Woods Hole Passage

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Address: 1 Cowdry Road, Woods Hole, MA 02543

Latitude/Longitude: 41.519419, -70.678422

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Pricing: Free


Known as one of the most treacherous channels on the East Coast, the Woods Hole passage is the body of water connecting Buzzards Bay to Vineyard Sound.  At the northwestern entrance to the narrow passage (on the Buzzards Bay side) you will see Uncatena Island and exclusive Penzance Point.  On the southeastern end of the passage, you will see Nonamessett Island and Juniper Point.

Nobska Lighthouse marks the southeastern entrance to this channel.  The channel is also marked with over-sized buoys as the current rips through here at 5 knots at the peak.  Strewn with rocks and remnants of islands, the Woods Hole passage is for brave sailors who are good at reading charts.  Adding to the excitement is that the passage is used by ferries large and small, some of which do not slow down for smaller vessels and steam through the narrow channel.

Tourists can watch the action from land in Woods Hole, with especially good views at Waterfront Park, on the Woods Hole Drawbridge and at the Steamship Authority docks where the ferry leaves for Martha’s Vineyard.   The dominant southwesterly breeze fills Woods Hole with cool air in summertime, making a visit to see this beautiful body of water particularly delightful.

The Woods Hole passage is also known as one of the best fishing holes on Cape Cod.  Fishermen flock from Martha’s Vineyard and all over the area to cast into the churning waters.  Catch includes striped bass, bluefish, squid and false albacore.

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