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Old 26-12-2006, 07:17   #1
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New York to Norfolk

Sunspot Baby has not done much cruising north of New Bern.

Just curious…if you left New York City heading south, traveling as much as you could on the various inland waterways, how many miles would it be to get to Mile 0 of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway near Norfolk Virginia? And part two of my question is how many miles would be inside and how much offshore?

I have checked various charts and cruising guides, but I’m having trouble filling in the gaps, and we don’t own charts for those areas.

Thanks in advance,

Entlie
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Old 26-12-2006, 07:40   #2
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You could minimze the offshore section by entering the Delaware River at Cape May, NJ (catching the flood tide is important!) then it's up the river to the C & D Canal then to the Chesapeake Bay and about 250 nm down the Chesapeake to Norfolk then to the Elizabeth River at the beginning point of the ICW. You could spend the night at Cape May to assure a good jumping off for the Delaware.
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Old 26-12-2006, 08:09   #3
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We completed that run this past fall while returning from ME. We anchored in Sandy Hook, NJ and left the following morning. Spent first night in Atlantic City. Decided to make a long run the next day and bypass Cape May. We arrived in Cheapeake City iin the C & D canal after dark. Depearted the next morn and arrived in Annapolis before dark. We made an overnight run down the Chesapeake and arrived in Portsmouth the following morning. Not a difficult trip. If you don't want to arrive at Ches. City after dark, stop in Cape May and proceed to Ches City the next day.

Not a difficult trip. Sorry, cannot quote mileage figures.

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Old 26-12-2006, 10:20   #4
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Not sure this would give you precise mileage figures, but check out Sailing Away From Winter by Silver Donald Cameron (just published by McLelland and Stewart).

It's the story of their trip from Cape Breton to the Bahamas, which was constrained by the fact that they had an elderly whippet who would not pee on board. Most of their voyages were therefore a few hours long and they hugged the coast.

I got it for Christmas, and I've just got them in the Chesapeake through (as Paul suggests) the canal. The trip from New York to Greenwich, though, was a single voyage (with the dog left on shore and rbought down to meet the boay later) and it took about 24 hours.

Great read.

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Old 26-12-2006, 16:37   #5
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Took the outside route Northbound in one leap from Norfolk "0" to Sandy Hook...........dodged the Navy ships thru the Bridge/Tunnel cut and turned North............approx 206nm............simple, good weather window, heavy traffic north jersey/ny
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Old 26-12-2006, 19:59   #6
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Cape May outside to Cape Charles can be the better route if the weather is in our favor. It's a reasonable overnight passage. The Chesapeake chop can be nasty once it gets 6 ft or more. The frequency will be maybe a boat and a half and a real handful. Being inland on the Bay isn't a sure thing.

If you go outside from Cape May to Cape Charles there isn't any place else you can come in. No place to come in before and other than Rudee Inlet in Virgina Beach you are forced outside of Diamond Shoals, NC. You have to make it in at Cape Henry or else.

I would be very conservative with your weather window this time of year. Even after you make Portsmouth, VA you can still get NC ice storms.
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Old 27-12-2006, 13:37   #7
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East coast and the ICW

I've often wondered about the East coast's fascination with the ICW. Most everyone I read/know takes the ICW, complaining all the way about how much slower the trip is, the fuel expenses, the groundings, the repairs, the lack of anchorages necessitating marina stops... and the next year they do it again.

The two boats I know of who migrate south by way of Bermuda spend less time and money, and arrive more relaxed. Not necessarily a good route from New Jersey, of course, but just going outside seems to make more sense to me. Easy to say from my armchair on the west coast, I suppose.

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Old 27-12-2006, 14:04   #8
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Well, speaking from my armchair in Toronto (and from a complete lack of knoweldge or experience), I look at all that open water and think -- there's nothing to hit, no lee shores, what's the attraction of sailing inland?

OTOH, if I were in a small boat 150 miles offshore and nasty weather started kicking up, maybe I'd wish I had taken the slow, costly route. Indeed, no maybe about it.



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Old 27-12-2006, 19:01   #9
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The distanced from Annapolis to NY is 272 MN. Of that approx 120 is offshore from Sandy Hook to NY. Annapolis to Norfolk is 138 NM all in the Chesapeake.
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Old 27-12-2006, 19:05   #10
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Sometimes the time of year makes a difference whether we go offshore or not. Shorter and sometimes unpredictable weather windows weigh heavily in the decision in late fall, winter, and early spring. Sometimes it is just that we are in our 60's, enjoying cruising, and want to experience both offshore adventures and shorter hops, depending on many factors that come into play at the time.

As far as "nothing to hit" in the waterway, the are barges with limited maneuverability in tight spots, big trees floating in strong currents down inland rivers, dredging debris at the bottom of your pristine anchorage, and the unattentive boater in a 14 ft. runabout who pulls out of a channel directly in front of you, boom box blaring, not looking ahead or behind but into his beer cooler, his kid on an inflatable tow behind him, never noticing that a big boat is bearing down on him in a strong following current.

Of course offshore there is that tanker whose computer changes course and heads directly for you at 20 knots with no one on the bridge. Miles and miles of open water, and it's just us and that tanker.

Both options offer plenty of opportunities for adrenaline rushes and on the other hand, for beautiful days on the water - offshore it's just you and miles of blue water, with beautiful night skies and time alone on your watch. Inshore there are many hours of beautiful marshes and wildlife, and charming little towns where you can drop the hook and stay a while.

The argument goes on, but having logged enough miles up and down the ICW and offshore, I maintain that no one should have to apologize for making either choice. (Not that your comments were meant in that light).

It's like scuba diving. You don't have to go to 150 feet to have a good dive. Usually the 30 foot reefs offer just as much if not more enjoyment, and sometimes, plenty of excitement as well.

The "Inside/Outside" part of my question was merely an attempt to get to a distance figure from our home port, doing some armchair dreaming myself, and not certain of the gaps between some of the northern waterways. I think I've got the information now, and thanks to all who responded.

Entlie
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