Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Three Mile Harbor on Gardner Bay

We’ve never been to Three Mile Harbor although it was recommended highly by Rich Krumenacker of PYC and also by Leathem Mehaffey so we headed in that direction. It seems in the Sound that you either have too much wind or too little. Well today was a “too little” day. They are correct in saying the average wind speed during the summer months is 10 to 15 kts which seems ideal except that it’s made up of days when it blows 20 to 25 kts and balanced by days when the wind speed hardly reached 10 kts. On average it’s 10 to 15 but days when the wind speed is actually 10 to 15 are extremely rare. At any rate, we had to motor the first part of the journey but did get to sail the last 10 miles, not a bad trade off.

The approach to Three Mile Harbor is through a long, narrow channel. It’s well marked but you’d better stay in the channel. I watched the depth sounder with great attention. Most of the way the depth averages 10 ft (corrected to low tide) but one spot got down to 7 ft – but no lower. Since we draw 5 ft we had no problem.

Once through the channel, you still have to hug the shore since there’s a long finger of shallow water to starboard for almost a mile. We cut through the channel to the anchorage area between the last and next to last red buoy across a 7 ft bar. Before that, thw sand bar was only 2.5 ft. The anchorage area itself averages about 10 to 12 feet and looks to be about the same size as the Great Salt Pond on Block Island. It provides 360 degree protection although a chop can build up with a strong wind. Needless to say, it’s much less crowded than Block and we took Leathem’s experience into account and anchored off by ourselves. It was calm enough for me to go up the mast and install the LED anchor light. It’s supposed to be brighter and use 1/3 the juice of the standard bulb.

Getting Hoolie ashore was another experience. Heading north to the beach turned out to be too shallow, ever for our dinghy so we headed over to the channel and to one of the islands on the way in.
It’s off to Greenport tomorrow to do laundry, rewater, refuel and buy groceries and maybe to eat out (“Hey Ann, what’s for dinner?” “Reservations” (came the answer))