Rhode Island to Florida - Day 1
We departed Warwick, RI at 0630 hours on Monday the 6th and planned to cruise 9 hours with an ETA to the Between the Bridge Marina on the Connecticut, River at 1530 hours… the morning started off great… beautiful sunrise and smooth seas for the first few hours…
we knew it was forecast for high winds with 3-4 seas… not too bad and they would be directly on the bow so figured it would not be that bad of a ride.
As we cruised down Narragansett Bay winds were 15-20 knots with gusts to 25 knots and 1-2 seas… a very comfortable ride…. as we exited Narragansett Bay the seas began to build to 2-3 feet but still not uncomfortable and the winds were about the same… I knew when we made our turn to the west at Point Judith seas conditions were deteriorate and they did but not too badly… seas built to maybe 3-4 feet with a big rouge waves ever so often that would send things flying that we thought had been secured.
As we continued westward past the Point Judith lighthouse things settled down for abut a half hour and then the wind started to pick up seas were building… soon we were in steady 6 foot seas with some really large rouge waves… we dropped from our typical 7 knot cruising speed to if we were lucky 4-1/2 knots… and we had approximately 16 nautical miles to go until we reached Watch Hill Passage. Once through Watch Hill Passage we would be in the lee of the wind behind Fishers Island and things would settle down… so we toughed out the 16 nm for 3-1/2 hours with winds at a steady 30 knots with gusts to 40 knots… it was NASTY!!!!
As anticipated, as we cruised into Fishers Sound the waves decreased to 1-2 feet however the narrower waterway increased the speed of the current flowing against us and our speed dropped to 3-1/2 - 4 knots… then when I thought things were improving it started SNOWING!!!! LOL!
Conditions remained the same as we cruised through Fishers Sound but now our ETA to the Between the Bridge Marina on the Connecticut, River was 1900 hours… it would be dark at 1700 hours so the last 2 hours of our trip would be at night… as we exited Fishers Sound back into Long Island Sound we again were fully exposed to the west winds and the conditions continued to deteriorate.. waves building back to 4-6 feet and winds 25-30 knots with 35-40 knots gusts… slack tide would be at approximately 1700 hours so the head current we were struggling against would be gone and we pick up a little speed… YEAH!
We had approximately 14 nm to go From Fishers Sound to the Connecticut River entrance. After slack tide at 1700 hours we did get a boost in speed and our ETA dropped from 1900 hours to 1845 hours… YEAH!! 15 minutes less of these horrible conditions seemed great… It was terribly COLD… we have reverse-cycle heat on SAILS which does not like the COLD New England waters… so we were bundled up in jackets and blankets to keep warm.
We turned into the Connecticut River at approximately 1815 hours and we were finally out of the waves that had been beating us and SAILS up for the last several hours… it seemed like heaven… we cruised 3 more miles north on the Connecticut River… under the Old Lyme Railroad Bridge and we were safely docked at the Between the Bridges Marina at 1850 hours. (N 41° 18.965’, W 072° 20.996’)
We were met by my Brother-in-law Mark and his wife Tracy (Susan’ Sister) at the dock. Mark was coming aboard SAILS here to continue on with us as we head to back to Florida.