Arrival at Block Island

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Mon 13 Jun 2011 13:40

Position           41:11.16N 071:34.68W

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 temptations.


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!