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Old 08-04-2008
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Exclamation The Sand Hole, Lloyd Neck, Long Island

Hi

I post this as a warning (hopefully in the correct forum - please correct me if i should be using another) and also to ask a question.

I went the above place yesterday, after reading the Long Island Sound Embassy guide. The guide told me it was tricky but not how difficult it actually is. There are no buoys marking the channel, and little reference to the underwater jetty, which I hit before then running aground on the sand bar.

I was very lucky to get out with my boat intact. Ten minutes later, after I had escaped I looked back and saw another sail boat aground there (which also got off the jetty/sand)

Does anyone know who I should talk to about whether there are any plans to mark the channel? I read that it is a very popular place for boaters (including sailboats at high tide), and there were many in there yesterday, but first time in is terrible.

Thanks

Angus Scott
Hunter 33
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Old 08-04-2008
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Angus - I had looked at the Sand Hole two years ago as a potential refuge for trips E and W in LI Sound. Anchored off and rowed around in my dinghy. This is not a place for sailboats with any draft - beyond the lack of nav aids, the shoals and bars move around each year according to a local with whom I spoke. It is used by boaters, but I expect they are primarily of the gas propulsion variety and if sail - centerboards or multi hull and 20 feet or so. It is very skinny. I was told there are no plans to mark the channel as people think it's over-crowded already.
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Old 08-04-2008
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I looked into this spot about 3 or 4 years ago while on my Tartan 27'. We draw 3'6" with our centerboard up. I saw the jetty and would not risk it. There are way too many good safe anchorages nearby to try this one (Oyster Bay, Lloyd Harbor etc).
It is a beautiful spot though and if I get ambitious I may try to sail my 19' Lightning around to it sometime, or just hike several miles.
The last tropical system that passed by here (Ernesto) really rearranged the shoals. Leave it for the motorboats and kayakers.
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Old 08-04-2008
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Thanx for the warning, Angus. I've heard varying stories about navigating The Sand Hole but haven't tried for myself yet. With 4 ft of draft, I think I'll pass.

Have you tried Eaton's Neck Basin, 4 nm east? It, too, reputedly started as a sand quarry. Upside: since the Coast Guard uses it, the channel is well marked. Downside: the shoreline is a bird sanctuary...no dinghy landing permitted (and you've got the CG right there to enforce).
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Thanks for the advice guys - I may try Eatons Neck Basin after I have recovered my nerve, but will be giving the Sand Hole a wide berth from now on!
Angus
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Old 08-04-2008
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Angus - I did the same anchor off and dinghy around drill at Eaton's Neck two years ago. Very narrow entrance and the shoal/bars shift around each winter. Not a place for me. If you do try it with a Hunter 33, I'd do it two hours before high tide with a nice strong reverse - the current of the rising tide will be pulling you in. If possible poke around with a dinghy before trying it - as Caleb D says, there's plenty of nice anchorages around the area. Just inside Port Jefferson, you can anchor off nice dunes and beaches either to your port or starboard.
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Old 10-03-2008
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Lloyd Harbor Cove Snags Unwary Sailors

Thanks for the info - was planning on making the quick trip there this weekend in our Cat22 but will pass until I can properly explore the area...

Here is a sample of a good article from the NY Times in 2005:

Lloyd Harbor Cove Snags Unwary Sailors
By DAVID WINZELBERG
©New York Times
Published: June 5, 2005

FROM his backyard on a bluff overlooking the Sound, Kevin Lang gets a gull's-eye view of the pleasure boats gingerly trying to navigate the narrow channel in and out of a crescent-shaped lagoon that boaters call Clam Digger's Cove and that residents call the Sand Hole.

When the weekend weather is good during boating season, as many as a hundred boats try to visit the lagoon. Inevitably, it seems, one or two don't make it through the channel.

Mr. Lang saw it happen again last Sunday evening. ''There was a sailboat stuck at the end of the jetty,'' he said. ''He didn't have a clue. He put it right on the rocks.''

Read the rest of the article at NYT.com

Aloha
J
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Old 12-16-2008
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I draw 4+ feet and have been in there many times. But I have seen lots of boats hit that jetty.
Like an earlier poster said, go into Eatons Neck Basin. It is marked and tends not to be such a zoo on busy weekends.
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Old 12-16-2008
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It is much safer to got o eatons neck if you can just dont go on the right side of the channel as your coming in or else you'd might as well be at the sand hole jetty, other than that eatons neck is a great anchorage with plenty of room for 40+ foot sailboats.
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Old 12-16-2008
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Why not go a tad East and check out the "ruins" behind the sandspit in Northport Bay? A lot more space, well protected, and not difficult to get to. We draw 6'9". Bring your depthsounder; the sand moves around all the time.
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