I'm hoping to get out to Cuttyhunk on Saturday and pick up a mooring. I'm guessing that this time of year on a Saturday, there's a good chance there won't be any moorings left if I don't get in early.
I have two questions for our esteemed forum contributors (TB this is right up your ally), what time does the mooring field get filled during peak summer season on a Sat. and if it is full by time I get there, where are the best anchorages in the area? Forecasted winds for Sat night are out of the South at 8mph.
One thing you will find on any morning in Cuttyhunk pond, is the gradual procession of boats heading out the pond enroute to the Vineyard. We typically layover there before heading to Edgartown as well, but usually leave by 8:00 - sometimes later, depending upon the crew.
I've witnessed several boats leaving later in the morning. By 12:00 - 1:00 pm, all moorings in the inner harbor are usually taken for the night ahead. We always find some entertainment in sea weiry late arrivals scrambling for the last moorings.
The outer harbor moorings fill up by mid afternoon - if not earlier. This area as you probably know, is subjected to northerly winds and wakes.
I would guess that during this weekend, moorings may be more plentiful due to forecasted showers and thunderstorms on both Sat. & Sunday - sure put a dent in our Block Island plans. So, you may luck out at any time you arrive there.
If anchoring is necessary, be wary of eel grass and shallow depths in the north anchoarge field. I've found the holding to be fairly decent - although we've only had to do it on one occasion.
Many cruisiers don't realize there are poles (or dolphins) available to the northeast of the pond - directly in front of the Cuttyhunk Yacht Club. I think they're maintained by Frog Pond Marine - but check the posted signs on each pole, which also note the fee - actually cheaper than the Town maintained moorings. I've never taken one - but there always seems to be one or two available.
The notion of planning a cruise around mooring availability is rather limiting.
Cuttyhunk has a decent anchorage outside then inner harbor, which I have anchored in arriving from all "directions" and all hours of the day and conditions. It is one of the two locations where I have dragged in 20 years of anchoring (once), but all the rest of the times the hook stayed. It has eel grass. The approach is very easy in most conditions where you have some visibility.
I seem to recall years ago there was a boat which came by to service the anchorage and selling seafood and picking up trash... but maybe I am dreaming??? Does Aldo still sell his baked goods in Great Salt Pond from a skiff?
It is a convenient stop over if you are transiting the area on your way to the CCCanal, MV or Nantucket or heading the other way to Newport, Block or points west.
The anchorage is exposed to the north, but the prevailing winds are SW and some SE when lows come through.
Anchor out and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Another nice stop to stop is Tarpaulin Cove on Vinyard Sound side of Naushon Island midway down Sound. It's protected from the northern quadrants and exposed to the southeast, but it is completely undeveloped and has good holding.
There's not a hell of a lot to do on CuttyHunk but a short walk, some snacks and maybe buy trinkets and momentos.
Use your hook, save some cash enjoy the freedom and flexibility it offers.
What say you about menempshia? I have never been there and am curious about when to contact the harbor master about a mooring, crusing guide says 8 am but a buddy tells me 7 am. that being said how's the anchoring and conditions there?
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