Planning a Martha’s Vineyard sailing trip

 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.


Notes for 4th of July sailing trip to the Vineyard: The plan is to leave Friday July 3rd and return Sunday July 6th. Destination: Lake Tashmoo

Original Forecast:

Fri: SW winds 5- 10 knots. Patch fog in the morning. 20% chance of T-storms in the afternoon

Fri night: W wind 5-10 knots, gusting to 20

Sat: W wind 10-15 knots, gusting to 25 knots in the afternoon.

Sunday: SW winds 10-15 knots, gusting to 20 knots. Seas 1 foot or less.

Woods Hole:

Friday, July 3rd,: Ebb starts at 7:30am, Flood Starts at 1:20pm.

***We can travel through the passage at WH between 1:30pm and  7:30pm.

Sunday, July 6th: Ebb starts at 9:15am, Flood starts at 3:00pm

***We can make the passage bewteen 10:30am – 3:00 pm

The Plan:

Friday: We’ll drop the mooring lines at Mattapoisett at 12 noon. The fog should have burned off by then. Should arrive at the western entrance to Woods Hole approx 1:30 for favorable currents. Estimated arrival at Lake Tashmoo is 3:00 to 3:30 which should give us enough time to set an anchor and hunker down for any t-storms.

Sunday: We can leave Lake Tashmoo anytime from 10am till 2pm to catch the right current in Woods Hole. Exact time to be determined by weather forecast for the day.

Courses plotted out and waypoints entered into the gps. Groceries are all purchases. Merc outboard checked and ready. Everything is good. All we need is the wind to fill our sails.


The Eldridge:

I wanted to make a comment about the Eldridge. The Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book is indispensable for navigation. We would not be able to plan our trip though Woods Hole without it. All of the calculations made for the trip was from the information in the Eldridge. As a side note. I love reading through the Eldridge while we’re at anchor. It keeps me busy learning about the area’s currents, along with the myriad of other nautical information.

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