Port Jefferson & Essex

S/V Goldcrest
David & Lindsay Inwood
Tue 17 Jun 2014 11:09

The next day motored for most of the nearly 6 hours to Port Jefferson, a pattern that seems to have been repeated since as we haven’t had much wind on our “sailing days” since!  We didn’t go ashore at this stop but that gave Roger time to try a bit of fishing, though he only caught a ray plus a small gurnard and quickly threw them back – we fished in the galley supplies for supper instead.

D cleaning the prop and trying to find an underwater squeak:

Tuesday saw us motoring once again, this time over grey, glassy seas towards the Connecticut River on the mainland shore in a mist that didn’t lift until lunchtime.   There was a bit of consternation as we entered the river and realised we had to wait for a low railway bridge to open, but that was nothing compared to our anxiety in negotiating the road bridge just beyond it which had a clearance only 10feet above our mast height.  First mate actually shut her eyes as we motored underneath and it really does look as if you will hit and snap your mast as you approach.  Of course we were fine, but it was heart-in-mouth time for us and our passengers! 

An unexpected bascule bridge:

As we motored for an hour up the river to the little town of Essex, the scenery did remind us of parts of rural England (especially the Beaulieu river) and you could feel that New England was aptly named.   We took a buoy owned by the Essex Yacht Club and took their launch ashore for supper in the renowned Grizwold Inn.  Essex is a delightfully pretty, some would say twee I suppose, old town and the “Griz” has claims to be the oldest continuously operating inn in the country.  We certainly had a great meal there and enjoyed some live music afterwards which was enhanced by the spontaneous dancing of some of the diners.  We spent the next day exploring more of the town and marvelling at the old houses, many with the date of construction on them.  We also looked around the Connecticut River Museum with its replica of one of the world’s first submarines from 1776, a very strange vessel indeed.  Essex was commemorating the 200th anniversary of an attack by British marines on the town’s shipping back in 1814.  It was an important shipbuilding spot and a very successful raid apparently, destroying 27 ships.  We apologised on behalf of the Brits!  Essex was nominated no.1 of the USA’s 100 best small towns in a publication in the 90s and we could see why.

Inside “the Griz”:

Ashore in Essex:

Two peas in a pod:

Essex yacht club water taxi: