BRANFORD – “Welcome to the Thimble Islands, you have a great day to get out,” said Captain Mike Infantino, as he begins a tour of a special destination, the result of an ice glacier melting.

“I live around here, so it’s just kind of a hidden gem,” said Luke Tuozzola of Milford.

“We decided to come here today for a quick family day trip,” said Shannon Capuano of North Haven.

This local archipelago is called the Thimble Islands. Infantino has been operating The SeaMist, showing off the landscape and the architecture in this charming spot for an astounding 40 years. He’s happy to be fully back after a tough time in the pandemic.

“There are no year-round residents. Folks, these are all summer homes,” said Infantino as he informed passengers. He’s got the scoop on just about everything.

“Have a look at Wheeler’s Island,” continued Infantino. “It wasn’t until a short time ago that it got fresh water and electrical power from shore.”

“All the islands have names, which was pretty cool,” observed Capuano.

“It is a unique area, you don’t find any amount of islands like this on the entire coast,” added Infantino.

There are 25 inhabited islands, but here with 95 homes housing 100 families. You can see a cool material on many of the islands…one with an interesting history.

“Grant’s Tomb, the Lincoln Memorial, the West Point Memorial, the base of the Statue of Liberty, it’s all pink granite from here,” said Infantino, who adds some intrigue for the young passengers. “It was Captain Kidd, the pirate, that sailed these waters in the late 1600s supposedly bringing treasure on one of the Thimble Islands.”

“The part with the buried treasure, I liked that,” said 7-year-old Wesley who loves the tales of doubloons while his sister, Natalia, is interested in the glamour. She likes the big mansions on some islands, which certainly are impressive.

“A sports court for volleyball, tennis basketball and several other sports,” said Infantino, describing one.

A varied look at maritime history – both past and present.

A vacation right here at home.

“I thought it was really enjoyable, just a quick little afternoon boat ride, just easy,” said Tuozzola.

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