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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are planning another trip to the LI sound this summer starting the 11 of July and lasting to the 26th. (We could extend anpther week if we want so give us plentry of recommendations) Anyonje who wants to do some of it is welcome. There are 2 boats from our club comming for some of the trip also.
Our wives are not keen on the cape May to Block island straight run yet so we will leave that for another year.

Comrades,

Last year we did this trip and went up the eastern side of the LI Sound and had a great time. We want to the the Conneticut/ RI side of the Sound this year.

We need some recommendations of places to anchor, anchor or moor and dingy in, get a slip for 2 days etc. If you give us a destination what is there that you can't miss seeing there.

Our trip will be From Rock Creek (Patapsco) to Reedy Island (Delaware River) to Cape May to Barnegat Inlet to Sandy Hook to Port Jefferson or somewhere on the Conneticut side. We have a week to see the sound and return to Sandy Hook.

Thanks for you help.

Dave
 

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was just looking for info on the same trip.. i am looking at a boat
for sale down that way.. i will need to bring her home to NH..
said you went cape may to barnegut inlet.. would this be very
hard for a single hander?
 

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was just looking for info on the same trip.. i am looking at a boat for sale down that way.. i will need to bring her home to NH.. said you went cape may to barnegut inlet.. would this be very hard for a single hander?
I did the trip in '05 when I bought my NC in Annapolis the same way Dave did. Barnegat is usually not recommended and although I had no problems.... surfing in on a quiet 'Good Day' with big fishing boats 'tailgaiting' me in was Uncomfortable. After Port Jeff I hopped over to Watch Hill, then to NGBay. Those stopovers worked out well for my wife and I doing Motor-Sailing Day Sails averaging 6kts. As for Single Handing my wife helps with docking, mooring, or anchoring other than that she just kicks back and enjoys the ride.
 

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We need some recommendations of places to anchor, anchor or moor and dingy in, get a slip for 2 days etc. If you give us a destination what is there that you can't miss seeing there.
The Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic CT. This is not just a building but a whole seaport village from the last century with period people, buildings, boats, etc..... Essex CT is also a quaint village a couple miles up the CT River.
 

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Watch out for the Deleware Bay. If the wind is coming off the ocean, you get some good swells. Coupled with an outgoing tide, you get some steep waves.

Did a similar trip last July and had to motor into the wind at about 2.5 knots on our 50' Beneteau. Kept burying the bowrail into waves if we went any faster. No good anchorages in that area either.

Also make sure you have good charts, there are some shallow spots right next to the channel.

Now with those words of caution out of the way, enjoy the trip!!

Regards

We are planning another trip to the LI sound this summer starting the 11 of July and lasting to the 26th. (We could extend anpther week if we want so give us plentry of recommendations) Anyonje who wants to do some of it is welcome. There are 2 boats from our club comming for some of the trip also.
Our wives are not keen on the cape May to Block island straight run yet so we will leave that for another year.

Comrades,

Last year we did this trip and went up the eastern side of the LI Sound and had a great time. We want to the the Conneticut/ RI side of the Sound this year.

We need some recommendations of places to anchor, anchor or moor and dingy in, get a slip for 2 days etc. If you give us a destination what is there that you can't miss seeing there.

Our trip will be From Rock Creek (Patapsco) to Reedy Island (Delaware River) to Cape May to Barnegat Inlet to Sandy Hook to Port Jefferson or somewhere on the Conneticut side. We have a week to see the sound and return to Sandy Hook.

Thanks for you help.

Dave
 

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Here's some interesting reading/planning from a local sailing couple: Coastal Boating .net, Long Island Sound Cruising Guide

Also try ActiveCaptain.com for a quick view of available facilities in the area.

And a note of possible caution. If you've never shot through Hell Gate, the narrowest part of NYC's East River that connects the Upper Bay with Long Island Sound, you might wanna research it. Tidal current is something to contend with, especially if your home sailing grounds are the Chesapeake and you're unaccustomed to five-six knots against you at times (or, with you, at other times).
 

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Here's some interesting reading/planning from a local sailing couple: Coastal Boating .net, Long Island Sound Cruising Guide

Also try ActiveCaptain.com for a quick view of available facilities in the area.

