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Old 07-22-2013
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Trip to Block Island...

I am really not much of a cruiser yet as this is my first year with this boat. I am curious about a trip to Block Island though. Some friends do an annual sail out there so I can tag along but I would like to know the area before venturing out of course.
Where do I anchor overnight on the island to be within a dighy ride to get some food and drink? It is an overnight trip from Upper Narragansett Bay where I am moored and would like to make sure that it is a comfortable one.

It is not a plan this year but one never knows
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Old 07-22-2013
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Re: Trip to Block Island...

Blu, You'd anchor in Great Salt Pond on the western side of the island. You could head to the 1 bi on the northern tip of the island leaving it and the island to port then follow the coast to the entrance to the pond. The entrance is pretty straight forward if there's no fog, narrow but plenty deep enough in the channel. The main channel is straight ahead. The anchorage area is to port of the main channel. Generally speaking the further away you are from the docks the less crowded you'll be. Make sure you get a good set, and check your swing in relationship to those around you. I'd avoid any shallow mounds. And there is a restricted area. Check your chart.

I don't know how far up the bay you are, but you probably could make this trip in a day.

In addition to anchoring, there are town moorings 1st come 1st serve ( green balls) There are private mooring balls that may be available for rent if the owners are away
( assigned by the harbormaster, ch 12 ) And then there are slips at a couple of marinas.

There are lots of tips and tricks one could discuss about a visit there but that's the broad brush.
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Old 07-22-2013
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Re: Trip to Block Island...

Thanks

Keep the tips and tricks coming, a broad brush is fine on an open thread.

Bill
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Old 07-22-2013
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Re: Trip to Block Island...

Quote:
Originally Posted by blutoyz View Post
I am curious about a trip to Block Island though.
Where do I anchor overnight on the island to be within a dighy ride to get some food and drink? It is an overnight trip from Upper Narragansett Bay where I am moored and would like to make sure that it is a comfortable one.
As Tempest said, you'll anchor/moor in Great Salt Pond. A popular bar/restaurant is The Oar right there at the head of the pond in New Harbor. I think there are much better choices to eat in town (certainly more choices), which is about a 20 minute walk. Also about the same distance to town beach, one of the greatest beaches in New England.
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Old 07-22-2013
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Re: Trip to Block Island...

I would suggest not making your first trip during prime time. Mid-week or off season weekends are wonderful.

This might provide you the chance to get a town mooring. At prime time the anchorage can be full, the holding is OK, but not great, and depending on the spot you might need lots of scope. Honestly, the anchorage can be a nightmare or a non-event. The biggest problem can be depth and idiots who don't put out enough scope and/or anchor on top of you.

The prevailing SW winds make the mooring field and marinas fairly calm, even in a blow as they are protected by the land mass. As the wind comes up over that land mass it tends to build a bit across the pond making the wind and chop worse the farther out into the anchorage you get. A lovely anchorage but the dinghy ride in can be long, wet and windy.

I think The Oar has some of the best food on the Island as far as price vs. quality and selection. The Mohegan is also great, it's a brew pub and the food portions are huge.

Use the dinghy dock in front of the Oar. Showers are available in town or at the town beach.
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Re: Trip to Block Island...

Rob is right. Block can be a zoo this time of year on weekends. Can be done, especially if you are willing to have a long dinghy ride, but you will be on drag alert. Not just yours, but everyone around you. High winds are obviously concerning, but no wind can be worse. You really need a sweet spot. Moderate winds with a weekend that is forecast to be a washout to keep people away, but turns out nice afterall.

Getting from the upper bay to Block should be no problem. I don't know why, but I often have this mental picture of it being a short open ocean run from Point Judith to Block and it is. However, you are actually exposed to open water from Beavertail at the bottom of Jamestown (Conanicut Island), making the open water portion twice as long.

If you haven't head out that way much, the swell just south of Beavertail is usually higher than what you'll find in open water. I must be due to the ocean funneling up the Bay.

From Warwick, it must be approx 30 miles all in. Nice trip, you should be sure to get it in eventually. Literally, the place become a no brainer on the weekend following Labor Day.
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Old 07-22-2013
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Re: Trip to Block Island...

I'd wait until the fall. Cooler weather, fewer boats and possibly a better breeze. If you get lucky, a cold front will come through the day before and you'll sail downwind the entire day. Depending where you are on the Bay it is a 25-30 mile trip. That's 5-6 hours on a decent day. Have a great sail!
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Re: Trip to Block Island...

Thanks all
I would definitly do mid-week or off season...I hate tourists

I am 2 hours to the Jamestown bridge in a breeze so it is all of six hours to the block. The trick is to get my wife comfortable with someone puppy-sitting because the kids (two 80 pounders) are not sea-dogs.
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Re: Trip to Block Island...

Block Island is one of southern New England's most popular cruising destinations and for good reason. I've been going there for 30 years and hope to do it for a quite a few more. In July and August, even midweek means dealing with a tight anchorage and little chance of picking up a town mooring except in the morning as a boat leaves. If the long dinghy ride doesn't look like fun, Oldport Launch serves the moorings and anchorage. For a day at the beach, just take your dinghy to the eastern shore of the pond in the northern corner (just look for the mass of dinghys) and walk over the dunes to Crescent Beach.
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Re: Trip to Block Island...

Much of the anchorage is 50 feet deep and not-so-great holding. Have plenty of anchor rode and a big anchor and you'll be ok. As you anchor, see if you can ask any nearby boats what scope they are using. We have all chain, so I like to anchor near others that are chain, figuring the swing as the wind shifts will be similar on the shorter chain scope. But recently, one neighbor had line going into the water because all his chain was out, not because he was on all line.

I've seen one boat dragged into another. It was a late arrival and IIRC, he chose a spot that I figured was not good. Maybe I tried there earlier or something.

If you come to Montauk, let me know so I can arrange a car for your use.

Regards,
Brad
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