The Jolly Rogers (a/k/a HYC's Fleet Captain Roger Karlebach (email@example.com) and CIYC's Roger Landau (firstname.lastname@example.org)) have charted out a joint cruise 8-day cruise, setting out from Eastchester Bay on August 2, circumnavigating the Sound, and returning home on August 9. All members of both clubs are welcome to join the fleet. Please let Roger Landau know. if you'd like to participate, and watch this post for updates.
Guide to Harlem Yacht Club and City Island Yacht Club Eight-Day Cruise, Aug 2 – 9, 2022
The Harlem and City Island Yacht Clubs are planning an eight-day cruise on the Long Island Sound. This document describes the day-by-day itinerary with information on moorings and anchorages as well as the daily tides.
It is strongly suggested that each boat have aboard charts of the waters being traversed and a Cruising Guide to the Long Island Sound. The latter provides excellent information about each of the ports to be visited. Please note that on several of the days, the best sailing time is with an adverse tide. The tides in Western Long Island sound are generally not strong and much less so during the first two and the last two hours of each six hour adverse tide.
DAY 1, Tuesday, August 2 – – City Island to Oyster Bay – – 18 NM
The fair tide, ebbing to the east, is from 2:57 PM to 9:59 PM. Departure at 1 PM and making five nights will get you there by 5 PM, well before dark on these long summer nights.
Suggestion: anchor in the south east corner of the Bay OR make reservations at the Sagamore YC (call dockmaster directly on his cell phone 631–375–8187) ($1.50 per foot) OR the Oyster Bay Marine Center 516–624–2400 ($50) (OBMC uses DOCKWA). Both have launch service until about midnight, but Sagamore will allow you to dink in to their dinghy dock.
Suggestion: this would be a good night to dine ashore with the idea that the following night will be a dine aboard night at Port Jeff. There are several nice restaurants in town in easy walking distance and the marinas will make suggestions for you.
Day 2, Wednesday, August 3 – – Oyster Bay to Port Jefferson – – 24 NM
Fair tide does not start until 3:39 PM; suggest an early start against the tide.
Danford’s Marina offers slips and the friendly Port Jefferson Yacht Club with moorings ($55 per night) are both at the head (south end) of the harbor, east of the ferry dock. These have showers and there are restaurants in town, though Port Jeff is not a very good cuisine place. But those add 2 miles further going in than the 24 NM noted above (and 2 miles further going out the next morning) compared to the anchor/mooring place suggested.
After passing through the breakwaters and the cut through the beach, turn to starboard after rounding buoy 4 and, head west into the large open area. There is room to anchor north of the marked channel OR, it being Wednesday, there will be a little risk of taking a vacant mooring south of the channel. You will be close to each other, so those boats with dinghies, even without outboard‘s, can row to gather the crews of the boats present on one or more boats for a shared dinner cooked aboard.
Day 3, Thursday, August 4 – – Port Jefferson to Mattituck – – 26NM
Fair ebbing tide does not start until 4:47 PM, so the boats will just have to buck the tide.
The buoy off the entrance to the inlet is small so put it in as a waypoint so that you don’t miss it. Once in the neighborhood, pass through the breakwaters and follow the bayou-like marked channel to the dredged rectangle of deep water at the South end. The channel is deep enough, though close in a few spots for my 5‘10“ keel. The water is deeper than as stated on the charts, due to dredging.
Once at the rectangle, Strong’s Water Club, 631–298–4739, will rent you a slip for a mere 6.25 per night (plus a daily fee if you want to give your batteries a drink - higher rates on weekends!). And they charge a 30 foot minimum. They do offer a swimming pool, showers and a restaurant on premises. They have a fuel dock. The alternative is to anchor in the rectangle. There is room for quite a few boats there. If you do anchor there, access to shore is by dink to a municipal boat ramp at the south end of the rectangle.
The town offers several restaurants, a hardware store, a gourmet deli, and further in, a supermarket. From Strong’s, after you walk out of their premises turn right, go to the highway, turn right there, and make a left at Love Lane which becomes the town. From the municipal boat ramp proceed south to the highway and follow the above instructions.
Day four, Friday, August 5 – Mattituck to Hamburg Cove, CT River — 24 NM
The tide ebbs east from 4:57 AM to 11:38 AM and then begins to flood (both westbound and up the Connecticut river). So the ideal plan would be to get to the entrance to the river after 11:38 AM.
