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Old 07-08-2015, 17:06   #1
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New York to Norfolk

I am leaving next month from Toronto to Florida .... If weather permitting I would like to leave New York City and go outside to Norfolk ...
I have never done this so I have a few questions....
How far off shore should I be ??.... And what are some of the hazards we should be aware of ????( other boats etc)
And what about two or three place to tuck in incase we want so shelter.
I also think it should take approx 3 days at sea


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Old 07-08-2015, 17:11   #2
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Re: New York to Norfolk

Not much along the outside. Go down the Chesapeake Bay and enjoy.

That derelict boat was another dream for somebody else, don't let it be your nightmare and a waste of your life.
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Old 07-08-2015, 17:37   #3
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Re: New York to Norfolk

I second that suggestion. Take the c&d canal from the Delaware river. Chesapeake is a world class cruising ground.

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Old 07-08-2015, 19:08   #4
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Re: New York to Norfolk

It should take a couple of days going down the outside. Only heavy weather stop is the Harbor of Refuge at Cape Henlopen, which is about halfway. Wait for favorable wind forecast and don't leave if there is a hurricane coming.
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:11   #5
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Re: New York to Norfolk

We traveled NJ on the outside twice since last fall. We had to wait for good water but as far as how far out to be we stayed only a mile out and enjoyed the secnery.
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Old 08-08-2015, 08:09   #6
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Re: New York to Norfolk

I have only travelled south from NYC to Norfolk once so I may miss some details. The three main ports for refuge are Atlantic City (watch for currents), Cape May (a good place to stop) and Ocean City. There may be others. Anecdotally, I have heard that pleasure craft sail about 2 - 3 miles off shore while commercial vessels stay about 5 miles off shore. As someone previous recommended, going up the Delaware, along the C & D canal, and sailing down the Cheasapeake is a rewarding trip.

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Old 08-08-2015, 09:07   #7
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Re: New York to Norfolk

I'm just up the 401 from you in Kingston Ontario....and boy am I jelly!

I agree with your plan to go outside...more sailing, easier nav, get there fast, then take it slow. I don't have a strong desire to spend much time exploring a place I could drive to in a just a few hours.

How many crew?

Are you taking your (sweet) Hunter 430 ?

You are going to have a great time. I hope you post often, or blog, so the rest of us can share your adventure. You'll be living it up down south while we haulout and winterize.
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Old 08-08-2015, 11:28   #8
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Re: New York to Norfolk

OK, I'm assuming a Hunter 430 is a sailing yacht - sorry, British, so not too familiar with N American boat types - so irrespective of whether you bail out up the Delaware or go on to Norfolk, you'll have to go 'outside', the NY to Delaware Canal's too shallow.

We went both ways last year, heading north the weather was kind (the lull ahead of Hurricane Arthur) so we went from near Norfolk to NY none stop with no problems; a pleasant 5-6 knot sail the whole way. From what we learnt then and confirmed returning, we ran 3-4M offshore during the fair-tide (ebbed N as I recall?) then when it began easing, we moved close inshore before the foul-tide kicked-in; during the final few miles up to Sandy Hook we were not much over 4-500m offshore. Saw very few other vessels, commercial or pleasure, a few day-fishing boats whenever we were close to an inland access and some big/fast casino(?) boats as we approached Sandy Hook. If you want to shorten the passage a bit or wait/work the tides - they were strong around Norfolk entrance, passing the Delaware and entering/crossing NY Harbour - then we used anchorages just SE of the Elizabeth River Bridge (by the helicopter base - Willoughby?) and Gravesend Bay behind Coney Island - both proved good, I've logged details/info on them on Active Captain. It was about 270M and we took only a little over 50 hours; coming south would probably be a bit slower as I reckon we got the 'best' of the tides on that northerly run.

Returning was a different story and we took a kicking from some un-forecast and to us at least, unexpected, thunderstorms ahead of a fast-arriving Norther; we were about 15M south of NY Harbour entrance when the VHF came alive with Coastguard warnings and Mayday/Pan-Pan calls in the NY Harbour and surrounding areas, so no point heading back that way. We stayed out 4-5M looking for relatively deep water (not that the US east coast has much!) irrespective of tides and eventually bailed-out at Atlantic City - we covered that on Active Captain too and can advise from personal experience, that the entrance is still accessible, albeit slowly, in 30+ knot winds, pitch-dark (other than lightning flashes!) and against a foul tide. Anchor between the main channel and casino's side, the tide rips through and it's uncomfortable, but 'any port in a storm' and all that, we were very grateful for it.

Having sat out the Norther (3 days) in Atlantic City's brilliantly sheltered, but isolated inner anchorage (north of the channel) we headed on and stopped at Cape May too; we didn't test it, but I suspect you could safely get in there in pretty much anything too, though in more strong northerly winds, we found the anchorage much less reassuring than Atlantic City's. From there direct to the Delaware you need to get under a lower than usual bridge (55ft? - check Active C) but leaving around low tide we had a fantastic sail, getting a strong tidal push the whole way. There was a LOT of commercial traffic going up and down there, but we travelled overnight and other than whilst passing a couple of really shoal spots when we had to come into it, we sailed the whole passage just to the N & E of the big-ship channel, so we didn't cause any problems/concerns for each other.

No idea about Ocean City, but a 6' draft yacht we know bailed out into Barnegat Inlet without problems when that Norther came through, but in daylight; we looked longingly at it as we passed by, but didn't fancy risking an entry in the dark. Another yacht we know escaped the same storms in that Henopen Refuge anchorage at the main Delaware River entrance and gave it a 'better than nothing, it certainly helped' rating.

Hope this helps, good luck!
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Old 08-08-2015, 11:42   #9
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Re: New York to Norfolk

Don't go inside in New Jersey its to shallow. Going outside is faster and you can stop at ocean city md.
The Chesapeake is nice but there's tons of crab pots.
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Old 09-08-2015, 12:26   #10
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Re: New York to Norfolk

These are all great posts.....very valuable info for us, just my wife and myself will be all depends on the weather, but I will choose the 3 day passage if weather permits.....{cross my fingers}
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Old 09-08-2015, 19:15   #11
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Re: New York to Norfolk

Hi John,
Did the trip New York to Florida Oct Nov. 2012 Great trip, Left NY early morning 5 to 10 mile off shore bad weather went in Atlantic City early morning, sat on the Hook 24 Hrs then down to Delaware forecast got worse so went in to Delaware all the way up took Canal across to Chesapeake. Great side trip down to Norfolk still poor weather stayed inside to Beaufort NC Stuck for Hurricane Sandy. 10 days there Beaufort Marina really great folks. Single hand from there to Hollywood FL. If you haven't done the ICW the views are spectacular. Gained crew member for the trip to Belize from there. B411 5'8 draft 63" clearance will do it again, you will enjoy Paul

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