Mystic River!

Mystic, CT, (Monday, 9/25)

First thing this morning we had to get rental car back to Hertz, so Mark took care of that while Denise prepped the boat for the departure.  Once he was back and he checked out of the marina, we pulled out of our slip and made our way through Wickford Harbor.

Houses on Wickford Harbor

We left with almost no wind, but 4’ swells were expected once we left Narragansett Bay and Denise was a little nervous about getting seasick.  Along the way we got to see sights that we were unable to see when we came up the Narragansett in thick fog, like the Jamestown-Verrazano Bridge, the University of Rhode Island – Bay Campus, and houses on the western coastline.

Jamestown-Verrazzano Bridge as we leave Wickford

University of RI – Bay Campus

Houses overlooking Narragansett Bay – West

Once we entered the Block Island Sound, the swells were as expected, however the interval between each was long (11 seconds) and it ended up being not too bad. Also it only lasted for a little while, and once rounded Point Judith it seemed to be a little better.

Whale Rock – Block Island Sound

Point Judith Lighthouse

Throughout the morning we encountered some fog intermittently, but nothing too bad.  In the distance we passed by Block Island and rounded Watch Hill point and its lighthouse.

Watch Hill Lighthouse

Soon we passed by Fisher’s Island to our port (left side); a playground for the exclusive rich similar to the Hamptons but lesser known. On the eastern end of the island is Simmons Castle an imposing, 25,000-square-foot turreted structure built in the 1940s by the mattress moguls. Like many island communities its year-round population is dwindling, but during the summer it is quite busy.  You can learn more about this very intriguing place here.

Simmons Castle on Fisher’s Island

Soon afterwards we made the turn north from Fisher’s Sound and headed towards the town of Mystic. The channel curves past Morgan Point and its lighthouse, and then passes several other marinas and mooring fields on both sides. We finally came to the railroad swing bridge which delineates the inner and outer harbors of Mystic.

Latimer Reef Lighthouse

Morgan Point Lighthouse

Mystic RR Swing bridge

While in route we had been debating where to stay in Mystic and we did not have reservations anywhere.  There are numerous marinas here and being that it was now “off season” we were told finding a slip should not be an issue.  The Seaport Village Marina is the most popular is quite expensive because its docking fee includes entrance to the Seaport Village Museum.  However, it is very far up the river and not close to the downtown.  Plus to get to it you have to go through the Mystic Drawbridge which has a very limited opening schedule and has to be timed with the railroad bridge.  Instead we chose to stay at the Mystic Downtown Marina, which is usually filled up with seasonal rentals, but sometimes has transient space available.  While not cheap, they are less expensive than most of the other marinas and they had a slip available for us.

Mystic Downtown Marina

We pulled into the assigned slip and secured the boat without much trouble. We then walked to the marina office and checked in with Eric who gave us the facilities codes and told us about the layout of the town.  We went back the boat and ate a quick lunch and did a little bit of work on the boat.

Picnic tables at Mystic Downtown Marina

Marina office – MDM

In the late afternoon we decided to go explore the town a little bit.  We walked around the main downtown of Mystic, mostly window-shopping and seeing what it had to offer.  We got to the drawbridge and had to wait on it to close in order to cross the river and explore the shops and restaurants on the eastern shore.

Mystic River Draw Bridge

Groton (Mystic) Town Police Dept

Part of our mission was reconnaissance for a place to go for dinner.  Of course we could always to Mystic Pizza (restaurant made famous by the movie of its same name), but we had been told it was not that great.

Mystic PIzza

We continued walking around the waterfront and eastern shore area, deciding the walk up to the Seaport Village Museum was too far (another ½ mile at least) and that it would be closed by the time we got there. We turned around and walked back towards the marina, but couldn’t decide on which place to have dinner, boing back and forth between two.  Finally, wanting to satisfy the pizza craving, we opted for “Pizzetta”, which had been highly recommended.  We had to wait on a table (because it took us too long to decide) so we started first with a drink at the bar, then moved to the patio dining. We ordered individual pizza’s and they both were delicious, and enough to take home for another meal later.

Pizzetta outdoor dining

Mark at Pizzetta

Pesto Chicken – delicious

Mark’s all-meat

Pizzetta signage

That evening we reviewed our plans and decided to stick with the one-night stay in Mystic.  We were watching the weather and our opportunity for getting through Long Island Sound without issues, so we made plans to leave in the morning.  We then started to watch the movie “Mystic River” but Denise fell asleep early into it and we never saw the ending.


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