We went home to Cleveland for a couple of days because Jim had a post-op appointment with his cataract surgeon. After we got back to New York we kept the rental car and did a day of sightseeing on Long Island. We went to Sagamore Hill, Teddy Roosevelt's home and to see the home of William Vanderbilt. The two homes were built about 25 years apart and the contrast in architectural style was interesting. Roosevelt's home was generally quite dark with dark walls and small windows in all the rooms except for the parlor. Vanderbilt's home was much more open with lots of windows that took in the view of the bay and the Sound.
Teddy's place had lots of gifts he had been given while President, he was before the time when presidential gifts were considered to be given to the country not the person. But the construction of the house and the furnishings were all local products. Vanderbilt's home was much more like Hearst Castle in California, put together with walls, ceilings and furniture imported from Italy, France and Germany. My favorite relocated items in the Vanderbilt estate were the two cast iron eagles at the entrance. They were from a set of 12 that had been atop Grand Central Station when the trains came into the city on the surface street level. When the city required the Vanderbilts (the owners) to re-design the station to support underground trains, William took two of the eagle to his house.
After re-provisioning and doing the laundry, we headed east along the north shore of Long Island. Our first stop was Port Jefferson, a cutesy little town near the Stoney Brook campus of SUNY. One night there and then on to the eastern end of Long Island, the so-called fish tale. If you look at a map of Long Island you'll see that the eastern end has two points with a big bay between them. We rounded the northern point, called the North Fork by the locals, and went first to an anchorage in Shelter Island, an island in the middle of the bay.
Shelter Island is a well known summer/vacation home destination for many folks in the northeast. We arrived about 3:30 PM, put the anchor down in a large anchorage with about a dozen boats, and settled into for a quiet night on the hook. Three hours later all hell broke loose. A severe thunderstorm with 70 mile/hour winds and impenetrable rain hit the anchorage. Our anchor held, but the anchor of the sailboat in front of us didn't. All we could see was a sailboat coming right at us through the rain. Fortunately, they didn't snag our anchor when they crossed over it, nor did they hit our boat. But the wind was just tossing them everywhere. I was scared, they must have been terrified! It didn't last long, less that 15 minutes but it seemed like a lifetime.
The next day we went into the town of Greenport on the North Fork, a typical summer destination town in the wine country of Long Island. From there we went across to a different harbor on Shelter Island to spend two days at the Shelter Island Yacht Club. I was able to get off the boat and walk around. Given the reputation/prices on Shelter Island I was expecting nothing but mansions. While there were plenty of those, there were also a surprising number of simple summer cottage types of places. But you really need to be able to amuse yourself if you come here. The big Sunday entertainment is going to the pastry store to get coffee and the Sunday NY Times. Nothing much happening here.
Tomorrow we're off to Sag Harbor, another ritzy destination on the eastern end of Long Island. Then we'll head across the Sound to Connecticut, Newport, Rhode Island and Buzzard's Bay, Massachusetts. I'm beginning to realize there is more to see out here than we can hope to do in a single summer.