Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Branford Harbor

     The next morning couldn’t have been more different than prior evening.  No rain, not even a cloud in the sky.  No need to paddle around with the radio on listening for reports of thunder.  There was some mist rolling about, but it was light and decorative.
     As to the no-see-ums.  Well, forewarned is forearmed.  We’d simplify our kayak loading and be on the water in no time.  At 8AM, we were the first arrivals at the Branford River ramp, there at low tide.  At 8:02 an entire convoy of construction equipment appeared, and immediately began discussions of how best to repair the ramp before the tide changed.   So the bugs had a small feast while we confirmed that we could park our car and use the ramp.
      Branford River seems to be mainly a storage location for boats.  We passed by two large marinas and I knew of others further up river.  Handy poles marked the boat channel, kayaks can easily paddle outside the channel.
Parker Memorial Park, the beach partially obscured by foreground rocks
  At the mouth of the river is Branford Point, and Parker Memorial Park.  Once a huge resort hotel, it was donated to the town.  The town tore down the hotel and put in the beach.  (Early photos of the area can be found at Branford.patch.com
   Parker Memorial Park is a public beach, but with very limited parking for non-Branford residents. Amusingly Branford’s Recreation Department website states that public parking for the beach is available at the boat ramp.  At the boat ramp, signs say parking is for fishing and boating only.
                We headed along Indian Neck, admiring sights, the granite shoreline
          Variety of seaweeds exposed by the tide
        And cleverly located beach houses.
       As we came up on Jeffery Point we got a whiff of a nearby seabird colony.  Turns out, Spectacle is an island you can navigate by nose. 
       Before we reached Spectacle though we passed by Clam, with its array of modest homes.  And past this classic house on Sumac.
The Connecticut shoreline has no lack of overgrown houses on undergrown islands, though nowhere are they as tightly gathered as at the Thimbles.
         Sumac also had a wide variety of birds on it; a tree full of egrets, blue herons, oyster catchers,  and geese.

                Spectacle was more specialized with cormorants and herring gulls guarding their stick and seaweed nests, while black backed gulls waited in the corners hoping to take advantage of unwary parents.  I did a search to see if Spectacle was an actual bird sanctuary without finding any results.
     From Spectacle we turned west, heading across the harbor to Johnson Point and by a nice flashing buoy.

    And a gander keeping watch over his flock. 
     The goose is keeping watch on the grounds of Killiam’s Point, a retreat owned by a local church.  On occasion services are held by the cross, and I can’t help but feel the goose was inspired to be a good shepherd.
                Long Island Sound was quite quiet, so mostly we kept our eyes to the shore, admiring the great variety of houses, like this English Cottage with fortified cellar to retreat to in case of attack.
       As the clouds rolled in from New York, we headed back to the launch.  There the construction crew was still hard at work getting the area ready for the summer crowds.  They were done with the ramp though, so we could land easily and head off to our next adventure.
Along the Branford River, condos for crabs below, condos for folks above.
Summary:  Branford River Ramp, on Goodsell Rd, off Harbor Rd, Branford Ct.  A large field for parking, 2 portapotties.


  1. Loved your photos. Especially like the English Cottage, as well as the bright green seaweed photo!

    1. I love the English Cottage and the house on Sumac. I wish I had the funds to chose between them.....