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post #41 of 52 Old 04-09-2018
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Re: Newport to Vineyard - 10 Day Cruise

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If you have Navionics on the Chartplotter or I Pad . I find itís really easy and informative the planning ( especially the I Pad ) as the tide , but more importantly the current vectors can be read and understood hours to hour. You can also advance your picture to look and hour later . But the wind...oh the wind direction here is the key. On wind opposing current passages through the LI Sound passageways that 4 mile stretch can be dishwasherlike at peak current and tide. If you can catch it right and get wind with current through that area you go through like buttered rubber duck. Plan accordingly.

Iíve had some great sails down the Sound. Once from Northport on a broad reach seeing over 11 knots with current when it kicked in , a joyous hull humming ride, destination Oriental. Then there was Plum Gut,

Same winds now close hauled at 18 . Current, running out but opposed it. Dishwasher waves with green water sailing over the bimini . First reefed the jib, then the main.....then the main again ( all from the cockpit) . Teeth Jarring 2 hours going 3 knots . Passed by a huge Oyster going downwind rocketing by with the crew sipping tea. That damn Teapot Lighthouse was in view forever. Finally we turned the corner headed in to Orient / Greenport. My bad I didnít think enough . So exhilarated at blowing down the Sound I forgot what that it meant at the corner. Weíve fit it Mattituck and should have gone there and and gone around in favorable current/ tide.

Hitting at slack does take out one element of the equation.

Thatís why they call it Sailing. Lol.jjj

I've done the down or up the Sound run for 32 years and have seen it all. But there is no way that a sail boat can ride the current for the entire 100 mile run... current changes ever 6+ hrs... so there you have it. If you can make 15 knots SOG you can ride the current the entire way... Not my boat.

The best approach is of course do it in 2 hops and anchor over night/between... and that... is another problem.... where?

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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post #42 of 52 Old 04-09-2018
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Re: Newport to Vineyard - 10 Day Cruise

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I've done the down or up the Sound run for 32 years and have seen it all. But there is no way that a sail boat can ride the current for the entire 100 mile run... current changes ever 6+ hrs... so there you have it. If you can make 15 knots SOG you can ride the current the entire way... Not my boat.

The best approach is of course do it in 2 hops and anchor over night/between... and that... is another problem.... where?
Possibly I was unclear, we were starting in Northport where you are. Itís about 72 miles to Oriental from there. Our plan was to go to Mattituck . Then Oriental . When we got to Mount Sinai or so the current change and gave us an assist to Plum Gut. That distance was approximently 38 miles . On the broad reach we were on our speed through the water was 9 knots, but over the ground hitting 11+ . We decided upon reach the Mattituck point so quickly we could save a day and push through as the whole trip from Northport to Oriental was 74 miles. When on a passAge averaging 5 knots in June with 14 hours daylight. That is our usual limit for a long 1 day trip not doing an overnighted. Same distance basically from Cape May to Barnegat which we had done 3 days before. If we can average greater than 5 knots overall well it can elongate distance traveled.

While I donít have the experience you have keeping your boat on the Sound. There have been a number of times weíve transited from Port Jeff, Northport , Mount Sinai to the end and out one of the passages.

Only on a couple of delivery trips overnight have I ever done the Sound from beginning to enfpd in a single day.


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post #43 of 52 Old 04-10-2018
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Re: Newport to Vineyard - 10 Day Cruise

FWIW to those who may not be familiar with currents in Long Island sound.

Home is western most Long Island sound, just west of Manhasset bay, so about 72 nm's to Orient Pt.
When heading out east past Orient Pt. in one leg I leave at or just before hi tide so i am riding outgoing tide for first 6 hours
and then deal with opposing tide where sound opens up. (Western and central sound current is approx. 1/2 knot so no big factor)
Figuring 5 knot average speed, that puts me after 12 hours, 60 miles out with tide starting to ebb carrying me out
where current really counts at east end and current will be in 3 knot range carrying you past Orient Pt. and Race / Fishers Island if going that way.
Does not matter to me day or night, tide and weather matter to me.
Does not matter if you do in one leg, just have current with you going east/west anywhere near Orient Pt.
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post #44 of 52 Old 04-10-2018
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Re: Newport to Vineyard - 10 Day Cruise

What I havenít seen on this thread is the impact of the calendar on tidal currents. Whether the OP turns right or left leaving Narragansett Bay may be largely determined by the timing of tidal currents. That, also, is a factor in the whole itiinerary.

So, to those who wondered why Mystic was mentioned, when the OP mentioned the Vineyard, it may come down to which way makes more sense in terms of winds and currents. On the current issue, the OP might check p.91 of 2018 Eldridges for a suggestion about whether to turn left or right.
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post #45 of 52 Old 04-11-2018
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Re: Newport to Vineyard - 10 Day Cruise

If the OP follows my route to the Vineyard from Post 38, the only places where currents may affect their travel are Quick's Hole (~2kt max for Ĺ mile - NBD), and at the head of the Sakonnet River (~3kt max for 2 miles). A Catalina 36 should easily be able to motor at over 6kts, so these currents should not be an issue.

If, per his schedule, he leaves on July 24 and he follows my suggested route and timetable, the OP and crew:
  • will pass through Quick's Hole on July 28, and the current through Quick's Hole should be in his favor from 9:am to 2:30pm.
  • may pass through again on July 31, or they have the option of staying in Vineyard Sound and completing a circumnavigation of Cuttyhunk(!). If they opt for Quick's Hole, the current will be in their favor from 4 to 11 am.
  • Finally, per the schedule he shared, they should approach the head of the Sakonnet eight days from when the voyage began. On August 1 the current runs in their favor through the "Almy Point Bridge" (I have always thought of this as the "Stone Bridge narrows") from 4:am to 11:am
  • The remainder of the Sakonnet River has a maximum current of less than 0.5kt.

