A Day Trip to Great Captain Island
If you live in the New York City tri-state area (New York, Connecticut, New Jersey) and work in the city, or any large metropolitan area, then you are most likely familiar with the ritual of mass exodus from the big city on a Friday afternoon before a three day weekend. Especially, if it is the last three day weekend right before the end of summer and before kids head back to school.
Not sure who came up with the quote for insanity, some credit Einstein, but doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is something that comes to mind when you are stuck on an overcrowded train, or in the car in stop-and-go traffic on a Friday. So to avoid insanity on a sunny Friday afternoon before this year’s Labor Day weekend I decided to do something for my sanity instead, and stay at home and take a day trip out to Great Captain Island.
Great Captain Island is a small, ~17 acres, and beautiful island right off the coast of Greenwich, Connecticut on the Long Island Sound. It’s a sanctuary because there are no cars or stores, just pure nature and it is entirely surrounded by water. I am not sure how popular and crowed it is on the weekends, but today not more than 20 people were on the island.
To get here took quite a bit of effort and expense, but it is well worth it. The island is only accessible via ferry service from Greenwich harbor. The ferry service is seasonal and is dependent on the low/high tide schedule of the Long Island Sound. I was lucky enough that the island was accessible today.
The ferry ride costs $11 per person and tickets can be bought at the harbor/ferry. Parking by the harbor is $25 per day. However, first you need to head to the Greenwich town hall to get a park day pass (if you are not a Greenwich resident). The day pass is about $6. In fact, access to all of Greenwich's beaches is restricted to Greenwich residents and their guest, or require a day pass. So in total it costs about $42. Bring a couple of more people and at least the parking gets cheaper.
Random side note…
This is somewhat still foreign to me (a German who has lived in the U.S. for 15+ years), because in Germany or rest of Europe beaches and lakes are accessible by the public, and there are not as many restrictions. In the summer season (roughly Memorial Day through Labor Day) each city in Connecticut requires you to buy a day pass to access the beach which costs $6 per person or $25 per car. Good luck, and deep pockets, if you want to tour all of Connecticut’s beaches.
To make the most of your trip it is best to head out on the first ferry and take the last one off the island. The ferry runs about every 30 minutes to and from the island. The ferry schedule is posted online, as well as at the harbor and on the island itself. It is also possible (best to check and confirm details) to camp and spend the night on the island.
All photos were taken with the Leica M-A, Leica Summicron 2/35 and Kodak Portra 400. Film developed (c41 press kit) and scanned (pakon) at home.