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Old 14-05-2014, 12:53   #31
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

Finally multiple people giving advise that is right on.
Again Newport is out of the way. Suggest Pt.Judith.
Essex river takes awhile also. If you find yourself on the Connecticut side there is Saybrook, Branford and Milford which are easy to get in and out of. You have many choices.
BUT DO NOT MAKE THIS TRIP WITHOUT LEARNING HOW TO ANCHOR!!!!!!
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Old 14-05-2014, 13:55   #32
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

Re heading out 30 minutes before the current shifts, bear in mind this isn't a railroad schedule. Current shifts are gradual and often influenced by wind and weather, so there's no reason to wait "for" the shift. Start early, the worst you'll do is hit some not-quite-slack current before the turn.

July4 weekend can be a madhouse, and sometimes a hot and humid one. Make sure you've got enough food & water so that you won't need anything if you can't get ashore, or it turns to 95 degrees with 90% humidity and zero wind. Odds are it won't be that bad--but the weather these days has been record setting.

And when you do come across the inevitable drunk boaters? Don't be afraid to call the USCG on the phone or VHF and report it. The USCG is happy to answer phone calls, the VHF tends to be a madhouse on holiday weekends too.
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Old 14-05-2014, 14:10   #33
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

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Originally Posted by D.C.Y. View Post
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 :-)
Just out of curiosity (not trying to cause trouble!) -- what kind of anchor(s) do you have on board? What kind of rode?

You probably don't need a windlass unless it's over 50 lbs or so. You do want all your ground tackle to be in good shape and ready to go just in case of emergency.

Research some of the anchoring threads here which can teach you a lot (and a lot more than I could) before you go.
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Old 14-05-2014, 15:56   #34
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

DCY, I have some editions of Maptech Embassy Cruising Guides for New England and Long Island Sound that are outdated, but they're yours for the cost of postage if you want them. PM me with your mailing address if you want them.

The info might be 8 or 10 years old, but most of the marinas and clubs are the same and phone numbers too (except for the new area codes added, such as 631). If you see something in the book you can get updates on ActiveCaptain.com

Also, I suggest you get an app such as Weather Underground that gives you real-time Doppler radar, so you can track (and anticipate) rain and local T-storms. It also gives you hour-by-hour forecasts for nearby locations. If you subscribe (its cheap) you ditch the ads and you can also get real-time weather alerts for your selections. Highly recommended. It's great to be able to see a line-squall approaching from 25+ even 100 miles away, long before it would be visible, and estimated time of arrival.
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Old 15-05-2014, 06:52   #35
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

Danforth 25lb and 30lb. With 20' chain + 200' rode and 200ft rode respectfully.
By way of update: I have been able to enlist (not 100% confirmed yet) a friend with 20years experience with boats, many of those years as a transporter for high society types. Also I got a tentative from a friend who is a legitimate captain with his own charter company.
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Old 15-05-2014, 07:05   #36
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

Smart man, all the best on your trip!
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een able to enlist (not 100% confirmed yet) a friend with 20years experience with boats, many of those years as a transporter for high society types. Also I got a tentative from a friend who is a legitimate captain with his own charter company.
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Old 15-05-2014, 07:40   #37
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

You've got the Eldridge and are halfway there. Study it and plan your trip accordingly. Your plan to buck some current starting out is a good one to get max use out of the favorable flood into Long Island Sound. Getting through "The Race" will be your biggest challenge. Just don't get spooked by the strange sea state with the rips you might encounter. You'll pass through them soon enough. Expect fog but, it should be less of a problem the further west you go. You do have a horn or some type of signaling device? Right?

Prevailing southwest Sea breeze "usually" makes it across Long Island around 2PM or so which makes for nice afternoon sails westward along the coast. I did say "usually".

I agree on a holiday weekend best to stay away from Block and probably Cuttyhunk. But, if the weather turns bad don't completely scratch them off the list if you are not having "fun" out on the waters.

Mattituck is a good harbor of refuge but, could be tight for anchoring if a lot of boats show up on the holiday weekend. Could call ahead to the marina at the head of the creek and see if they have room.

