15-Jul-2001 -- There are two confluences just off the shore of Long Island. 41°N 73°W is about midway along the island from east to west and is in Long Island Sound. I had attempted that confluence, and later today I actually achieved it. The other confluence is 41°N 72°W, which is at the far eastern end of Long Island in the Atlantic Ocean. This was my present goal.
I had to attend a meeting in Connecticut yesterday, and, since this was halfway to Long Island, took this as an excuse to go confluence hunting. I had checked the weather report, which promised seas that were reasonably placid and fair skies. As I intended to visit both confluences in my canoe, and do not have the desire to be lost at sea, the weather is critical.
After leaving the meeting I made my way to New London, Connecticut to take the ferry to Orient Point at the tip of Long Island. Regretfully, the 6 p.m. ferry was full, so I had to wait until the 8 p.m. ferry. This put me on the island after dark, and, ultimately, I got within a few miles of the confluence and ended up sleeping in my car.
I awoke a first light (before dawn), and, realizing that the photography wouldn't be very good for at least an hour, had a pleasant walk around something called the Walking Sand Dunes. After this, I drove the short distance to the entrance of Hither Hills State Park. This is a state park along the Atlantic shore, and based on the maps is the closest land to the confluence. On either side of the state park there is private land, so I felt that the state park would also be a good launching point for canoeing to the confluence.
I stopped at the entrance station of the state park, but the attendant informed my that (a) they didn't open until 8 a.m., and that (b) I wasn't allowed to launch my canoe from their beach. Drat. The private land on either side of the state park extends for many miles, and, as this is the Atlantic Ocean, I don't really have a desire to canoe such a distance as is required to avoid treading on private land.
I drove around a bit looking for options, eventually parking in front of a sign which exhorted that no parking was allowed. This was part of a day-use overflow lot for the state park on top of a grassy hill, with a nice view of the ocean and a portion of the park including a campground. The time was still before 7, and no one was about. I walked down the bluff, then crossed the dunes on the well-worn path next to the sign saying to keep off the dunes, and walked out to the beach.
Here I was at the closest point on land to the confluence, still 0.68 miles (statute) from 41°N 72°W. I returned to my car, mildly concerned at the parking spot. Unfortunately, since I had asked and been specifically prohibited, I didn't feel that loitering around until the park opened and then carrying my canoe across their beach was an option. I suspect that if I talk with different people at the park, someone else will grant me permission. I also suspect that if I hadn't asked, I wouldn't have been prohibited from going.
It should be noted that the weather was almost ideal, with only the occasional large breaker to interfere with launching my canoe, then clear waters out to the confluence.
I departed and drove to the west to make a try at
41°N 73°W (see the narrative continued there).