Stepping Stone Lighthouse Paddle — Finally!

One of the lesser known interests of mine are lighthouses. I wouldn’t consider myself particularly knowledgeable about their history or construction techniques however I have always been attracted to these interesting structures. What has especially fascinated me is just how varied their designs and location selections are. Some are up high on bluffs, some down low at the edges of peninsulas, while others sit in the middle of a body of water on an island. Sometimes constructed on man made islands and at other times on naturally occurring islands. No matter the location these structures always have a certain elegance about them.

Last weekend, accompanied by my friends Robert and Monica, I paddled out to a local gem; Stepping Stone Lighthouse. Clearly visible from the Throgs Neck Bridge, I have been driving past the lighthouse my entire life. Constructed in 1876 the Stepping Stone Lighthouse sits on an island between the entrance of the East River and the mouth of the Long Island Sound. After I began kayaking I decided I would paddle out to see the lighthouse up close. Unfortunately weather conditions always thwarted my attempts at reaching the elusive structure. This weekend mother nature tried its hardest to prevent me from reaching the lighthouse but I was determined to make this the final attempt. Downed in cold-weather immersion gear, I reached the lighthouse without incident. During the crossing I encountered 17 knot wind gusts that produced 2-3 foot white-cap swells. Although difficult I managed to take pictures during the brief periods of calm. The magic of photography–the water looks calm and peaceful in my pictures. The most challenging part of the paddle was the return trip. Cross wind coupled with a rip tide from the narrows and unpredictable swells made for one of the more challenging crossings of the season. Thankfully, being late in the season, water traffic was minimal and we didn’t have to worry about pesky pleasure craft. It was a great trip!

To view the complete photo set click here.

To view a map of the trip click here.

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