Sunday, September 17, 2017

260 Miles in a Bathtub

Fire Island Sunrise

Connecticut River to Fire Island NY

Old Saybrook, Baldwin Bridge Boat Ramp. Launched my bathtub at sunset. Anchored in a shallow cove near the mouth of the Conn river by moonlight. Was grounded on a sandbar for 4 hours in the morning. Oops.

Crossed Long Island Sound to Orient Point, 8 miles open ocean. Kited on a sandbar near Gardiners Island until a security boat told me that the sandbar was private. Oops. Anchored in Montauk Harbor overnight.

Gardiner's Very Exclusive Sandbar

Found a secluded Anchorage in Northwest Harbor for the night after a beautiful walk through the Walking Dunes in Napeague. They're called the Walking dunes because they walk right across trees and forests. I couldn't actually see them walking.

Napeague, Dunes Walking Across Trees
Kited on Cedar Island. Climbed some scenic cliffs. Went through Shinnecock canal and lock. My gas tank fitting broke, bilge pump malfunctioned and I found a slow leak on a seam of the boat under where I keep my tools. Oops. Anchored near the canal and a marina for evening.

Cedar Island Sunrise

I always like to dry clean my wardrobe before neatly folding and putting away

Tied up at Great Gun Marina for night. But first I bought a new bilge pump and gas fitting at that nice marina that I slept near. Then I celebrated making it to Fire Island! Had the whole public marina to myself. 52 slips, I was the only occupied boat. Took my first shower in 4 days. Scary cold shower.

Open Tent

Closed Tent

Anchored in a buggy marsh near the Smith Point Bridge for sleepytime after visits to the Sunken Forest and Cherry Grove. Cherry Grove is for hobbits.

Cherry Grove with Fire Island's Famous Boardwalks

Cherry Grove Ambulance

Spent another peaceful night at Great Gun after spending the whole day lazing around the marina, waiting for wind so I could kite the ocean side point break (sandbar/point). Love this spot! Endless fine white sand dunes devoid of human activity. Jogged to Moriches inlet then took another scary cold shower. Had a chat with a local boater, Robin. Thanks for the beer, (or 2).

Great Gun Marina After 2 Beers

Snorkeled in north end of Shinnecock Bay. Lots of Blue Crabs. Made me hungry. Went through Locks again. Anchored in North Sea Harbor overnight, not my favorite anchorage.

Shinnecock Lock, Waiting for the Green

Left the bathtub anchored in Majors Harbor, went for a soul satisfying 6 mile hike (round trip) through Mashomack Preserve to a general store for some fresh eats. Signs say NO BOAT LANDING but friendly Shelter Harbor Patrol boat told me just anchor offshore and swim in. Next time I'm doing the whole 10 mile hike! Or else. Anchored in Cocles Harbor, Shelter Island for bedtime, very nice cove.

Fields of Gold in Mashomack Preserve

Sun Morning
Motored to Orient point in intermittent dense fog. Waited 1 hour for fog to clear. It didn't. Crossed Long Island Sound in intermittent dense fog, One hand on my air horn, constantly scanning around me, slowing to 5 MPH at times. Couldn't count on a big boat seeing my little bathtub in the mist. Glad for a safe crossing but very sad for my adventure to be over. Now I'm trying to relive it here. It's not the same.

Limited Visibility

Total- 9 days, 9 nights, 260 miles, 1 gas tank fitting, 1 bilge pump, 1 leak.



Kiting Spots:

The Inland Bays- Peconic, Gardiners, Shelter Island Sound, had places to kite but they weren't that exciting. Napeague was a stand out for- NW wind strength, a shallow safe spot in all wind directions, and secluded, scenic.

The Coastal Bays- Shinnecock, Moriches, Bellport, Great South Bay. I saw beautiful inviting spots all along the way. Great Gun Marina on Fire Island had the best wave spot I saw. Old Inlet in Bellport Bay had nice waves and slicks but watch for tides, and for sandbars boating in and out. Sandbars inside Shinnecock inlet looked enticing.

I couldn't actually try any of the really nice spots. Zero wind. That means I have to go back next year for two weeks. It's officially on my bucket list.