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Old 13-05-2014, 15:37   #16
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

Well that is the wonderful thing about the internet.
Many opinions to choose from.
Yes "fog is not a problem" until it happens...... especially if you "only have 80 hours helm time"
Please let us know how your trip proceeds.
enough said...
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Old 13-05-2014, 15:53   #17
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

"Yes "fog is not a problem" until it happens...... "

In the Sound, fog is rare and burns away pretty quickly. Almost never a problem, since one can usually just wait until 10AM to see it gone. Especially in June, when the wx is rarely cold enough to generate fog.

Check the weather logs, you won't see much limited visibility or fog for the Sound in June. If any.
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Old 13-05-2014, 16:17   #18
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"Yes "fog is not a problem" until it happens...... "

In the Sound, fog is rare and burns away pretty quickly. Almost never a problem, since one can usually just wait until 10AM to see it gone. Especially in June, when the wx is rarely cold enough to generate fog.

Check the weather logs, you won't see much limited visibility or fog for the Sound in June. If any.
I'm not sure which Sound you're referring to, but fog is pretty common in Buzzard's Bay and RI Sound in June. It's not so much cold weather that causes it. It's a ground fog from high humidity air condensing over water that hasn't warmed up yet. You're right that it usually burns off. The problem is that, heading westbound, it's good to cover miles before the headwinds come up in the afternoon. If you're trying to make tracks to the west, you sometimes have to choose between leaving in the morning fog or beating into sou'westerlies. Recall that the OP and his crew haven't had a lot of experience so it's a good time to keep safety margins comfortably wide. He's giving himself plenty of time so he should be fine.
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Old 13-05-2014, 16:34   #19
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

"I'm not sure which Sound you're referring to,"

Long Island Sound. What we natives often refer to as "THE" Sound, as it is the biggest one around.
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Old 13-05-2014, 16:57   #20
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"I'm not sure which Sound you're referring to,"

Long Island Sound. What we natives often refer to as "THE" Sound, as it is the biggest one around.
Got it. Having gone to a university in metro Boston and graduated from "The College" and "The Medical School" I'm familiar with hubris.

By the time the OP gets to LIS, he will have nearly doubled the miles under his keel. I just want to be sure he gets there intact.
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Old 13-05-2014, 19:04   #21
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

Lots of good advice so far. Would add a few items:
1) it's more important to avoid headwinds and wind-against-current (causes steep chop) than to have the "favorable" current with you. Keep that in mind unless you are a masochist.
2) Forget about Montauk or Newport unless you have an extra day of travel to kill for each, they're far off your path. Forget Mattituck unless you're willing to anchor and stay aboard (no moorings or launch service, but there's a Mat-a-mar Marina if you want a slip. It's a very short walk to town.
3) don't let The Race scare you. If you want to go against the current just avoid The Race via Watch Hill Passage and Fishers Island Sound. Max current is 2-3 k which can slow you down but you'll probably see less than 2 and still get somewhere. Stonington CT has Dodson's marina with moorings and launch service, clean showers and it's right in town with a variety of great restaurants. It's also a short cab ride from Downtown Mystic.
4) if you have time, go ~6 miles up the CT river to Essex and grab a mooring there. CT River Museum is highly recommended if you are into colonial and local history. Restaurants shops and antiques there in town too.
5) many harbors have yacht clubs that offer guest moorings and showers, with launch services. (Only the snooty ones ever ask for proof of membership to a reciprocal club.) check ActiveCaptain.com or Maptech Cruising Guides for listings, and dial ahead.
6) don't let your schedule dictate your trip. If the fog is dense or severe conditions are forecast, opt to stay safe. A schedule is the most dangerous thing on a boat. This should have been #1!
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Old 13-05-2014, 19:33   #22
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

First off, thank you all so much for your great suggestions, wisdoms and warnings. I picked up the Eldridge book as so many of you have suggested.

I am wondering if I shouldn't aim to head out about 30 minutes or so before the currents shift. If any of you guys have a second, I would love to read any thoughts you may have on the following work in process: [Keeping in mind I am a person with limited experience (82 hours, was 80, got out on a Hinckley Pilot) currently no dinghy, no radar, one crew member, VHF, a gps, map tech charts, an AIS app on the iPhone and a pair of binoculars.]

