If your hitting the Block on the 4th my advice would be to get in early, the town moorings are gone by 10am or noon most weekends but like the info here sometimes the harbormaster can get you onto a private mooring
if you come in late but he usually is off the water
by 7pm. The only issue there is you might have a time limit on that mooring
if the owners are returning the next day.
The anchorage in new harbor has been getting smaller over the years due to the number of moorings increasing and pushing towards the anchorage and also a no anchor
zone increasing in size due to environmental reasons. The anchorage does have good holding but is also crowded on weekends and holiday weeks, a chain rode
would be a good thing if you end up having to anchor
and are limited in scope
due to swing room. The town has put a moratorium on new moorings for that reason.
There are docks available for rent at Champlains and the docks at the Oar but I'd suggest calling soon since it's a popular week. If you choose that option there are hotels available but again, it's a busy time. If you are looking to dock
you may end up rafted to other boats since they really try to take in as many as possible on that weekend. Because they tend to raft up and use every available space the fuel
docks and access to water
is limited, I'd suggest making sure the fuel
and water tanks
are full before getting in. There was a guy operating a portable water service
last year but I'm not sure if it's in operation this year, the harbor master would be a better source for that info.
Don't forget Aldos bakery, they make the rounds of the mooring field and anchorage in the morning with hot coffee and delicious pastries to your boat, they've been at it since the old man started the service
way back, his son now does the on water rounds. You'll hear him singing out his wares in the early am.
Usually I don't go to the Block on the 4th but was lucky enough to get the dates for my yacht clubs BI mooring that weekend which makes for a little shorter dinghy
ride to the dinghy
Vineyard Haven has plenty of moorings but can be a bit rolly if the wind
is out of the right direction, it's not as well protected, best to radio
ahead to both Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluff for availability. Another possibility is the pond in Vineyard Haven which requires going under the lifting bridge but they usually limit the amount of time you can stay there, I think it was 3 days last time I visited (12 years ago) that site. ALso the dinghy ride is much longer but still doable.
I also agree that Oak Bluff is the most convenient harbor on MV but just remember that they will raft up to 3 boats at a time on the town moorings. Not a problem if your a social person, I've met some very nice people that way, most will respect your privacy and have been quite cordial in my experience. It helps if you bring good lines and fenders, several times I've had people raft up who didn't have the proper equipment
or enough lines to do it properly or the previous experience, in that case I always bring enough lines to cover the situation. If your staying for a few days it's worth getting a multi-day bus pass, it's unlmitted in use for the time period and they do have a pretty extensive route
If your looking for a nice, more laid back anchorage you might think of Cuttyhunk, it's a rather small island with a small harbor but a nice, less busy place for a day, halfway to MV. Just bring an anchor which will set well in sea grass, a regular danforth won't set that well and will just keep pulling up clumps of sea grass. The inner harbor is small and usually full by noon, but the outer harbor is still well protected except in the case of a northeast wind
In any case pay attention to the tides both in getting to the Block and to MV since they can run pretty strong at times.
Good luck, enjoy your stay, their both very nice places to visit but I'm still partial to the Block though, make sure to get out and see the island, there are still plenty of remote
, sparsely populated beaches there and fine scenery to take in.
My wife and I are going for our arrival ritual, Frozen Mudslides at the Oar.