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mrc06405j 11-15-2011 10:52 AM

Long Island Sound to Chatham, MA
Hi all,

I will be sailing from Essex, CT Chatham, MA in the the Spring.

How long should it take? What is a good route and what are the best places to drop an anchor.

Any other suggestions would be welcome.



denby 11-15-2011 07:34 PM

Welcome aboard Mike. What size and make boat are you using for this trip? From Essex I would stop at either Point Judith or Cuttyhunk. But it depends on what boat we're talking about.

tempest 11-15-2011 08:10 PM

also, something like Block Island, Martha's Vinyard, Hyannis, Chatham..

Size, might help.

KindOfBlue 11-15-2011 09:58 PM

You can go on either side of the Elizabethan Islands. You can even go half way up Buzzards Bay and out into Vineyard Sound via Quicks or Robinson's hole. Check the currents and the conditions because going up Vineyard Sound against the currents can be slow and Buzzards Bay can be rough. If both are in your favor, pick your route and stops. Some options are Block Island, Newport, Cuttyhunk, Menemsha, Tarpaulin Cove, Hadley's Harbor, Vineyard Haven, Edgartown and Hyannis. Given that trip, you have so many options. It should take about 18-25 hours door to door depending on conditions, size of boat, etc. Have fun, it should be a nice trip.

mrc06405j 11-15-2011 09:59 PM

Hi all,

I will be sailing in a Catalina 22 swing keel. I will have an experienced crew along with me.

jimrafford 12-12-2011 12:35 PM

That's a long way on a small boat. Make sure you have enough time to enjoy some of the stops. 2 weeks is good.
I love Chatam. We were there for several days this past summer. Stage Harbor Marine is very accomidating and it's a short walk to town from the landing.
Invest in an Eldridge. Current is a big factor. You will want to spend some time studing the currents about when and where you need to be. If you don't time it correctly you will spend a lot of time staring at the same point shore getting nowhere w/ your boat. I spent half a day once tacking back to the same spot off of Newport because we missed the tide change.
Either end of Fishers, the inner harbor at Point Judith, multiple places up Buzzards bay on both sides, are all nice anchorages. Block is a zoo and the anchoring is poor.
Pay attention to the weather. The bay can get real nasty very quickly for a small boat.

Bene505 12-12-2011 02:42 PM

I'd just add that there is some good anchoring at Block for a 22 foot boat. Just avoid where it's 50 feet deep and anchor where it 25 feet deep or less. You could try right along the boundry of the anchorage, along the north side of the anchorage (NE corner of the harbor) should be good.

Cuttyhunk is a personal favorite.

I'll second the statement about watching the tides. Also if you are going through Plum Gut or the Race, watch out for current against wind (waves get steeper) .


chef2sail 12-13-2011 01:01 AM

Cuttyhunk is definitely a place to stop along the route. My favorite also. Stay there to set you up for the tides heading north. From Essex I would consider Noank or Fishers. Then Cuttyhunk, then Vineyardhaven to Woods hole.


smurphny 12-19-2011 01:26 PM

There are many ways to go. Are you planning a few stops to sight-see or do you just need to get there as fast as possible? In any case, +1 on checking currents: LIS, Block I Sound, Plum, The Race, all have lots of current to deal with. Going across from Block to Vineyard Sound or Buzzards, you have a rotary current which has to be planned for. THERE IS OFTEN FOG in the entire MV area. It can be pea soup and last for days. In fog be very careful. Block I Sound can get very nasty. Wait for a good forecast. I don't know what speed you can make but you can usually go from PJ Harbor all the way to Block on a good day or you can alternately anchor behind Fishers I which is a very nice spot. New Harbor at Block is a good place to be in any weather. Stay away from the holes between The Eliz. Islands and unless you have local help except for Quicks which is not bad. There is a great anchorage at Hadley Harbor but Woods Hole has strong current and unforgiving rocks. I've navigated these parts for years. If you have specific questions send me a pm.

rwy36 01-31-2012 08:08 PM

Stonington is a nice stop for those transiting east out of Fishers Sound. There is a small anchorage on the west side of the channel inside the inner breakwater. A nice dinghy dock is available just south of the Skipper's restaurant (northeast across the harbor from the anchorage) which also has water available. We have been in there on a couple of weekends when the boat traffic rocks things up a bit, but all in all, it's not a bad spot.

I second other the other comments regarding BI Sound weather, waves and fog. Between Block I and Cuttyhunk you're pretty much in open ocean, so keeping an eye to the weather is advisable for all mariners cruising in this area. Stonington is pretty close to Watch Hill Passage so when the weather forecast looks good for BI Sound, you're ready to continue your voyage eastward!

Take care,


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