June 26-28 Cleaning the boat, putting up sails and sailing around Vineyard Haven to get to know the new boat, she is 1965 Pearson Alberg 35 with a 2002 Yanmar w187hrs. 5'2" Draft

June 29, Sunday 11:56am start out when the tide is Ebbing to the west and go from Vineyard Haven to Cuttyhunk via Quicks Hole to Cuttyhunk Pond for a stay at Cuttyhunk Marina.

June 30, Monday 8:44 am go to Newport, RI

July 1, Tuesday 9:20am tide is flooding west, leave out and make way toward Block Island

July 2, Wed 9:57am tide is flooding west, leave for Mattituck or Old Saybrook or ???

July 3, Thursday 10:36am when tide is flooding west leave bound for Port Jefferson, Setauket Yacht club

July 4, Friday at 11:20am when tide is flooding west head towards Oyster Bay

This was also my first attempt to make any sense of the Eldridge. I would not be surprised if I am way off base. But I wanted to take a stab at some times to see if I could learn a few things from your replies. I spoke with a friend of a friend today and work permitting he may sail along side me for most of the way back in his yacht Jubilee, but no promises.

Thanks,
D.C.Y.
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Old 13-05-2014, 20:29   #23
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

I think your plan is good. Some thoughts:

The "marina" at Cuttyhunk is really designed for sport fishing boats. Sailboats normally pick up moorings. There's no launch service. Since you won't have a dinghy, I strongly advise getting an inflatable kayak. They really paddle pretty well. This will let you and your crew get ashore in turns to stretch your legs. You'll use this in the future. Something like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Eleme...flatable+kayak


Newport is great fun but if you are going well try for Point Judith. Coming out of Newport into a SW wind can take half a day.

I'd skip Block Island for this trip. Great place but it makes little progress towards your destination and is likely to be a long upwind day.

Fishers Island is a wonderful place to anchor and directly on your route. Nothing ashore.

Fog: Don't leave until the fog lifts. This usually happens by 10AM - it's often seems like magic. If it takes longer, wait and adjust your destination for the day. Sometimes you will be stuck for the day. Even so, you may have some fog but it's likely to be spotty. Be sure you have a radar reflector (The inexpensive Davis is fine).
http://www.defender.com/product3.jsp...90118&id=82970

Wind. If the morning weather report has "25 knots" or higher in it, stay put. Even if you are up for the slog, it's best not to push an old boat on your first trip. It would be no fun to have a stay let go, rip a sail, or lose a piece of running rigging. And if you are lucky enough to wake up to a wind that's not South or Southwest, get going before making coffee. A fair wind isn't to be wasted.

Be willing to motor. Morning winds are often very light. Since this is largely a delivery trip, leave early and motor for a few hours before the wind comes up (assuming there isn't fog). You'll still have a wonderful sail in the afternoon and forget all about the sound of the engine.

As others have said, don't overplan the tide. Wind direction is a bigger consideration. Except in the very worst spots, it often makes sense to fight a tide if motoring or the wind is aft of the beam. The only hopeless thing is to have both the wind and a strong tide against you at the same time.

Use ActiveCaptain.com for up to the minute harbor information

And first rule: The weather, not you, sets the schedule and often the day's destination. Don't fight it.

,
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Old 14-05-2014, 04:53   #24
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

Quote:
Originally Posted by D.C.Y. View Post
First off, thank you all so much for your great suggestions, wisdoms and warnings. I picked up the Eldridge book as so many of you have suggested.

I am wondering if I shouldn't aim to head out about 30 minutes or so before the currents shift. If any of you guys have a second, I would love to read any thoughts you may have on the following work in process: [Keeping in mind I am a person with limited experience (82 hours, was 80, got out on a Hinckley Pilot) currently no dinghy, no radar, one crew member, VHF, a gps, map tech charts, an AIS app on the iPhone and a pair of binoculars.]

June 26-28 Cleaning the boat, putting up sails and sailing around Vineyard Haven to get to know the new boat, she is 1965 Pearson Alberg 35 with a 2002 Yanmar w187hrs. 5'2" Draft

June 29, Sunday 11:56am start out when the tide is Ebbing to the west and go from Vineyard Haven to Cuttyhunk via Quicks Hole to Cuttyhunk Pond for a stay at Cuttyhunk Marina.

