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  #1  
Old 07-26-2008
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Five days Long Island Sound

Looking for ideas on a possible itinerary, leaving Manhasset Bay early Wednesday, returning Sunday evening. Myself and my 2 boys, 13 and 15. I was thinking Mystic, by way of Mattituck, stopping off at Norwalk on the way back. I'd anchor a couple of nights, put in to a marina a couple of the nights (no shower on board ). Boat's a shoal draft Seaward 25 that I've been sailing on Western LI Sound the past 3 years. Never been beyond Rye.

Are distances reasonable? About 60 miles to Mattituck. Another 35 to Mystic. I am concerned with the boys being bored on long legs.

Mike
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Old 07-26-2008
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They will love Mystic, CT. We just went there - we lucked out and it happened to be the week of the wooden boat show at Mystic Seaport, but you might want to check their website. They have lots of other things going on the whole thing is great. A whaling ship you can go on - (The Charles Morgan)

I highly recommend Mystic Shipyard Marina - It was a GREAT marina. Lots of facilities and nice people. It has a pool, nice showers, and dockmasters that love to show off their "texas-style" lassoing of pilings. (no kidding) It's just south of the drawbridge and easy walking distance to get around.
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Old 07-26-2008
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a little ambitious

Mazzy:

As SaltyGirl says Mystic is a great destination but I think that for your criteria (5 days and 2 young teens) it would be rather ambitious. As adults we look at the "getting there" as the most enjoyable part of the trip. Kids just want to "be there". (Do I here it? "Are we there yet"?) And for them "there" doesn't need to be a nautical museum. Miniature golf, video game hall or even a movie (Batman's now playing) is enough to keep them happy on your shoreside evenings. If they like swimming then an evening on the hook near a beach can be refreshing and provide some nice quiet time. When my daughter was younger we kept the legs to 6 hours max. One of the trips she remembers most was a trip from Oyster Bay to Port Jeff and it was because of the restaurant we had dinner at. They had a kids menu that actually had steak on it and she loved it (she hardly recalls the wasp sting she got 2 hours later while eating italian ice). Whatever you decide have a great trip.

John N.
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Old 07-26-2008
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Rather than doing one long leg to Mattituck, You might think of stopping at Eaton's Neck or anchor off Sheffield Island and going ashore to see the old light house there (however they do charge you a nominal fee to go ashore). We used to anchor behind Charles Island, just before New Haven, and take the kids ashore and explore the island. Port Jefferson is another possibility. Take a hard right after coming through the breakwater and either pick up a mooring (in the middle of the week) or anchor and then you can go ashore on the beach.
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Old 07-26-2008
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Hello,

I do not think Mattituck is a good destination. It's kind of far from the sound, and there is not much to see of do. I would stop at Port Jeff on the south side, or maybe Milford or Bridgport on the north side. If you stop at Port Jeff you will have a real long leg the next day. By staying on the CT side and stopping at Newhaven or so, the second leg won't be so long.

Have a great trip, I'm jealous.

Barry
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Old 07-26-2008
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I am quite familiar with LIS as a cruising destination. I concur that Mystic, etc. is an awfully ambitious destination for a 5 day cruise on a 25 foot boat with two kids. If it were me, and obviously this is purely personal preference and opinion, so feel quite free to ignore entirely, I would consider the following:

Day 1: Oyster Bay (about 15 miles). More particularly, West Harbor. It's basically all the way in and around, and West Harbor sits just to the west of Centre Island (the boot). It's great and easy holding, there's a nice beach, and you even can swim right there off the boat in West Harbor. To get to the beach, go to the north end of West Harbor (in that Seawind you can snug up quite close), go ashore, cross the beach that's right there (you can anchor your dink on that beach), cross the road, and you're at a very nice beach. Likewise, there's a little dive of a restaurant on the water there, very accessible by dink, called the Clam Shack. Not at all fancy, but good for kids.

Day 2: Northport (about 6 miles or so from the anchorage in OB). What people call Northport actually is several harbors and towns. If you go all the way into the harbor, that's really Northport Harbor. You can pick up a mooring very easily and get into town easy enough to find a few restaurants, ice cream parlor and a few other things. The moorings there in large part, but not exclusively, are offered by yacht clubs, and they have nice facilities, including pools, for you and the kids to use. Or, if you would prefer to anchor out you could do that too. Before you get to Northport Harbor proper, there's a spit of land called Sand City (that's an informal name known to the locals). You can anchor there and go ashore for another nice beach.

Day 3. Port Jefferson (about 20 miles). Here, particularly if you're looking to go dockside for a day, I'd go to Danford's, all the way at the head of the harbor. (You also could grab a mooring, or drop a hook in numerous places; Port Jeff is an easy harbor with many options.) Danford's is a very nice place, and has showers. You also are right in the heart of town, and Port Jeff has a lot going on, for kids, and all walking distance from the boat. There's a movie theater not too far of a walk. There's also an awesome ice cream shop in the outside mall very close to the harbor.

