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Old 17-07-2007, 12:09   #1
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Hints for crossing to Block Island from LI?

Ill be looking to make the crossing to Block Island from LI (Fishtail) in the next few days. The weather could be iffy. Any hints on condtions, current, considerations etc from anyone who has done it?

Thank you!
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Old 17-07-2007, 12:58   #2
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Got radar? From what I hear it's almost a necessity! Good luck!
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Old 17-07-2007, 17:10   #3
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It's a simple (and relatively quick) passage. In a Nordhavn 40, I wouldn't even really give it a second thought. We saw Puffy (yes, Pdiddy, etc...) there last summer in his Nordhavn 60(?). Nice guy... very friendly. Waved and was very polite to us commoners.

I digress.

Using a GPS, just make sure you are well past Plum and Gardiner Islands then put in a direct course for the marker outside of Great Salt Pond (at Block Island). Forget about the small, old harbor on the other side. You'll be more comfortable in the Pond. There is transportation and every service you need on the island.

The passage across is not at all difficult, you are not really going "offshore" much, and you will have the comfort of knowing you have a lot of company as you make the crossing.

Sure you will find there will be swells and chop (often in different directions from each other) on your approach, but
rest assured your Nordhavn 40 can deal with a HECK of a lot more than the standard confused seas in the Block Island/Newport area.

Only time you might have to cancel the crossing would be if there was a small craft advisory up for seas on the morning you leave. Other than that... sit back and enjoy the ride.

PS: Fog isn't all that common down in that area. It gets more common as you go from the Isles of Shoals in Portsmouth, NH up North (or Down East). Radar isn't essential for crossings to Block Island.
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Old 17-07-2007, 18:32   #4
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Firstforty,

We will be sailing into Block this weekend on our 31 foot trimran.

Look us up, probably anchoring, but might pick up a mooring, boat name "Ship O Fools".


Cheers,
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Old 18-07-2007, 06:19   #5
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Block Is

We will be in what I think is called the salt pond or lake. A friend is letting us use his mooring. Im watching the weather and have not made a decision as yet. Hope to see you.
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Old 18-07-2007, 07:07   #6
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Go NOW :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FirstForty
We will be in what I think is called the salt pond or lake. A friend is letting us use his mooring. Im watching the weather and have not made a decision as yet. Hope to see you.
Below is the weather forecast for your area. Go NOW, or wait until Saturday. There will be small craft advisories up once the 20 knot southerlies kick in - bringing in some uncomfortable seas from the South, which is wide open water.

Just keep an eye on the radar for t'storms. I use my Palm/Treo to access real time doppler radar while I'm out sailing. Works well to follow t'storms. Also, you can track them on your ship's radar.

PS: You'll be in Great Salt Pond. Do you have charts aboard?? Did yo plan the route yourself yet?? You should know the name of your destination!

BEGIN FORECAST:
TODAY
S WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 1 TO 3 FT. AREAS OF FOG EARLY...
THEN PATCHY FOG. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS EARLY. A CHANCE OF
SHOWERS THIS MORNING...THEN SHOWERS WITH TSTMS LIKELY THIS
AFTERNOON. VSBY 1 TO 3 NM.

TONIGHT
SW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 1 TO 3 FT. SHOWERS LIKELY WITH
A CHANCE OF TSTMS IN THE EVENING...THEN A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AFTER
MIDNIGHT. PATCHY FOG. VSBY 1 TO 3 NM.

THU
SW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT...BECOMING S 10 TO 15 KT WITH GUSTS UP TO
20 KT LATE. SEAS 2 TO 4 FT. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON.

THU NIGHT
S WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT. A CHANCE OF
SHOWERS IN THE EVENING...THEN SHOWERS LIKELY WITH A CHANCE OF TSTMS
AFTER MIDNIGHT. PATCHY FOG. VSBY 1 TO 3 NM.

FRI
S WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 5 TO 8 FT. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND
TSTMS. PATCHY FOG IN THE MORNING. VSBY 1 TO 3 NM.

FRI NIGHT
SW WINDS AROUND 15 KT WITH GUSTS UP TO 20 KT...BECOMING
E LATE. SEAS 4 TO 7 FT...SUBSIDING TO 3 TO 5 FT AFTER MIDNIGHT. A
CHANCE OF SHOWERS.

SAT
N WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT...SUBSIDING TO 2 TO 3 FT
AFTER MIDNIGHT. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.

SUN
N WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 2 TO 3 FT. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
WINDS AND SEAS HIGHER IN AND NEAR TSTMS.
THIS PRODUCT IS NORMALLY ISSUED TWICE DAILY AT APPROXIMATELY 4 AM
AND 4 PM...AND UPDATED AS CONDITIONS WARRANT.
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Old 18-07-2007, 07:38   #7
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The sail to Bloack from Watch Hill (East end of Fishers Island Sound) is usually a beam reach and there is ofter a steady stream of yachts on the rhumb line to and from the R2 at the entrance to the Great Salt Pond. It's a lovely sail... usually. The swells are usually coming from forward of the beam and usually from the south, but they do also come from the east. The prevailing wind is about 210° and when the weather pattern is "normal" it can build from 8-10 in the AM to 15 -20 in the afternoon.