And a note of possible caution. If you've never shot through Hell Gate, the narrowest part of NYC's East River that connects the Upper Bay with Long Island Sound, you might wanna research it. Tidal current is something to contend with, especially if your home sailing grounds are the Chesapeake and you're unaccustomed to five-six knots against you at times (or, with you, at other times).
I have looked at the Coastal Boating site before. A lot of the info is wrong, or outdated. Its alright IMO for a general overview, but I get the impression that they didn't actually visit some of the places they claim to have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah, gotta love Hell Gate...we ran with the tide last year and with rpm at 2000 normally giving us 5 knots speed over the ground we were flying at one point making 11.5 knots over the ground.

The 5 times X 2 that I have run the "gate" havent been bad as I was very cognizant of the tide situation.
 

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That's my home turf

First of all, get yourself the Embassy Guide for Long Island Sound, put out by Maptech. It's got tons and tons of information on everything about Long Island Sound, including harbor charts, recommendations on navigation, anchoring, dockage, places to go, things to see, where to eat and provision, etc.

Also get the Eldridge Tide Book. It's great for Hell Gate, and it's helpful for many other areas on Long Island Sound for currents. The reality is that if you are going to stay in western LIS, rather than the eastern end, current is not a big deal once you get through Hell Gate.

In terms of harbors that I would recommend, here are my thoughts, somewhat west to east:

1. Port Washington (Manhassett Bay). It's a very easy harbor to enter, and it's got a little bit of everything. You can anchor in protection (very good holding ground), you can pick up a mooring, or you can go dockside. Ashore, there are good restaurants (Louie's is a local favorite and a virtual landmark; it was featured in Meet the Parents), some shopping, and it's generally a nice town. You also can get fuel here.

2. City Island. This is an eclectic spot that struggles with whether it's part of the Bronx (it is) or is an island on Long Island Sound (it's that too). There are tons of restuarants of all sorts, everything from 4 star to sub-McDonald's. There's some marine supplies, funky shopping (not chic), a good ice cream parlor (Lickety Splits), and some cool stuff to see. It's not the best place to stay overnight if there's any weather. The harbor is exposed, and though you easily can take a mooring, you will roll and won't be uncomfortable. We go to City Island for day trips; tie to a mooring for a few hours, spend the day wandering around, and then head across the sound to Port Washington, about 4 miles away or so.

3. New Rochelle. This is a bit of a tough spot to get into, and depending on what you're into may not be worth it. There is no anchorage to speak of, and if you go you most likely will need to be dockside at one of the local marinas. There actually are two harbors (New Rochelle Harbor and Echo Bay), both of which require some attention to enter. I mention NewRoc, as it's known, because a few years ago they built something called NewRoc City, which essentially is an entertainment mall. It has everything from movies, to an arcade, to ice skating to restaurants. It's a bit of a long walk from the water, or a very short cab ride. If you have youngish kids, give this some thought, as it will be a good diversion for them. If not, you might want to take a pass. If you do go, and you go to New Rochelle Harbor, you can get fuel very easily.

4. Mamaroneck. We actually live here, and in my opinion the town does not get enough recognition as a place to visit by boat. All right at the head of the harbor you have restaurants, bars, a movie theater, shopping, supermarkets (a little further of a walk), marine supplies, ice cream parlor, beauty salons, and even a Shiatsu-Spa! The downside is that it's not the easiest harbor to find a place to stay. The town maintains a floating dock float in the harbor for guests (it's not tied to shore; it's like a mooring in the harbor, but it's a floating dock tied to two pilings). There is anchoring in the outer harbor, but that won't be so comfortable if there is any wind out of the south. There also is transient dockage at the Brewer's Marina.

5. Oyster Bay. This is a great harbor in a lot of respects. It's pretty, home to many celebs, very easy to enter, excellent anchoring in a number of different places, moorings available, and walking distance to town (where there are some restaurants and such). Most people go to Oyster Bay to enjoy the harbor and water itself. The fuel dock at Oyster Bay Marine Center generally is considered the best place to get fuel in the area; a huge floating dock, with a number of attendents to help, and it pumps high volume so you get good quality fuel.

6. Port Jefferson. Another harbor that's easy to enter with easy anchoring, moorings and dockage. The town is right at the head of the harbor, and it has everything you might need or want (save for repairs). It also has two very secluded places to stay where the scenery is great. Just to the east as you enter (to your port), there is something called Pirate's Cove, or sand city, depending on who you ask. It used to be a sand quarry. There are private moorings in there. There is no cost, and the rule is that you can pick one up, but if the owner shows up you might have to leave (in all our years of going there we've never had to leave). You then can go ashore and climb the bluffs for breathtaking views. Opposite Pirate's Cove, to the west after you enter the harbor (to your starboard), there is another area just as beautiful (I actually forget what it's called), but there are no moorings and you anchor.

