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Approaching Mystic From the Sea

For anyone approaching Mystic Seaport/Mystic River from the sea for the first time, it can be somewhat intimidating. But it doesn’t need to be the case.

We are all prudent skippers and competent operators and the information provided below will hopefully dispel any concerns one might have.

The most important thing to remember is the schedule that the Bascule Bridge in the center of Mystic runs on. Getting to Mystic Seaport requires boaters to pass through this bridge and it is only open at 40 minutes past the hour. The entire Mystic River from Morgan Point to the Seaport is a NO WAKE zone so plan your time carefully to avoid waiting “between the bridges” for an opening to enter the Seaport.

Using either electronic or paper charts there are two points of departure that are essential to use as you approach the Mystic River and ultimately Mystic Seaport:

If you are approaching from the East (the Newport/Watch Hill passage area), the mark is East Clump Green Can # 19.
If you are approaching from the West (the New York/ Long Island Sound area), the mark is Intrepid Rock “DIR”.
From either of these two marks you now want to pick up Green Can # 1 – Bearing approximately 68 Dg Mag from Intrepid Rock and 306 Dg Mag from East Clump.

Once you have picked up G #1 you can begin your approach into the Mystic River proper.

Please approach the entrance with caution especially if there is fog. Whale Rock can ruin your day if you are not paying attention. Once past Whale Rock your next significant mark is the lighted 22’ tower # 5 off of Morgan Point. At this mark you make nearly a 90 Dg turn to port and begin the approximately 2.5 nautical mile journey up the Mystic River to the first of two bridges. The first bridge is a swing bridge for AMTRAK. This bridge will be open unless a train is coming, which is very likely. They will answer your call on CH 13. The RR bridge and the upcoming highway bridge do coordinate openings if there is a conflict. The next bridge is the bascule highway bridge in the center of the town of Mystic.

The distance between the two bridges is approximately 3/10 of a nautical mile and is quite narrow so it is not desirable to have to wait an extended time for the scheduled opening.

Once through the highway bridge, favor the starboard side of the channel and call the Seaport on Channel 68 and identify yourself as part of the Nordhavn Rendezvous. The dock staff will direct you to your dock from this point forward. There are two dockage areas the ship yard, which you are looking at, and the North yard which is around the white lighthouse that is bearing at approximately the 11:00 position.

Download the PDF file “The boaters Guide” from: www.mysticseaport.org