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Old 22-03-2011, 01:40   #1
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Cape May to Block Island

I am considering a cruise from the Chesapeake up to LI Sound, Newport, Mystic etc. Expect to leave/return from Cape May, although Cape Charles/Norfolk a possibility.


Expect to spend only a week up there before returning. Would like to keep location costs as low as possible. Any info on marina's, anchoring, mooring fields, up on the sound appreciated. Also issues of the offshore leg, such as currents, traffic, appreciated. I have no experience with LI Sound, so any suggestions for guides, or info from experience appreciated.

I have read a lot about the C&D, Delaware River already. It is the offshore and Sound I am interested in hearing about.

Thinking of late June to the end of July as possible sailing window for this trip.

Thanks
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Old 22-03-2011, 01:50   #2
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Re: Cape May to Block Island

Found this site:

SOUNDBOUNDER
A Long Island Sound Coastal Access & Exploration Blog
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Old 22-03-2011, 04:49   #3
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Re: Cape May to Block Island

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Originally Posted by Trekka View Post
I am considering a cruise from the Chesapeake up to LI Sound, Newport, Mystic etc. Expect to leave/return from Cape May, although Cape Charles/Norfolk a possibility.


Expect to spend only a week up there before returning. Would like to keep location costs as low as possible. Any info on marina's, anchoring, mooring fields, up on the sound appreciated. Also issues of the offshore leg, such as currents, traffic, appreciated. I have no experience with LI Sound, so any suggestions for guides, or info from experience appreciated.

I have read a lot about the C&D, Delaware River already. It is the offshore and Sound I am interested in hearing about.

Thinking of late June to the end of July as possible sailing window for this trip.

Thanks
A week is not much time to explore Long Island Sound. You might be thinkabout just exploring between the forks of Long Island. Block Island can be fun if you've never been there before expect to pay for a mooring there. Montauk might be your second stop as it's only about 17 miles west from Block. You can anchor in Lake Montauk no moorings but, Marinas are available there. From there Sag Harbor might be a stop there is an anchorage outside the harbor $$ inside. From there I'd head over to Three Mile Harbor in East Hampton. Excellent anchorage where I rode out Hurricane Earl last year. Other stops you might consider include Coecles Harbor on Shelter Island lot's of places to anchor and a marina with moorings availible. Smith Cove on the south end of Shelter Island is a good spot to anchor but, no services or supplies nearby. There is also Greenport (marinas) on the north fork and Deering Harbor on the north side of Shelter Island (moorings). These are just a few places off the top of my head. IMO you really would need more than a week to explore Long Island Sound to any great extent. But, I think a week between the forks is very doable. I would also recommend you pick up a copy of the Eldridge Tide and Pilot book before you head up there.
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Old 22-03-2011, 05:16   #4
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Re: Cape May to Block Island

Agree 1 week isn't much time. Block Island is fun you can anchor in great salt pond. Sometimes tight though.
Dutch harbor off conanicut Island Jamestown RI is Okay anchoring. Jamestown is a fun town. You can cab over to Newport if your feeling touristy. Wickford RI just a tad north has guest mooring balls just another great place to stop over.
You can anchor outside Northport harbor NY just fine and Northport is pleasant as well. Good jumping off point to get through hells gate depending on the tides.
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Old 22-03-2011, 05:56   #5
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Re: Cape May to Block Island

Agree with MBianca that with only a week you should limit yourself to the harbor stops surrounding Gardiners Bay (between the east forks of LI) and Block Island. Don't even try to explore LIS unless you choose one or two harbors and make that part of your route for going up or the return. I would skip Montauk Harbor (it's ALL about sport fishing) and visit the other stops Mbianca mentioned. Sag Harbor and Greenport are your best stops for provisioning in that area, with markets a short 5 minute walk from the docks. If you want to include Mystic you also have the option of Stonington which is a very pleasant town and harbor, and a cab ride to DT Mystic is only about $10 including tip.

If your trip spans the July 4th weekend you should avoid Newport and Block Island during the holiday and adjacent weeks. (Too crowded). There's too much to write about each place so consult the cruising guides.
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Old 22-03-2011, 05:56   #6
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Re: Cape May to Block Island

Trekka,

All the places that "mbianka" mentioned are very nice.
Recommend you use ActiveCaptain to plan your route. All these good anchorages are listed and more. ActiveCaptain will have a new Route planning feature turned on in a few weeks also to make it easier for you.

