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wwilson 04-15-2003 05:20 AM

Long Island Sound Visit
We are sailing from Annapolis to NYC, then on to Block Island this July. We plan 8 days on LI sound and are looking for suggested stops. The boat draws 6''1" so that somewhat limits the possibilities. Anchor, mooring, or slip are all acceptable options.

Currently planning on The Sand Hole as 1st night (enough water for our draft?) and Mystic as the last 2 nights prior to the Block Island - Cape May leg. btw we plan to arrive Block Sunday afternoon - most boats going or gone by then? Would like to grab a mooring there.


hamiam 04-15-2003 12:33 PM

Long Island Sound Visit
Just a word of warning the sailing in the sound can involve ALOT of motoring as the wind - especially in the Western Sound - can be quite light. I would suggest that you cut the number of days in the sound down and head up to Newport. Its about an 8 hour sail from Mystic and it is about a 4 hour sail from Newport to Block Island. For destinations in the Sound I would check out the Thimble Islands east of New Haven, CT as well as Shelter Island, NY at the end of Long Island. You probably have too much draft for Cockles Harbor on Shelter Island but you would be fine in Deering Harbor. Mystic is a good stop; lots to do, places to eat, etc. Stonington, CT is also a nice town but is more relaxed than Mystic. I live in NYC and we keep our 35'' sailboat in Newport. Best of luck. Do not attempt the cut into New Harbor on Block Island at night or in the fog unless you are VERY familar with the area. New Harbor has a tendency to be quite crowded during the summer especially on holiday weekends. Would not suggest going to New Harbor given the powerboater propulation, lack of depth, and small anchoring area. Good luck.

HHJ 04-15-2003 01:16 PM

Long Island Sound Visit
The Sand Hole is tight, shallow and popular. Go to and enter the Lat/Long of 40 56''11''N/73 29''22"W at a scale of 1:20,000 for a detailed chart and try to avoid a weekend. You''ll see from the chart that you won''t be able to use the northern half at all.

wwilson 04-15-2003 06:48 PM

Long Island Sound Visit

Thanks for the tips. I''ll have a look at the Thimbles and Shelter. My plan for Block was to pick up one of the New Harbor City moorings if the weekend crowd had thinned by 4:00 or 5:00 on Sunday. Do you advise avoiding even that, or was your warning about heading further into New Harbor?


I have e-charts of the whole cruise that I''ve been looking at on my PC. I see what you mean about the upper portion of the Sand Hole. I expect to be in that area by 4:00 p.m. on a Monday - sounds as if I need to plan a back up stop somewhere else.

Thanks both - I appreciate your local knowledge.


hamiam 04-16-2003 06:56 AM

Long Island Sound Visit
My warning was more for staying in the channel on the way into Great Salt Pond. It is quite narrow and the outside breakwater (on the ocean side) is actually SOUTH of the actual channel. As for inside the pond there is enough water under the town moorings to accommodate your boat. Holding ground in the anchoring area is not especially good so, if you have to anchor, put out plenty of scope and/or use 2 anchors. The pond gets shallow east of payne''s docks and near the shore at champlin''s. In my opinion, a mooring is the way to go if you can''t get slip space at the Block Island Boat Basin. The Basin, unlike Champlin''s and Payne''s does NOT raft boats together. If payne''s is empty and you dont have to raft i wud recommend it as it is ALOT cheaper than the basin and champlin''s. open town mooring are a little tough to come by so be forewarned. if you want a list of things to do (and not do) on block, let me know.

slipacre 04-18-2003 07:37 AM

Long Island Sound Visit
Just one other thing - there are enough tides and currents in Long Island sound to make them a factor. What may look like a days run may end up being a long day - especially if you are sailing and the winds and or current are not behind you.
todd V

teetor 04-22-2003 09:48 AM

Long Island Sound Visit
With your draft, you''re pushing your luck at Sand Hole. Try instead:
1. Anchoring at Lloyd Harbor (hang a right at the lighthouse when entering Huntington Harbor)
2. Anchoring behind Great Captain''s Island on CT shoreline. Beautiful scenery, free view of local fireworks show on Friday nights
3. Free town moorings in Port Washington, always available.

Re Block Island: I''ve only entered Great Salt Pond at night - knock on wood, no problems as long as you follow charts carefully. Sunday morning moorings start emptying out - keep a lookout and you should be able to grab one, unless it''s a holiday weekend. I''ve anchored there three times in blows, holding ground is pretty good near center of pond.

sailorjim 04-22-2003 10:55 AM

Long Island Sound Visit
I concurr with a previous comment. LI Sound is fickle as far asa the wind is concerned. Also, the Bayliner crowd can be fierce on a nice weekend.

Block Island on the 4th weekend. be prepared to anchor and avoid at all costs Old Harbor. Nothing there but a bunch of strange ones wearing a ton of gold and pouring hard booze down their throats while trying to impress the girls from Cranston.

Newport is a much better place. Plenty of water, resturants, watering holes etc. Morings are available and inexpensive. Good launch service and a couple of dinghy docks, one free, the other paid. Also a good anchorage at Dutch Issland and Wickford is a delightful place. Try Pleasant Street Wharf in Wickford for transient slips or moorings.

Silmaril 04-22-2003 06:18 PM

Long Island Sound Visit
I would avoid Block Island during the week of the 4th AT ALL COSTS! The salt pond is tremendously crowded during then, and they raft 4 to 5 deep at all the marinas. And getting a town mooring during then is impossible. If a breeze kicks up, or a storm runs through, there will be dragging boats everywhere! Millions of dollars of damage, and it''s always some fool with a 37'' Sport Fish on 2:1 scope with a 15lb lunch hook out.

What a shame, because I have been going to "The Block" for almost 40 years and it is one of my favorite places. Steer clear during "The Season" and enjoy it''s charms when it is not crowded.

The western end of LI Sound is notorious for it''s lack of wind, and it''s famous "5 O''Clock Lull" Try and stay east of middle ground. The Thimbles make a nice waypoint, but can also get crowded during the summer weekends. If you need to "Go West" in the Sound, the Norwalk Islands are an excellent place to stop. Stay near the outer islands, and the channel leaves little room for error. Eaton''s Neck on the LI side is neat also, as long as you don''t draw over 6''.

Just remember that the local nickname for LIS is "The New York River". Lots of commercial traffic to watch out for. Barges, Tankers, and Container ships ply those waters quite regularly.

Gee, wonder why I sail there!

HHJ 04-25-2003 09:19 AM

Long Island Sound Visit
Hey teetor -- how do you identify those Port Washington town moorings and where do you find them?


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