Sailing past New London Ledge light
Sailing past New London Ledge light

Today was a perfect day to sail. Calm seas with 10-15 knot winds from the south. Not too hot. Not too cold. However, Susanna had to work, so it wasn’t totally perfect – I had to sail alone.

I motored out of the marina and down river against the wind. At least I could ride the ebb out of the river and into Fishers Island Sound. Just south of the bridges I put up the mainsail. I tacked my way through New London Harbor. The wind was reasonable and steady, but not strong enough to push us along under main alone. Around Eastern Point I climbed forward and hanked the jib on, trying to not get tangled up in the sail or knocked overboard. I got the sail mostly on right. I beat my way out past New London Ledge light and caught a left into Fishers Island Sound.

The wind  remained steady from the south and picked up a little bit. I picked up speed on a close reach towards Fishers Island. We were making over 5 knots (over the ground), but I think we had a little push from the ebb tide to help. I pointed towards North Dumpling Island and held the course until about a half of a mile short of the island. I turned around just short of the New York state line and cruised back on the Connecticut side of Seaflower Reef. I made the turn around Pine Island and Black Rock back into the Thames before the wind mostly died.

With sunset ninety minutes away, a weak wind, and fighting the end of the ebb tide, I decided it was easiest to just motor up the river and back to the marina.

Overall today I spent 6 hours out on the water and maybe 4 of them under sail. The trip to North Dumpling is 18 miles as the power boat goes. Needing to beat upwind added several miles to my trip. I only bumped into one buoy, and only added a small tear to the mainsail. I was able to get the jib on mostly right and stay onboard the boat the entire trip. Overall, it was a successful outing.

I also answered one of Will’s questions this trip. He had been asking if there were jellyfish in Long Island Sound. I sailed through miles of jellyfish in the sound.

View of North Dumpling, Fishers Island New York
View of North Dumpling, Fishers Island New York

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