The fee on the weekdays is really inexpensive. On weekends it pops up in price. New London Harbor may not be for everyone. We enjoy it because it is a vital harbor with lots (maybe too many for some) of sights & sounds. The moorings are fine. I wish they would activate a couple of moorings away from shore to reduce the wash coming back from the vertical shoreline, and maybe a little further from the noise. They have the moorings, they just need a float and hawser. The mooring field is well protected from most wind directions. Maybe more movement from a strong East or Northeast direction. After 9:00PM the ferries to Orient Point and Fishers Island stop and the many Amtrak trains during the day are few. At about 12:30 AM a freight train rolls through; this time with 68 cars & 4 engines. It really is a train watcher's paradise, as this is the main line between New York & Boston. A three car state commuter train runs frequently between New Haven & New London. You frequently see a submarine coming or going from the Groton Sub Base. We did not use the shore shower facilities, but the "Welcome Message" by email had all the codes for the gate and shower facility and lots of information. There are many good walks along the harbor, and lots of eating places, and several places to dock your dinghy. We take the dinghy under the rail bridge to Shaw's Cove and at Captain Scott's they have s designated tie up float and great seafood to take back to the boat or eat there. No Maritime Festival this year with COVID, but we have in years past stayed overnight and took the dinghy to Fort Trumbull & NL Pier to be early to see Navy & Coast Guard ships, and other museum vessels. In July the Sailfest is their major event. COVID also cancelled that this year, but it is another reason to get an overnight mooring and then stay safely for the fireworks, and overnight to avoid the crazy exit of many boats from the show. The wake from the ferries is not really a problem, they are thoughtful. However, the many other quick passing boats way out cause some movement. Especially the Navy escort boats for the subs have one speed: full ahead, and plenty of wake! The lights from Electric Boat are pretty bright, and right now new building construction is noisy during the day. It is a novelty stop, but one we enjoy.
Upon arrival the dockmaster answered the VHF instantly and described the mooring location. I was amazed the mooring rates were such a value. We did not use the launch, but it seemed to respond to others quickly. The facilities very good. We spent a quiet first night and it is interesting to watch the strong current move the boats against a fair breeze all around. We took a walk around town the next day and made arrangements for takeout from Sirens, a restaurant on Essex Island. The food was good! I hope they stay it is easy to reach by dinghy, and with COVID nice to bring it back to the boat. In the evening the wind picked up from the NNE and with a pretty good fetch upriver the mooring area got a little bumpy. However, good visit.
We had a pretty wet, foggy, windy passage from Noank, CT, but it was great to get into the bay and to Dutch Harbor. A harbor of childhood memories. With a forecast not at all what was happening we decided to stay another day and wait for some improvement. It was worth it! The helpful office staff connected with Dockwa and we were all set for this last minute additional day. Clean hawser, superior launch service, nice facilities and a fun harbor to go about in the dinghy. Glad the wind from the northwest was light because Dutch Harbor could be bouncy in a hard NW blow. Other directions should be fine. Friendly folks on our 15 minute walk to the grocery store and grinder place. A package store was just across the street. We put the dinghy on the mooring and took a nice cruise to see Wickford from the water, and then further north to look about Allen Harbor. Wonderful stay! The trip back had the wind at our stern and proved an easy passage.
