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.