Thursday, October 15, 2015

New Lighthouse Cruises from Norwalk, Connecticut

I'll be doing some commentary aboard this cruise on November 7. Space is limited -- make your reservations now!

NORWALK, CT – Venture out on Sat., Nov. 7 for a rare close-up look at five historic lighthouses on Long Island Sound during a Maritime Aquarium Lighthouse Cruise, a new boat outing offered at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

Penfield Reef Lighthouse, photo © Jeremy D'Entremont
Participants aboard the Aquarium’s unique new hybrid-electric research vessel R/V Spirit of the Sound™ will make passes by five century-old beacons: Peck Ledge, Greens Ledge and Sheffield Island lighthouses in Norwalk, Penfield Reef Lighthouse in Fairfield and Stratford Shoal (Middle Ground) Light.

The 4.5-hour cruise departs at 10 a.m.

“As we see firsthand with our annual Festival of Lighthouses Contest, people have a special fondness for lighthouses,” said Tom Naiman, the Aquarium’s director of education. “There’s a respect there for the role that lighthouses play in our maritime history, and an appreciation for the different ways that they were designed and built. These cruises are a great chance to see these unique structures up close and from the water.”

The cruises will pass by:
• Greens Ledge Lighthouse, a cast-iron “sparkplug” lighthouse southwest of the Norwalk harbor (and south of the Five Mile River). It was built in 1902 and automated in 1972.
• Sheffield Island Lighthouse, one of Norwalk’s iconic structures. Built in 1868, the graniteblock lighthouse with a white lantern tower was deactivated in 1902 upon the debut of Greens Ledge Lighthouse. The Norwalk Seaport Association bought the lighthouse in 1986 and re-lit it in 2011 – but not for navigational purposes.
• Peck Ledge Lighthouse, a cast-iron “sparkplug” lighthouse at the southeast approach to Norwalk Harbor. Built in 1906 and automated in 1933. A recent online auction to place the lighthouse – but not the light’s operations – into private hands drew a top bid of $235,000.
• Penfield Reef Lighthouse, a charming granite-block lighthouse with a short lantern tower rising from the white mansard roof. Built in the early 1870s and automated in 1971.
• Stratford Shoal Lighthouse, a granite-block house whose location is still debated: is it actually in Connecticut or New York? Built about 8 miles off Bridgeport on the Sound’s dangerous Middleground Shoal in 1877, the light was automated in 1970.

All the lighthouses are on the National Register of Historic Places. Aquarium educators will offer details, histories, and anecdotes about the lighthouses, and also – since they’re in view – point out the Sound’s visiting winter waterfowl. Binoculars will be provided.

Click here or call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206, to get your tickets!