Plum Gut

Plum Gut
Looking past Orient Point Light, across Plum Gut.  Plum Island Light is in the background. — photo by SOL skipper Jlink58

At the north-east end of Long Island Sound a string of small islands extends from Point Orient on Long Island, past Race Point on Fishers Island, to Watch Hill Point above Little Narragansett Bay on the Rhode Island shore. Any skipper exiting LI Sound must decide how to pass through these islands. Often, the choice is to go through Plum Gut.

Plum Gut, aka The Race, is the passage between Point Orient and Plum Island — the first in the island chain. Compared to some of the other choices, the waters are relatively deep. But the tidal flow is 3kts at ebb and flood. The waters are often described as ‘confused’. There is an excellent thread in The Cruisers Forum discussing what it takes to pass through this ‘hole’.

Helper mark locations show as tiny red o’s.

The SOL map shows Plum Island as two islands not one.  I call the SLI to the south east “Plum Island Annex.” I can’t find that SLI on C-map or on any NOAA charts of the area.

Plum Gut as shown by C-map.  There is no Plum Island Annex.


On the one hand, SOLers have a shortcut between Plum Island and Plum Island Annex.  On the other hand, this makes it trickier to set DCs to go through Plum Gut.

Last year I marked four ‘helper’ WPs to make this area easier to navigate.
Two marked the bottom points of Plum Island:
SW Plum Pt: 41°09.8612N, 72°12.0264W
SE Plum Pt: 41°09.8864N, 72°11.7654W

The other two marked the north and south ends of the SLI:
Annex N: 41°09.8594N, 72°11.5123W
Annex Pine Pt: 41°09.6491N, 72°11.5498W

Haven’t checked the location this year, so no guarantees.
That said, they kept me off the beach last year.

Hope this helps.


2 thoughts on “Plum Gut”

  1. Nice Post Java. One minor correction is that Plum Gut is between Orient Point and Plum Island, while The Race is between Plum Island and Fishers Island near the CT shore.
    Often in the Vinyard Race there is a “restart” at the Gut in any given class (especially the smaller boats) if the tide is adverse when re-entering the Long Island Sound. The leaders get slowed up there fighting the 4 knot current allowing the laggards to catch up some.

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