The southern part of Narragansett Bay is split into two halves (East and West Passages) by eight-mile-long Conanicut Island. The West Passage starts at the Atlantic Ocean between Boston and Beaver necks about five miles west of Newport. Just around the corner from Point Judith and the protection of Point Judith Pond, the West Passage has its own fjord-like atmosphere that boaters love to explore.
Although the East Passage is home to Newport, the self-reported yachting capital of the world, West Passage has its own set of bragging rights. On West Passage you will find the remote and beautiful Dutch Harbor, Wickford Cove, Allen Harbor and Greenwich Cove a little farther north. Each of these small coves has excellent marine facilities, mooring fields and quiet anchorages. Beyond Greenwich Cove, West Passage turns into the Providence River and leads up to the city of Providence. Both East and West passages converge at the top of Prudence island at Mount Hope Bay.
Use NOAA Chart 13221.
From the Atlantic Ocean, first pick up red and white Morse (A) buoy NB marking the generic approach to Narragansett Bay about five miles south of Beavertail Point at the opening of West Passage. Once you have picked up the Morse (A) buoy, plot a course to flashing green gong buoy 3 at Whale Rock and the mouth of West Passage. Once inside West Passage, you can follow the channel (deep almost to the edges) all the way up to the Providence River.
There are marinas, moorings and anchorages in most every major cove. Take a look at our full-size interactive maps for details on marine facilities along the way. The image above is a view from the south looking up into West Passage. Up and to the right is Dutch Island and Harbor, and if you zoom in near the horizon, you can see the Conanicut Island Bridge off in the distance.