Thursday 23 May 2024

Essex to Block Island

Hi everyone,

Yesterday we sailed from Essex to the Great Salt Pond in Block Island.  It was a 36nm passage initially in 1/4nm visibility fog which burned off to leave a sunny sky.  Winds varied from nil to 20 knots.  The sail in to Block Island was a speedy beam reach.  A great fun passage.

Through the Old Lyme Bascule Bridge in the fog

Here are the usual plots...


Arrival Track


It was a pleasant motor down the river from Essex.  At the Old Lyme Bridge we waited for two trains to pass before the very friendly bridge operator let us through.  The fog was fairly thick for most of the morning and the wind was light.  We sailed until boat speed fell to 1.5 knots then motored.

Around midday the fog burned off and the wind gradually built.  We had timed our run to pass through The Race (between Little Gull and Fishers Islands) with the ebb.  We were getting over 2 knots of tidal assistance there, and the assistance continued all the way to Block Island although much reduced.

We were called by a US Coastguard cutter who asked us to manoeuvre to pass well clear of him.  Perhaps he was wary of 'foreigners'.  Or perhaps he was a watch officer in training.  We obliged of course, not being keen on upsetting the USCG!

Passing Fishers Island


Great Salt Pond Channel

Block Island Sunset

Today we went ashore to look around the island.  It's a popular destination in the summer.  Memorial Day this coming weekend marks the start of summer.  Many restaurants and bars are preparing to open for the summer but were sadly closed today.  The Oar looks like a great spot.  Instead we ended up in the Poor Person's Pub!

We walked from the public dinghy dock below The Oar into Shoreham, the main town on the island.  The ferry from the mainland docks at a separate port there. 

The Oar with public dinghy dock in foreground

Scenic Lakes

Waterfront Hotel in Shoreham


Inbound Ferry

Warm Sun, Cool Breeze => Rugged Up!

Pretty Buildings

Lunch Spot

Tomorrow we plan to sail for Newport RI.  An iconic place for any Australian sailor!

Trust all's well where you are.


Hi everyone,

We spent a week in Essex waiting for E winds to pass.  Lots of wind and rain initially then cloudy skies then finally a little sun.  We passed the time exploring Essex, training to Mystic and a day on a tour up the Connecticut River.  Essex is a great place to stop and explore.

Sea Shanties - every Monday night at the Gris

In Essex we visited the Connecticut River Museum.  Well worth a look.  Much more packed into it than the building's size suggests.  Essex was the site of an audacious raid by the British during the war of 1814.  Local legend says the British offered to spare the town while they burned the boats.  The locals accepted and the British had a drink at the Gris before escaping downriver, under fire.

Replica of Adriaan Block's 1614  'Onrust'

Connecticut River Museum

One day we took the bus from Essex to Old Saybrook where we caught a train to Mystic.  We had planned to sail there but the weather didn't stop the trains so we took that mode of transport instead.  In Mystic we explored the famous Seaport Museum and strolled around the pretty town.

New York to Boston Train

Museum Entrance

Amazing glass models of invertebrates



Whaler steering gear

Whaler 'tween decks

Visiting replica Viking ship





Rope walk

Serious renovations undertaken here


Mystic River Bascule Bridge

Another day we walked to the River Valley Railway and took a steam train and river boat tour up the river.  Twas interesting and fun.

River Valley Railroad

A ticket to ride!

Choo Choo!

All Aboard

Scenic Countryside

River boater

Gillette Castle

Largest Swing Bridge in the World?

Back in Essex the weather improved and we finally had a little sunshine.  On our last night we visited the Gris (yet again) for their Monday night 'Sea Chantey' session.  Twas great.  We had a wonderful stay in Essex.

Historic Essex Buildings from 1770s

Colour Coordination

Even yachties are ladies & gents at the Gris!

Last sunset in Essex

Thanks to OCC Port Officers Bob and Brenda for their hospitality!

Trust all's well where you are.