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Old 11-06-2014, 23:14   #1
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Would love some advice about sailing from Newport

I'm from Portlamd and planning a one-week sail from Newport this fall--end of September. Never done this part of the world before and am with wife and another couple that are rookies. Thinking about Cuttyhunk, Martha's Vineyard for a couple of days, Nantucket for a couple of days, back to the Vineyard, then to Jamestown and on to Newport. Would appreciate any thoughts whether this trip makes sense, is not too challenging and is stopping in the right places.

Many thanks

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Old 15-06-2014, 09:28   #2
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Re: Would love some advice about sailing from Newport

This is a great area for cruising, although destinations can be somewhat determined by the weather & wind direction, especially with only a weeks timeframe. The predominate SW wind will take you easily east, but at times can be very difficult to return west back towards Newport.

Must see's for me (I've cruised this area for nearly 30 years):
Edgartown on MVineyard - skip Vineyard Haven
Nantucket - expensive but ya pay to play....last year moorings were $70!
might be hard to get to & back with just a week.
Love Falmouth - although a tiny harbor that you must dock at with reasonable prices compared to the above. Get a bike from Bob @ Holiday Cycles across from MacDougalls on the east side of the harbor & take the bike path to Woods Hole for the afternoon chowder hunt. Landfall make a great one (but while in Newport get a bowl at the the Black Pearl).

Cuttyhunk, although picturesque is a dry island that charges for moorings (there is a very small anchor area in the inner harbor) that is usually overrun with weekend warriors from New Bedford & the natives are not overly welcoming.
Shortly up the chain is Hadley Harbor across from Wood's Hole that is very cruiser friendly (pickup a free mooring ball if available) but is a private island that you cannot go ashore.

If your looking for secluded anchorages, Tarpaulin Cove on the south side of Naushon Island or even Menemsha Bight with a SW or S wind are delightful.

Even Block Island just south of Newport is fun with the right wind from the N or E is an easy sail.

I should also mention that the area season runs until Labor Day, so things really wind down after this & you may find yourself with glorious sailing that is relative empty compared to in season.

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Old 15-06-2014, 11:25   #3
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Re: Would love some advice about sailing from Newport

Very helpful, thanks. An additional question--are tides and currents much of an issue? I've been advised by some to avoid woods hole for that reason.
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Old 15-06-2014, 12:05   #4
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Re: Would love some advice about sailing from Newport

Buy an "Eldridge" tide book and read up on the various locations before you go. All is manageable with planning and by timing your transit.
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Old 15-06-2014, 12:30   #5
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Re: Would love some advice about sailing from Newport

The schedule just as you list it above is already 9 days long. That is a lot to pack into 7 days.

At the end of September, you could have some very brilliant weather, some very windy weather, or some very wet/unsettled weather. Others have given good advice on the general area - particularly if the weather is good.

If the weather is unsettled and it looks like it will be a slog to go out and do a loop of Buzzard's Bay or Vineyard Sound, don't forget that the Narragansett Bay has some interesting stuff in it and some pleasant anchorages. Jamestown, Bristol, etc. You always have a crappy weather fall-back that will be satisfying there.

If the weather is honking out of the North, as can happen that time of year, the North shore of Buzzard's Bay has some great places that keeps you in the lee of the shore for easier sailing. We always liked Westport, Mattapoisette, Onset, Red Brook Harbor.


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Old 15-06-2014, 12:42   #6
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Re: Would love some advice about sailing from Newport

With a week available out of Newport, I would definitely do Hadley Harbor and Edgartown. If it is a busy weekend be sure to reserve a mooring in Edgartown. Bull Island on Hadley seemed to be open to the public or the owners didn't care if cruisers went ashore. It is only a couple of hundred yards long, but is a place to get a shore to stretch you legs or walk the dog. There is a dinghy dock on the inside.

Other destinations mentioned above are nice if the wind is right. You can anchor for free in Nantucket. It takes good ground tackle for the reversing current (no nylon rode if you have a fin keel saiboat- ask me why!!) and a good dingy to get you ashore.

Treat Woods Hole with respect, study the charts, but don't avoid it because of the current. It will rock through there at full ebb or flood at 3-4 kts, so will need a boat that can make at least 6 kts if you want to take it at those conditions. Make sure that you don't miss any bouys because the rocks are right behind them.


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