Yet another long awaited trip finally came to fruition. A trip to Block Island has been on my list of places to fly to since I passed my checkride. However being a pilot in the northeast you get used to cancelling day trips and changing your plans due to weather. After at least three failed attempts I finally made it there the last weekend in August. Weather was absolutely perfect with calm winds aloft and excellent visibility. Copilot for the day was my girlfriend Anca. Our airplane for the day was my club’s upgraded Cessna 172N Superhawk.
The quickest way to the island is to make a b line from Morristown through the New York bravo airspace hugging the north shore of Long Island. This is of course easier said than done. In my experience it is pretty much 50/50 chance whether or not NY will clear VFR traffic into the bravo, especially in the area in proximity of LGA. I had Morristown hand me off to NY and after a little bit of circling to delay entering the class b, I was cleared direct to Block Island. Our flight path can be seen below courtesy of flightaware.
As we passed Montauk lighthouse we listened to the airport’s AWOS which was reporting winds from 080 between 8-12kts. We landed on runway 10 after being bounced around a bit on short final. After landing we were directed to a parking spot in the grass by a man in a golf cart. The landing fee at Block Island was $10, which is fine considering there are no fuel sales for the airport to profit from. The center of town is only a 10min walk from the airport.
The island is a very charming place. There are no chain resturants or big box stores to speak of. We decided the best way to make use of our time would be to rent a moped and scoot around. It ended up being a great choice. We walked over looking for Island Moped but ended up finding The Moped Man. We rented the moped for 3hrs at $90. Not the cheapest option but this being only a day trip it was the most efficient. The moped had certainly seen it’s better days but it got the job done. My favorite feature aside from the torn seat was the pronounced wobbling at higher speed. No matter, off we went!
We drove clockwise around the entire island visiting the following places:
- Southeast Lighthouse – Classic lighthouse with an excellent view
- Mohegan Bluffs – You take a steep staircase followed by a scramble down some rocks to a very cool beach covered in stacked rocks
- Rodman’s Hollow – We walked about 1,000ft into this nature preserve and decided whatever was here to see would take too much time
- Great Salt Pond – The docks of this marina were filled with huge boats
- Settler’s Rock
- North Lighthouse – The other lighthouse, a bit of a sandy walk from the parking lot but pretty nice
After zooming around the island for a few hours we were in need of some food. We dropped off the moped and went to the first place with seafood that looked decent. It ended up being the Harbor Grill. While I was hoping for a bit fancier place since this was a special trip, this ended up being fine. I ordered the lobster quesadilla and she ordered the fresh lobster. Both were very good.
We walked back to the airport and took off for a calm flight back home. We elected to follow the north shore of long island sound this time, avoiding the NY airspace. It was an eventful flight home with the sun starting to set off in the distance. It was a great way to end the day and I look forward to heading back there soon. Total flight time was about 3hrs.