Monday, August 11, 2014

Port Jeff

We are anchored in Long Island Sound just north of Old Field Beach, a spit of land that separates Port Jefferson Harbor from the sound (map). Unless you are fortunate enough to own one of the two or perhaps three multi-million dollar estate mansions that front the landward end of the spit, the beach is accessible only by boat, so it has been mostly empty and secluded since we arrived.

The last two or three houses on the right have access to the beach.  That's the Old Field Point light peeking up on the far right.

We said farewell to Nassau (as with our last "Nassau," the county in New York, not the city in the Bahamas) just past noon yesterday and headed up Manhasset Bay to the Sound.  Wow, we've never seen so many boats on the water.  It was a pleasant Sunday afternoon, and we did some quick back-of-the-envelope math after Googling the number of recreational boats registered in the state, coming up with perhaps 4,000 boats out on the water state-wide, give or take a few hundred. I would say we personally saw ten percent of that number under way yesterday afternoon.

Execution Rocks Light.

The western end of the sound was so crowded that we had to slow and alter course several times to avoid flotillas of sailboats. And even though seas on the sound were just one foot yesterday, our stabilizers got quite a workout just from the powerboat wakes -- common courtesy appears to be in short supply here. On the plus side, Long Island Sound sports dozens of historic lighthouses, and we had nice views of several in the binoculars, most too distant to photograph.

Eatons Neck Light and Coast Guard Station, the oldest station in New York.

Old Field Point Light, before we rounded the point to anchor.

Speaking of wakes, I'm not sure this was the best choice of anchorage for the night. We got rocked a bit by some of the aforementioned powerboaters until they were all in for the night (although traffic had thinned out considerably as we moved further east through the sound), and the enormous Bridgeport-Port Jefferson ferry comes by twice an hour, not to mention the half dozen or so commercial tows that have been in or out of Port Jeff since we arrived. Still, those occasional wakes just gave us a gentle rocking for a short while, nothing that kept us up at night.

My original planned route had us going in through the inlet and anchoring on the other side of the spit. That would have given us more protection from the wakes and also from any weather on the sound, but there wasn't any of the latter, to speak of, so we decided to save the last couple of miles and just drop the hook here. Had I been thinking ahead, we could have stopped one cove further west, a bit further from the inlet traffic.

Our private beach.  The house in the middle is for sale for $2.5M.  There is actually more water between it and the beach.

The tide swing here is eight feet, and I could only see a handful of sailboat masts on the other side of the beach when we anchored at low tide.  Now that we are close to high tide I can see that anchorage is actually quite crowded. By contrast, we were all alone here on the outside, and it was blissful. We enjoyed a nice steak dinner on deck, and watched the "super moon" rise over the green-and-red flashes of the Old Field Point lighthouse.

A bit crowded across the spit from us.

The best my cell phone could do with the super moon.

We are once again waiting on favorable tide for our departure.  We'll weigh anchor right at high tide, a little past noon, and ride the ebb all the way to Southold, our destination for this cruise. Our friends do not arrive at their house there until Thursday, but we wanted to be at least a full day ahead of them. We need time to scope out the anchorage, get Vector squared away, and find a way to land the dinghy on their extremely rocky beach.

1 comment:

  1. Given the quality of the rest of your gear, and your writing, do yourself a favor and get a better camera.


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