You can sail on the prevailing wind right into the pond!

From Gardnier's Bay it is usually a broad reach in a quartering swell once you pass abeam of Montauk

And it is a slog to weather from Point Judith or Newport.

But when it blows from the east... all that changes of course.

A passage in a fair tide will save you an hour as it can run up to 2 knots in there in an east west direction.

Although not known for fog you can get a very thick low lying fog which makes visibility less than 50 or 100 feet. You can see the blue sky above but all around is fog. Since it is a well trafficed area... you really have to be careful. And you can leave the fog in an instant finding yourself in perfect clear conditions with the dense fog behind.

You will have to deal with:

Vessels travelling east and west from the 1GI north of the Gardiner Island Ruins at the west end of Block Island Sound. This is a waypoint for vessels transiting from Gardiners Bay as well as well as Long Island Sound for vessels passing through Plum Gut on their way East.

Ferries from Orient Point and New London as well as Point Judith.

Fishing vessels, both commerical coming and going to the ocean between Montauk and BI as well as sport fisherman who head out from Montauk, Point Judith, and Connecticut Shore points.

Large commerical traffic including tows and container ships, fuel haulers, trash. These guys do not change their course for you... ever.

And of course, submarines going and coming from Groton through the Race. The can be moving at anything from 10 knots to 30 and when when they are moving at speed their bow wave is enormous. Usually there is a sailor on the tower, presumably on watch.

Under normal visibility BI Sound is a little taste of ocean sailing, but it is a rather small body of water. Montauk is probably about 10 miles or so from BI and on a clear day you can see BI from Montauk. Point Judith is likewise about 10 miles from BI.

You will see some confused seas around Point Judith. You can almost count on it.

Small craft advisery - excellent time to sail for a well counded yacht. The skeerdie cats are at the bar on the dock.

jef
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Old 18-07-2007, 12:36   #8
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"Below is the weather forecast for your area. Go NOW,"
Hee hee hee, Sean, you're obviously reading a forecast not listening to the Nooze. There was a TORNADO WATCH in Suffolk County (LI, NY) today. And this morning even the Long Island Power Authority emergency control center flooded out. Massive flooding all over the area, torrential downpours. Not much wind--but torrential downpours.
I guess that makes it fine and safe for sailing, but it was the kind of wx when you need to wear goggles to keep the painful water pellets out of your eyes.

From LI to Block? Usually no fog that I've noticed, no great compelling need for radar. OTOH lots of rocks and currents ripping out there, planning for them is important. And since submarines may be heading in/out of CT, the USCG locally advises mariners to know and beware of submarine warning and surfacing signals, a submarine about to surface, or in distress, may try to signal with smoke flares that are released to the surface--followed by the emergency surfacing routine, which could really ruin your day.

Mainly...if the wx is OK, it's a milk run.
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Old 18-07-2007, 13:39   #9
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The submarines don't surface/descend until they are well south of Montauk, so there is no danger from this around Block or LI. However, they move much faster than you think on the surface, so be aware of this and don't try to cross one.

Mark
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Old 07-08-2007, 09:24   #10
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Not difficult at all....

I agree with Sean, radar is not necessary (unless you are going at night). Fog is very infrequent.

The only thing that may be different for you is that there could be big ocean swells, but as long as the weather is ok, they would be easily handled on your boat.

Great Salt Pond is a nice anchorage. Block can be lots of fun. Great beach on the eastern side of the island.
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Old 07-08-2007, 09:52   #11
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I think one of my main points is that this guy is on a Nordhavn 40. He can motor his way all the way around the world on this boat. A little jaunt over to Block Island from Montauk (sans tornados - yes, my info is from NOAA and I'm in Maine) is like taking a car out for a test drive in the dealership parking lot.

He's better equiped (boat wise) than many of us on this board.

He's got nothing at all to worry about. He won't get wet... his helm is inside!

Check his boat out:

Nordhavn 40
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Old 07-08-2007, 09:57   #12
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Watch the holding if anchoring in Great Salt pond - chum who went their early July said wind blew up to 60 knots overnight and there were a number of boats trying to reset.
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Old 07-08-2007, 10:10   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psteele235
Watch the holding if anchoring in Great Salt pond - chum who went their early July said wind blew up to 60 knots overnight and there were a number of boats trying to reset.
That's not surprising at all. But it probably has at least as much to do with the fact that boats anchoring there typically do not use the best ground tackle. Usually danforths that do not reset well when the wind direction changes. These are boats that are used to protected anchorages and, more likely, tying up at marina docks.

The only problem I ever had there was finding a spot close enough to the dinghy dock in the NE corner.
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Old 07-08-2007, 11:11   #14
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hahahaha Sean... Looks like a battleship.
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Old 17-08-2007, 17:24   #15
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Block Island this weekend

I am thinking of also heading to Block Island. Was going to go on Saturday or Sunday but I have decided to head into Montaulk first and take it from their. I will be sailing out of SAG Harbor and then weather permitting on to Block Island on Sunday or Monday. From What I can see its very spotty particularly with the recent weather patterns.

Stay in touch. Let me know when you leave. Serentity II is the name of my boat out of Sag She is a hunter 38.

GB
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