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Learning the HARD way...
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
All my life I have been fascinated by No Mans Land, the island just south of Martha's Vineyard. Looking at any chart, there is a bright pink box, and it is marked restricted area. I know that it was used for target practice during WWII, and that it is supposed to be peppered with vintage ordinance.

Today, after I installed OpenCPN, I was again drawn to look at the chart for the area, and the pink box. It is clearly marked Danger Zone 344.70 (see Note A). Note A says, essentially, look in the Navigation Regulations. Since I'm on my laptop, I checked it out. Here is what the Code of Federal Regulations say;
334.70 - Buzzards Bay, and adjacent waters, Mass.; danger zones for naval operations.

(a) Atlantic Ocean in vicinity of No Mans Land(1) The area. The waters surrounding No Mans Land within an area bounded as follows: Beginning at latitude 4112'30", longitude 7050'30"; thence northwesterly to latitude 4115'30", longitude 7051'30"; thence northeasterly to latitude 4117'30", longitude 7050'30"; thence southeasterly to latitude 4116'00", longitude 7047'30"; thence south to latitude 4112'30", longitude 7047'30"; thence westerly to the point of beginning.

(2) The regulations. The vessel or person shall at any time enter or remain within a rectangular portion of the area bounded on the north by latitude 4116'00", on the east by longitude 7047'30", on the south by latitude 4112'30", and on the west by longitude 7050'30", or within the remainder of the area between November 1, and April 30, inclusive, except by permission of the enforcing agency.

(3) The regulations in this paragraph shall be enforced by the Commandant, First Naval District, and such agencies as he may designate.
:confused: What does section 2 mean?

Obviously there is a typo here; " The vessel or person shall..." should read "No vessel or person shall..." However, does this mean that anyone can go there from May 1 to the end of October?:confused:

Have any of you been to No Mans Land?
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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Discussion Starter #3
I'm planning a June cruise, and it could take me by Nomans Land (the ORIGINAL Martha's Vineyard, before they changed its name). I gotta get some time outside "the line," so that I can upgrade my ticket to "Near Coastal." (see this thread)

Again, I'm wondering if I can go inside the "Danger Zone" surrounding Nomans Land in June... Does anyone here know?
 

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One cannot land on the island. There is a roadstead in foul ground for protection from S to SW winds. Not safe / comfortable when wind blows from any other quadrant. If weather is benign, drop the hook for lunch. I wouldn't anchor overnight as there are prettier places to drop the hook nearby: Block, Cuttyhunk and the Vineyard.
 

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The island is completely closed to the public.

https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Nomans_Land_Island/about.html

I hate the BS wildlife scam. This is simply a quarantined island with unexploded ordinance that the government isn't willing to clean up. They should clean it up and give it back for public use or even sell it for private use.

No doubt we need gunnery ranges somewhere, but then own up.
 
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Wiki says: "The eastern third of the island has been managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service since 1975. Following an effort to clear the island of ordnance in 1997 and 1998, the rest of the island was transferred to the FWS for use as a wildlife refuge, primarily for migratory birds."
That means that island was cleared - FWS folks would not risk their hide to work there from time to time. To me, the advertised risk from unexploded ordnance is likely overblown and used to deter people from going to the island. Practice ordnance is usually very different than standard issue stuff - very small explosive loads.
 

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When engaged in our "dark side" fishing activities on a power boat, we go by Nomans all the time on the way S towards fishing grounds. Depending on if we go E or just S, sometimes we'll transit between Nomans and Aquinna or just down the W side. What is interesting is if there is any sea running, this area is usually the roughest part of our trip. Shallower water combined with tidal effects. There's also quite a bit of commercial fishing gear in this area. We've never gotten really close, so not much help on that account. One barren looking place for sure. In August, we've caught mahi within site of Nomans, bring your rod.
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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Discussion Starter #9
Wiki says: "The eastern third of the island has been managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service since 1975. Following an effort to clear the island of ordnance in 1997 and 1998, the rest of the island was transferred to the FWS for use as a wildlife refuge, primarily for migratory birds."
That means that island was cleared - FWS folks would not risk their hide to work there from time to time. To me, the advertised risk from unexploded ordnance is likely overblown and used to deter people from going to the island. Practice ordnance is usually very different than standard issue stuff - very small explosive loads.
I figured that the claims of unexploded ordinance were greatly exaggerated. It's used as a justification to provide the birds their piece of land where they won't be bothered.

My questions are if anyone here had ever stepped ashore, because I know that some people have, and whether you can cross through the "pink box," or if the coasties will chase you out (either over the radio or in person). I guess that I would need to remember to turn my AIS transponder to "receive only" if I were to visit.
 

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Nomans has always fascinated me as well! I came upon an interesting article some time back that explained that Gus Bendavid was instrumental in keeping the island as off limits, and for good reason! The island is kind of a microcosm, and is good for seeing how species rebound without much human presence.
 

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Yeah, that piece of the chart has always grab my attention too. Not sure if you cross the pink border the CG or Navy is going to show up with their heavy duty equipped patrol vessels.

I figured that the claims of unexploded ordinance were greatly exaggerated. It's used as a justification to provide the birds their piece of land where they won't be bothered.
Still, I wouldn't drop the anchor near by...just in case :grin
 

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The island is completely closed to the public.

https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Nomans_Land_Island/about.html

I hate the BS wildlife scam. This is simply a quarantined island with unexploded ordinance that the government isn't willing to clean up. They should clean it up and give it back for public use or even sell it for private use.

No doubt we need gunnery ranges somewhere, but then own up.
I agree they should clean it up which it appears they may have done. Though I am all about having islands and land where people are restricted due to wildlife habitat. There are very few places in the world that people don't completely dominate and or drastically alter. The USA has virtually no wild lands that don't have cattle, logging, roads etc etc. Humans are a parasite and if we have to say there is a ton of exploded ordinance to keep people out then so be it. I have traveled to many of the most remote places in the continental USA and have worked as a wildlife biologist. It is a major understatement that humans screw up the ecosystem on enormous and catastrophic scales.

I have also worked on military bases where unexplored ordinance was an issue. We could survey the areas but need an escort and would set up point count locations and follow one way in and out. Some ordinance is live and some are not but I like my life and my legs and am content to not take the risk.
 

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We've got a similar place just south of Victoria. Lovely spot ,used to be the leper colony ,apparently still used by army to practice throwing hand grenades at each other. The lovely bay on the west side is studded with old pilings broken off at the low water mark so beware if you are planning to lunch hook there. Don't ask.
 
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