Hi! I may be picking up my "new to me" boat this weekend, if all goes well. If it happens, I'm considering one of two options: follow the intracoastal waterway from the Lavalette area of NJ down to the southern end of Peck Bay in Ocean City, or go out to the ocean. I'm still pretty new to sailing, so the prospect of a "first sail" out in the ocean is a little daunting, but not so much that I'm completely detered by it.
If all goes according to plan (and if the weather
holds up) I'll be sailing/motoring a swing keel Catalina
25. As I read the chats (NOAA charts
12316 (http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineVie...316.shtml) and
12324 (Chart 12324
), I'm looking at a bridge-free pass from Lavalette all the way down to Atlantic City. I then count four bridges that will be a problem for the Catalina
, assuming I take the ICW
. As I understand it, the Catalina's mast
is about 33' from the waterline. There's one other bridge that's 35' (assuming I hit it at exactly high tide on an average day, as I understand the charts), and I should JUST eek under it, if there isn't a wind vane
on top of my mast
(hmmmm...need to check that!). Would someone mind confirming this for me? I also don't think the 2' draft
with the keel
up should pose a problem for the entirety of the trip.
The "plus" side of that trip is that I will always be in protected waters, and will be VERY easy for help to get to. The down side is that the ICW
makes so many twists and turns, I feel like it will nearly double my travel time! Plus, I'm not sure I'll be able to get much sailing in, because of those twists and turns. I COULD try to scoot over some of the deeper areas to make things quicker and straigher, but I'm a little nervous of that in unfamiliar waters (as the entire trip will be). That's what's motivating me to go the ocean route
, instead. I'd like to try to make that trip in a roughly 8 hour day, and I'm not sure that I'll make it with all the twists and turns of the ICW.
The ocean route
has the advantages of not having to wait for the bridges, and a more direct route between the origin and destination
locations. But, of course, there's the whole "green captain" factor. I could mitigate this a bit by reefing from the get-go, and/or by partly furling
. It will slow my progress some, but it will make things a bit safer.
So, any feedback on my chart-reading is appreciated (as would a pointer to where to find the VHF
channel for the bridges along the way), and any comments on the route alternatives is also VERY welcome!