Save the Sound Sailing Journey Part 2

Today we pick up on the Save the Sound sailing journey in New York. Over the past few days, Curt Johnson and Chris Cryder have sailed down Long Island Sound from Branford stopping in Bridgeport and Darien.

On Monday, after spending the night moored off Remington Beach, Curt and Chris canoed into Bridgeport and met with city officials to discuss infrastructure,  the Pequonnock fish weir progress, and Rooster River watershed planning. After a good meeting, and with help from DJ’s Marine Service, Curt and Chris left Bridgeport to sail towards Norwalk.

DJ’s Marine Service fixing the sailboat’s motor
Passing Penfield Lighthouse en route to Norwalk

Curt and Chris reached the Norwalk islands around 6 P.M. Monday night and moored for the night near the Sheffield Lighthouse.

Evening sky over the Norwalk Islands

Curt and Chris left Tuesday morning  at 7 A.M. and set sail for Darien, passing the Norwalk Lighthouse.

Norwalk Lighthouse with solar panels
Sailing into Hope Harbor Tuesday morning

Here are some notes from Chris about Tuesday’s sail:

Our goal was to get to the Noroton River and see the site of one our habitat restoration projects – a fishway to be built at the I-95 culvert in partnership with the Darien Land Trust. The wind was light in the morning, but picked up as we entered the bay leading to Holly Pond. We anchored our boat at Cove Park, got in our canoe, and paddled our way to the tidal dam at the base of Holly Pond. It was low tide so we portaged the canoe up and over the three-foot rocky dam.  We paddled our way up the shallow Noroton River until we could go no further. We stashed our canoe and then hiked about a half mile to the large, three-tunneled culvert.  There we saw how the culvert, built in the 1950’s, was built at an elevation too high, leaving a two-foot high dam for migrating river herring (and other species) to traverse; an obstacle over which the river herring cannot jump in order to get to their spawning grounds.

Noroton River Culvert

Curt and Chris discussed the plans to build a naturalized fish ramp, which would allow migratory fish, such as alewife, blue back herring, and sea lamprey to get up and over the lip of the culvert and reach the ponds and swamps upriver to lay their eggs.  Design alternatives for the fish ramp are currently being performed, and it is hoped that design plans will be complete by the end of the 2012.

Chris continues:

On our way back to Holly Pond, we saw snowy and Great Egrets, several Great Blue Herons, cormorants, and several species of gulls. Now the tidal dam was being over topped by the incoming flood tide, and five fishermen were busily catching snapper blues.  Curt was amazed to see large areas of blue mussels at the base of the dam.

Snowy Egret
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Great Blue Heron
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

At about 1 P.M., Curt and Chris set sail for Larchmont, NY, with winds being the strongest yet of the trip, about a 15 or so mile journey.  With regularity, they saw schools of menhaden, and counted 21 “pods” of menhaden from Greenwich, CT to Mamaroneck,NY.

Curt and Chris arrived in Larchmont, NY at 6:30 P.M.

Posted by Rebecca Kaplan, director of communications for CFE/Save the Sound

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