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Old 30-03-2018, 18:59   #1
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Pet Friendly New England

What are your favorite dog friendly ports between Portland Maine and Providence Rhode Island?

We are coming south with our 15 year old Border Collie starting in May. She moves slow, but only wants to come along. We will harbor hop our way south giving her a chance to come ashore at least once in the morning and once in the evening. Our dinghy can get us from the anchor or mooring to a dock or beach.

I would like to have port options about every 30 miles. Sometimes harbors look good in the cruising guide, but important information related to getting the dog ashore is left out. An example is Little Harbour near Portsmouth New Hampshire. At first glance this appears to be a great stopping choice due to state parks on both the north and south shores. Then I find that that dogs are not welcome in New Hampshire State Parks.

I am expecting no problems finding pet friendly ports above Portland Maine. I have yet to find a village in Down East Maine that does not welcome cruising dogs, and there are plenty of secluded islands and beaches to sniff.

My primary concern is Portland Maine to Provincetown Mass. Plum Island Sound looks like a great stop if I catch the tide high enough to enter the shallow channel. Isle of Shoals looks good in the right weather, but again not sure the dog is welcome ashore there. Suggestions would be very welcome.

Once through the Cape Code Canal we are thinking Cuttyhunk, Providence, Block Island, maybe Fisher Island, Port Jefferson, and maybe Oyster Bay. Then through the East River to Staten Island or Atlantic Highlands. I would love to run the New Jersey shore non-stop, but need to plan a stop somewhere just for the dog.

Once in Delaware Bay I am in home waters. We may stop in Lewis just for fun, then ride the tide up Delaware Bay. We know good places to go ashore just south and just north of the C& D Canal entrance, then we are into the Chesapeake. Elk Neck State Park is a good dog stop. South of that it is hard to find a port that is not dog friendly.

Your suggestions will be most helpful.

Brent
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Old 30-03-2018, 19:14   #2
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Re: Pet Friendly New England

Your correct about Portland and east. We all love poochie down here.
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Old 31-03-2018, 04:56   #3
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Re: Pet Friendly New England

It's pretty rare to find a dog-UNfriendly port.

In Little Harbor there's no room for anchoring, so your only choice is Wentworth, a resort marina. But you could certainly take the dog up the brow and walk all over New Castle island. Never heard about a no-dogs rule in NH parks, but maybe.

You mention Gosport Harbor (Isles of Shoals.) Also no good anchoring, but mid-week you MIGHT get away with borrowing a Yacht Club mooring. You do run the risk of getting kicked off by a member. Don't even think about taking the working fishermen's moorings!

If you do decide to risk it, the only place you're allowed to land a dog is on Malaga island. Use the tiny cove between that and Smuttynose.

Wells Harbor and the Saco River both have municipal moorings for a nominal fee, and I'm sure your dog would be welcome ashore. York Harbor has municipal moorings and a couple of small marinas, and again, plenty of room to walk the dog around Harris Island or along the "fisherman's walk" on the other side (Donnell's Marina.) Don't miss the "Wiggly Bridge," it's the local dog-walking destination.

The town dock in Newburyport puts you right in the waterside park which is a favorite with local dog-walkers. If that's full (or you want to reserve in advance) there are a number of marinas nearby.

The only places I know where dogs aren't allowed are where they pose a risk to local wildlife, such as sand dunes where plovers nest, or small islands with fragile ecosystems. Posted or not, you should always be sensitive to these issues.
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Old 31-03-2018, 10:20   #4
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Re: Pet Friendly New England

Thanks for the suggestions. This fills in the holes along the section I was most concerned about.
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Old 01-04-2018, 08:46   #5
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Re: Pet Friendly New England

Wickford Marina in Narragansett Bay. Beautiful, pet friendly spot with reasonable rates.
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Old 01-04-2018, 08:50   #6
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Re: Pet Friendly New England

The town dock in Newpuryport is probably the best deal on in the Northeast. It cost us $75 a night for a 39 ft boat. Watch the extreme currents however when entering, docking and leaving the port!
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:09   #7
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Re: Pet Friendly New England

Thanks for the suggestions.

