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Re: Tow question in Newport, RI
No matter how you time the Hell's Gate, the tide won't be optimal at one end or the other. Bear in mind there may be commercial traffic, including fuel barge tows, coming through at the same "best" time, and going with the current also means "no brakes". Depending on the weather, times can be off a bit, and I've got no idea whether they are still playing with hydro generators in the main (west) channel of the East River. If you need a place to anchor and kill time, look at Little Bay, on the east side of the south end of the Throg's Neck bridge. (Not to be confused with adjacent Little Neck Bay.) That's a free general anchorage located just off a USCG station, no shore facilities but a convenient place to drop the hook for free before going further on. With that much draft, you can only fit in the northern (open) part of it.
If you're unfamiliar with the US Northeast, any "general anchorage" is just that. Anything marked "special anchorage" usually means someone is in charge, there are restrictions on who can use it, there's a fee...always something "special".