Southbound Day 7 - Port Jefferson to Port Washington

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Mon 10 Sep 2012 15:50

Position           40:49.71N 073:42.96W

Date                Monday 10 September 2012


Well, we certainly woke up with full batteries as the wind generators sang sweetly all night in 20 knots plus.  With the prospect of a boisterous days sail we prepared to up anchor at 1130 but then decided to postpone and drink our coffee as looking at the AIS we saw an inbound ferry.  The harbour entrance is somewhat restricted, the ferry ploughs along at 14 knots and with the prospects of a lively sea between the breakwaters coffee was the better option.


1145 and it all looked safe for the off.  The Gods however decided to have a laugh at our expense.  As we headed out through the entrance with 25 knots of wind on the nose and incoming waves the tug pushing a fuel barge down the Sound suddenly turned through 90 degrees and announced on the VHF that it was incoming to Port Jefferson and required the whole of the channel.  At this stage there might in better conditions have been the option of turning around and going back to allow it to pass.  However given the wind and the sea running this could have been hazardous in itself and the safer action was to carry on using full power and take the leeward side of the barge so that we could turn west out of the channel at the earliest possible time.  This all worked well and we were well clear of the tug and barge when we passed


The wind mostly blew at 20 knots with frequent gusts to 25 for the whole of the passage but free enough to allow us to sail with well reefed everything at a steady 7 to 8 knots.


We were not however finished with other shipping as we encountered the NOAA survey ship ‘Thomas Jefferson doing 180 degree runs across our path.  In this instance they were kind enough to say that they would miss us!



It is 36 nm from Port Jefferson to Port Washington and the later part of the trip we were treated to our first sight of Manhattan



Although in the gloom of the day it had more the appearance of Gotham City as we sped down the channel between the charmingly named ‘Execution Rocks and Sands Point before turning south downwind into Port Washington.


The Pilot was its usual not very helpful self about moorings so we anchored outside the mooring field in 4 metres, unusually shallow given our recent experience.  The wind was still blowing at 20 knots.  Our enclosed cockpit makes for a very different sailing experience and we look forward to the hard top replacement for the present canvas that is to be made during our lay up in Little Creek Norfolk.


More Gloucester fish this evening, this time grilled haddock with potato wedges, peas and home made tartar sauce.