$75 ($65 for Aquarium members). Additional Aquarium admission is optional.
203-852-0700, ext. 2206
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10 N. Water St.
Norwalk, CT 06854
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|Municipal parking garage and surface lots are adjacent.|
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Venture out for a rare close-up look at eight historic lighthouses in western Long Island Sound during a monthly boat outing offered at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.
During the Western Long Island Sound Lighthouse Cruises, participants aboard the Aquarium’s unique new hybrid-electric research vessel, R/V Spirit of the Sound™, make close passes by: Greens Ledge and Sheffield Island lighthouses in Norwalk, Harbor Ledge in Stamford, Great Captain Island of Greenwich, Execution Rocks off New Rochelle, and Long Island’s Stepping Stones, Sands Point and Eaton Neck lights.
The six-hour cruise departs at 9 a.m.
The cruises will pass by:
• Greens Ledge Lighthouse, a cast-iron “sparkplug” lighthouse southwest of the Norwalk harbor (and south of the Five Mile River). It was built in 1902 and automated in 1972.
• Sheffield Island Lighthouse, one of Norwalk’s iconic structures. Built in 1868, the granite-block lighthouse with a white lantern tower was deactivated in 1902 upon the debut of Greens Ledge Lighthouse. The Norwalk Seaport Association bought the lighthouse in 1986 and re-lit it in 2011, though not for navigational purposes.
• Harbor Ledge Lighthouse, also a cast-iron “sparkplug” lighthouse, stands on Chatham Rock near the entrance to Stamford harbor. Built in 1882, the light was deactivated in 1953 but remains active with an automated light.
• Great Captain Island Lighthouse, a light off Greenwich with a two-story granite keeper’s home and white lantern tower (similar to Sheffield Island). This light was built in 1868, replacing a stone version erected in 1829. It was deactivated in 1970, but has flashed with a non-navigational light since 2012.
• Execution Rocks Lighthouse, which stands on a rocky island of legend between Sands Point on Long Island and New Rochelle. Made of granite and painted white, the light was completed in 1849, first lit in 1850, had a keeper’s house added in 1868 and got its central brown band in 1895. The light was automated in 1979.
• Stepping Stones Lighthouse, built in 1876 off North Hempstead in the Victorian Second Empire style. The square red-brick keeper’s dwelling is topped by a mansard roof and attached to a square tower. Lit for the first time in 1877; automated in the mid-1960s. It’s the westernmost lighthouse on Long Island’s north shore.
• Sands Point Lighthouse, an octagonal tower made of coursed brownstone on a peninsula in North Hempstead. Built in 1809 with an adjoining keeper’s house, it was deactivated in 1922 and its beacon was moved to an automated steel skeleton tower nearby. Large mansions on the lighthouse property were owned by – among others – William Randolph Hearst.
• Eaton’s Neck Lighthouse, an octagonal sandstone tower that is one of only two 18th-century lighthouses still standing in New York. The light was built in 1798, renovated in 1868, electrified in 1921 and automated in 1961. It stands on the grounds of an active U.S. Coast Guard station.
All but the Sands Point Lighthouse are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Tickets are $75 (or $65 for Aquarium members).
Binoculars will be provided. These cruises are a special photo opportunity for both lighthouse buffs and bird-watchers, so bring your camera.
R/V Spirit of the Sound has a climate-controlled cabin and two deck levels. The country’s only research vessel with hybrid-electric propulsion, the $2.7 million, 64-foot catamaran is bigger, quieter and greener than the Aquarium’s former boat.
Advance reservations are strongly recommended. Capacity is limited.
Reserve tickets online at www.maritimeaquarium.org or call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206.