Day 8, October 18, 2003: Riverhead, NY to Kingstown, RI
Got out of the motel a bit past 8:00 and headed toward Orient where the ferry terminal resides. It isn't far. Amazing how empty this part of Long Island is! I stopped at the Horton Point Lighthouse but it was closed for the season so all I could do was walk around and snap a few pictures. As it turns out I must have done something wrong that evening when I was moving pictures from the camera to the computer and not one of those pics seems to have survived. Oh well. You can look at their website and see what it looks like. Their photography is probably better than mine anyway.
Because of the shortish drive and short stay at the lighthouse I managed to make it to the ferry terminal pretty early so I tried to get them to allow me on the 10:00 run rather than making me wait for the booked one. They put me into the standby line and I waited it out by writing a few postcards and even started composing a letter on the computer. I decided pretty quickly that using my oversized laptop while sitting in the Miata wasn't very productive and gave up on it. When the standby line started loading I got my hopes up but they stopped loading with the car in front of me. So goes my luck.
Got loaded onto the ferry Cape Henlopen for the 11:00 run and got prepared for the crossing which was was expected to last 1½ hours. The rules on the ship don't allow passengers to remain on or even access their vehicles during the crossing. Had I realized this I would have taken my computer out of the trunk and worked on my letter at a table in the lounge. As It was I spent most of the time wandering around the deck freezing and hoping for something to photograph. The ferry has a bit of history, having started its life as an LST in WWII and having taken part in the D-Day landing. That kept me hoping that they had done some really serious modifications and updates to the ship over the years since my recollection was that LSTs in general didn't have a great reputation.
The crossing was totally uneventful but I will mention one thing. If you wish to avoid snide remarks, please skip to the next paragraph. [begin rant] Queued up to grab a hotdog and Pepsi at the snack bar on the ferry I couldn't help but noticing (and photographing) two signs by the cash register. Why is it that the attendants would be trying to collect "tips for college" when the other sign suggests that they didn't learn very well in grammar school? Isn't that when little grammatical niceties like the proper use of apostrophes and the differences between contractions, plurals, and possessives are taught? [end rant]
The first stop, no make that the only stop, on the other side of the sound was Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. A hard place to describe adequately, it is a sort of historical site sort of a theme park sort of an educational site sort of a museum. They do have a great collection of historical boats and ships and if one is at all interested in such things it may well be the best such site in the country. At least I can't think of another with a better collection. Rather than trying to describe it at great length but inadequately I'll just refer you to their website.
After Mystic Seaport I headed further up the highway looking for lodging. Again, this proved to be pretty sparse in the area I was travelling. I finally found a cheap, and cheap for a reason, motel. Pretty funky little place so I won't mention any names. The first room I got had a little balcony overlooking Sandy Pond which was full of ducks. Sadly it (the room, not the pond) was more that a bit lacking in livability and sanitation. I complained and was put into a different, possibly no better, room that lacked the view of the pond. Oh well. All I wanted to do was catch some sleep...