Port Washington, Port Jefferson, & Block Island

Port Washington
The next few days we spend relaxing and exploring the shores and shops of Port Washington, NY. We visit the local hardware store to pick up a few mechanical items and discover a chair made from old radiators!

Unique, but not exactly light weight!

It is a great place to hang out. If you are on a yellow Port Washington mooring buoy, you can use the launch service which drops you off at the town dock, or at a dock directly across the street from the grocery store, West Marine, Target, ATM/bank, restaurants, and many other amenities.

The Port Washington launch picks us up at our boat.

...and drops us off at one of the town docks.

Mary and Gale’s Yorkie, Keela, loves riding the launch or dingy, and showing us the sights and best dog walk parks.

Karl's new buddy!

Nice pond in Port Washington with geese and turtles side-by-side. 

The weekend brings other boats into the harbor including one that seems to have snared a large blue swan!

This boat looks like it came out of SeaFair in Seattle. SeaFair is a yearly event in Seattle
where boats tie up to a log boom to watch the hydro races and the Blue Angels,
and to party like there's no tomorrow! 

We enjoy visits from old college friends from the New York/New Jersey area. Klaus and Sabine make the drive from Upper Montclair, NJ and enjoy the top deck. Carol and Frank come from North Bergen, NJ.

Klaus & Sabine

Carol & Frank

Port Jefferson
After almost a week, we choose a wonderful sunny day to make a short hop east on Long Island to Port Jefferson. We explore the shoreline and watch the ferries come and go. We wait out an extra rainy day in Port Jefferson and complete some boat maintenance tasks.

View from our anchorage.

We explore what appeared to be an old sand quarry.

This ferry is named in honor of P.T. Barnum", who once wanted to make Port Jefferson the
winter home-base for his circus, and he also was one of the founders to the ferry company.

Block Island
Long Island Sound
The next day dawns sunny and bright… with a little fog, but we dodge the ferry and follow Worknot east to Block Island, Rhode Island. It is a spectacular morning and the Sound is dead calm for most of the morning.

Got to love boating mornings like this!

Plum Gut
We time our departure from Port Jefferson to be at Plum Gut close to slack ebb tide. Ebb tide is a dropping tide, or one that is moving seaward. This timing is especially important to this trip because Plum Gut is a very narrow opening where Long Island Sound waters pass to and from the Atlantic Ocean. If you are not at slack tide, currents in The Gut reach several knots significantly impacting the speed and maneuverability of your boat.

Other boats and ferries are also trying get through the passage during slack tide. “Heads up” and watch what is going on in all directions!

This is a snapshot of all of the boat traffic with us in the the middle.

Island Life
Block Island is 12 miles south of the Rhode Island coast and 24 miles east of Montauk Point, Long Island. Because of its location, the island is a boaters mecca. The island also has a wonderful protected anchorage, Salt Pond, or New Harbor, where hundreds of boats of all sizes and shapes dock, moor, or anchor for the day, week, or entire summer.

Okay, so fessing up time. The anchoring here was a tad bit stressfull!
All of those white dots are boats, and we're the big blue dot. This
location is after we moved from the insane lower right side.

It is however one of the most “boat friendly” communities we have ever encountered. Services and amenities abound. Small boats come out to you in the morning selling pastries and coffee; and return in the evening selling shrimp cocktails and calzones.

Block Island really is a very boat friendly community!

The bakery boat making their morning rounds to all of the boats.

...We'll take two of those please!

The dinghy dock is new, large, free, and easy to find. Everything you need is within within a short distance. The Killer Donut stand is irresistible, and we stop for a quick bite.

The donuts were similar to a fresh Krispy Creme donut that melts in your mouth.

And Gale says... "Now you see it, now you don't"! Yum!

A little longer walk leads you along tree-lined streets to Harbor Town, a hub bub of activity. Ferries are coming and going. Quaint inns, shops, supermarkets, bakeries, ice cream stores, restaurants, and bike rentals are everywhere.

We stop for lunch and Karl gets his first taste of New England lobster with a “lobster roll”!


In many ways it is a picture-perfect image of a New England town. However, many of the side streets and shops are just regular folks, and we enjoy the down-to-earth atmosphere.

Off to the Races!
We discover that it’s Block island Race Week and sailboats from around the world gather to race, talk gear, and party.

We walk the docks and are treated to a tremendous array of racing boats from the US Naval and Coast Guard Academies and many private competitors. Boats range from traditional to super high tech. These boats are meant to go seriously fast.

Many of the boats epitomize the saying, “cost is no object.”

A large Feadship, “Corinthian”, leads the daily parade of race boats in and out of Salt Pond and appears to be the “headquarters” for the race committee.

We take the dinghy outside the harbor to watch one of the races and are surrounded by sailboats of every size, shape, and color… some watching, but most are racing. Keela enjoys a sunny afternoon on the water. It is a spectacular day!

Gale showing off his legs!? Whatever!

More Toys
As we watch the races, we notice a large unusual ship anchored closer to shore, so we dinghy over to check it out. It’s named “d-Vantage” and we find out that it’s a support ship for an even bigger yacht! Holy smokes! The back deck is filled with heavy duty equipment and “toys” including a submarine, and wakeboard boat.

This is Karl's definition of a very "Bad-Ass" boat!

Later in the week, the “mothership” arrives. It is named “Omaha”. The support yacht anchors a respectful distance from Omaha to “give them some space”.

Nordies at Block Island
When we first arrived, we noticed a Nordhavn 55, Mighty Aphrodite, at anchor. Worknot and Bravo anchored nearby. As the week progresses, the Nordhavn population increases. At one point there are a total of five Nordhavns including a N59 Coastal Cruiser, Steadfast, and N47 Mari Me.

Paul, on N55, Mighty Aphrodite, dinghys over for a visit with Pepe.

For some reason, just the mention of James Knight gets a grimace from Pepe.
Apparently dear sweet Pepe might have taken a nip at James in the past.

Farmer’s Market
Paul also sends us directions to the weekly Farmer’s Market. We hop in the dinghy and scoot to shore. The market is a short walk from the dinghy dock. Lots of local crafts and goodies for sale. We score some fresh homemade scones.

Last night at Block Island
With the weekend and Fourth of July approaching, more and more boats continue to squeeze into the harbor.

One of the most important “rules of the road” is to maintain adequate distances from other boats that are already anchored. Wind direction and force constantly change causing boats to “swing” on their anchor. In some crowded anchorages, latecomers fail to consider this provision. When a sailboat anchors way too close for either of us to safely swing, we decide to pull anchor and move closer to the harbor entrance to acquire more space.

In blustery 16 knot winds we re-anchor next to the old Navy tug and are treated to a dramatic sunset. Boats from all over the anchorage and marinas honk their horns to signal the sunset on another cruising day.


Popular posts from this blog

Summer in Maine

Here we go again!

Migration North