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Old 02-07-2014, 00:21   #1
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Thumbs up Need advice about Long Island Sound

Planning to charter a boat in late September, Connecticut(Mystic or Norwalk or elsewhere) and do a casual, short-handed sail over to Long Island and back over the course of a week with a few two-day stops in between. Any and all advice is welcome but I'm interested in a few specific things:
1-what is the essential guide(or guides) I should have for cruising this area.
2-how big a factor are tides and currents in this area(I'm from the West Coast)
3-know any reputable charter companies?

As always, thanks in advance to the best sailing community I have never had the pleasure of meeting . . .
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Old 02-07-2014, 04:27   #2
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Re: Need advice about Long Island Sound

if you can get ahold of ted novakowski of sound yachts in westbrook ct he has a cruising plan he put together for folks just like you - it may be on line - not sure -
it can give you a multiday plan or just a few days as i remember it

and tell ted soulmates says hi -- oh he is an ex cruiser and a wealth of information

and i get nothing out of this
just helping you
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:11   #3
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Re: Need advice about Long Island Sound

For a start here is a thread where I posted some notes about our trip around Shelter Island NY.

Anchorages on Long Island Sound ?

Going in September will be a wonderful time of year. Still warm with many fewer hassles from crowds.

Block Island is a real favorite of ours and doable from that area.

We also went to Montauk on another trip. It is okay, but for your first trip I suggest a pass.

Keep searching on CF and you'll probably find others with good info.

We haven't found much in the way of cruising guides these days.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:44   #4
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Re: Need advice about Long Island Sound

First join Active Captain (its free) and study the area well. I haven't used cruising guides for that area in 10+ years.

You didn't say whether you are an anchor out person or a marina person. In any case here are some great anchorages/moorings starting from Norwalk to Mystic and one marina:

First the marina. Mystic seaport is fantastic. You have the full run of the museum and after everyone goes home for the day, it feels like you are tied up at a 17th century whaling port. It is expensive however.

Sag Harbor- anchor to the east of the breakwater and dinghy through the gap to the town dinghy dock.

Block Island- get a mooring or anchor on the east side of the Pond.

Newport, RI- Drop the anchor south of the cable area or get a mooring ball.

Hadley Harbor (just west of Woods Hole)- Inside there are a dozen free moorings or outside drop the hook. You can go ashore at the little island between the two but no where else.

Edgartown, Marthas Vinyard- Reserve a town mooring. The town is right there with all of its charm.

Currents- The Race (SW of Fishers Island) can really rock at 3+ kts.

You probably can't do all of the above in one week, but try to do most of them.

David
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:22   #5
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Re: Need advice about Long Island Sound

Long Island Sound has a mix of destinations, and where you go is going to be largely a matter of your goals and tastes. Some of the more populous/busy places have been mentioned, like Mystic, Newport, Sag, and even Block. If you want to "get away from it all" there are a number of other places like Essex, the Elizabeth Islands, and parts of Peconic Bay. For example, instead of going to Sag you might want to go to Smith Cove or Coecles Harbor on the SE end of Shelter Island, the whole end of which is a nature preserve. Smith has a gorgeous curving unpopulated beach, but is still a 10 minute dinghy ride to downtown Sag. One benefit to lingering in Peconic Bay is the water which is unusually clear and clean for a semi-enclosed coastal bay.

If you tell us a bit more about what kind of experience you're looking for, you'll get some great, and more specific information here.

Tides and currents in the Sound are variable. In some spots the tide is @ 5-6', so worthy of close attention. Currents can be considerable in specific places, particularly in the eastern sound. For example, the current getting into and out of Woods Hole can hit almost 4.5 knots. I would suggest you make sure that the boat you charter has a 2014 copy of Eldridge's Pilot and Tide book on it which will give you an excellent overview of tide/current info, easier to survey and digest than what you'll get from your chart plotter:

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Old 06-07-2014, 21:13   #6
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Re: Need advice about Long Island Sound

Thanks for all the helpful advice.
To answer a few of the questions that were raised:
1-it's my preference to pick up a mooring ball--i'll be sailing shorthanded
2-I'm going to stay in a couple of places for two days and am particularly interested in any thoughts about favorite harbors on the north side of Long Island Sound.
3-I've read my share of stories about boats getting their prop or keel wrapped around a lobster pot--of how much concern is this in this area?\


as always, thanks
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Old 17-07-2014, 10:49   #7
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Re: Need advice about Long Island Sound

Mystic and niantic are two of my favorite places inside the sound in the CT side. The Thames river is also neat if you want to see the coast guard academy and the Groton sub base "from a distance" fischer island is also beautiful as well as watch hill RI.


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Old 06-10-2014, 19:10   #8
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Re: Need advice about Long Island Sound

I have sailed the sound off and on all of my considerable life. Just a couple of ideas. 1. If you go to Mystic and go through the lift bridge toward Mystic Seaport there used to be some free anchorage just beyond the seaport, just watch your depths. 2. Another nice place to anchor is along the north face of Napatree Point. Which is a long sandy point, (nice beaches). You can get in close to the beach and find good holding. When entering go way down toward the town and then follow the channel South by the road before turning back West along the point. You should see many other boats anchored in the area. 3. The Connecticut River offers some nice spots to anchor or you might find a mooring at Essex a wonderful stop. Have fun don't be afraid to use your charts and explore.


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Old 08-10-2014, 07:33   #9
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Re: Need advice about Long Island Sound

Yeah Essex is VERY nice. It also is the site of if I recall correctly the oldest running restaurant and pub in the history of the united states. I can't remember what it's called, but its on the left as you walk up the street from the marina.
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Old 08-10-2014, 08:47   #10
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Re: Need advice about Long Island Sound

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scot McPherson View Post
Yeah Essex is VERY nice. It also is the site of if I recall correctly the oldest running restaurant and pub in the history of the united states. I can't remember what it's called, but its on the left as you walk up the street from the marina.
The Griswold Inn. First opened in 1776 and has been open continuously ever since. Very cool place. I first went there in 1965 as a little boy and it has not changed hardly at all since. Even if you don't eat dinner there, the tap room is worth a visit.

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