Wednesday, July 23, 2014 (Block Island to Sag Harbor): We did not want to leave Block but we had lots more ports, places to go, and people to see. Our destination is the Sag Harbor Yacht Club, a strong recommendation by friends Judy and Mike. We depart around 08:30 for the 45 NM trip down to Sag Harbor in the middle of "The Hamptons" at the eastern end of Long Island. We plan an intermediate stop in Greenport for fuel.
Now is as good a time as any to mention dockage and fuel while cruising Long Island Sound. We thought we were getting a deal by being members of Brewer Marinas. Not so! Brewer's offers members a discount but off of an inflated price. Prices were better in Sag and Port Washington. One can fuel up in Port Washington and cruise up to Cape Cod and back to Manhattan on one tank of fuel and have some left over. Dockage fees were highest in Sag Harbor Yacht Club but their fuel was cheapest. Newport Yachting Center was the median for fuel and dockage but the service there was superior.
Payne's Dock was a good stop. We pick our way through the mooring fields to the channel and emerge into a calm sea on the western side end of Great Salt Pond. The run down to Greenport, almost due west, is smooth as silk. I point Blackthorne at The Races off of Fisher's Island and bend there slightly to the south to enter Gardiner's Bay and the Greenport channel. We fueled at Brewer's in Greenport, my mistake! We eased out again and headed across the north side of Shelter Island, turning right into the channel to Sag Harbor. The "Rock" with green 7 atop marks the entrance to Sag Harbor from the east with Shelter Island to our right.
Sag Harbor Yacht Club is on Bay Street. We settle in across from the dock office and lounge. There is where we discover that diesel is a dollar cheaper than at Brewer's in Greenport! The town is great for walking except for crossing Bay Street, which seems to be the main drag from Montauk. We walk up Main Street away from the harbor and lunch at Page 63 Main. We discern that we are otherwise paying The Hamptons prices. We are uncertain about the establishment (below), featuring fish trap buoys of shapes, colors, and sizes. We didn't see any minefields of crab and lobster traps on the way into Sag.
The building above on Main Street has all the trappings of a town hall but there are no signs. We stop in at a little grocery next door for provisions. It looks and feels like a Whole Foods but the prices are double! We buy some fresh produce and fruit for our pantry.
The next day is kind of dull and sticky. We snoop around. The town is proud of its old mill but one close look tells us it is only a show piece. It is the town information center. It was built in 1961 as a showpiece for a whaler's festival. The town has since debated on maintaining it as a landmark or razing it. The town cenotaph, war memorial, is set on a promontory overlooking the town docks.
Lunch is at the Dock House on Long Wharf. There are other more elaborate places to eat but this looked like fresh fish and simple fare. The place actually sells fresh fish but our freezer is adequately stocked with freshly frozen fish to last us until next month. We bought whole fish in Newport. I filleted them and froze portions in freezer bags with a little fresh water to ward off freezer burn.
The yacht club has an active junior sailing program. They were in for lunch and returning to the water. Back at the boat we meet our new neighbors ... well, sort of ... the captain of a venerable but well appointed Hatteras, Mr. Chips. He ferries around Charles and Barbara Ross in their northern boat that winters in Port Washington, NY, while the Ross's winter in Florida. We needed the captain to silence the squeaky casters on their metal gangway. Later we chat with Charles and Barbara. He reminded me of Rodney Dangerfield.
We poured ourselves a glass of wine and repaired to the yacht club's lounge to watch the news. Israel and Hamas are locked in battle in Gaza over the rain of rocket fire on adjacent civilian centers in Israel. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset then set off to town to find a light supper. We don't go far. The Dockside Bar & Grill is across the street from the gate. Judging by the length of the line, we are attracted to look at the menu. After less than an hour wait, we found supper to be worth it and quite reasonable. Tomorrow, Friday, we plan to be underway early to make Port Washington.