Saturday, July 31, 2010

North Cove, CT

We said good riddance to Sag Harbor and left for the Plum Gut passage on our way to North Cove, Connecticut. We only had 4 to 5 kts of wind so we didn’t expect any problem at the Gut even though it was blowing against the 3 kts of current which was flooding, in our favor for going through the passage. We were surprised at how rough it was with only the light winds. There were white caps everywhere and a very confused sea. We took water over the bow and we bouncing around until about ½ mile beyond when the sea suddenly settled down like somebody turned off the wave machine, weird.

North Cove is just north of Saybrook and was dredged a couple of years ago so it’s fully usable again as an anchorage. It’s filled with moorings but the big difference is that it’s a Harbor of Refuge, regularly dredged by the Army Corps of Engineers. With the free dredging comes the requirement that they must let moorings not being used by their owners to be used by transients and furthermore, they can’t charge for their use. The moorings that aren’t being used for that day are required to be marked with a yellow ribbon and can be picked up by any transient. In the channel on the way in, the least depth we saw was 7 ft (corrected for low tide). We arrived with a rising tide at 3 ft so we saw 10 ft on the depth sounder. Inside, the center line of moorings is deep enough for 6 foot keels almost all the way to the town dock.

North Cove is the opposite of Sag Harbor in all ways. We were met my a couple in kayak that offered their mooring for the night since their boat was being repaired from a lightening strike. The greeting sign (photo) explains the rules (yellow ribbon, 72 hr max stay per visit) and the fact that the moorings are free. There is a free town dinghy dock at the head of the harbor. It’s a little under a mile into town where you’ll find a huge Stop and Shop, Walmart, hardware store, Westmarine and many, many places to eat. Along with all that, the harbor is completely wake free and has a great view of the sunset, what more to ask?