Port Jefferson is an easy place to find a spot to anchor or pickup a mooring. From there it's just a few hours to Oyster Bay. Should be a fun trip if you have a few of those old hands on board with you and the weather is halfway decent.
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Old 15-05-2014, 08:23   #38
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

It's great that you're taking on some experienced crew. As others have said, study the charts and know Eldridge. You have lots of options if you know where you are at all times, the distances, and the currents you can make some decisions based on conditions as you progress.

For instance, If the winds, weather, currents are favorable with a good crew you could attempt to get to Block the 1st day and get some miles behind you. Or, you can decide to bang a right and head for cuttyhunk via quick's hole. You can plan the next day, once you get somewhere..there's nothing that says you can't be flexible and adapt to the conditions and circumstances. If you can get to block the 1st day, I like the Old Saybrook, to PJ to Oyster Bay route. You can grab a slip at Saybrook point marina, or anchor a little further up in North Cove. PJ is a mooring ball.

Block is going to be busy..expect to have to anchor, you can always call the Harbormaster after 3 to see if he has a private mooring available for a night. if you're not lucky enough to get a town mooring ( green ball)
If you do anchor in Block..make sure you get a good set.let out adequate scope, back down on your anchor check your swing.

It's likely that you will be doing a fair amt of motor sailing ( unless you get lucky) So, make sure you top up your tank when you can and don't let it get too low. It might pay to carry a little extra fuel, a spare filter and an impeller. It sounds like a new to you vessel..I wouldn't underestimate the value of a reliable engine on this trip.
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Old 15-05-2014, 08:42   #39
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

Thanks for the input! Great tips. Fog is still my greatest worry. I will hope to get good weather reports and keep an eye on temp vs dew point and try to get to a destination before is sets in. Maybe get an idea of all possible safe havens along the way. I am going anchoring this weekend, after reading and watching lots of youtube, I an looking forward to being taught by a captain in real time. As for the engine on the "new" boat, I am hopeful the 2002 Yanmar w 187 hrs has what it takes. I will definitely take on some spare parts and fuel!
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Old 15-05-2014, 09:20   #40
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

Not to minimize the risks of fog, but if you have a chartplotter or smartphone with navigation app (even without radar or AIS) I'd be much more fearful of thunderstorms -- sudden squalls and lightning. If you encounter low ominous clouds, I'd advise you to strike your sails and secure everything before the frontal gusts hit (to avoid a knockdown). Frontal gusts can include microbursts of 70k+. Once the initial gusts pass you'll know just how much wind you're dealing with, and can make a decision when to resume sailing.

In addition to Weather Underground, you may want to consider the iOS or Android navigation apps such as Skipper or Charts & Tides, which include the ActiveCaptain database (which can be cached in memory and accessed even when you're offline).
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Old 15-05-2014, 09:27   #41
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

Yes, Fog can be problematic. You can choose to sit tight and wait till it lifts. If you find yourself in it...I think someone mentioned an air horn. ( required) However, you can blow through one fairly quickly. Have spares. They make electric handhelds that you can carry extra batteries for, or there's one that you can pump up with a bicycle pump.
So it never runs out.

Use the radio, issue a pan pan let others know your position course and speed. Have someone monitor the radio and chart any vessels that respond in your area and plot them. ( not everyone will) but often the tugs and tankers will be doing the same. Have your radar reflector deployed.. If your engine is on you're a power vessel and sound accordingly. Listen, look. There's a good chance you won't get caught out in it. It's more likely, that you'd wake up to it ( but it's best to be prepared).

Absent fog, timing your passage through the race will be a good experience.

Given the week that you're traveling, if you know where you're heading and do want a transient slip call ahead that morning and get a reservation..
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Old 15-05-2014, 19:06   #42
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

Sorry I missed this thread. These are my home waters, so I'll inject my $.02.

1. Best route doing short hops is Vineyard Haven through Quick's Hole to Cuttyhunk, then to Block Island. From there you can head for Stonington (via the "pass" at Watch Hill) and then to Old Saybrook (no point in going up the river to Essex) and then to Port Jefferson and finally to Oyster Bay.

