Saturday, July 16, 2011

Thimble Islands

A collection of variously sized rocks spreading out to about 1 mile from the shore of Stony Creek, CT. Depending on what you call an "island" (is there a minimum size?) there are over 100 of them, but the consensus number seems to be something like 26. Rocks everywhere, anyone sailing a boat with a keel had better know where they are going!
Easy access from the Town Dock, if you arrive early enough to get a 4-hour parking spot.
Some of the islands are embellished with walls and fill, to make them "buildable"

Some of the houses almost seem bigger than the islands, as if the owners were determined to put something up. "I paid $$$$$$$$ for this island! I'm going to build on it!"
 And some go all-out for opulence.

This is Outer Thimble, one of the few uninhabited islands. A sign said "Island Closed", but I stepped off anyway.  I head that they give tours, but it wasn't really that big.
Next to Outer Thimble is Horse Island, the biggest Thimble, owned by Yale University. If I had known that, I'd have visited.
Besides these two, its all very developed. You have an interesting geological feature, an archipelago of small islands, not too far from the mainland, and the development rolls in.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sandy Point

Is not actually a Point at all, but an island. It seems that it was one connected to Napatree point, but a hurricane  separated them. Its fortunate that it got a nice name, instead of just being referred to as "The Sandbar" or something like that.
I set out from the Barn Island launching area. Very nice ramp, with a separate area for kayaks and canoes. They even had Port-O-Sans.  Today being the Sunday of a long holiday weekend, it was very busy, especially with power boaters, who always seem "busy". 
This was the first time I've taken the 'yak across a significant distance of open salt water, and I had to cross a busy channel , where power boats were leaving wakes. I'm beginning to like the way the Shearwater handles chop, punching its way along. I even did a few "nose dives", right up to the hatch.
Quite a few motorboats on the Point. Zero kayaks or canoes. Much of the  shore is roped off as bird nesting areas, and everywhere else had boats at anchor. Maybe it was the Holiday Weekend Crowd, but it didn't seem all that friendly to kayaks.
Once back at the ramp, I got the saltiest compliment on my kayak yet: "Whoa! Look at that thing!"