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Old 13-06-2014, 20:31   #16
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Re: Cruising North Fork, Block, Cape Cod

Hope you enjoy the cruise. The waters calling my name, my favorite cruising grounds are calling me, the pull is strong.
We're still working to fill the kitty and step off for an extended period, it's a couple years off, but these summer cruises fill the void and put our heads in the right place. It's what we need to do to get to where want to be.
These cruising grounds have many choices and opportunities, we're lucky to live within such a close proximity to such a vast resource, enjoy and appreciate the variety and richness of the opportunities afforded you in my home waters.
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Old 14-06-2014, 18:09   #17
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Re: Cruising North Fork, Block, Cape Cod

Originally Posted by lifeofreilly57 View Post
Good Info.
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 docks.
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 schedule.
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.
We're going to try Cuttyhunk on the way to MV. Since we are coming from Block, I doubt we can make it by noon. If it is a weekday, do we have a chance of getting a mooring after say 3pm? I have a delta anchor, will that work better? We have friends that live in Falmouth, MA and want to stop there, possibly on the way to MV from Cuttyhunk. Any recommendations for that area? We'd like to time it so we are pulling into MV on a weekday to increase the chances of getting a good mooring.
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Old 14-06-2014, 20:02   #18
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Re: Cruising North Fork, Block, Cape Cod

You should be able to get a mooring on the outside, maybe not in the inner harbor, that is more of a crap shoot.

We were in Cuttyhunk this past Monday night, got there at 5:30 pm and there were only three other boats on moorings in the inner harbor. Of course, school isn't out yet and it's still a little chilly. By the way, the pump is broken on the diesel pump and they don't think it will get fixed anytime soon.
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Old 16-06-2014, 06:56   #19
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Re: Cruising North Fork, Block, Cape Cod

The early season was a bit dismal this year due to weather so early season cruising was easy, plenty of moorings available, wide open anchorages, but once the weather warms and the summer season hits there will be less availability.
Moorings are always a crapshoot but coming in during the week usually increases your odds, if you have a delta you should be OK, any anchor that continues to bury will work better. Danforth anchors have issues with the clumps of sea grass in Cuttyhunk, deltas, CQR's, etc do better. It's nice quite little island.
As for moorings in MV, Oak Bluffs was first come first served last time I visited, Edgartown takes reservations. If your not sure what days you'll be there due to weather or other factors Vineyard haven is most likely to have moorings available if Oak Bluffs or Edgartown doesn't, if the others are full you can either get a mooring there or go under the lifting bridge and anchor in the pond.
Vineyardhaven is a dry town and a bit farther from the main attractions on the island but has it's own charm. Stay a day or two and check with the other harbormasters for availability. The island bus route does run there so like most of MV everything is accessible by public transportation, buy a multi-day bus pass, it's the best way to go.
I'm not that familiar with Falmouth, anyone else out there from that area with suggstions?
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