Day 8 and 9: Sailing from Boston to Key West

Cruising the Long Island Sound

Westbrook, CT to Northport Bay, NY and on to Port Washington, NY

We decided to explore Westbrook and go look at the many boats in the marinas. We talked about the “future boat, ” which will be a power boat for doing the “Great Loop.” But that’s years away. Here’s something cool we found while exploring in our dinghy.

Westbrook has a large anchorage area, so it can be bumpy when the power boaters drive past. On the other hand, there is a large breakwall protecting the area from the south and northwest, which makes is a safe place in heavy weather. Luckily, it was calm for us and we slept soundly, for the most part. There were some fisherman coming out of the inlet before sunrise. They “waked” us two ways, haha!

Northport Bay was 52nm away, so at 6 knots we sailed for 9 hours. That’s a pretty long day to be underway. We took turns at the helm. We had to run engines because the wind wasn’t strong enough and it was directly behind us. The waves built up all day until they got about 3 feet tall. We could have sailed without engines, but it would have been too slow to get there by dark. It was friggin’ cold, so every time I stepped off the helm we went below and got under some blankets for a half hour or so. The last time I needed to warm up I fell asleep and Lindsay needed help to tack the sails. She was laughing at me for climbing into bed with just 2 miles until I knew we needed to turn!

When we snugged up to a lee shore and lowered the anchor, it was peaceful and warm. People in houses must have no idea what it’s like to sail from one bay to another! We hear our friends say, “Oh, yeah, it was a bit windy the other day.” That’s when we have like, 6 foot waves out there. No clue!

Anyway, here’s a nice day sailor gliding past us as we were putting away our sails.

Port Washington is located just minutes from Hell Gate. They have $20 moorings and a free launch service. There is a public dock for our dinghy and walking access to West Marine, Ace Hardware, Target and Stop and Shop. Therefore it is very popular for cruisers. Here is the view on the Manhatten skyline before turning to port towards Long Island and Port Washington.

So popular for cruisers in fact, someone at the dinghy dock recognized us. They suprisingly remembered us from just a brief encounter about two years ago at the El Milagro Marina on Isla Mujeres! We were floored they remembered us. We exchanged cards so we can meet again in the Chesapeake next month. Anyway, we love Port Washington.

Thanks to them we found out there is a United Nations meeting next week and there will be closures to traffic in the East River! That’s when we planned to go through. Now we have to call the Coast Guard to find out the details. If we mess this up and get caught in the current, it could be almost impossible to drive upstream away from the closure. This is one of those situations that must be planned out perfectly and well beforehand.