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Old 02-07-2016, 06:20   #1
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Sailing Intinerary Norfolk to Capemay

We just bought a Gemini Catamaran in Norfolk and plan on sailing it up to Cape May in August. Does anyone have advice on planning an itinerary? How long to allow for the trip? and recommendations on marinas or where to drop a hook to the night? thank you.
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Old 05-07-2016, 09:45   #2
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Re: Sailing Intinerary Norfolk to Capemay

we just made the trip from Portsmouth to Cape May two weeks ago. We left 5:30am arrived in Cape May around noon the following day, it is about a 30 hr straight sail, we had light SW winds so we motored a lot. The flies were horrible. we had 117 confirmed kills on board, LOL. No real great places to anchor along the way possibly Ocean city if the seas are calm and you don't draw to much which you shouldn't in a Gemini. We stayed at Canyon club in Cape May, more of a sport fishing condo complex however they were very accommodating and had plenty of slips just expensive.$3.00 ft/day yikes. It looked like you can anchor by the CG station. plenty of room. If yur not in a rush coming up the bay is more relaxed it will add a few more days on the trip. good luck
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Old 05-07-2016, 11:02   #3
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Re: Sailing Intinerary Norfolk to Capemay

Hi Amelia Irene. Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new boat.

Before getting into details if I may ask a question or two.

First, have you had a chance to do a shakedown on the Gemini? Is the fuel good, the tanks clean, filters changed? Before taking off in a new to you boat it's always good to make sure all is ready.

Then, have you looked at the charts, checked the distance and done any preliminary planning? It's always good to do some research on your own instead of depending exclusively on advice from others. It's not uncommon for things to change on a trip due to weather, mechanical issues, person schedules, etc and the more you know about the trip planned the better you will be able to cope with any issues.

Depending on where in Norfolk area you start the trip is only about 130 miles. With decent weather you can sail or motor that easily in a day. Leave early in the morning from Norfolk you Should make Cape May the next afternoon.

There are not a lot of good stops along the way. All the inlets along the VA and DE coast are labeled local knowledge. For an experienced sailor, in settled weather and good visibility a couple should be accessible but the charts show shifting channels, only a couple that are marked and even those the buoys are moved as needed to mark the changes. When I've made the trip along this coast I chose to make it non-stop between Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay so regret cannot give you first hand info on using the inlets.
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Old 05-07-2016, 17:17   #4
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Re: Sailing Intinerary Norfolk to Capemay

Thanks for the reply. When I bought the boat I had a survey done. It was satisfactory to all systems and overall condition. I currently have the boat at Cobb's marina where they are painting the bottom and servicing the engine. I have ordered the complete maptech charts for the Chesapeake and Delaware. We plan on making the trip on the inside and have allowed 5 to 6 days with a goal of sailing/ motoring about 50 miles per day. Once I get the charts I will try my best to plan an estimated itinerary. It sounds like most people make the trip on the outside. Any advice on going up the Chesapeake and thru the C&D?
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Old 05-07-2016, 17:36   #5
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Re: Sailing Intinerary Norfolk to Capemay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amelia Irene View Post
Thanks for the reply. When I bought the boat I had a survey done. It was satisfactory to all systems and overall condition. I currently have the boat at Cobb's marina where they are painting the bottom and servicing the engine. I have ordered the complete maptech charts for the Chesapeake and Delaware. We plan on making the trip on the inside and have allowed 5 to 6 days with a goal of sailing/ motoring about 50 miles per day. Once I get the charts I will try my best to plan an estimated itinerary. It sounds like most people make the trip on the outside. Any advice on going up the Chesapeake and thru the C&D?
Timing the tide in Delaware bay can make a lot of difference.
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Old 05-07-2016, 18:36   #6
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Re: Sailing Intinerary Norfolk to Capemay

avon skin-so-soft helps with the flies in delaware bay. they are vicious
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Old 05-07-2016, 18:42   #7
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Re: Sailing Intinerary Norfolk to Capemay

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Originally Posted by Amelia Irene View Post
Thanks for the reply. When I bought the boat I had a survey done. It was satisfactory to all systems and overall condition.

Hi Amelia Irene,

No disrespect intended and possibly this has been addressed in the survey or it may be something you are already aware of. If so, my apologies and feel free to ignore this bit. The reason I bring it up, a few years ago I was a yacht broker and was involved in dozens of surveys. In my experience, even the best of them mainly hit the high points and missed many, many small details. Almost never missed any serious problems, structural issues, etc but some of the small ones can throw a monkey wrench into a trip and leave you doing boat maintenance in remote places.

