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Destination Happiness: Overnight stays at Bug Light

There were many good parts of the job, but one of the best was for a bachelor boat captain to ask a potential date, “Would you like to go out to a lighthouse and see the moon rise above it?”

Peter Reich didn’t say how successful he was in persuading someone to join him on Bug Light when he worked bringing guests out to the lighthouse for overnight-stays.

For several years, the East End Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation raised money by allowing guests to stay in Bug Light’s one bedroom for $1,000 a night.

“I took newlyweds or people celebrating anniversaries” or other folks who wanted to spend the night, Mr. Reich said. He would deliver the visitors to the lighthouse and then return later with a catered meal from Claudio’s.

In the morning he’d take the guests off the rocky little island. He also, all told, spent over 30 nights there.

But he wasn’t just running a marine Uber and Grub Hub service. “We’d have to go in and clean the place, change the linen, make it nice for the next guests,” Mr. Reich said.

There were also repairs to be made. He remembers working to get a proper shower and “a few of the things I orchestrated were using North Ferry to deliver concrete for foundation repair and getting Andersen Windows to donate all new windows.”

Guests were enchanted by a spiral staircase leading to the mezzanine overlooking the main floor. There was a queen-size bed against a window with a view of Gardiners Island in the distance. Up a ladder was the “lantern room,” with 360-degree views, and out a hatch, visitors could stand outside on a balcony.

One guest, Dick Gillooly, told the Reporter in 2011 that he and his family had an overnight stay at Bug Light the decade before when his children were teenagers.

Mr. Gillooly remembered being awakened at the break of dawn by seagulls dropping shells on the lighthouse roof. While his children are now grown, that night spent at Bug Light “is still one of their great memories,” he said.

And it was one of the more pleasurable jobs Mr. Reich has ever had, he said, working as a captain delivering people to happiness.