Tartan 27' owner
Join Date: Jan 2008
Thanked 134 Times in 126 Posts
Rep Power: 10
(Channeling Doug Sabbag on a bad day)
Are you really asking about the LI Sound in NY/CT or are you asking about any long island? There are several Long Islands and one of them is in the Bahamas. They've got a Cat Island there too but it does not claw too much.
You sail on a lake or a river right? Doesn't the current flow around any islands in a river? Same deal with the tides. Sometimes there are eddies or gyres like in the ocean around the Gulf Stream.
LI Sound is an interesting place to sail but it is not at all as intense as places like the Bay of Fundy up in Canada where the tidal range is like 40'. LI Sound has a tidal range of about 8' at it's highest range. The currents in most of LI Sound are not that high with 2 knots being a high number. The places that get the most intense currents in the LI Sound are at the choke points (The Race, Plum Gut & East River) where the tides flow in and out. There you can have 4 - 5 knots of current which is nearly impossible to sail through on a sailboat if you hit the current wrong. So you plan for going with the tides at the choke points but the rest of it you just harden up and deal with.
I've never seen a tug with a barge waiting for the tide to go in their favor on LI Sound or in the Hudson River. The tugs plow through the current even at the choke points 'cause they have big-assed engines and they can.
Speaking of the Hudson River, it flows both ways, north and south at nearly 2 knots each way. It is quite a fun place to sail and even better for a sailboat race as it adds another layer of variability.
Tides and currents are fun and can be both helpers or adversaries depending on the direction of the wind.
Come on up. I'm sure we got some whiskey you could drink up he'ah.
Personally, I like cheap beer - and lots of it.
"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen
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