June 30, Monday 8:44 am go to Newport, RI

July 1, Tuesday 9:20am tide is flooding west, leave out and make way toward Block Island

July 2, Wed 9:57am tide is flooding west, leave for Mattituck or Old Saybrook or ???

July 3, Thursday 10:36am when tide is flooding west leave bound for Port Jefferson, Setauket Yacht club

July 4, Friday at 11:20am when tide is flooding west head towards Oyster Bay

This was also my first attempt to make any sense of the Eldridge. I would not be surprised if I am way off base. But I wanted to take a stab at some times to see if I could learn a few things from your replies. I spoke with a friend of a friend today and work permitting he may sail along side me for most of the way back in his yacht Jubilee, but no promises.

Thanks,
D.C.Y.
I agree 100% with CarlF when he wrote not to over-plan the current, and that the wind is more important. Also don't let your schedule dictate your departure if the weather doesn't cooperate.

Again I agree with his advice about Newport (it's a big detour) and Point Judith being a better stop (but there are no moorings there, only slips or anchoring). If you're up for anchoring, the mouth of the Sakonnet River has shelter on the east or west shore, depending on wind direction. I would also add that if you do choose Newport, do NOT leave at the start of the ebb tide if you have a SW wind. The ebb tide will give you wind-against-current and you'll have a very rough ride most of the way South toward Block I. Narragansett Bay can really kick up, as can the area on the north side of BI.

Once you're in the middle of BI Sound or running along the mainland-RI south coast there is very little current. Store that info.

July 1 is going to be crazy busy at Block Island, so don't count on getting a mooring. Plan to anchor. Your wait for launch service and pumpout boat will also be long. (The weeks adjacent to the 4th and Labor Day are to be avoided IMHO). BI is known for poor holding so unless the weather is forecast to be calm and stable (low chance of T-storms and fronts) you'd be better advised to make Stonington CT or Mystic your next stop after Point Judith or Sakonnet.

One other thing -- the AIS app for your iPhone might not have all the info or might be significantly delayed in what info it presents. Don't count on it for navigation to avoid targets in fog.
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Old 14-05-2014, 05:09   #25
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

Also consider Padenarum (South Dartmouth) and Menemsha as Cuttyhunk alternates.

Padenarum has a yacht club with moorings and launch service -- call ahead for reservations.

Menemsha is anchoring-only in the bight, and it should be avoided unless the wind has a S component because it's exposed to the N.
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Old 14-05-2014, 05:26   #26
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

Crossing the Sound at any point, you have to be hyper alert for tugboats towing barges. The barges are often a long way behind the tug and the towlines are invisible at a distance. Make sure you have a working depth gage.
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Old 14-05-2014, 08:24   #27
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

I am hopeful to bring her back without dropping anchor, as there is no windlass and I have ZERO experience anchoring. I guess it would be a great learning opportunity :-)
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Old 14-05-2014, 08:33   #28
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

DCY: You need to be able to anchor for a lot of reasons, not only overnighting. You really sound like you need more boating experience to make this trip. The LI sound waters can be deceivingly welcoming and then they turn on you. Please give some thought bringing along a more experienced crew.
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Old 14-05-2014, 09:51   #29
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

I agree fully. I have till June 29 to either get that experience or find someone up for the trip with the experience needed and interest in teaching me. I am looking.
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Old 14-05-2014, 12:02   #30
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

I think you have the makings of a good plan. I would be prepared mentally for fog, contrary to one OP of never happening has obviously not left the sound as itís very common from Montauk north, I've seen it stay around for days, so just realize that its part of the equation. Also have your GPS all pre-programmed, not easy if caught out in the fog to start programming a waypoint.

This is not terribly difficult trip, but (always a but) weather will play a very large roll in how the outcome will be, also have some backup locations of where to go incase something fails and you need service. Lastly I would recommend finding someone with experience to take along, it doesnít need to be a super star master captain with 50 years experience, but someone that sails the region and knows his/her way around a sailboat will go along way.

All the best, report back how it went!
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