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post #11 of 24 Old 06-14-2007
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USCGRET1990: I have been through the Race a number of times and can't imagine doing it in a 16 footer! I generally exit and return the Sound via the Watch Hill Passage, mainly because it's a shorter hop to Block Island from there and currents aren't quite as strong. Since we usually make stops at Stonington and/or Watch Hill, the Passage is the way to go. Not fun in the fog however!
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post #12 of 24 Old 06-14-2007
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The Great South Bay has been my home cruising territory for 30 years. Do not try to get from GSB to Shinnecock Bay inside. A recent NTM said there shoaling to 1.5 ft. in Moriches Bay. Moriches Inlet is STRICTLY a local knowledge inlet. Duck into Fire Is. inlet and anchor in what is known locally as Sore Thumb (just off the Oak Beach Inn). Then go back out the inlet and down to Shinnecock on the outside. Anchor just off the beach right past the fishing fleet docks. Then back out the inlet and off to Block.
GSB does not have many transiting sailors and there are really only locally known places. You will not find marinas that accomodate boats in transit.
By the way, this assumes you are experienced with running South Shore inlets. Even FI and Shinnecock (which are the best of the lot) can be dangerous to small boats. Transit inlets only on the flood tide (no matter whether you are entering or exiting) unless waves are under 2 ft on the ocean. On the inside of the inlets, there is a lot of shallow water and the channel is constantly shifting. Make sure you have up-to-date charts and follow the Notices to Mariners. All those inlets are notorious.
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post #13 of 24 Old 06-14-2007
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[QUOTE=JimsCAL]USCGRET1990: I have been through the Race a number of times and can't imagine doing it in a 16 footer!

It was in a wood lapstrake Penn Yan with an old 40hp Evinrude on it. The Mrs. was about 3 mos. pregnant. Scary when I think back upon it!
(circa 1972)
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post #14 of 24 Old 06-14-2007
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Jims, I'd agree there is often a wind in the morning and evening as sea/shore temperatures are changing. And more wind to the east of Stony Brook.

But that still leaves a lot of hours in the day, typically from 9-10AM to 5-6PM, when there's nothing in the western sound and damned little west of Stony Brook or worse.

How many times has the ALIR fleet (usually the last weekend in July) rounded Montauk, come up around past Greenport, and then died, and sat without moving for the next 12 daylight hours?

I find July and August to be very much better chances of heat, humidity, and under two knots, than anything else I'd bet on. Not that there isn't some fine sailing to be had despite that--but if I had to plan ahead for 6-7 days to run all the way to Block and come back? Uh-uh, I'd want May, early June, or September.

You can get the last few years of mid-sound buoy data directly from:

NDBC - Historical Data Download

but I find 666 wind speed readings for all of last June, and their average comes out 4.02 knots. Not a lot of wind. Assuming I didn't get the math wrong.

July, 4.6 knots from 564 readings.

August, 4.9 knots, getting a little better--but not reflecting the temperature and humidity we've often had.

More meaningful if you run the numbers from more than one year, of course, they have them available.

The buoy data are interesting to work with, they plop nicely into Excel or Lotus. Fun to see if you'll be going dead downwind in 4 knots (ugh) as well as what the currents will be up to.

Me? I'd rather be in the Atlantic that time of year. Better wind, almost inevitably.
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post #15 of 24 Old 06-23-2007
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hmmmm, I was planning on doing this trip in late july and was oringally thinking go through the Long Island Sound, for scenery, shelter, possible stop by my old college, etc.
Maybe I will check the weather/wind forcasts before doing so and choose either through the sound or south of the sound the morning of the sail. I do remember many windless days at sailing practice at Kings Point in July/August, and those started at 4.... but there were also some days with good breeze, guess the weather forcast will pick it for me.
How far off Long Island do you typically need to stay if you go south of the island?

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Hailing from the West River, MD
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post #16 of 24 Old 06-23-2007
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Transiting the South Shore of LI I generally just follow a 40 ft. depth contour. The bottom is very regular and even. I think the puts me about a half to one mile off the beach, but I have never measured it.
If you are from Cape May, you are probably familiar with running inlets. But only the Shinnecock Bay inlet is "improved" like Cape May inlet. And do some trip planning. Unless you have an unusually fast sail boat, you cannot make the run in one day. So you either go overnight or come into an inlet for the night.
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post #17 of 24 Old 06-23-2007
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Do an overnighter and just come around Montauk for your anchorage in sheltered water with no inlets to worry about.
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post #18 of 24 Old 06-23-2007
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I'm not sure how far off you'd stay for best progress, there's westbound current along the shore further out than you might think, so it is a matter of staying outside the shore currents (more than a mile, perhaps 2-3?) and staying inshore from any commercial traffic, then picking a post where the wind is strong and the swells gentle. In the ALIR races, where the winers don't really want to share nav secrets, it seems to be 3-10 miles out is the sweet range. that will vary of course, you'll see fish traps, ocean buoys, curves to stay out clear of...plenty of room for personal choice.

Matter of fact if you come up in the last weekend of July, you can "escort" the ALIR race fleet.
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post #19 of 24 Old 06-24-2007
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kptmorgan04 I am guessing you are a USMMA graduate. I am a graduate of the Class of 1968 and just retired from there after 28 years on the faculty. Don't let the fear of light winds scare you away from some of the best cruising territory in the Northeast. Acta non Verba!
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post #20 of 24 Old 06-27-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nk235
I actually keep my boat in the Great South Bay and am also planning on doing a trip to Block Island probably in August. If your coming from Brooklyn and want to break up the trip I would enter the bay in Fire Island Inlet which is the Western most part of the bay and then you have about a 15 mile stretch where there are plenty of places to stay for the night either on Long Island's south shore or even if you anchor up by Fire Island where there are a couple real nice outdoor restaurant and bars that are only accesible by boat / ferry. Then the next day you could continue heading east throughtout the other side of the bay and exit via Moriches inlet. But like others have said these inlets can get pretty nast especially when wind and tide are oppossing eachother. If it is a nice calm day you should have no problem but if its blowing or rough out maybe just stay off shore and continue straight out to Block. If you do head into the bay send me a PM and I will give you a list of places to go and how to get there. Have fun though on your trip!
I have a quession about the opposite trip. I now live in the Newport, RI area and have family on Fire Island. I have always had the impression that the Great South Bay is simply too shallow for sailboats. My boat has nearly a seven foot draft. I am out of luck, right?
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