This day we cross the Sound to Connecticut which is a mostly eastbound course, but also north. The options are to head for the western end of Long Sand Shoal and then proceed eastbound north of it, or head to the eastern end of that shoal and then north. Buoys mark your way either way. But in reality, the shoal is deep enough throughout its six or seven mile length for most of our boats to cross it. Once at the CT River Breakwater, the channel of the river is well marked. If the railroad bridge is down, call the bridge tender on channel 13 and ask for an opening. Once you pass the town of Essex, to port, you are getting close to Hamburg Cove which is to starboard. Its entrance is easily seen with two buoys and the channel into the cove is well marked with small buoys. The cove is filled with moorings; take one, especially a rental one. They will come around in the afternoon or the next morning to collect their fee. I don’t recall the amount, but it is not expensive.
The cove is a natural hurricane hole, protected by high hills on both sides. The water is less salty, being fed by the river flowing through the Cove. Swimming is one activity. The other is to take a dinghy ride into town. This is a mile or two each way so an outboard is highly recommended. The channel into town is well marked and big keel boats are in town though I would not take a keel boat in there without LOTS of local knowledge. Once you get into town, you will notice to starboard a dinghy dock. It belongs to the friendly Hamburg Cove YC. You can tie up there and walk the rest of the way into town, a few blocks. The single store, which sold an eclectic combination of dollhouses and general store items, was closed during the pandemic upon the death of its longtime proprietress. There are no restaurants in town. This is a place where we must eat aboard on each other’s boats.
While the journey up the Connecticut river is a joy, an alternative which will save you 6 miles going up and six again coming out the next morning is to take a mooring in North Cove on the west side of the river in Old Saybrook. Make a sharp turn to port upon reaching green 15 and follow the channel into the rectangular cove. The place was dredged and it’s deep enough. Stay in the center aisle amongst the very straight rows of moored boats. The best alternative is to take one of the two free municipal Moorings at the far end of this Cove, a few boat lengths from the municipal pier where you can tie your dinghy. You may pass pick up sticks with yellow ribbons tied near their tops; these are private moorings of owners who welcome you to use their moorings for free. An alternative is to call the North Cove YC 860–388–9087. They rent moorings, have showers and will bring you ashore in their launch. Check price and hours of operation.
Once ashore, follow the road to its end which is at the Main Street in Old Saybrook. There is a grocery store to your left, across the street and several nice restaurants and a hardware store to your right. Further, but walkable, is a supermarket.
Old Saybrook is nice but Hamburg Cove is unique.
Day 5 — Saturday, August 6 — Hamburg Cove to Guilford — 24 NM
The tidal issue today is not current, but involves the depth of the river going into and leaving Guilford the next day. This is the day that tide really matters. The controlling depth is 4.5 feet and with a 6 foot tide this means we must go in and exit at half tide or higher. The bottoms of the keels of the deeper keel boats will settle into soft mud at low.
Plan to arrive after 3:30 in the afternoon when there will be at least seven feet of water.
The Guilford YC 203-415-3427 is a commercial
Marina which rents its slips at $3.50/foot. They have a pool with showers. We could use their grills under a tent. They have only a snack bar, but restaurants are walkable.
Day 6 – – Sunday, August 7 – – Guilford to Charles Island Anchorage 20 NM OR Milford Landing Marina — 22 NM
Depart by 10 am to have enough depth getting out of Guilford.
There is a natural large anchorage area behind Charles Island with excellent protection except from easterlies. Dine aboard. A nice quiet place.
The friendly municipal Milford Landing Marina 203-874-1610 ($3/foot) (at the head of Milford harbor, to port) is the place to take a slip if the weather suggests it or if you want dinner at any of the many nice restaurants in town.
Suggestion: make a reservation for the slip, in case, and cancel at least 24 hours before if the weather looks settled for anchoring.
Day 7 – – Monday, August 8 – – Charles Island to Zieglers Cove – – 23NM (but 25 NM if from slips at the Marina)
For best tides depart at 2 pm. This will have you arriving late enough that the day-tripping power boats should all have left the moorings, especially it being a weekday. If no mooring is available, however, anchor just outside the Cove, wait, and take a mooring when they do leave.
The only tricky part, not really, is that when you come near the rock just east of Hay Island, give it a wide berth, heading north closer to the cliffs at the north side before turning to port into the Cove itself.
There is a dinghy dock up in the NW corner of the Cove. It gives access to walks along the mansions on Great Island, or it did, despite signage against trespassing. With 9/11 and Covid, however, such walks might actually be forbidden these days. The alternative, for folks with dinks, is to tour Scott Cove, just east, which is rocky.
Dine aboard is the only option.
Day eight – Tuesday, August 9 -– Zieglers Cove to City Island — 24NM
Tide turns fair at 3:44 pm (and is gentle starting at 1:44 pm.)