South of Portland it seems there are few places to anchor. Active Captain suggests mooring balls have filled up most of what used to be anchorages. What process do you use to secure a mooring?

I am traveling in May to early June. Is it practical to just show up, find a suitable mooring? Or is calling ahead more the norm?

As a southern sailor there are few places requiring advance reservations in my normal range.
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Old 01-04-2018, 14:32   #8
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Re: Pet Friendly New England

Isle of Shoals only the tiny Malaga Island, have to land on rock grass or rocks.
Gloucester, Rockport, Provincetown are good. Harbor of Refuge at Canal entrance, Mattapoisett, Quisset Harbor, In Hadleys Harbor there is an island (Bull Island) where dogs can run, Marion, Dartmouth, New Bedford, Fairhaven and Westport all good. Just have your poo bags with you and use them. In Narragansett Bay Prudence Island, Newport, Bristol, Portsmouth all good. Maine has all of the southern New England states beat for being dog friendly. Not likely they will be tolerated in a grocery store, restaurant or even a dining deck in most of the southern New England towns.
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Old 01-04-2018, 18:05   #9
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Re: Pet Friendly New England

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparx View Post
South of Portland it seems there are few places to anchor. Active Captain suggests mooring balls have filled up most of what used to be anchorages. What process do you use to secure a mooring?

I am traveling in May to early June. Is it practical to just show up, find a suitable mooring? Or is calling ahead more the norm?

As a southern sailor there are few places requiring advance reservations in my normal range.
Yes, "destination" moorings have filled up many of the best anchorages. Mooring rights are assigned by the local municipality. All someone has to do is show up at the Town Hall with $100 or $150 and they can reserve a spot at some remote anchorage where no locals have a boat that needs a "real" mooring. This gives them the right to put out a block, with chain up to a mooring ball, effectively reserving that plot of water for them forever, even if they only use it one or two weekends per year.

Totally against the spirit of the law, but that's what's done in many places.

As a transient boater, you show up and find the anchorage filled with mostly unused (or sometimes, ALL unused) mooring balls. No place to anchor, and you're not legally allowed to use a private mooring.

In many places (such as The Goslings in Casco Bay) this ownership is not enforced by anyone but the owner themself. It's understood that you can "borrow" the mooring if the owner isn't around, as long as you leave if they arrive. As I mentioned, this informal understanding mostly applies to the yacht club moorings in Gosport Harbor (but NOT the local fishermen's moorings.) The obscene screaming lady from one of the yacht clubs, who used to try to "enforce" that club's rights to even unused moorings, hasn't been seen (heard?) much the last couple of years.

Borrowing a mooring, however, puts you at some risk. I've personally seen boats go on the rocks in a squall because the mooring was not adequately maintained, or someone put a large boat on a mooring that was rigged for a smaller vessel. It happens almost every year at Gosport.

Mooring chains and other tackle need to be checked, and usually some component replaced, every year. If that hasn't been done on the mooring you choose, or if you choose a mooring with a block too small to hold your boat, you could end up on the rocks.

May and early June are pretty quiet along the Maine coast. You shouldn't have much company, or much competition for moorings, anchorages or marinas.

In towns with Municipal moorings you can call or hail (on 16) the town "harbormaster." Early season it's best to have the phone number; the harbormasters may not be out on the boats or at the docks mid-week.
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Old 02-04-2018, 17:19   #10
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Re: Pet Friendly New England

Thanks for the insights.

After researching your suggestions York Harbor and Wells Harbor have made the list. Newpuryport may end up on the list also.

Brent
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Old 03-04-2018, 11:19   #11
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Re: Pet Friendly New England

For the record, Newburyport used to have a number of municipal moorings for transients, too, but last time I was there there didn't seem to be any available. The moorings all seemed to be taken by local boats. But if you prefer a mooring to a slip, by all means, ask. I could be wrong.

One final point about moorings: What I said about the questionable reliability of private "destination" moorings doesn't usually apply to municipal, marina or yacht club moorings. Those entities do maintain their moorings, and will tell you which ones can safely handle your boat.
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