Date 1440 – Monday 13 June 2011 (UTC -4)
The early hours of the morning were less eventful so far as shipping
was concerned but variable winds kept me amused as I had sails in and out to
try and get a lit to assist the engine. Some hours of favourable tidal current
helped but there is always the downside to that when the tide changes.
The cold light of dawn was exactly that. We have become spoiled by
balmy tropical nights and the baking hot Chesapeake
heat wave. Bless the Mate, she took over and I had six hours of more or less uninterrupted
sleep to recover.
Noon saw us with Long Island on our port side and gradually our
destination of Block Island ahead. Block Island is a major sailing destination and during
the season, especially at weekends it gets very busy. A call to the harbour
master established that their major racing week did not start until 20 June
which was relief and that there were lots of free, as in unoccupied not cost, mooring
buoys. We try and avoid the cost of mooring buoys if we can anchor but after a
very tiring trip a buoy convenient to a dinghy dock has its advantages and
The Great Salt Pond anchorage is somewhat reminiscent of St Georges Harbour
in Bermuda, having a man made channel entrance
cut from the north. The Block Island version
is however much narrower and at 11 foot minimum depth much shallower. The gap
between the sand spits is narrow – for UK sailors remember that the
buoyage is “Red Right Returning”; the green is a port marker.
An excellent mooring,
picked up with absolutely no fuss put us within easy reach of the dinghy dock.
The charming harbour master came by, collected his fee of course, and
provided a very enthusiastic introduction to the island. He has a boat in the Caribbean and spends the winter there, coming home for
his summer job. He was very much on-net to the cruising life and most helpful.
Taking ourselves ashore we walked the 1½ miles across the island to the
main town of Shoreham and Old Harbour.
This is very much a holiday destination; the huge number of bicycles for
hire waiting for customers is an indication of the numbers. The harbour master
told us that you can get over 200 yachts in the harbour on a busy July and August
weekend plus thousands of people that come by ferry. It all looked very peaceful
to us – the lull before the storm.
We celebrated our arrival with a drink and meal ashore overlooking the
harbour and Caduceus before returning before returning to an early night cap
and ten hours of uninterrupted sleep; wonderful!