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Long Island Sound Cruising Guide:

The center of diversity

Long Island Sound Chartlet
Long Island Sound is sandwiched between Long Island to the South and NY/CT to the North, and these two sides are very diverse both topographically and culturally. (Sometimes the accents are so distinct you'd think you’ve crossed into a foreign country.) The Long Island side offers a succession of great cruising destinations in its bays, while the northern territory is characterized by rivers spilling around islands that offer shelter for the night.

And yes, even somewhere as densely populated as around Long Island Sound and the NY metro area, there are more secluded anchorages than one can count. Remember, that a lot of the prime real estate is either a nature preserve, or it’s a major estate and you may not even be able to see the house. When you consider that you are providing the residents with ambiance by anchoring your boat in front of their house, you will realize that you need not have a bad conscience. There are many designated anchorages marked on the charts where you can comfortably park your boat for the night - and others, unmarked, that are fair game as well - with a bit of local knowledge.

Speaking of how densely populated Long Island Sound is, the photographs NASA takes from space are very graphic. The two here show the night and day views of our area...pretty amazing when you think each one of those lights represents at least one human being. The area toward the left is heading into New York City... with midtown Manhattan shining brightest. But when you're out there on the sound, you could be in the middle of nowhere. Peaceful, dark, lonely (until the captain of the freighter coming up on your stern hails you on the VHF out of the fog and respectfully asks you to alter course). The waterfront areas actually demonstrate just how land focused rather than water-focused the area is. Pretty amazing given that the population was established on easy water based transportation, commerce and industry.

Aerial photos of Long Island at night (top) and during the day (bottom), highlighting the population density. (NASA)

So we'll try to build a major resource center about Long Island Sound and turn the eye back toward the water. It's a lovely respite from the rigors of life in the city. Let's find a way to use it well and enjoy every minute.

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