Alternatively you can head for the North Fork of LI and spend the night at Dering Harbor or one of the other nice anchorages there. Then go through Plum Gut and head to Oyster Bay.

Either way, the current in Vineyard Sound (in particular) can be significant. You want to go with the current in your favor.

2. Fog sometimes happens, but isn't that the case everywhere? The key is to avoid the ferry routes when it's foggy: there is a ferry from Point Judith to Block Island and a Ferry from New London to Orient Point on LI. The ferries go fast and don't turn too quickly. Otherwise, you can probably deal with the traffic you might encounter in the fog.

3. The wind is probably going to be on the nose, and once you get past Fishers' Island the winds in Western LI Sound can be flukey and light. It's possible that you will have to motor a good part of the way.

4. The race is no big deal. It looks like rapids in a river, but with no rocks. Once again it helps to have the current with you, not against you.

5. July 4 weekend will be crowded everywhere. Call ahead if you want to reserve moorings in any of these stopping places.
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Old 16-05-2014, 09:02   #43
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

Curmudgeon's advice is good all the way. I too consider these "home" waters and he was right to counter a recommendation in my prior post, when he wrote, "no point in going up the river to Essex".

I also agree that The Race is no big deal, but it will slow your progress if you hit it wrong -- but the simple answer is that you don't need to change your timing: Just go via Watch Hill Passage and Fisher's Island Sound, where the currents are half as fast (or less).
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Old 17-05-2014, 10:14   #44
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

Any thoughts on the following Tentative Stops:
June 29 leaving out from Vineyard Haven to Cuttyhunk Marina
June 30 Block Island Boat Basin
July 1 Stonington Harbor YC
July 2 North Cove YC
July 3 Setauket YC
July 4 Sagamore YC (home base)
July 5,6,7 extra days if needs be
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Old 17-05-2014, 12:02   #45
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Re: Need Advice: Vineyard Haven to Oyster Bay

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Originally Posted by D.C.Y. View Post
Any thoughts on the following Tentative Stops:
June 29 leaving out from Vineyard Haven to Cuttyhunk Marina
June 30 Block Island Boat Basin
July 1 Stonington Harbor YC
July 2 North Cove YC
July 3 Setauket YC
July 4 Sagamore YC (home base)
July 5,6,7 extra days if needs be
Well done to get an experienced sailor to join you. It will be a good learning adventure for you, but with a much greater safety margin. These are easy cruising grounds, but it helps to have someone with miles under their belt.

I can only comment on your first three days as I don't tend to venture too deeply into LIS.

As noted earlier, the Cuttyhunk Marina is not a great spot for sailboats. It is mostly filled with fishing and other power boats. You're much better off either on a mooring or anchoring. Moorings inside the pond fill up early and are close together. The moorings outside are great as long as the wind isn't from the north. Anchoring is decent though there can be weed.

Block Island should be OK on a Monday though it is the beginning of the summer cruising season, so it won't be empty. Moorings get taken early, but there are often private moorings that the harbormaster will release after 3PM. We like to anchor on the east side of the pond in 6-10 feet. However, it's a popular area. If the pond is full, you can find yourself anchoring in 30 ft with limited swinging room and uncertain scope on your neighbors' anchors. Try for an afternoon mooring if that's your only anchoring spot.

Fisher's Island Sound is an easy ride from BI. Stonington is easy access. If you're early in the day and want to keep going, Mystic and Noank are options. Spicer's Marina in Noank has slips and moorings.

Your three extra days are a good buffer. Weather is good enough by the end of June that you should be able to wait out adversity and either shorten days with some alternative anchorages or simply enjoy a lay day. Day 1 is already pretty short. If you need to bail out on day 2, the anchorage at third beach on the west side of the mouth of the Sakonnet is a good choice. There are usually empty moorings there as well as a good anchorage. Not fun in a northerly, but if you have winds from the north you should making tracks, not stopping early. Pt Judith is another bailout option short of Block, but you're almost there so, unless you've decided to bypass Block, I wouldn't stop there.
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