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Old 26-04-2015, 14:40   #1
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First time leaving the LI Sound headed to Newport

Hello, I hope this message finds you well. I will be sailing from Huntington headed to Newport CT in a few weeks. This will be our first time leaving the sound. We are staying the night in Westbrook CT, and then heading from there to Newport on day 2. Any tips that any of you seasoned sailors could offer? I know I need to hit The Race near slack tide and avoiding the flood, but any other things to look out for besides the current? Thanks in advance!

Daniel
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Old 26-04-2015, 17:38   #2
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First time leaving the LI Sound headed to Newport

One thing -- Newport is in Rhode Island, not Connecticut. We are a small state, I know, but we are certainly not Connecticut! :-)


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Old 26-04-2015, 17:45   #3
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Re: First time leaving the LI Sound headed to Newport

Lol oops. I had Westbrook CT on my mind as that is our first stop.
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Old 26-04-2015, 17:51   #4
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Re: First time leaving the LI Sound headed to Newport

The Race is fine in an ebb tide - no need for slack. If the flood is really bad, consider going through Fisher Island sound and out Watch Hill Passage. Or even passing around the East end of Fisher Island and going from there.

Even if you hit flood tide, the width of the Race near Fisher's Island is narrow and you will be out of it soon. Maybe the most interesting 30 minutes of your trip, though.

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Old 27-04-2015, 09:07   #5
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Re: First time leaving the LI Sound headed to Newport

Have you checked Bermuda's web site? They have lots of info that sailors should read before arriving, including what equipment tehy expect you to have aboard.
-Steve
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Old 27-04-2015, 09:24   #6
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Re: First time leaving the LI Sound headed to Newport

My wife and I sailed from Manhasset Harbor, NY where we purchased our Barberis Show 30 in October of 2013, It was a slow go as the wind was right on our nose the entire way, not to mention the big swells from the 20+ easterlies that we encountered. We ended up at Cedar Island Yacht Club in Clinton CT, Highly recommended- very gracious folks! although the Channel into Cedar Island is VERY Narrow and only accessible at high tide ( we draw almost 6').
if you can catch the slack tide past Fishers it'll make life easier.
Enjoy!
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Old 27-04-2015, 09:38   #7
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Re: First time leaving the LI Sound headed to Newport

Watch out for fog, ferries (in-&-outbound at New London & Port Jeff) & of course, Submarines and pots. You'll love the trip and all your stops.
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Old 27-04-2015, 09:39   #8
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Re: First time leaving the LI Sound headed to Newport

+1 on the Watch Hill Passage. Just stay on the reds and keep your eyes on the green cans marking Sugar and Watch Hill reefs and it is easy. You shouldn't need it, but Stonington is an easy place to pull in should you find you want to stop.
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Old 27-04-2015, 12:29   #9
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Re: First time leaving the LI Sound headed to Newport

Okay, Westbrook to Newport is a long day's sail, so you should take advantage of the ebb tide as much as possible. You understand The Race, and I would advise obtaining a current copy of Eldridge and consulting the tide diagram for Long Island Sound - then choosing your start time so as to maximize the tide current out of the Sound. As someone mentioned earlier, you don't need to worry about slack tide at The Race. I would maximize my timing so as to be as far east of The Race as possible when the tide changed.

Also consult your charts. There is a long sand bar in front of the Connecticut River entrance at Old Saybrook. It is buoyed but use caution if your draft is of concern.

There is also, to my remembrance, a shoaling north of Fischers Island when approaching the Mystic Area. Check your charts for that - I almost found it the hard way on a passage into Stonington!

Once east of Stonington/Watch Hill, there is nothing remarkable. Stonington would probably be your best weather bail-out if you needed it, with Pt. Judith next. We found Pt. Judith to be a bit shallow (we draw 6 feet), but navigable by staying closer to the greens than the reds on the way in.

Happy passage!
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Old 27-04-2015, 12:33   #10
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Re: First time leaving the LI Sound headed to Newport

It could be a very long day from Westbrook to Newport depending on the wind direction and intensity. May I suggest that you have a place in mind to stop if it gets late in the day. One option is Pt. Judith. There is a very protected harbor behind breakwaters where you can drop the hook to spend the night.
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Old 27-04-2015, 12:47   #11
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Re: First time leaving the LI Sound headed to Newport

Also, in addtion to Stonington, the Point Judith Refuge is a good stop. You are nearly to Newport, but if you really want a break it makes a reasonable place to pull in for some rest. It can be a little rolly but generally offers good holding and protection. Check your charts for depths and bottom for appropriate anchoring.
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Old 27-04-2015, 15:58   #12
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Re: First time leaving the LI Sound headed to Newport

Definitely check the currents because it will make a big difference on your travel. Leave Westbrook when the ebb begins at the Race or you probably want to go north of Fishers. Even with good tide, we've hit rough water south of FI and it's pretty decent waves.

Going from Westbrook to Newport, you're probably looking at about 11 hours of travel which is a lot. Are you up for that? Fisher's/Mystic/Stonington/Noank would be good places to bail to if Newport is going to be too far. There are rental moorings right in West Harbor on Fisher's and then it will be a good place to get right off to Newport.

Are you in any of the yacht clubs in Huntington? Go to the bar and ask around. You'll get lots of help over a beer.
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Old 27-04-2015, 16:57   #13
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Re: First time leaving the LI Sound headed to Newport

You've gotten good advice on the trip East. +1 on Eldredge. You don't mention what your plans are once you get to Newport. Block Island is a great stop as long as you're not coming in on a weekend. Dutch Harbor on the west side of Conanicut Island is a very nice anchorage and a quiet alternative if the Newport bustle gets you down.

Also, you'll need some good reading on the trip over. I recommend Sudden Sea by R.A. Scotti. It's the story of the 1938 Hurricane and focuses on the chaos along the exact shores you'll be traversing.
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Old 27-04-2015, 17:55   #14
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Re: First time leaving the LI Sound headed to Newport

We used to harbor in Fall River, MA and a couple summers ago sailed in steps to Sag Harbor and back. I would recommend, as others have, a stop over at Pt. Judith. If not in the outer harbor get a slip at Pt. Judith Marina, up the river. Wonderful folks, and you can eat at one of the best seafood restaurants in the area. Then next day leave Pt. Judith for a lovely sail to Newport.
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Old 31-10-2015, 08:01   #15
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Re: First time leaving the LI Sound headed to Newport

Sorry I missed this thread. Have done this many times....

Of course it depends on how much time you have and when you sail.

Current matters! If you can time your sailing with fair currents it will make a HUGE difference.

Wind The prevailing wind is SW and makes for a broad reach sailing East and a beat back. If this is the wind... plan you stops accordingly. If you have a decent wind and a fair tide and early start you can traverse the Sound from Huntington to West Harbor FI.... in one long sail. In summer you can arrive in daylight and the anchorage is in West Harbor is good and quiet. Not much ashore... plan on meals aboard.

West Harbor to Newport is again a read and with fair current you can do this in less than half a day's sail. There are rock in FI Sound so pay attention to your charts. If you pass Watch Hill at full ebb you'll come flying out! You can sail close to the shore but will encounter lots of day fisherman along the way. A nice lunch stop is Pt Jude or you can turn up to Newport and probably have a dead downwind or close to it sail... which can be pretty rolly. If you can't make West Harbor on day 1
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