Block Island, RI & a porta potti
I've read the old threads, etc. but the info I desire is not found.
I'm hoping to make a trip in 3weeks (~may 10)
I have a porta potti and want to know where to get it emptied?
will the pump out boat do it? will it be operating yet?
since I imagine things will be quiet where should I anchor?
the embassy guide hints at "the hogpen" in past payne's dock???
Just how lonely will I be?
I've been going there since I was a kid with my parents, but they never dared anchor in the great salt pond and had a holding tank
on other ?'s I'd be giving the answers, but these I don't know
thanks in advance
hogpen, quite a rowdy reputation with the tuna tower set. You sure about your draft? But there won’t be much of a crowd there this time of year. Anchoring will be plenty, town moorings (lime green) available $35/night. But the holding is good throughout the Great Salt Pond, if you’re in any doubt about restrictions the harbor master is helpful and staffed at this time.
Pumpout will be running, they’ve got multiple hose adapters for deck fittings, but I’d call the harbor master, they offer the service, on a land line to confirm what kind of fitting they’d require.
You may be wise to call ahead. The GSP Harbor Dept Pump-out boat can be reached at: 401-466-3204. Personally, I've never gone this early in the season - so can't help you with the schedule.
We've also always anchored or rented moorings in GSP on our boats with holding tanks. The pump-out boat, if running in early May, is a free service and should be able to empty your porta-potti by using a lower pump pressure.
Just east of Paynes is a good anchorage since it's a closer trip to shore - but watch the depth there. Personally, given the availability of plenty of moorings then and if only spending a couple nights, I would op to pick one up.
Contact those marinas for pump out :
In Great Salt Pond:
Champlin's Marina: Ch 68 or 401-466-7777
BI Boat Basin: Ch 9 or 401-466-2631
Payne's New Harbor Dock: No VHF call 401-466-5572
On the East shore:
Old Harbor Dock: Ch 12 or 401-466-3235
Ballard's Inn: Ch16 or 401-466-2231
Let me know if you'd need more information about the mooring and anchorage areas and nav aids... I don't live there, but I've been there with my sailboat, which has a porta potty, and powerboat, which has a full head system. If you can use the shore services, you'd not need the use the porta potty. However, for over nights on mooring or anchor, just contact them and let them know that you are coming. They are really helpful. But I wouldn't trust the shore hands on East shore, since they were not so experienced last summer.
I'd recommend you to call the places in advance to ask any specific questions you may have.
I hope that helps.
I went to Block Island last year for the first time on my 25' sloop and also just had a small sani poti - no real holding tank. I am sure the pump out boat could do it for you but what I did was just detach the holding tank part of the sani poti and brought it in on the dink and emptied it out in the porta johns they have all around the marinas. I only had to do it once and it was very clean and easy to do. We also just anchored out in the Great Salt Pont because we were there last year in the height of the season and it was pretty busy. Unless you have a lot of rode, anchor to the sides of the harbor because the Great Salt Pond is very deep in the middle and usually the larger boats anchor up in the middle.
Now that I have a new, bigger boat I can't wait to get back to Block this year. I'm planning on going end of August. Have fun on your trip!
The Hogpen is pretty much power boats only. I've never seen a transient cruising sailboat in there. Get a town mooring or a slip in one of the marinas.
when referring to the hogpen I meant the bay in there...atleast thats how I read the cruising guide
there are usually a few fishing boats in there on moorings, not sure if there would be sufficient room
read your cruising guide and tell me what you make of it
it says something like "its the best place to be in a blow"
it clearly wasn't referring to the marina so I assumed they meant the mouth of trim pond. the chart has a 10' sounding
The 'Hogpen' is a separate little marina at least 1/8 mile inland from Payne's docks. Its right along the road that leads from Paynes and all the other marinas in the GSP towards town. Yes... would be the best place on BI in a storm as it is basically a little pond well inland protected from waves and even mostly protected from wind. I've only noticed a few mooring balls in there (I think) over the years and I don't know if it is associated with Paynes or not..... so I don't know who you would contact.
I know where Hogpen is as Christy describes. Its a great place if you can get a spot there. You are right next to the road that gets you into and out of the New Harbor and there are a few great restaurants right along that road. If your moooring in that area - you are literally a few hundred feet away from where you can get onto land (not sure if they have a public dingy dock there - there is one just west of Paynes).
Good luck and have fun!
We tried approaching hogpen when all moorings were filled last summer and high winds were expected. I was reluctant to go very far, since the dredged channel is VERY narrow and shoals quickly to very shallow depths to each side and we draw 5'-2". Once you're in the cove though, there's plenty of 8-10 ft water.
Lucked out and got a mooring just off the BI Boat Basin - excellent spot, which I would recommend. Like I mentioned above, there should be plenty of moorings in GSP in early May.
We take our kayaks into the creek that continues beyond hogpen - flows past 4 or 5 moorings, the smallish HogPen Marina - which is definitely powerboat oriented, under a road bridge and winds seemingly for miles, opening up into wider ponds. If you get a chance to do it, you'll be sure to make it a seasonal tradition - even if it's just on your motorized dink.
Wherever you end up, you're sure to have a great time.
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