Archive for the ‘Navigation’ Category

Cormorant Rock

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Sailing up Buzzards Bay along the western shore and rounding West Island to head for Mattapoisett or Marion, the only hazard to navigation is Cormorant Rock. When the tide is low you can see the rocks and it’s easy to see from a distance during the day. The picture above shows the rocks at mid tide, along with all the cormorants drying their wings. (more…)

NOAA Online Charts

Monday, July 13th, 2009

This is an addendum to my last blog entry regarding the planning of sailing trips. I left out a very handy tool for planning: NOAA online charts. They’re awesome!!! From work or home I can view any chart I’d like. Without having to lug my chart books back and forth from the boat. I can zoom in to check out harbors, zoom out to gauge the orientation of where the expected winds will blow in from. Every sailor should have a link to:

Here’s a link for Woods Hole. I’m always writing about how bad it is. Might as well point out what it looks like:

Planning a Martha’s Vineyard sailing trip

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

 We had to cancel our trip to Martha’s Vineyard last week due to the weather. The forecast the evening before called for fog in the morning and a 50% chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Of which the storms were expected to be severe. The earlier forecast called for only a 20% chance of isolated thunderstorms. Isolated thunderstorms are usually weak and not a significant threat. So I made all of my calculations to make the passage through Woods Hole along with the expected weather window of fog in the morning and possible thunderstorms in the afternoon. I was just about to crumble up my planning notes for the trip when it occurred to me to add them to my blog to demonstrate some of the planning involved in undertaking such a “simple” sailing trip.


Sea Conditions in Buzzards Bay

Monday, August 18th, 2008

I often hear comments from other sailors, whether in person, from other blogs, sailing web sites, etc, how difficult sailing in Buzzards Bay is. Primary due to the tough sea conditions that can build up in the Bay. I just finished reading one sailing blog about a cruising couple sailing the up the New England coast dreaded entering Buzzards Bay. Well, I’ve been sailing here for a number of years and all I can say is: I absolutely agree. (more…)

Navigating the Woods Hole passage

Friday, August 8th, 2008

woods hole 

A week ago, Janet and I sailed to Martha’s Vineyard. The morning that we planned to leave, we ran into engine trouble that delayed our departure for several hours. Turned out to be as simple as the the battery cables weren’t tight enough and not enough current was flowing to start the diesel. Anyways, the delayed departure caused a problem with our scheduled passage through Woods Hole.


Ship’s log 6/15

Friday, July 4th, 2008

The following is the ships log for Galatea on June 15th. It comprises the information I entered into the log, as well as, comments I had written afterwards.

 8:15 – Ships crew awake. Crew members: Rafi Safarian and myself. Plan for the day is to sail home to Mattapoisett, straight across Vineyard Sound to Woods Hole, and across Buzzards Bay. We plan on leaving between 9:30 and 10:30 for the best tides across the shoals and currents through Woods Hole. Weather: light rain and overcast. SE winds 10 knots. Forecast from NWS: showers and scattered thunderstorms. East winds 10 knots, shifting to the NE and picking up to 15 knots in the afternoon. (more…)

Ships Log 6/14

Friday, July 4th, 2008

 The following is the ships log for Galatea on June 14th. It comprises the information I entered into the log, as well as, comments I had written afterwards.

Saturday June 14, 2008

 6:40 – Ships crew awake. Crew members: Richard Rooney and Rafi Safarian. Plan for the day is to sail down Buzzards Bay, around Cuttyhunk, and up Vineyard sound. Destination is Lake Tashmoo.

Weather conditions: Sunny, no clouds, very light winds fron the north. Mattapoisett Harbor is mirror calm. Forcast from NWS: High temp’s in the mid 70’s, west winds 5-10 knots, becoming SE in the afternoon. (more…)

Fog in the Bay

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Last weekend my wife, Janet, and I sailed from Mattapoisett to Red Brook Harbor, across Buzzards Bay on Cape Cod. Red Brook is a great harbor, I’ll describe that in another blog. Anyways, that Saturday was a beautiful, warm, sunny June day. The sailing itself was a bit sloppy. We had following seas with southwest winds blowing at at about 10 to 15 knots. Typical conditions for the Bay.
During the trip, I mentioned to my wife that, well yes, waves do build up quite frequently here but at least we have very little fog. I went on to explain how foggy Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds are. It’s not uncommon to be in pea soup fog in Vineyard Sound, go through Woods Hole, and sail into brilliant sunshine in Buzzards Bay.
Of course, wouldn’t you know, waking up the next morning in Red Brook Harbor we were socked in with heavy fog. We had to wait till about 11 in the morning for the fog to clear enough to head out of the harbor. And for anyone who’s ever entered Red Brook Harbor, you know how narrow the channel is and how it skirts around the sand bar at the southern end of Bassetts Island. Not a good area to weave your way through in the fog.