Narragansett Bay’s deep natural harbor is regarded as one of the finest cruising grounds in the northeast. On any sunny afternoon, you’re bound to see hundreds of full sails coasting up and down the bay. Come summer, the prevailing wind is the “smoky sou’wester,” the same breeze that drew the America’s Cup Races to Rhode Island for more than 50 years, until America’s defeat by Australia in 1983. Almost without exception, calm sunny mornings are followed by windy afternoons with the onshore breeze arriving between 12 and 1 p.m. By mid-afternoon, the wind can build to 25 knots or more, but the average speed is between 10 to 20 knots. You can experience sailing on a traditional schooner, but I suggest simply grabbing a proper sailboat with a guide. We booked a 34-foot O’Day with Sightsailing Inc. and for two hours, my daughter, Melanie, took the wheel and guided us along the coast under the watchful of Captain Ed, who gave us an in-depth history of the region.
Take a Sail
32 Bowen Wharf, , Newport, 02840, RI