No big deal. Sure the tide can run a few knots, but any reasonably powered boat can make it through just fine. Here are the comments from Active Captain
. Some are more strident than others. I guess it depends on your experience and cojonies.
Even with our relatively high powered sailboat (660 hp) we had lots of fun maintianing our course and dodging fishing
boats. Next time we'll wait for slack current
simply because the fishing
boats can be challenge alone.
Most of the fishing boats hang over toward the Plum Island side on those shoals by the R2. Those that fish
the west usualy go by the rocks west of the bug light. The Orient Ferry
favors the wind
so if wind
is out of the west the south bound will head
that way before cutting inside the light. Wind from the east and they'll come through on the Plum Is. side past the 2. It should also be noted that there's another ferry
there running over to Plum Island who runs straight across from Orient to Plum. I generally run across the 16' mark off the bug light. Tends to be less traffic.
when coming from the East through Fishers Is Sound and fighting a foul ebb tide I hug the Ct coast where the current
is weak until dead north of the Gut, then pass that point so when I turn south I can set east with the current, and the ebb scoots me through the Gut like a champ. It is powerful there, and plenty of other boats to watch.
The area is prime fishing and can be crowded with commercial
and private boats drifting and coming and going. Flor a slower vessel, dodging between the ferries and the fishing boats requires a sharp lookout. When the fog
rolls in it only compounds the challenge.
The New London Ferry uses this channel for its transit to Orient Point. They move quickly and there are times I've sailed through when one ferry is entering from the North while the second is leaving Orient Point and about to enter from the South. The passage
is not too wide so keep an eye out for them keep clear.
This is not a channel to be taken lightly. An underpowered boat can find itself in a great deal of trouble. The current is heady and if you happen to be in an opposing wind, it turns into a washing
machine. It can get as bad as 8' chop 3 seconds apart. There are plenty of ways to go around this. Use them.