Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dutch Island

There are lots of islands in Narragansett Bay. Some large, some small, some inhabited, some uninhabited, some private, some open to the public. Dutch Island lies off Jamestown (Conanicut Island)and its a "State Reservation", which I assume meant that its "open to the public"

This is Sheffield Cove. I had originally planned to put in at Ft. Getty, but they were still charging a whopping  $20 to park. The good fellow at the entrance suggested this nearby, free-parking place. 
Easy paddle over, right by Ft. Getty, with $20 still in pocket.

This concrete pier looked like a good landing place/landmark.
There is lots of Former Military Presence in Narragansett bay. Ft. Weatherill.  Ft Getty. Ft Adams. And this island has fortifications, which I forgot the name of. They mainly seem to date from the Civil War to WWI. They all have those "Disappearing Rifle"  emplacements. They must have been expecting an invasion of U-Boats.
 Interesting place, with lots of ruins and old foundations. It was in-between "civilization" and "ruin"- some traces of cleared land, now gone to meadow, sidewalks that went nowhere but into dense brush, all strung with this 6" high vining weed that made walking in flimsy paddle shoes a chore.  It seems that some use the place recreationally , there are signs of camping in some of the foundations.
 This fort is in the center of the island. Its pretty similar to Ft. Weatherill.
I find it interesting that these type of ruins are fairly accessible to the public. Pretty crumbly, plenty of places to get hurt, but nothing stops the hiker from traipsing all over them. Where I come from, the whole place would be OFF LIMITS!, strung about with barbed wire, and probably monitored.

Gun Emplacements.

Spooky, but surprisingly little graffiti. It really seems like few people ever come here. 

The hiking was difficult, since many of what I thought were "trails" were actually deer tracks. I startled deer at least four times.
I made my way, with difficulty, to the other end of the island, which was more "open" and rocky.

Shale eroded with neat holes.

A cute rectangular lighthouse. 

The walking was rough, even on the shoreline. There really was no clear path. On the way back, saw an imposing brick shell of a building, which I supposed must have been the barracks. I actually had trouble finding my way back to the pier, and nearly repeated by Whale Rock blunder, but tide & wind were favorable. Mighty rough on the feet, next time, I'll pack some proper hiking footwear.

I have since been informed that Dutch Island  is not open to the Public, and that I was actually trespassing. There were supposed to be signs posted, but vandals must have taken them down.