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Old 29-06-2006, 03:24   #1
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Plum Gut

Finally have a boat we know can handle serious cruising. We are interested in going through Plum Gut but have heard serious warnings and no advice.

When is the best time to make the passage (tide wise)? any pit falls etc. would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 29-06-2006, 04:30   #2
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I have sailed and motored through Plum Gut 500 or more times. It is not especiallu challenging in a modern powered auxialliary at any time. At full ebb or flood the tide can run up to 3+ knots, but and you will set set east or west as you pass north or south, but there is plenty of room.

You can sail through when there is sufficient wind and there often is, but many times it is calm. The sea can be roiling a confused when the current runs fast, but it is nothing to be feared as there are no real underwater hazards in the Gut.

Many small fishing boats are there when the current runs and you might need to weave your way through them, but usually they move away and let moving vessels pass.

There are two ferry lines which pass through the Gut regularly , one which goes between Orient and New London and the Plum Island ferry which goes betweeen Orient and Plum Island. You want to give them a wide berth.

The best time to pass is on a fair tide because you will shoot right through in no time. The worst is a foul current because you may only make a knot or three.

I usually turn the motor on when doing the Gut as a precaution and to pass through an area which often has lots of boats moving in all different directions and some drifting about fishing... which are the main hazards.

You will do fine.

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Old 29-06-2006, 04:48   #3
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Make your passage at slack tide.
Tide Table for Plum Gut Harbor, Plum Island, Long Island Sound, New York:
http://www.mobilegeographics.com:81/locations/4731.html
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Old 29-06-2006, 05:16   #4
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Thanks to you both ... very reassuring!
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Old 29-06-2006, 06:10   #5
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Depending on where you are leaving from or going to, you also have the choice to cross into Gardiner's Bay through the passage between Plum Island and Great Gull Island. There is one hazard there called Old Silas Rock, but it is well marked with a green can. This passage has less current and is very short (<0.5NM). Even if you have a foul current and lumpy seas, you will be through it in no time at all compared to Plum Gut or the Race. Additionally, I never see fishing boats there. In fact, I have never encountered another boat while going through there.

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Old 29-06-2006, 06:49   #6
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The question was specifically about going through the Gut and sometimes one cannot wait for a slack or favorable tide. Swhynes sounds as if he is approaching from the west toward Garndiner's Bay and would not be wanting to hove to for hours waiting for a slack tude while being set back from whence he came!

And practically this is not necessary. If one is say coming from south and west and heading down the Sound to the west (of the Gut) or the reverse, the passage colemj describes is quite out of the way and would mean going all the way round Plum Island. His route is a good one in passing from Fisher's Island Sound waters into Gardiner's Bay and points west or the reverse... and for these courses I concur this is a good way to go. But the current still run swift and you can be set down on the can if you are not careful.

As noted I have done the Gut in every condition, day and night and all seasons and it is navigable in all conditons (including snow), although not optimal. I wouldn't delay a trip for 5 or 6 hrs to pass in a slack tide... although when you do the calculations taking into account your predicted wind speed and so on... you can often wait an hr or two and lose no time at all because of the current! Do your homework!

BTW there are fish traps south and west of the Gut in Gardiner's Bay.

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Old 29-06-2006, 07:54   #7
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I often have done what Mark suggests above... it is especially useful when the tide is against you creating a much longer than anticipated passsage.

The gut is nothing to worry about though. I'd say the biggest concern has to be the ferries.

As was already said... slack water is the best time to pass any area with currents you don't want to fight.
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Old 29-06-2006, 09:33   #8
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Sean... and staying out of the rain is a good way to stay dry!
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Old 29-06-2006, 10:10   #9
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Sean

Congratulations on achieving your 1000th post.
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