We anchored outside of Potters Cove last summer...had no issues with a SW wind. Ill tell you however just acroos in Stonington there was no room to anchor with their huge morring field unless you stayed outside at the breakwater exposed. We took a mooring there.
I have anchored in Stonington quite a few times and favor it as an anchorage because they actually have a designated anchorage area. It is within the mooring field so you have to find it, but we have anchored in there w/ several boats and there was plenty of swinging room.
Perhaps it's gone now?
I will NOT use a mooring unless absolutely forced to do so; I don't trust them more than my anchor tackle, as so many above have stated.
I think it's absolutely disgusting the way the NE has totally blanketed so many nice anchorages with moorings leaving no place for visitors to anchor. Of course, I doubt that any of these communities give a rat's a*s about cruisers or visiting sailors as we just do not put enough MONEY into the local coffers; like a couple of dozen tour buses a day. Anyway, they've "Got Mine" so screw everyone else! Just like the Keys.
On my circumnavigation, everywhere we went the folks realized that we had worked hard to get there (sailing), not just paid money and sat in a window seat aboard a plane. They were extremely hospitable and the exchange of cultures and ideas was a two way street.
As communities put economic interests before the great pleasure of meeting new people who have come to visit, it is both parties that lose. $150.00 to $200.00 a week for a visitor's mooring is not hugely conducive to "hanging around and making friends".