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Hadley Harbor

A very pleasant anchorage in close proximity to Woods Hole

41 deg 30 min 45 sec North, 070 deg 42 min 4 sec West
Charts #13235, 13229

The anchorage can get crowded

According to the Cruising Guide to the New England Coast, Hadley Harbor is "one of the best protected and attractive anchorages in the cruising ground south of Cape Cod." It is not only one of the most pleasant harbors, but also a convenient stopover when cruising from Buzzards Bay to Vineyard Sound and while waiting for the current to turn in Woods Hole. It is also a great destination on its own for a day or overnight trip.

On approaching, pay close attention for the rocks. In fact, when you study the charts for the area, you'll see "Hadley Rks" instead of Hadley Harbor. You can see them as you approach the entrance from Buzzards Bay. As you pass GC11 entering the Wood's Hole Broadway passage, bear to starboard leaving GC11 astern and the rocks to port. As you approach the rocks, you'll see the marked Hadley Harbor channel to the east. You can take that route in also. There are swimmers both inside and outside the harbor so it pays to keep a close eye out.

A social gathering or two is always expected

There are three large Coast Guard moorings inside the harbor, and all other moorings are private. Their owners or guests often leave a dinghy attached to the mooring to let you know they'll be back. There are no other amenities. If you choose to anchor or take a mooring inside, stay clear of the channel used by the private ferry that runs from Woods Hole Harbor to the islands several times a day. Depths range from nine to 15 or 16 feet near the channel. Holding is generally good and the currents that plague Wood's Hole pass by this lovely spot. Because all but a handful of the Elizabeth Islands are privately-owned and maintained, you cannot go ashore here.

If you find it too crowded for your liking inside the harbor, turn around and head for the anchorage outside the harbor northeast of Bull Island. Bull Island is open to the public. From either inside or outside the harbor, you can dinghy ashore at Bull Island and hike around the island. Dogs are welcome and a large sign tells you to scoop and flush to the holding tank. When going ashore, you may want to wear socks and long trousers to prevent exposure to deer ticks known to carry Lyme Disease. At high tide, you may have to make your way through knee-deep water but it won't take you longer than half an hour to get around.

Outside the channel farther east off Nonamesset Island lies a decent anchorage, although it shoals up near shore.

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