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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Kayaking to Old Saybrook's Breakwater "Outer" Light

I woke up to the sun shining and Long Island sound smooth as glass and decided it was a perfect day to kayak to the Old Saybrook Breakwater Light. I didn't load up the new roof rack for nothing and it was time to get the Kayaks in the water. The Breakwater light is known locally as the Outer Light and is one of two lighthouses marking the opening to the Connecticut River.

The Breakwater/Outer Light is the youngest of the two and was constructed 75 years after its older brother known as Lynde Point Light on a rocky jetty. I knew the history of the lighthouse well having watched its green flash in the distance every 6 seconds and when foggy a blast of the horn every 30 seconds. Many a night I watched its green light pulse from my bedroom window. It was lit for the first time in 1886 and stands at only 49 feet. While I have never been in it I am told it has 4 floors with a tiny staircase inside.

It had even made the local news when it was reported that it was to be sold by the federal government and the local town had been rumored to be interested in buying it. I don't think it actually happened however and I had heard that it was bought by a private family.

The lighthouse is a prominent feature along the shoreline and even graces the state license plate. It has survived numerous hurricanes and stands as a beacon to any who venture up or down the Connecticut river.

After a healthy breakfast I pulled the kayak's out and carried them down our new fortified sea wall to the beach which its self had survived many a hurricane until Hurricane Sandy did some damage a years ago.

Once in the water I began the roughly 2 mile trip along the Old Saybrook shoreline passing the Knollwood & Fenwood Pier's before paddling straight out to the Outer Light. The sea stayed calm and in no time I was bobbing around as I relaxed and took in the Light House.

A few guys had set up shop using the breakwater as a fishing spot. It was a little choppy since many boats were going up and down the river. The current was also keeping us moving. Having forgotten a hat and not put any sun lotion on we decided to head back. This time we must have been fighting the tide since the current made it more difficult to return. We opted to paddle along the breakwater and along the shoreline passing Katherine Hepburn's old summer cottage along the way. I have heard that the house is back on the market minus a portion of land for $15 million.

It took about 55 minutes to paddle back compared to the 35 minutes it took to get there and it was obvious we were both a bit tired and maybe a little burnt. Round trip it was 4.11 miles and took my just over an hour and 30 minutes to make the trip. I got some great pictures and enjoyed the paddle.

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