7. Milford. There is no anchoring or mooring as a practical matter. You can anchor behind Charles Island, just outside the harbor, but it's not very comfortable in any wind at all. If you go to Milford, you go dockside. There are a number of places that are very nice, and they all are walking/dinking distance to town.

Those pretty much are the highlights for western Long Island Sound. There's much more to the east, and there's even more in the western Sound that I haven't covered. I strongly urge you to get that Embassy Guide, as it will tell you everything about every harbor. It's a great place to cruise because there are so many places to go, all within a day sail of each other.

If you have any questions or want some more local knowledge, feel free to PM me.
 

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DanielGoldberg,
Good post! I disagree with a few things however.

1- New Rochelle is not geared towards transients. Also, everything there involves a cab ride.

2- Port Washington/Manhasset Bay is a great place. I have anchored and grabbed a mooring at several of the clubs there. Very nice. Louies has become overpriced with ordinary food IMO. Yes it is a landmark, but it is not what it used to be.

3- The sand hole in Port Jefferson is also called Mt Misery Cove. The anchorage to the west is the approach to Conscience Bay.

4-City Island has really gone downhill in the past few years. Many of the quirky shops and antique stores have disappeared one by one. There has also been a significant number of fires there in the past few years.
A yacht club, the maritime museum, a boatyard, a block of stores etc have all burned in recent years. Many of the restaurants are owned by the same corporation, and while I am certainly not a restaurant critic, none of them IMO are four stars.

5-I think there are better alternatives to spending $45 on an Embassy Guide. They seem to be poorly written, and are little more than shopping guides that frame the text around their advertisers. IMO, Waterway Guide, and A Cruising Guide To The New England Coast are better resources.

6- I agree with you about Mamaroneck. It is a good harbor, and it is great that the main street (Mamaroneck Ave) of town meets the harbor. There is also the park, as well as a really cool marine hardware store. I would go there more often if it was more transient accessible.
 

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SB, thanks for your post.

You make a few good points, but allow me to retort :) :

1. We used to live on Davenport Neck, and dock our boat at our house there, so we know that area very well. You can walk from Davenport neck to New Roc City. It's not a short walk, but it is walkable. And if you are cruising and looking for a longer walk to get some exercise (that's what we do anyway), it's very doable. In Echo Bay, Dudley's and On the Waterfront are right on the harbor. There are several marinas in Davenport Creek that offer transient dockage (Imperial, Castaways, Wright Island and the New York Athletic Club, if you have reciprocity).

2. Louie's definitely is not the greasy spoon it once was, and I agree with you that overall I preferred the old place. BUT, the bar is much nicer now, and the outdoor seating overlooking the harbor is very nice. The food definitely has gone up in price and the same cannot be said of the quality (it's not bad food, but it is overpriced). Still, you can't go to Port Washington and not stop in at Louie's, at least for a Margarita while you watch the fleet come in.

3. Thanks very much for the clarification. I never can remember Conscience Bay for some reason. To me it always will be "that nice anchorage to the west of the entrance."

4. I'm curious about your comments on City Island. When is the last time you were there? It actually is undergoing a resurgence. There's new construction, new shops and stores, and even a West Marine Express. On your other point, it has never been ritzy, but that's part of what makes the place City Island (a cross between the Bronx and a yachting destination).

5. I guess that's why they make both chocolate and vanilla ice cream! I just love the Embassy Guides.

6. Yup, Mamaroneck does a terrible job of letting the world know about the transient options, and it is true there are not all that many. That said, if you want to come over on any given weekend, shoot me an email, PM or something and I'll guide you to a place. Keep in mind that town float in the west basin; it's always available and I rarely, RARELY, see a boat on it.

Where is your home port? Maybe I'll see you on the Sound this coming season.
 

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I kept my boat in City Island for about 8 years (until 2006), and I have friends there. In fact I was there last week. The West Marine is out of business. I think it closed sometime this past year. I think the resurgence on City Island ended a few years ago. In the past two or three years, numerous places have closed or burned down.

I actually have had the boat up in eastern CT for the past two years, for a change of pace. But I will eventually be back in the western part of the Sound.
Eventually I will take you up on your offer. Thanks.

As for Mamaroneck, I didn't even know the town float was in the west basin. I remember years ago they let us tie up for a couple of hours at the dock right next to the boat ramp on Harbor Island. We went up to Brewers, hit a few stores, then had some lunch and a couple of beers.
 
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