One of the more common is dirty fuel and tanks. If the surveyor covered this point then great but if not then very worthwhile looking into. In older boats especially it is very common for the diesel tanks over the years to collect water, sludge, sediment and microbial growth that settles in the bottom of the tank. Get underway, start rocking and rolling which stirs up the sludge which will then clog the fuel filters and the engine stops, usually at the most importune moment. This is something that is often neglected by owners, especially if they plan to sell the boat. Hopefully the diesel tank will have an inspection plate which can be removed to allow access and let you pull a sample from the lowest part of the tank where the sludge collects. Regardless, be sure to bring extra fuel filters.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Amelia Irene View Post
I have ordered the complete maptech charts for the Chesapeake and Delaware.
Excellent. In addition to the charts one of the guidebooks can be helpful. You can order the Waterway Guide (the editor is a member of this forum) and access information online on their website here Marina map of the Waterway Guide centered on 38.217659754991004, -76.40148857421877 | Waterway Explorer marina map. Another online resource www.activecaptain.com

They will give information about marinas, bridge opening schedules, areas on the route that might have shoaling or other hazards, bridges or locks that might be closed for repairs, etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Amelia Irene View Post
We plan on making the trip on the inside and have allowed 5 to 6 days with a goal of sailing/ motoring about 50 miles per day. Once I get the charts I will try my best to plan an estimated itinerary. It sounds like most people make the trip on the outside. Any advice on going up the Chesapeake and thru the C&D?
50 miles a day is a very reasonable goal. That is what I planned for my last trip. Wake early, have a cup of coffee (or tea), maybe breakfast on the road and you should be able to cover that and have plenty of daylight to anchor or dock for the night.

I made this part of the trip on the outside so can't give you any firsthand on the CD Canal route.
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Old 05-07-2016, 18:48   #8
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Re: Sailing Intinerary Norfolk to Capemay

Norfolk to Reedville day 1. Reedville to Annapolis day 2. Annapolis to the canal day 3. Time the canal and Delaware Bay to Cape May Day 4.
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Old 05-07-2016, 19:04   #9
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Re: Sailing Intinerary Norfolk to Capemay

thanks. I will check out the route when I get my paper charts and see how that works out. I appreciate the advice
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Old 05-07-2016, 19:12   #10
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Re: Sailing Intinerary Norfolk to Capemay

Skipmac, the boat is an older model and has a 4 cycle outboard motor. I will consider (and most likely get a couple of new fuel tanks) portable type that can fit in a vented locker in the cockpit, there is one in the aft of the boat that is currently used for that.
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Old 05-07-2016, 19:32   #11
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Re: Sailing Intinerary Norfolk to Capemay

I would strongly encourage you to take the C&D canal route. The lack of good inlets and a new to you boat is a poor mix. The only thing you will lose by taking the inside route is a couple of days, what better way to get acquainted with your new treasure. Lots to see , great places to eat, and a safe sheltered waterway to get you there. Challenge yourself after you get to Cape May when you don't have an alternate route.

Safe sailing.
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:26   #12
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Re: Sailing Intinerary Norfolk to Capemay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amelia Irene View Post
Skipmac, the boat is an older model and has a 4 cycle outboard motor. I will consider (and most likely get a couple of new fuel tanks) portable type that can fit in a vented locker in the cockpit, there is one in the aft of the boat that is currently used for that.
Oh, OK. Guess I have displayed my ignorance of the Gemini catamaran models.

In that case, all the previous is probably moot. Is there a built in tank at all or does the outboard run exclusively on portable tanks?

Single outboard? If so then I assume it's mounted between the hulls on some kind of bracket or something?
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Old 07-07-2016, 19:17   #13
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Re: Sailing Intinerary Norfolk to Capemay

earlier gemini's had a single outboard, usually with electric start and tilt. They have a system that engages the outboard so it can turn with the cassette-style rudders that are controlled with a wheel tiller. This boat has a permanent fuel tank, but the previous owner did not use it. Instead he has 2 portable poly gas tanks. I will probably continue with this set-up. I'll post to this thread as we get underway and let you know how our trip goes. We plan on making the trip at the end of this month.
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Old 07-07-2016, 20:11   #14
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Re: Sailing Intinerary Norfolk to Capemay

Given the choice I would do the Chesapeake for the cruising. Hopefully you will have the time to do some exploring on the way.

If you don't know about Activecaptain.com you should join. It is a great resource.

The previously mentioned timing of the tide/current in the C&D canal and the Delaware bay is very good advice. We slower folks could watch a three year old on a tricycle pass us if we get it wrong.
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Old 08-07-2016, 12:05   #15
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Re: Sailing Intinerary Norfolk to Capemay

+1 for Chesapeake route. Stop by Baltimore one night, the anchorage in the middle of the inner harbor surrounded by lit skyscrapers at night on three sides is unique in the Chesapeake. Loads of pretty ones with countryside everywhere.
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