Punta Gorda, FL to Warwick, RI
We ended our trip north from Florida to Rhode Island yesterday. We left Punta Gorda, Florida on April 8, 2012 and arrived to Warwick, Rhode Island on May 14, 2012. Here are the final statistics of our trip:
Total days: 38 days
Days Moving: 30 days
Distance Traveled: 1629.44 nautical miles / 1875.12 statute miles
Total Hours Moving: 241 hours and 40 minutes
Average Speed: 6.74 knots / 7.76 miles per hour
Average Miles per Day: 54.32 nautical miles / 62.5 statute miles
This trip the days not moving were by choice... 6 days in Fernandina Beach, FL to attend the MTOA Southern Rendezvous and 2 days in Smithfield, VA to visit friends.
We will be in Warwick, RI for a little over a week and then we will move out to Block Island, Rhode Island for the summer. We will be anchored in the Great Salt Pond.
Port Jefferson,NY to Warwick,RI
Florida to Rhode Island- Day 30
Woke at about 0700 hours and took Beecha to land for her morning business. I decided I would make breakfast today and surprise Susan. There was a McDonalds right at the top of the docks... two breakfast sandwiches and two hash browns... YUMMY! Been a while since we had enjoyed any fast foods... LOL
Returned to SAILS on the dinghy... Surprise! Breakfast! Susan had already eaten a bowl of cereal while Beecha and I were at land... but she still indulged in the greasy breakfast sandwiches and hash browns... and since she had already eaten... she couldn't finish hers... I had to jump to task and finish up her sandwich and hash browns... LOL
Anyway, we dropped the mooring lines and were back underway at 0740 hours and soon were back in Long Island Sound. Forecast for the day had been 10-15 knot winds out of the south and we were expecting a little more in the way of waves than what we had... it was almost flat calm... it was early yet and figured it would get worse... but it didn't. I checked the forecast and it had changed from last night... it was for 5-10 knot winds out of the south and 1-2 seas.... VERY NICE!
It was very calm but it was one of those "gray" days... once we were back out in the middle of the sound you could not see land on either side of us... not because of the distance but because of the fog or mist in the air... GRAY AND GLOOMY.
We did have a good boost of current allowing us to make 7.7 to 7.8 knots most of the time... as we approached "The Race" where the sound narrows down we were doing over 9 knots for quite a while... but this was the area where we were meeting the changing current from ebb to flood and there were spikes of current that slowed us down to below 7 knots as we crossed them and then we jump right back up to over 8 knots... did this for several minutes... then we hit a spike that stayed with us a couple of miles from Fishers Island where we slowed to less than 5 knots as we entered Fishers Island Sound between North and South Dumpling islands... very narrow here... once past we did pick up a little speed but not much... all the way through Fishers Island Sound we made about 6.0-6.3 knots.
We had planned to stop and anchor behind Fishers Island but the forecast for the Tuesday in Block Island Sound was crap! South winds 15-20 knots with gusts to 30 knots and 4-6 seas. That would place the waves almost directly on our starboard beam... would not of been a comfortable day of cruising so we decided to continue on to Warwick, RI. It would be a late arrival and involve some night travel but that would be better than the rough beam seas.
We exited Fishers Island Sound through Watch Hill Passage and again slowed to below 5 knots as the current was ripping through the narrow passage. But it was not long after getting into Block Island Sound that our speed increased to 6.5 knots. Approximately 6 hours to go making our arrival time between 2130 and 2200 hours.
We should of been able to see Block Island at this point but it was still very foggy... a couple of times it did appear through the fog as a darker area but nothing very clear. We would see it soon enough as we would spend the summer there.
Once into Narragansett Bay we did get a slight boost of current and we were able to make just over 7 knots all the way up the bay to Warwick. We pulled into Brewers Greenwich Bay Marina (N40°57.020’, W073°04.234’) at approximately 2130 hours and were secured to the dock at 2140 hours. This was our longest day of cruising the entire trip north... we traveled for 14 hours covering 101.42 nautical miles averaging 7.24 knots.
New York,NY to Port Jefferson,NY
Florida to Rhode Island- Day 29
We departed from our anchorage at approximately 1040 hours and headed slowly out to New York Harbor and The Battery. We wanted to arrive to The Battery two hours after low tide. When you do this you have a boost all the way up the East River and well up Long Island Sound. Low tide was at approximately 0930 hours and it would take us about 45 minutes to get there from the anchorage. No current at all coming out of the anchorage but when we hit New York Harbor we had a tremendous outbound current that set us sideways. Turning up in to the current towards The Battery we were barely able to make 5 knots but as soon as we passed across the Hudson River and into the mouth of the East River we started picking up speed.... 6 knots… 7 knots… 8 knots… 9 knots…. 10 knots… we felt like we were flying… LOL
The 10 knots we only saw a few minutes in the narrower portions of the East River… when we went through Hell Gate I thought we might see more than 10 knots but we didn’t. We carried these speeds all the way up the East River and out into Long Island Sound. Once into the Sound we slowed to about 8 knots and passing City Island we leveled off at around 7.5 knots.
When we entered Long Island Sound someone let the small boats out… they were everywhere… power and sail. Couple of sailboats pushed the limits and came right across our bow (cross channel) and glared at us as they passed 150 feet off our bow. I think with just the size difference between them and us they would not do things like this… and the boaters here all seem to not be as friendly as the ones you cross paths with further south… wave at them and they just stare… no waves back… no smiles… nothing… We keep waving anyway.
Leaving so late we opted to stop at Port Jefferson which would put is there around 1800 hours. It was actually getting fairly windy as it has been in the late afternoon… nothing like we have seen but it was out of the southwest at 15-20 knots as we pulled into Port Jefferson. Reading in the cruising guides there was a city or town mooring field. It was forecast for rain tonight and it was already windy and might get worse so we decided to get a mooring ball. Guides told us that they were $40 a night and it included free launch service… YEAH! No dropping dinghy to get Beecha to land... awesome!
We arrived at approximately 1750 hours and hailed the Port Jeff Moorings on VHF channel 68… a real friendly young lady answered and gave us instructions as to where to go and that she would meet us at the mooring ball. We rounded green can number 9 as instructed and headed towards the launch that was already at a mooring ball. We danced around the launch and mooring ball with SAILS as she tried to hand us the mooring pendant… the wind and current were working against her on the launch and she would swing in front of us each time we approached her. Finally, she dropped the pendant and moved away from the ball which let me bring SAILS right up to the ball and grab the mooring pendant with a boat hook. We were securely on the mooring at 1800 hours at approximately N40°57.020’, W073°04.234’.
She brought the launch alongside SAILS and secured it and we discovered the new mooring ball rates… $40 was last year… it’s now $45 and the included launch service is still included but because of it being May 13th (pre season) the launch is on a reduced schedule… stopping at 1800 hours and starting at 0900 hours in the morning. So no free launch service for us… we dropped the dinghy and took Beecha to land. She did allow us to dock at the reserved launch only area… the marinas is the area charge $10 to tie up your dinghy otherwise.
We traveled for 7 hours and 20 minutes covering 53.83 nautical miles averaging 7.34 knots.