We ended up staying a week in Mattituck. For awhile we joked that we were going to be spending Thanksgiving there. We were extremely well-protected as several fronts rolled through, and we waited patiently. We read posts from cruising friends who were motoring steadily down Long Island Sound, bashing their way down the New Jersey coast, then bashing some more up the Delaware Bay. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. We weren’t going to do that if we could help it. If that meant sitting around for awhile, then so be it.
While we were in Mattituck we poked around in the Italian market that we had enjoyed last time, we went grocery shopping at the bigger market, and had some of the best damn BBQ we have ever tasted, including in the south, at Meat’s Meat which was new to us. The only downside of staying there was when we woke up one morning to discover that the boat had been thoroughly strafed by the damn cormorants. That sucked, and took quite awhile to clean up.
Finally our patience was rewarded and it was time to leave. It was going to be a tack-fest with wind on the nose for the first two days to Port Jefferson and Northport, but the third day would be an excellent beam reach to Port Washington where we would be well protected for the next lengthy weather system.
The predicted wind the first two days ended up being on the higher end of the forecast, so much so that we decided from now on we would take the highest forecasted gusts and assume that’s what we would see for the steady strength. But it was three wonderful, boisterous days of sailing.
We were actually surprised at how comfortable we were with the conditions. I thought that taking the winter off would make us a bit more tentative, but it seems to have had the opposite effect. We tacked back and forth through winds in the upper teens and low twenties the first two days, and we learned quite a bit about the best sail trim for Pegu in those conditions.
On the third day we had the forecasted beam reach to Port Washington, but first we had to blast our way out of Huntington Harbor with a steady 24 knots on the nose. Once again, we were shocked at how we handled it. In the past, we absolutely would have turned around. Instead we knew that if we could just suck it up for 15 minutes or so, we’d be banging a left and flying down the sound on a beam reach. And we were.
In fact, we were so thrilled with how great the sailing was that we made our way into the wrong harbor! As we were sailing along, we started saying “Hmmm. Wait a minute. This doesn’t look like Port Washington.” Or as Bugs Bunny said, “This don’t look like the Coachella Valley to me.” That’s because it wasn’t. We were one harbor too soon. Our punishment was fifteen minutes hard on the wind, blowing 20 knots, before turning off onto a beam reach again. Ah well. Lesson learned. Always put a route in the chart plotter, even if we think we know where we’re going!
Once we were actually in Port Washington, we took one of the transient yellow moorings and settled down for what we knew would be an extended stay while we waited for decent weather. It was fine with us, though. Out of all of the places we’ve been to on Long Island Sound, Port Washington is our number one choice for a lengthy stay.
6 thoughts on ““This don’t look like the Coachella Valley to me.””
Another great read. As we lived in that area for decades it was a little like sailing vicariously with you. One of my sons lives in Mattituck. Great little town. Hopefully you checked out Love Lane! Going up or down the Sound always has surprises. Like the current. It can help or be a bear. And the Long Island side has very view inlets compared to the Connecticut side. And do I remember the Cormorants in Centerport. Next up is the East River. Hopefully you have the current and tide with you. Good luck.
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Thanks, Norman! Mattituck is a wonderful little town, and the Love Lane Market is just fantastic. Your son is lucky. 🙂 See you two next month! Kimberly
Nice to read about sailing where I grew up… I went to Port Jeff High School and kept and lived aboard our T-Bird in Mt Sinai harbor I’ve never anchored in Port Washington. We’d go up into Oyster Bay. We also like anchoring at City Island. The Harlem River Yacht Club used to be very welcoming when we used their transient moorings.
Keep telling us about this trip and this time of year.
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Thanks, John. I think the Harlem River Yacht Club is still very welcoming. Perhaps we’ll stop there next year. Port Washington is SO convenient though, it’s hard to pass it up. It’s a nice area to grow up, and to sail. So very different from the West Coast! Kimberly
Love the garmin reach that you use . Nice job down the Jersey coast. Motor sail?
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Thanks! We actually sailed for the 16 hours of it, so it was great! We also like the inReach. It’s a good gadget. Kimberly