Day 4. Mamaroneck (on your return trip, about 25 or 30 miles). There is a town float in the West Basin that allows you to tie up to a dock that's floating in the harbor (you still need a dink to get ashore). Once ashore, you are walking distance to Mamaroneck Avenue, which has a plethora of shops, restaurants, ice cream, and stuff. Plus, the harbor is alongside a very nice park. There's also a Brewer's in the East Basin, that usually has a transient slip or two available, in case you'd rather do that.

Day 5. Back to Manhasset (about 5 miles or so), with enough time to go to Louie's for a celebratory drink for you and some chow for the swabs before going home.

That kind of itinerary, in my opinion, still is a little ambitious because it leaves no room for bad weather, or even just to have a day where you're not moving the boat (it's always nice, I think, to be able to chill out for a day or so every few days on a cruise). Likewise, because you need to make miles every day, you will be forced to motor if the wind is not cooperative, either if it's light or if it's on the nose (more likely for your trip home with the prevailing southwesterlies). If you get bad weather or don't want to motor, I would cut out Port Jeff, as that's about 20 miles past Northport, so it's about 10 hours travel time round trip for you, assuming you're making decent way. That said, assuming you want to sail every day and are willing to motor if necessary, Port Jeff is a very doable outside destination for a five-day cruise.

Mystic, however, would be a killer, in my opinion, especially with kids. You are talking about 90 to 100 miles or so from Manhasset. Assuming you average 4 knots, that's about 24 hours of travel each way, not counting the extra time and distance for entering and exiting harbors for stops along the way. Plus, that far east you really do need to mind the tides, as the current out there is material, particularly for smaller boats, which means you may be getting up at odd hours to catch tide, which you would need to do to maintain the pace you'll need if you do a trip like that over only 5 days.

Also to put it in perspective, from an experienced LIS cruiser, we're taking about an 8 or 9 day cruise in August on a 49 foot boat, and we're leaving from Mamaroneck. We're going with two kids (younger than yours), and we're thinking that Block Island might be too much of a push, and BI is not much further than Mystic. We're figuring that we won't go farther than Sag Harbor on this trip, which is closer than Mystic. Now, that's just us, and we prefer not to push particularly long days on the kids because we don't want them to get bored. Our kids are younger than yours, and surely have less stamina for that kind of thing, so I really don't want to throw water on your plans. The above is just one knucklehead's opinion, nothing more.
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Last edited by danielgoldberg; 07-26-2008 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 07-26-2008
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One more thought. Since you will have your kids on board, you might consider stopping at Norwalk, CT. Go up the Norwalk River and you can tie up at the dock on the right side of the river next to Veteran's Park just before the bridge over the river in South Norwalk. Then it is a two or three block walk to the Norwalk Maritime Center that has a great aquarium and one of only two albino alligators in the world. It would be a wonderful and fun place to take your kids.
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Old 07-27-2008
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions! Dan, you hit it right on the head with Mystic being too aggressive. And Mamaroneck on the return is a great idea, as I can meet up with a stinkpot buddy for the afternoon. Thanks again and I'll post how it went.
Mike
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Old 07-27-2008
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I have lived and fished on the LI Sound for my whole life (i'm only 23 though) but this is the first time I have had my boat there as last year I had one on the south shore of LI. Anyway I agree with everyone else that Mystic is kinda far and would be pushing it. I always thought the same thing that it would be a nice trip to go to for a weekend but then I actually bought my boat in Mystic just this past April and sailed it back. After the 10 hour trip (and that is only going to Mt. Sinai harbor which is the furthest east on LI) I realized how far it is.

I have been trying to hit a different LI Sound cruising spot every weekend. So far out of Port Jeff, Smithtown, Mt. Sinai, Northport, Norwalk, Black Rock and Milford, I liked Port Jeff and Milford the best although Black Rock and Northport were also fun. Milford landing I thought had the nicest facilities with great floating side docks, showers, bathrooms and a short walk into a nice clean town with a few restaurants and bars to choose from. It was also cool to anchor behind Charles Island the next day for a swim off the boat and into the island it self.

Port Jeff is also cool and I have been there many times as it is right next door to me. Unless money isn't an issue I would not recommend staying at Danfords Marina. You will pay a very hefty price per foot. Also the town dock is a fixed pier so if you stay there bring plenty of fenders and fender boards and leave plenty of slack in your lines for low tide. I would just anchor out in one of numerous spots or pick up a mooring. ( I think Silver Bay marine has transient moorings.) Then you can either take the dink or the launch in to town and there are plenty of great restaurants, bars, live music, shops of all kinds.

Anyway have fun! I am so jealous as I was suppossed to have 10 days in August to do a cruise where I was planning on heading east out to Mattituck, Block, Sag Harbor, Greenport, etc. but now because of work I can't go so I am stuck to the weekend thing this summer.
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Old 07-27-2008
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Something just occurs to me about Port Jeff. You can take a mooring at the Setauket Yacht Club in Port Jeff harbor, and that gets you launch service, AND showers! So, if you don't want to pay the price of Danford's, you still can swing on a mooring and have shower access (you mentioned that you don't have a shower, so you were hoping to be somewhere with shower facilities at least for a day or two). I also agree with NK that Milford is very nice. I just didn't mention it because you have only 5 days, and you can't go everywhere!
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