchored when we were here last year (map). Once again we found the marinas to be prohibitively expensive and we decided to call around again for a place to land the dinghy. Last year we made an arrangement with the Port of Egypt Marina, which does not normally have a dinghy landing, but it was expensive, and it was a long ride from where we had to anchor to the dock they let us use.
This time we thought we'd try to make an arrangement with a different marina that wanted just as much money, but was a shorter dinghy ride. I picked out a spot on the chart to drop the hook, but as we approached we realized it was right in front of a brand new set of channel markers to what looked like a brand new marina.
I had to offset my chosen spot by a few hundred feet, and dodge around a flotilla of sailing-school students in Sunfish sailboats, but we managed to get the hook set in a spot where we were out of the new channel, out of the deep water, and far enough from the shore to keep from grounding. After we set the hook, I set out to figure out just what this new marina was.
It was not on our chart or in any guidebooks, nor could I find it on the Internet. A deep search turned up discussions of it at city council meetings, and we determined it was a new marina in a basin that was previously the Mill Creek Marina, now long closed, and that it was not yet open, even though we could see a few boats in the slips.
With nothing to lose, we tendered in to see if we could find someone in charge, and we ran into the new owners, who are still in the final stages of construction on the marina and adjoining event center. They shared a bit with us about their plans, showed us around a bit, and graciously agreed to let us tie the dinghy up at their spiffy new docks during our visit. They declined our offer to pay for the privilege, which was very generous of them. It will be a great facility once it is open for business.
Our friends and nieces were supposed to arrive here this evening and we had planned to meet them ashore for pizza once they got here. Unfortunately, their flight out of San Francisco was delayed due to mechanical issues, and they were on the ground in New York too late to make it all the way here this evening. Instead, we tendered back to the aforementioned Port of Egypt, which has two restaurants on premise and offers dock-and-dine privileges; we had a casual meal at the very popular aLure restaurant.
I expect our friends will arrive tomorrow morning sometime, and we'll meet them ashore and head out to their summer house on the Sound side of the island. We'll be right here until they are ready to be done here and head back to their family's home further west; I'm not quite sure when that will be. At that point we'll be looking to take on potable water someplace, then continue northeast.