Of course, we found out how to get to the island and its lighthouse. The know-it-all-lady in the hotel parlor the previous day was actually extremely helpful, and by the time we escaped her soap-box, we had the phone number of a boat captain who took groups out to the island for short day-trips. So the next morning I watched the sunrise, we messed around for awhile, and then headed for the dock.
It's about a 45-minute trip out from Northport Harbor to what the locals call "The Sandhills." En route, we saw a flock of golden plover -- practically a life bird for me, since I have never been far enough north to see them in breeding plumage in the summer; that ubiquitous Atlantic seaboard resident, the willet; and high, high in the sky, so high that you couldn't have seen them unless you were scanning the blue with binoculars, a circling pair of eagles. The other ten or so passengers on the boat looked politely when I offered them the opportunity to see the eagles, and then went back to their conversation.
Their purpose was to ride the boat, make the ten-minute walk from the island beach to the lighthouse, and ride the boat back again. I'm never sure how people manage in the world when they don't bother to look at anything -- they missed the the plovers, the willet, and most of the island. Well, we missed most of the island, too -- but we did get to stay for a couple of hours, since the captain was willing to leave us there while he took the others back, and make a return trip just for us. I would have happily stayed an entire day.
Mostly we just walked and savored our time as the only two people on a tiny island off another island, our only company the 40-50 great blue herons fishing in the bay, The lighthouse has been closed for several decades, but there was a time when someone lived out there alone all summer. I wonder if he walked the perimeter of the island every day to shake off the boredom. Or maybe the morning and evening skies were enough.