They say life is what happens while you're busy making plans. Fishers Island was such an experience for us.
Next on the agenda was Montauk. We had done our research, made a slip reservation in advance, and had a lofty dream of biking through miles and miles of Montauk State Park. When we pulled into the harbor Tad immediately noticed the slip would not work. I, still being an inexperienced boater had no clue what concerned him. So, Tad gently pointed out to me that the marinas in Montauk are bow (front of boat) tie and we would have to crawl over the anchor to reach the dock. A stern (back of boat) tie was also not possible as we have a dingy.
Okay, time to course correct!
Tad and I both have our own nav systems, so while he navigated our way back out of the harbor, I started to check the map for nearby options. Neither of us had heard of Fishers Island... so, Fishers Island it was!
Approaching the island...
If the Long Island shore lines we've visited so far were in Morris Code, the average would have houses lined in dot, dot, dot sequencing. Fishers Island, on the other hand was more of a d a s h, d a s h, d a s h, dot, d a s h, d a s h shoreline.
Spanning nine miles in length and one mile wide, there are only 200 or so houses on the island, and the islanders want to keep it that way. We read reviews such as Avenue Magazine's Fishers Island Doesn't Want You article, and most depicted the island as a place where the unwelcoming wealthy live.
While the guy christening his very cool, multi-million dollar catamaran next to us; with the whole town watching and nibbling on little crackers with caviar proved to fit this title, everyone else was very friendly.
Hmmm, come to think of it....it might have been our grilling veggies on the back deck of our boat during his speech, but hey, I took down the drying laundry! Yes, I think I heard him whisper, "Griswolds" under his breath!
The island has beautiful roads, although few cars were seen. There are a total of four small stores; gift, ice cream, liquor, and grocery. We rode past a library, and two churches and acres after acres of lush green. Oh yes, we also heard from a local that there was one restaurant.
Reflecting on the growth of Bainbridge Island, I can't help but like the low-key, no website, no info, no "ya'll come back now" sign philosophy that has kept this island so magical.
It does however, have some quiet notoriety by way of the many films that have used its coveted beauty. The World According to Garp, starring Robin Williams and Glenn Close is one you might recall.
Learning about Isabella Beach from another local (see, they're friendly), who also shared, "if you come across a gate, just say you're renting a house for the summer." Tad and I took off on our bikes to find it. And, like she warned, a few miles in to our ride we ran into one such gate with not one, but two guards. The gate guard asked, "Can I help you?" Taking the nice women's advice Tad said, "yes, we're renting a house for the summer and just out for a ride". The guard then asked which house? I could feel the panic pulsing in my veins when without even flinching, Tad said "The Johnson's". To which the guard responded, "Okay, carry on".
I was shocked! "How did you know to say Johnson", I asked as we peddled on the private road. Heck, there's a Johnson everywhere, he chuckled. The beach was beautiful and worth the ride, but we do feel bad about the little lie!
To finish off the day, we decided to try the one restaurant on the island, The Pequot Inn. Hmmmm, sophisticated island....it must be french I thought to myself while envisioning the spelling of the Peugeot 900 I drove when I lived in Europe. The bike ride was easy, only a mile or so away, and my slacks and pretty blouse weathered it well. I looked forward to a quiet dinner with my guy, a nice glass of wine, and great conversation about our favorite parts of the day.
Yep, the mechanical bull was the first give-away! Jimmy Buffet music blaring in the background and me being corrected that it's not a "Pequot salad" (inject a slight french accent here), but "Pequot", like "comquote", was the second and third. Again, course correct!
So, tilting my head ever so slightly, I went from French countryside to Alabama hoe-down, and a wanting to come back at 8pm when the bronco riding and karaoke began.
Like the saying goes, life IS what happens while you're busy making plans, AND I like to think someone so much wiser than we corrected our course so we could visit this beautiful place. Thanks, God!
Fishers Island Yacht Club
The only marina, and has just a few transient slips. Just steps away from the little town with four stores. Very friendly and helpful dockmaster and attendants.
Radio: VHF 10
Power: 110v/30A and 220v/50A
Pump Out: they don't have pump out services but if you use VHF 68 and call for the pump-out boat, either Pete's pump-out or Mystic pump-out will come to your boat at no charge.
Fresh Water: yes
Wifi: only at the club house. You can sit outside and use the wifi.
Shuttle/Water Taxi: none
Other amenities: There is a club house, but it's for private yacht club members only