Coastal Boating, Sailing, Cruising, Yachting, Racing, Coastal, Sailboat, Yacht, Fleet, Club, Regatta, Commodore, One design, Social, Long Island Sound, Narragansett Bay, Buzzards Bay, Chesapeake Bay, Island, Seamanship, NE waters, NOAA, NWS


All Destinations
NE Destinations

Cruising Itineraries
Challenging Cruising in the NE

West Harbor, Oyster Bay

...well protected, out of the way, and within easy reach all at the same time.

Wide open expanse of West Harbor.
West Harbor is a large, amazingly empty and undeveloped, and protected body. It's only drawback is that the sounds of the highway can reach you in the stillness of the night if the breeze is coming from the wrong direction!

To get there, continue past the Oyster Bay mooring field and keep Centre Island on your starboard, being careful of the sand bar that extends from the beach to starboard. You can anchor pretty much anywhere here. Check the depth on the charts carefully especially if you draw more than 6 feet. We tend to pick somewhere closer (but not too close) to one of the shores, so that the occasional speedboat or fisherman does not disturb our serenity. Except for the northern third of the bay we always have plenty of water under our keel. West Harbor can be pretty busy on weekends, and multiple boat raft-ups are common, but it’s a safe harbor where you can find protection from winds of any direction. This is a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery, the wildlife, and an evening cocktail under a spectacular sunset.

A nice beach and anchorage in West Harbor.

One time, we had a most amazing show here as we anchored. Just as we started to relax, a flock of birds swooped in on a school of small fish. The small terns were fishing prolificly, only to be attacked by gulls in mid air until they either dropped the wounded fish or turned it over beak to beak in the struggle. You could see the fish wiggling in their beaks as they flew off. It was survival of the fittest at its most intense. We were exhausted and amazed by this show that went on for hours!

From the anchorage, you can also dinghy into Mill Neck at the NW corner for an ice cream cone and other good stuff like fried clams. Just go under the Mill Neck Bridge and turn right. It’s very entertaining to see the antics of people launching their boats from the ramp there!

The beach on the north side of the bay is nice for swimming or beachcombing and has a bathhouse with restrooms that are open to the public. There’s another public beach on the Sound side just a short walk across the road. Alas, anchoring off the beach is not possible for most of us as it is quite shallow, only about 2-6 feet. If you dinghy to the beach, just pull it on shore and anchor it anywhere along the grassy area east of the public beach.

If you need provisions, it’s about a mile walk to Oak Neck/Bayville, where there are stores, a fishmonger and delis. One of the delis has a permit to arrange a catered picnic on the beach and set up a net for volleyball, too.

The marina at Mill Neck offers fried seafood and plenty of entertainment. The top photo shows an oops...seems the trailer was slippery. Forklift to the rescue! The little fireman to the left is ready to put out any additional fires.


Joy of sailingCoastal Boating (Reg. in Ireland No. 443222) is a division of Knowledge Clinic Ltd.
Port Aleria, Rosnakilly, Kilmeena, Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland - USA: PO Box 726, Mahwah, NJ 07430
All content on this site is subject to Copyright© - All rights reserved.
Contact us - Advertising - Privacy - Terms & Conditions - Copyright & Trademark - Webmaster