I just got back from my first paddle in LI Sound and loved it. I paddled the Norwalk Islands and heard the Thimble Islands are great also. I live in the Hudson Valley, so its a long haul for me. Any tips on launch sites, best places to see, things to avoid, after paddle places for seafood with a view, can I really see seals there, etc …would be appreciated for planning a trip.
two choices that I know of
You can check the Connyak website or you can check the archives here.
The best launch is downtown in Stony Creek. The locals aren’t all that kayak-friendly, though, so mind where you park (Make sure it’s a legal space — it’ll cost you if it isn’t).
If you’re a newbie to ocean paddling, there are currents there to deal with between the islands, and a tide rip off the southern end of Outer Island when the tide is running. An opposing wind can make it big.
Also, stay out of the marked channels. They tend to meander in and around the islands. And it’s not legal to land on any of the islands – a main reason the locals aren’t all that friendly to kayakers. One very wealthy local tried to get legislation passed to make us register our boats because they were afraid a paddler would blow up their mansion with a boat full of C-4. No kidding.
Don’t go solo until you’re a seasoned salt water paddler, and make sure you have some way to call for help (Preferably a VHF, or a paddling bud that has one).
And the advise to check the ConnYak website is good, too.
check out faulkner island too
The advice on how to see the Thimble Islands already posted is good advice. Since it’s a long haul, you should kill two birds w/ one stone (as long as the birds aren’t on the endangered species list). When you’re done paddling there, you can head one town over to Guilford and launch at the Guilford marina and check out Faulkner Island. When you come back into the marina, there’s a restaurant right there called the Guilford Mooring, which makes a killer Seafood Fra Diavolo. Or at least they used too, it’s been 4 years since I’ve lived up there.
also of interest to ya
Hudson Valley and Beyond Canoe and kayaking Club . They’re up at Norrie Pt. state park this wkend-campin & paddling . They have paddling meet-ups .
I was on the sound yesterday as well . VERY nice conditions an I even caught 4 blues !
Email me if ya wanna paddle the sound or the hudson .
Tour with AKT
Atlantic Kayak Tours runs a very nice day trip to the Thimble Islands at least once a year. You get to go out with very experienced guides. We had a great time with them a couple of seasons ago.
Ct. land Nazis
"And it’s not legal to land on any of the islands…"
While the land owners believe that to be true, Ct. law upholds the public trust doctrine.
Riparian ownership ends at the mean high water mark. You can legally land anywhere below the high water mark.
Note the this does not mean that you won’t be confronting a jack-booted storm trooper Nazi thug if you do land.
You are correct about the law
But as we say here: “Money Talks”. The shoreline landowners only have rights to the high tide line, and last I knew, were required to provide public access to land in case of an emergency on the water.
But tell that to the cop that’s slapping the cuffs on you for having lunch below the high tide line. Most folks who can afford shoreline houses can also afford “Good laws and good law enforcement”. It ain’t called “Corrupticut” for nothing.
I once was leading a club paddle at the Thimbles about 8 years ago, and a homeowner started screaming at us to get away from his property, or he’d have us arrested. We were 100 feet offshore. Something about kayakers lowering his property value or some such idiotic nonsense. I offered to call the coast guard and dared him to call the cops, so we could see who would win. He backed down.
It isn’t worth the hassles to be in the right in some places, and that is definitely one of them.
Thanks, I’ll so that
Thanks, I’ll review the archives & connyak. Must be a really nice place since the locals are guarding it so zealously.