Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Long Island
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I agree with DS and the others. In some bodies of water timing the current is the only way to do it. Heading East or West in Long Island Sound is one of those times.
If you do time it right however it can really HELP you instead of being a pain in the arse. For instance every year my gf and I sail our old shoe Morgan 32' (very slow in light air) out to Block Island from Mt. Sinai harbor. We always leave so that we time the start of the Ebb as our departure time. First day we sail a short leg to Mattituck inlet which is only 4 hours (doing an average of 7 knots with current) and then a longer 8-10 hour day to Block the next day. Some years we litterally had to wake up at 3:30AM while it is pitch black outside to get underway for a 4:15 Ebb start. The benefit is that for a good 5 hours we are doing a bare minimum of 7 knots, while sometimes shooting as high as 11 knots over ground (while going through the Race). Gets us to Block in a total of around 12 hours (inlcuding the Mt. Sinai to Mattituck leg). If we were to do one long leg right from Mt. Sinai to Block without stopping it would probably take 18 hours PLUS! Thats because for half the trip we would be doing about 2-3 knots over ground!
So all in all it is a pain to have to deal with it but if used to your advantage it can really give you a speed boost you don't see in other bodies of water.