Coming from Cape May offshore to Montauk would be a great leg and you can anchor in the pond. Then head to Block and up Narragansett Bay or go over to Gardeners bay (More wide open places to anchor).

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Old 22-03-2011, 06:28   #7
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Re: Cape May to Block Island

Your time frame is a bit tricky, as the 4th of July will fill every harbor and anchorage in that area.

I too agree with the others that a week is very short, but you could go directly from Cape May to Block Island and spend a day or two there, then head over to Greenport or Shelter Island area and spend 2 days there. From Greenport, you could jump over to Mystic for a night or two, then head to Pt Jefferson for a night (half way down the LI Sound), and then west from there towards NYC (any number of anchorages around City Island/Flushing/Manhasset). Then you time the tide to run down the East River and down to someplace along the Jersey shore.

Be sure you have a current SeaTow or BoatUS towing membership. There are plenty of places to run aground up there.

The area has a lot to offer, and you could easily spend a week just at Block Island, so plan accordingly.
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Old 22-03-2011, 06:28   #8
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Re: Cape May to Block Island

It's a short hop over to Newport, which is a major sailing center, the home of the old 12 meters, sailing museum, and lots of stuff to see. You can throw the hook right in the Harbor (look out for the power cable). The north side of Fishers Island is a nice spot to throw the hook as well. If you make it up into LI Sound, you can anchor in Port Jeff Harbor right behind the west jetty. Make sure you look at your charts to get in here as there are a couple of sandbars to avoid. Make sure you have a good weather window heading up the Sound as there are few places on the LI side to duck in. Also make sure you hit the current right going through Plum Gut or The Race. They can get nasty.
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Old 22-03-2011, 06:42   #9
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Re: Cape May to Block Island

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Your time frame is a bit tricky, as the 4th of July will fill every harbor and anchorage in that area.
Strongly disagree. Newport, Mystic and BI are the big holiday attractions. The others will have lots of space left by boats that went on vacation.

Just time it accordingly. It all depends on whether your priority is to see the tourist attractions or to visit beautiful places and make your own enjoyment.

BTW if the latter is your cup of tea, I can't emphasize enough that the Gardiners Bay area and BI will not disappoint. Each harbor has it's own flavor and all are spectacular, and there's great daysailing between harbors in GB.
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Old 22-03-2011, 06:55   #10
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Re: Cape May to Block Island

SailFast, are you suggesting that Greenport harbor will have plenty of room on 4th of July? Lake Montauk?
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Old 22-03-2011, 07:23   #11
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Re: Cape May to Block Island

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SailFast, are you suggesting that Greenport harbor will have plenty of room on 4th of July? Lake Montauk?
Yes Greenport likely will. Montauk? Probably not at the docks but there would be plenty of room to anchor, and IMHO there's no reason for a non sport-fisherman to go there unless it's "any port will do ASAP".
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Old 22-03-2011, 08:21   #12
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Re: Cape May to Block Island

Lotsa good advice here, but it seems that your time is limited,so I would consider a more modest itineary that would still be rewarding if weather,engine problems ,etc.etc. prevent getting out to all those great places recomended here (they would be mt first choices too).
Its has always been my experience that I rarely go as far as I had hoped so, if in fact this happens to you, a good plan B would be to duck in at Sandy hook and New York harbor and sail up to NYC and from there either continue up the Hudson towards West Point or hang a right at the tip of Manhattan and enter LI sound with plenty of places to visit and less distance to go (sort of cruising lite).
It's soo easy to draw a straight line on a chart ,do the simple math and figure I'll be there by noon on Sunday. It sometimes happens, if I just reach for the starter button and grind out the miles while ignoring all the other things I want to get out of my trip. The grind it out approach has caused me to miss out on fine sails that were slower than my math showed to be optimum ,hurried goodbys to new friends,fishing ,sunsets , beach walks,interesting anchorages bypassed ,all to "keep on scheldue".
A plan B on any proposed trip might be the change of pace so many of us seem to seeking and will allow for the spontanety that is too often missing in land life.
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Old 22-03-2011, 22:41   #13
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Re: Cape May to Block Island

Hi Trekka, Have some good info on sound, too late now... pm me as I can provide you with a mooring in western sound if you like.
Hugo
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Old 22-03-2011, 23:09   #14
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Re: Cape May to Block Island

Greenport is a pretty long way in.
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