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  #1  
Old 02-18-2010
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Port Judith Harbor of Refuge

I will appreciate any local knowledge about spending a few days in Port Judith Harbor of Refuge (RI) in late May or early June. Bottom type? Holding? Places to dinghy ashore?

From the charts the depths are fine for my 6' draft boat.
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Old 02-18-2010
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Good luck! I'm planning on anchoring there a little later!
Let us know what you find.
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Old 02-18-2010
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I was immediately going to suggest you go into the pond for a better stay..... until I read your last sentence....... although you still could. I have spent about 10 nights around the Plato and Gardiner Islands up in the pond over the last 15 years and it's a much nicer place to be. I've only anchored once in the Harbor of Refuge and it was VERY UNCOMFORTABLE. It's just what is says - a place of Refuge when it hits the fan. It's protected from the really big waves but if the wind is coming off the ocean they seem to build up fairly quickly again and the wind is just as strong as if you were outside the Very Substantial Breakwater. Some people try to get right up in the wind shadow of the breakwater. Also the Fishing, Ferries, and Large Powerboats make plenty of waves themselves to add to what comes in through the 2 inlets. I've done the run up to Gardiner, hooked to the right around it, and stayed in the deeper area where most do even at low tide with a 5' draft a few times but it's close. At mid to high tide 6' will be close ..... but OK .....as long as you follow the channel - Perfectly. There are places to eat that you can dingy to from the Harbor which is a plus though, since in all these years I have never found a place to tie up a dingy once you are Inside the pond to visit the Major Eatery on the NE shore as you come in.
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Old 02-18-2010
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I'm trying to make my college homecoming and then meet up with my girl friend's family fishing trip. The family visit is within walking distance of the Point Judith light so the HR is very attractive. My boat is pretty heavy and I've been quite comfortable in what others consider bumpy conditions. My principal interests are depth and dinghy access. Activecaptain.com had some interesting information but I'm still interested in local information. I do appreciate postings from Stan and Eric.
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Old 02-18-2010
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Ausp,

Your choices are to stay in the harbor, or go up the pond.

If you stay in the harbor, I would anchor in the NE corner where there are boats moored. You could probably dinghy to the beach from there, although I have not done so myself.

If you decide to go in the pond, do so at slack tide. I think it is a favorite sport of the beachgoers to watch boats trying to get through the inlet when the tide is running. There are places inside to land, but none are really "dinghy docks". I might be a little concerned about leaving my dinghy overnight.

If you decide to stay in the harbor, be prepared for a really bumpy night.

Scott
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Old 02-18-2010
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try for the inside if possible. As stated if a wind or swell kick up its not soo nice in there, plus lots of traffic. I have surfed good sized (6'+) breakers inside the breakwater/s. There are gaps in it and swells can make their way in.

if there is not a swell running, or at least one that is not in the S to SE window then you should be good. I do not know when you plan on doing so but keep an eye on the buoys and surf reports for the best info.
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Old 02-19-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
My boat is pretty heavy and I've been quite comfortable in what others consider bumpy conditions. My principal interests are depth and dinghy access.
Since you seem pretty well set on the Harbor over the Pond I should add that anchor setting and holding were good. Even though I only spent 1 night I had to re-anchor because the guy in back of me yelled to say I was too close to his anchor..... maybe, maybe not.... but anyway... I pulled up and re-anchored again in 20' of water well away from him in about 15kt winds with no problem. Even though it is a fairly large harbor, on a Saturday night it's surprising how fast it shrinks when looking for a 300' swing circle amongst the lobster pots, access channel running through the center of the harbor, and the other boats. And..... being on a point at the junction of LI Sound, NGBay, and the big bad ocean I wouldn't consider dropping anchor without having that full 360 degree swing available because overnight/next day/ afternoon SWesterly 180 degree wind shifts in NGBay and the area are the Norm not a maybe. As for comfort.... I do usually spoil myself with better protected areas but at 18,000 lbs. my boat rides it out pretty well..... but like I said .....Uncomfortable
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Old 02-19-2010
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Thanks again to all for input.

I wouldn't say I'm set on the Harbor; I wanted to be clear that I'm not worried about a little bumpy. *grin*

I really do appreciate the local input. I'll spend some time looking at the chart and guides for info on the Pond.

On which note, what cruising guides for LIS would you recommend that cover East to Point Judith?
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Old 02-19-2010
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I don't have the names and numbers of the specific guides or charts off hand but they are either in the cellar now or on the boat which I'll be visiting tomorrow. I have the LIS guide but I don't think PJP is on that. I know it's in the NGBay one though. I'll see what I can dig up this weekend.
OK.... now for the downsides of the PJPond As I mentioned there is no place that I could ever see to even land a dingy in the mouth area of the pond (big beach on the Harbor though) and most of the shorelines look private further in or Fisheries at the mouth. Also especially with your 6' draft there is really no place I have ever seen to anchor until you go way up and circle around Gardner Is. Back with my C28 at 4.5' I used to cut between Plato and Gardner but not now even with 5'. One eye on the chart or chart plotter, the other eye on the markers, and your 3rd eye on the depth sounder It's a good test for your GPS Chartplotter especially at below mid tide when you pass within a few feet of sand bars with gulls walking around on them - dry There does look like some Transient Dockage and Fuel on the West side coming in but I've never checked it out.Oh... ya.... the guide warns of the tidal flow through the entrance which even back with my C28 or C320 was really no big deal..... like "The Race" for a hundred yards..... there's just not that much water flowing from or to the Pond. If you want to see some serious tidal action that makes you get a bit squirrelly go up to the end of the Sakonnet River where Mt. Hope Bay is trying to flow through only a slightly wider neck
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Old 02-19-2010
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A Cruising Guide to the New England Coast, by Duncan & Fenn It covers the entire area you mentioned. Heed what it says about PJHR. I've been there in benign conditions, and it was comfortable. Easy access at night. But it can be dangerous in a NW squall and you may find much of the anchorage unsuitable if you don't like anchoring in kelp.

This Cruising Guide is written for sailors. If you don't have it aboard you will be missing a lot.
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Last edited by FishSticks; 02-19-2010 at 07:28 PM.
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