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velero 01-11-2010 07:49 AM

Annapolis to Block Island
What is the best time to sail to Block Island?


tempest 01-11-2010 08:25 AM

I think alot depends on what you want to do, when you get there. If you want to spend time on the island, swim, bike-ride, Hike, and hang out in shorts and a bathing suit...end of June..July and August. early sept..

I'd stay clear of the 4th of July though, and Race Week, it gets very crowded, unless you like crowds. Mooring balls become hard to find...anchorages get tight, and the marinas raft you up 4 across at the dock. Last year, I discovered that folks sail their boats to block a week or so before the 4th...and leave them on a mooring ball..and take the ferry home...Just so they can have a spot for the
4th of July. Why? because a week on a mooring ball..costs less than one night in a slip..

Winds can be unpredictable, last year around the 4th, we had everything: Windless days, Rain, and then clocking systems with everything from 10-15's up to 15-25's. from every point... You can usually count on Fog..

The best combination of wind, warmth, warm water and fewer crowds..might be early sept? But, then, I'd go anytime thoughout the summer! Keeping clear of the 4th. ( unless you get there early and get a spot)

IF you go outside from Cape May, it's about 35 hours..+ or Minus...If the prevailing SW winds have set should get a nice ride

zz4gta 01-11-2010 09:11 AM

Block Island race week of course... ;)

velero 01-13-2010 07:46 AM

What waterguide do you recommend when planning a trip from Cape may to Block Islad?


tempest 01-13-2010 09:06 AM

Hi Velero

IF you are planning the inside route, I use the " Waterway Guide" Northern Edition. I also carry a copy of " The Cruising Guide to the New England Coast" by Duncan and Fenn. covers more than the area you will be in..but a great book imo with lots of local information tips.

The most valuable book though, will be.. Eldridge for tides and currents or
Reeds...Timing the East River passage and the Race of Long Island very key.

You've got two options imo, direct to B.I. from Cape May...or up the NJ coast, east river to long island sound and then across block island sound.
The South Shore of Long island inlets can be very tricky.

Best stops in NJ ..( inlets) Atlantic City, Manasqaun.

On long island sound, I prefer the north shore of LI stops as opposed to the Connecticut side. Manhasset bay, Huntington Bay, Port Jeff, then maybe over to Old Saybrook..and overnight in the Connecticut River, sets you up nicely for catching the current turn at the Race..and on to Block.
I think it takes me about 6 hours...point to point.

Fun Trip

wwilson 01-13-2010 11:18 AM


The guide will be useful only to Cape May. From there to Block the guides are pretty silent. If Block really is your destination then hang in Cape May and wait for a S wind. Anything less than 25-knots will be a pleasant ride in a 49 foot boat. It is 208-nm anchorage to anchorage Cape May to Block Island's Great Salt Pond. Our last trip back was 29-Hr, 13-min, but that was unusually quick for our smaller, 39 ft boat.

Generally the winds from the S will be more dependable by May-June. If you do go in a N wind - the trip is longer (hours and miles) and can get tedious if the boat is punching through waves hour after hour.

In the summer there is enough variation in the wind that if you listen to NOAA Wx radio you will be able to get a N wind back to Cape May.

Go in and edit that Title line from Black Island to Block Island and you may get some more advice on the topic from others :)


velero 01-13-2010 01:35 PM

Thanks Wayne. I changed the title in my post but can't change the link. Maybe one of the moderators can make the change. The plan is to sail straight to Block Island from Cape May and maybe go to Atlantic City on our way back. I have been to NYC a couple of times and want to go further north.

wwilson 01-13-2010 01:57 PM


Whoops - so you did [Black to Block edit]! Sorry for the "ping".

You will enjoy Block. It has two harbors, but the Pond is everyone's favorite. Try and get in on a spring or summer weekday and you will find an anchorage spot easily, or maybe even a mooring. Throttle back the "personal space" you may demand at anchor. Folks there anchor cheek-by-jowl on crowded weekends, and it works. Block is a very pretty destination in itself. Take the dinghy to the sand spit and walk the ocean side beach, rent a jeep and drive the island, some good restaurants ashore, and hail Aldo over for pastry and a newspaper on Sunday.

Newport is only a day sail from Block. Put it on your itinerary if you have the time. It has something for everyone and a huge anchorage that spares you from the nuisance of "reserving" moorings or dock space in advance. They run a great water-taxi service, so distance from the town dock is not an issue.

Good trip to you,

chef2sail 01-14-2010 08:21 PM


We went to Block last year after our night of runing down the Delaware Bay to Cape May. The way to Block depends on what you want to do and of course your crew. WWilson has given you good advice about traveling the outside route which we have done. I would figure on 30-35 hours. We chose last year to enjoy stopovers in some of the towns along the LI Sound, lots of which are neat. We went from Cape May to Barnegat Inlet (72 miles or so), Barneget to Atlantic High;ands (52 mi), up the East River ( go with the incomming through Hell Gate) to Northport (48 mi) a place we will go back to over and over again, Branford (30 miles), Westport (30miles), Mystic (30 miles) then Block Island (25 miles). Nice day trips...moored or anchored up by 3 and ashore for a tour and dinner every night (some nights we did eat on the boat). Southbound we hit Essex, Port Jefferson, Manesquan, Atlantic City and then Cape May. Aldo is very expensive by the way when he is comming to your boat, but visit his tratorria in the city for the best Gelatos.

This year we are headed to Marthas Vineyard via Newport, Cuttyhunk...then retirn by Greenport, Essex, Northport, Liberty Landing (by Ellis Island), Atlantic City.

If you want more info feel free to PM me.


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