With all that in mind we have meandered back and forth along Long Island Sound. Down to Manhassat and up to Mamaronek. Down to Oyster Bay and up to
We came to Port Jefferson today after a bit of an uncomfortable night in
Wind in our face and choppy seas made for a motor and main day but what else is new. The embassy book speaks highly of Port Jefferson and it looks like the town is right near the marinas and so forth and that’s always good for us walkers. The Embassey guides are for cruisers but they are clearly paid by the towns and advertisers. Not too edgy in their descriptions of towns. Every history of a town starts out telling how the early settlers screwed the Indians out of their fishing grounds for a pile of beads, some fire water and two tickets to an Astros game. Nice. Not unlike looking for an apartment, you have to read between the lines. You know how when an apartment ad says, “charming”, you say “dump”? Some towns are described as
Really making great strides since the huge land fill by the chemical plant leaked into the sound. Don’t hardly even smell so fishy anymore. Note the quaint townspeople with their ever present twitch and third eye.
Stuff like that. Anyway, Port Jefferson sounded quaint and, “You can anchor anywhere off of the main channel in the big bay”. No you can’t.
Here’s the big discovery about sailing in Long Island Sound. Look at your charts and read your Embassey Guide. You’ll find lots of neat bays and inlets to anchor in. When you get there don’t be surprised if said bay or inlet has 300 mooring balls with boats attached filling it and you don’t get one! It’s not that you can’t anchor. It’s just that there is more to anchoring than just tossing the hook off of the bow of the boat. Location, location, location. The mooring balls have most of the ideal anchoring locations. Probably got them from the Indians come to think of it!
Bottom line is that you can anchor and we anchored in Port Jefferson ok but about a mile and a half from town. That’s a bit of a dingy ride but, ok, dingy rides are fun too. We have done this A LOT. You dingy in, look around, read signs, ask somebody and eventually find the little dingy dock where you can tie up to visit town. Towns like to do this because once they have you out of your dingy they can sell you stuff. We came into the dock area and didn’t see any obvious dingy dock. We pulled up to a gas dock for the town marina by grabbing onto a wooden ladder about 6 feet below the deck as it was low tide. I climbed up and asked if we could tie up somewhere and they looked at where I was and said, “Oh sure that’s fine there.” Great. A little scary on the ladder but the tide will be up when we leave. As we were tying up, the lady came back over and said. “Ok, that’s going to be $6 an hour.” What? To tie to this nasty wooden ladder?” I said, “No thanks”, and moved on. There was a harbor next door and when we pulled up there they guy said, “Oh sure just pull around there and there and then come up and register”.
“Register?”, I said. “Register what?”
“It’s $6 an hour.” Hmmm…sounds familiar. I said, “Isn’t there someplace where I can just tie up for free to go into town for a couple of hours?” He said he didn’t know of any.
We motored back to Enee. I guess our lives will be unfulfilled because we were denied the experience of downtown Port Jefferson (one of my favorite presidents!). Just think what THEY must have had to offer that all those free towns must not have had. I hope me and my $6 can sleep tonight. I think we will.
I think we will because part of the freedom is the NOT part. I’m NOT on vacation. Port
Tomorrow? Somewhere else. Stay tuned!