Friday, August 22, 2014

The Thimbles

We are anchored among the Thimble Islands, just off the coast of Branford, Connecticut (map).  The Thimbles are essentially undersea mountains consisting primarily of distinctive pink Stony Creek granite, and they are quite spectacular.  The islands are dotted with expensive homes.

Unsurprisingly, the islands are surrounded by boat-crushing rocks, and we had to pick our way in, but it was worth it both for the view and for the protection from the present easterlies afforded by High Island to our east.  I had originally planned to anchor one island east of here, but the anchorage is chock full of boats, mostly on moorings.  The Thimbles have been used by sailors seeking protection from the Sound for centuries.

We had a lovely four-hour cruise here yesterday from Old Lyme, riding the current the whole way.  En route we passed the massive Katherine Hepburn estate in Saybrook (for sale, I believe), just a bit too far to photograph, as well as the pair of lighthouses marking the Connecticut River jetties.  On the Sound side, we passed Falkner Island with its distinctive lighthouse.

Today we will have to push uphill, as we are now at a point in the tide cycle where it will be ebbing throughout the day.  As I am typing, we have perhaps one good hour of flood, and the flood will not begin again until 4pm.  We don't want to break the day into two short cruises, as the extra mileage to drop the hook in the middle will negate any tidal benefit, neither do we want to start out at 4pm.  Most likely, we'll make it a short day and get underway towards the end of the ebb.

One niece and her mom are still in NY, and we've agreed to meet them in Manhattan on Wednesday. That gives us a target, which is to be back at the 79th St. boat basin by Tuesday afternoon.  That will make for a nice leisurely four day cruise from here, through the East River and around the Battery, and back up the Hudson another four miles.

After we wrap up in Manhattan, our plan is for three hops back down the NJ coast (Sandy Hook, Absecon Inlet, and Cape May) before breaking new ground heading up the Delaware Bay.  Depending on when we arrive and how things are going with our friends' new boat (they arrived in Port Canaveral last night, following in our footsteps), we might make the run up to Philadelphia before transiting the C&D Canal into the Chesapeake.

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