Rachel Mason-

Hoffman Island


Rachel Mason and I decided to try and row out to Hoffman Island early Saturday morning.

Hoffman is an abandoned island in the South Harbor.

A few miles from the Verrazano Bridge.

The city made Hoffman from landfill in 1872 and it served as a quarantine station. It was abandoned in 1961 and the buildings were demolished to deter visitors.

But in 1973, a film crew was apprehended shooting a pornographic movie there.

The fog helped us get out to the island without being spotted.

And we pulled the boat around to a small inlet shielded by the rocks.

The island is filled with cormorants and huge seagulls.

There are nests in almost every tree.

I was a little worried about poison ivy.

It looked like every plant on the island was oily or reddish and had three leaves.

We didn't see much evidence of the structures that stood here.

Hutton bricks from Kingston New York.

Rachel wanted to go for a swim on the East shore where the water looked clear and deep.

We walked back along the seawall,

and disturbed flock after flock of cormorants.

You can't quite see it here - but the trees were filled with egrets.

We paddled back to Staten Island.

Just before it started raining.