Because these are such short stretches, and the currents so weak (the strongest is the "Almy Point Bridge") there really isn't much need to worry about it.
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post #46 of 52 Old 04-11-2018
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Re: Newport to Vineyard - 10 Day Cruise

Correcting myself: There are strong ebb currents in Vineyard Sound between the Vineyard and Elizabethian Islands (2.2kts), and in Nantucket Sound north of the Vineyard (2kts). However, I have never found either of these a problem, and do not let them dictate my schedule.

The current in Woods Hole, however, is an entirely different animal and must be respected...
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post #47 of 52 Old 04-13-2018
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Re: Newport to Vineyard - 10 Day Cruise

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Point Judith refuge isnít great, but the holding is good and you can dingy up the river to the Matunuck Oyster Bar. Itís Epic!
My daughter is going to URI in the fall so we were hanging out there last weekend for kid college stuff. We ate there last Friday evening. Epic, it's way beyond epic.
I'm a New Englander so I know a thing or two about good seafood.
Matunuck Oyster Bar served up the best seafood I've ever had in my life.

I'll be going back.
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post #48 of 52 Old 04-13-2018
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Re: Newport to Vineyard - 10 Day Cruise

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My daughter is going to URI in the fall so we were hanging out there last weekend for kid college stuff. We ate there last Friday evening. Epic, it's way beyond epic.
I'm a New Englander so I know a thing or two about good seafood.
Matunuck Oyster Bar served up the best seafood I've ever had in my life.

I'll be going back.
We've been hanging out in that area of Rhode Island since the early '90s, and we had never heard of the place. But last year, we went to the beach for the day in Charlestown, then stumbled across the Matunuck Oyster Bar when looking for a place for dinner. Just a fabulous, fun restaurant. I don't know how we missed it as we used to go down that road to a family-friendly place (I think it was Capn' Jack's or something like that) at least once or twice a summer. Maybe it wasn't there then? Anyway, two thumbs up for MOB.
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post #49 of 52 Old 04-13-2018
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Re: Newport to Vineyard - 10 Day Cruise

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Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
Correcting myself: There are strong ebb currents in Vineyard Sound between the Vineyard and Elizabethian Islands (2.2kts), and in Nantucket Sound north of the Vineyard (2kts). However, I have never found either of these a problem, and do not let them dictate my schedule.

The current in Woods Hole, however, is an entirely different animal and must be respected...
I dont feel you are stating with enough emphasis : in planning a trip between Mathas Vineyard and Cuttyhunk, the direction of the current in Vineyard Sound is the first and important determination of timing and path. The max current of near 3 knots for the length of the Sound overwhelms most any other consideration. Heading southeast against the the current I've experienced tacking across the Sound and back, with no windward progress to show for it.

The escape alternate for a contrary Sound current is to passage through Buzzards Bay where the current parallel to the Sound is nil. But passaging Buzzards Bay may come at the price of transiting the Woods Hole passage, to be treated with grest respect as you note. There a contrary current will stop most any sailboat, and any brief navigation confusion can be fatal to a vessel.



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post #50 of 52 Old 07-09-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Newport to Vineyard - 10 Day Cruise

Alright... Just about 2 weeks until setting sail on July 24. Thanks to everyone for the input and advice! After lots of talk with the Mrs. we are going to try to get to Block Island at the end of the trip as neither of us have been before and not sure when we will get back to the area.
All updated plans are crew temperament (wife and our 6 & 3 year old boat bums) and weather/conditions permitting. I have incorporated currents into the plans to the best of my knowledge, but I think we still have decent wiggle room with a mix of time ashore and underway. Currently, for the 11 day cruise there will be 3 days with sails between 30-40nm. Plan on doing a lot of exploring via dinghy at most locations and splitting grilling/cooking aboard and eating out somewhat evenly.

July 24 Day 1 - Depart Warwick in the late afternoon with boat loaded and provisioned up and head to Potters Cove for evening on the hook.
Day 2 - Depart Potters Cove in the morning for Cuttyhunk via Sakonet River in the AM with a favorable current downriver.
Day 2-5: Cuttyhunk and Hadleys. 3 nights between the two, likely with 2 in Cutty and 1 in Hadleys.
July 28 Saturday Day 5: Hadleys to Vineyard Haven. Max flood is approx. 1000 with slack at noon, so figure on hitting the straight at 1115-1130. If someone can give me a sanity check on that, it would be appreciated
Day 5-8: Vineyard Haven and Menemsha. 3 nights between the two, likely with 2 in Vineyard Haven and 1 in Menemsha.
Day 8: Sail from Menemsha to Block in the AM. This could be pushed to day 9 if weather isn't cooperating. If it really doesn't cooperate, will likely change plans to scrap Block and spend some more time on the Vineyard, with a stop over back in Cutty and something else before heading back toward Warwick.
Day 8-10: Block Island. It will be mid week, so hopefully can find room to drop the hook and avoid paying for a mooring ball each night.
Day 11: Sail from Block to Warwick... potentially sneak in one more night aboard somewhere such as Dutch Harbor if we can bring the boat back the following morning.
Saturday 8/4 - drive back south to MD and count down to fall sailing on the Chesapeake Bay!


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