Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Coecles Harbor---Just Do It.

We should have played closer attention to the forecast when we took off from Stonington to Coecles Harbor on Shelter Island in glorious, bright sunshine and temps in the low 70's. It started out at 11 knots and grew to a steady 20, but with gusts to 26. It was rollicking, and First Edition's rail was buried for the first time since we have owned her. Although it was exhilarating, the jerry jugs of diesel and gas tied to the railings were also getting too much dunking, and I could not stand the thought of competing with BP, or losing the stanchions. So we reefed.

It was hard sailing with the wind (guess what) really too close to sail. We entered Gardiners Bay through Plum Island and Great Gull (no scary science projects noted for the deMille fans) and did not get any relief from the land protection I had hoped for. Five and a half hours later we reached Coecles.

We have been here many times and it is one of my favorite destinations. But beware, it is one scary looking entrance, with shoaling coming at you from both sides. The markers are not where they are shown on our Navionics charts, so pay attention! First Edition's 5 1/2 foot draft has no problem except at dead low (although not actually experienced, the math suggests this).

It is quite a dinghy ride into Coecles Harbor Marina where you can land your dink for a good walk into town. Ask for directions if you need provisions, lots of winding turns through a stunning rural community; a very well stocked IGA is about 1/2 hour away, walking. If you are lucky, you will pass a farm stand, and buy a one pound, $4 heirloom tomato. If you are unlucky, you will drop it on the way back. It was delicious, nevertheless, with some basil that I pinched off of Terry on Kismet.

I love it here.

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