The mooring pickup & twin hawsers were immaculate. It was nice to have such clean lines to bring aboard. The few moorings are very well spaced. Privacy was easy and restful! The harbor is pretty large, but even arriving with about 20 knows from the NW there was not much movement. A strong SW the next day offered the same easy boat movement. Resident boaters seemed considerate leaving little wake. When we finally found the home base for our mooring field the ship's store was complete and fun to look around. We were never offered the combination for the restrooms/showers, but it was unlocked, but be sure to ask. The writeup said they had Wi-Fi, but I forgot to ask if it would reach the mooring area and for the password. Ask. There was no info sheet and no greeting offered. Upon arrival we did not know what mooring to pickup and my note beforehand went unanswered so after being shifted to a few different phone numbers the lady said just pick up any of their moorings. Eating out anywhere now is pretty sketchy, so do your research in advance. This is not a hot spot. You will have to look around for simple food. With a major thunderstorm and tornado warnings on tap we never did find any easy options for takeout. However, if you want peace, quiet, and a good rest this is your port. My wife was entertained by dozens of terns landing on the bow rail in the morning, and taking advantage of the gunnel and seats of the dinghy. Going for a dinghy ride later meant I had to be happy conducting a complete cleaning of the bird poop there and on the forward deck. Snapping a towel at them the next day caused them to find another resting place. Entrance to the harbor through the inlet in easier than I expected. The current was swift. Just enough speed to keep steerage had us doing 8 knots on the incoming tide.
The arrival went a little rough. We had the mooring assignment, but called the dock office upon arrival to learn where in the grid it was. They gave us clear instructions. We could not find mooring C-02. A call back assured us the mooring number so beyond checking each empty mooring we checked boats on moorings. We found another boat on the assigned mooring. We mentioned it to the owner and he said he was on it last night and would be on it that night. Tired of circling the mooring field like lost kids we picked up an empty mooring and again called the dock office. They realized the boat on our assigned mooring was suppose to pick up mooring C-02A. They then directed us to take that mooring and we had two nice nights in the harbor. The visit as always was fine, and it seemed people were doing a good job ashore with the COVID 19 precautions. We noticed so many fewer super yachts! Perhaps the restrictions of the pandemic are keeping away those from high risk areas. We also noticed passing wakes in the harbor were much greater than the many past years. People are getting less thoughtful of their speed!
I was a little concerned that the wash from the Pawcatuck River would make for an uncomfortable stay. I was very wrong. We had a quiet night and the cove was extremely peaceful. Our reservation was made at the last minute, but upon our arrival the staff was ready for us. It was a wonderful alternative to Watch Hill Harbor.
Sag Hbr. is a place to relax and watch how the other half lives. Certainly there are everyday folks, but the yachts in the harbor, at the piers, and outside the breakwater are so varied, and interesting. Maybe even over the top! But never do you not see a breathtaking classic yacht. The mooring was fine had two hawsers to keep the boat into the wind., and an easy pickup. Having a smaller boat we always get a spot inside the breakwater, a good place in any direction or velocity of wind. On shore the walking is great. The museums, churches, even the beautiful library are just a pleasure to visit. The town does a great job of keeping the streets clean, and there are plenty of sidewalk benches to sit down while my wife drops into a few shops. The traffic flow in the center of town is entertaining to watch. I am confused between what appears to be the Sag Harbor Launch, Mooring, and Marine Services, and what I also think are moorings and docks provided by the Harbor Master. Anyway, I'll figure it out someday. We always make Sag a destination each season.
Very quiet, beautiful harbor. The marina staff was helpful about information, and it was nice to get dropped off at a local restaurant. However, we learned the place was not open yet. Call first. Don't believe Yelp website. So, we waited an hour and had a good meal. The marina called us before confirmation to be certain we knew they did not have launch service. The staff goes home at 5:PM, but the shower/restroom facilities were open. The town dock a little distance from the marina is not open to non residents, so the marina is your only safe link to the shore. Perhaps we missed it, but a little flyer about that and other clues to this nice secluded location might be helpful. We were placed on a perfect mooring well spaced, and their directions with the reservation made the narrow entrance to the harbor easy to navigate. They have WiFi, but we forgot to ask for the password, and that could have been included in a potential welcome flyer. I would welcome a little later check out time. As check in time is 1:PM it seems 11:AM is early to leave. It is not as though they have to change the linen, vacuum the rug, wipe down the shower and stock toilet paper! It seems this time is standard now most everywhere, but unnecessary in my opinion. We certainly would return for a quiet stay.