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Ziegler's Cove

A true gunkhole at the eastern foot of Long Neck Point, east of Stamford, CT.

The approach to Ziegler's Cove can be quite daunting to those without local knowledge, but to those who have braved the rocky ledges, this is about as good as it gets in western Long Island Sound. Long rolling hills of grass lead down from stately mansions along the waters' edge (one with a collection of statues to marvel at) to a high rocky shoreline reminiscent of the Maine Coast. This protected cove feels like its way outside civilization, but it's just a stone's throw from the growing metropolis of Stamford. And it’s practically a hurricane hole except in strong sustained Easterly winds.

Approach cautiously along Long Neck Point, keeping clear of the two reefs ESE of the entrance, often but not always marked by poles/sticks. Enter parallel to Long Point (beware of a rock 4' below the surface close to shore), pass close to the rocky islet south of the entrance and keep on northward for the little beach that cuts the cliff going almost all the way in, then steer Westward along the cliff and the mooring buoys on the right side of the entrance to maintain about 10-12' MLW almost all the way in.

It is crowded on weekend afternoons and evenings, empty at night or out of season, and the fall foliage is gorgeous. In the summer, if you arrive well before sunset, chances are you won't find enough room to swing and not a free mooring in sight. But if you are patient and arrive near sunset or anchor outside intil then, you'll witness an exodus of the powerboat fleet that comes to picnic in the summer sun. Then you can work your way in and pick up a mooring, which are expected to be used by visitors, but be aware that you may have vacate your selection if the owner suddenly shows up. Use a trip line on your anchor to avoid losing it if you prefer not to pick up an empty mooring.

We've seen eagles and osprey with all kinds of wildlife favoring the marshy flats close to shore. The north side has an empty boathouse and a dock with a small fireboat. There is also a stable and corral where you can sometimes see riders going through their paces.

One morning I awoke to the sound of an eagle crying way aloft just before dawn. I scrambled up on deck and witnessed an everyday miracle that few people in our world ever see...the birth of a new day. It was a magical moment when the birds stretched their wings and took their morning bath, the bugs backstroked across the water in exercise, the fish jumped for joy, and the sun bathed the earth in the most glorious and regal colors. It lasted just a few moments, yet I felt like the most priviledged human on earth. Soon as the sun rose, it was business as usual, with dogs barking, fishermen warming their engines, and the cries of the wildlife getting lost in the shuffle. One thing is for certain, I'll have to return just to see if it happens every day.

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