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Old 10-02-2011, 06:58   #16
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I wouldn't head from the Chesapeake to RI until at least June 1, and better June 15. That's the best time of year for the Chessie, and it can be chilly in Newport in early June.
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Old 10-02-2011, 07:44   #17
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Lots of great advice in this thread, but I will add my two cents. First, yes you need a fair current through the CC Canal, but be very wary of blasting out of the canal into a strong headwind coming in. It will be calm inside, but nasty at the entrance if the wind is against the current. We have encountered heavy seas and green water over the deck several times when leaving the canal southbound into an ordinary summer southwest breeze in Buzzards Bay. Also, I do like to anchor up in P-town before making a morning departure offshore to Monhegan, overnight, and then up into Penobscot Bay. If visibility is poor upon arrival you can follow the big ship buoys up the middle of the bay and then head west into Rockland, which is easy to enter in almost any weather or visibility, and is a nice place to go ashore, stock up, etc. It is not as picturesque as other Maine towns, but everything is very convenient and the harbor always has room. The town dock there and harbormaster are in the center of all the action.
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Old 10-02-2011, 07:54   #18
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We're originally from the Vineyard and the last twenty years on Eggemoggin Reach in Maine. With the exception of Vineyard Haven (we prefer Menemsha and the Elizabeths)....
Well, I cruise those places all Summer, so let me tell you what Vineyard Haven has that the other destinations do not.

1. Free, clean showers right at the town dock.
2. Good free Internet access (Menemsha has this also).
3. A choice of many fine restaurants ashore. A liquor store. A drug store.
4. Good shopping, which the admiral appreciates. There is no shopping in either Menemsha or Cuttyhunk.
5. Busses to Oak Bluffs and Edgartown that run every 10 mninutes, not once per hour as in Menemsha.


If you want something quaint and isolated yet still wish to be close to some amenities, you can always duck into Lake Tashmoo.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:01   #19
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Lots of great advice in this thread, but I will add my two cents. First, yes you need a fair current through the CC Canal, but be very wary of blasting out of the canal into a strong headwind coming in. It will be calm inside, but nasty at the entrance if the wind is against the current. We have encountered heavy seas and green water over the deck several times when leaving the canal southbound into an ordinary summer southwest breeze in Buzzards Bay. Also, I do like to anchor up in P-town before making a morning departure offshore to Monhegan, overnight, and then up into Penobscot Bay. If visibility is poor upon arrival you can follow the big ship buoys up the middle of the bay and then head west into Rockland, which is easy to enter in almost any weather or visibility, and is a nice place to go ashore, stock up, etc. It is not as picturesque as other Maine towns, but everything is very convenient and the harbor always has room. The town dock there and harbormaster are in the center of all the action.
Ain't that the truth. If you have any crud in your fuel tanks, you will find out about it if you motor out of the CCC westbound into the prevailing southwesterlies. Unfortunately, the current shifts west to east in the canal so, if you leave the east end just before the current changes, you'll be in a roaring current, a narrow channel and short steep waves when you get to the west end. We lost power with clogged filters and had to beat through a couple of years ago. If the conditions are too unpleasant, you can wait for improvement in Onset to your north or follow the old channel along the edge of Cape Cod to the south and avoid the worst of the chop.

This is usually only an issue westbound and is worse early in the season. Eastbound, the prevailing southwesterly and a favorable tide will shoot you to Provincetown, Scituate or Maine. (By the way, you may wonder why no one has recommended a stop in historic Plymouth. If the Pilgrims could do it, why not you? Short answer, it is a long, winding road to the anchorage with lots of shoals. It's not a bad place to visit, but is well off the rhumb line.)
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:09   #20
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There's a tiny "harbor of refuge" inside the CC Canal near the northeast end that you can duck into for fuel and possibly dockage, or to wait out a pea souper. Be careful going in or out of the basin as you are blind and commercial traffic may be barreling down the canal with the current and no way to stop or turn. Can't remember the VHF channel offhand, but you need to monitor the canal control frequency when in the canal so they can alert you if the railroad bridge is going to go down or if something else is happening.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:19   #21
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As someone who lives here in Maine, some more advice for folks who cruise: you might want to invest in a shaft cutter for lobster pots. I am not advocating that this substitute for vigilance, but some lobstermen have no problem dropping pots in the center of narrow navigation channels and frequently pots get dragged into deeper water and buoys are submerged and unavoidable. The two part shark toothed kind of cutters seems to be what most folks use here--easy to install and no maintenance. My first choice when snagging is to try to remove without cutting--which usually works but the water is cold and occasionally there is no option. If you boat sails with the shaft in gear, putting it in neutral if you snag, will often unload the pot without cutting.

I will also put in a plug for a couple of the best stops for reprovisioning and touring on the Maine Coast: Belfast and Castine. Both have some of the best anchorages and mooring areas, grocery stores close by, free town docks, water, fuel, pumpouts, great scenery and historic areas, and very few lobster pots in the vicinity. For some reason, a lot of cruisers seem to not come this far up the Bay.
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:18   #22
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Chesapeake to RI

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
I wouldn't head from the Chesapeake to RI until at least June 1, and better June 15. That's the best time of year for the Chessie, and it can be chilly in Newport in early June.
Thanks everyone. What is the best route from the Chesapeake to RI and are there any stops along the way?
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:28   #23
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As someone who lives here in Maine, some more advice for folks who cruise: you might want to invest in a shaft cutter for lobster pots. I am not advocating that this substitute for vigilance, but some lobstermen have no problem dropping pots in the center of narrow navigation channels and frequently pots get dragged into deeper water and buoys are submerged and unavoidable. The two part shark toothed kind of cutters seems to be what most folks use here--easy to install and no maintenance. My first choice when snagging is to try to remove without cutting--which usually works but the water is cold and occasionally there is no option. If you boat sails with the shaft in gear, putting it in neutral if you snag, will often unload the pot without cutting.

I will also put in a plug for a couple of the best stops for reprovisioning and touring on the Maine Coast: Belfast and Castine. Both have some of the best anchorages and mooring areas, grocery stores close by, free town docks, water, fuel, pumpouts, great scenery and historic areas, and very few lobster pots in the vicinity. For some reason, a lot of cruisers seem to not come this far up the Bay.
Hi Ray! Good running into you last season up at Ilesford. Saw your boat at Scott's place, I think, as there are not to many T-37 fins out there.

I have a slightly different take on lobster pots and line cutters..

As an ex-commercial lobsterman I can say with 100% certainty that I would MUCH rather have you cut one of my pots then to drag it across six other strings causing a massive tangle that myself and six other guys will now need to spend a few hours untangling and fixing and then buying hundreds of feet of new line that we had to cut out of the tangle. Been there done that. Sailors & boaters who think they are doing you a favor by trying to untangle a pot rather than cutting it actually cause MORE HARM than good.

When strings of traps are laid out by lobsterman they are always all laid in one direction depending upon the local you are in. In one bay it could be North to South and in another East to West etc. etc..

We do this so we never lay across another string of traps. For every two pot buoys you see there are six to ten + traps connected to it on the bottom. When sailboats snag a pot on a shaft or rudder, and think they are doing you a favor by trying to get it off without cutting it, they are usually not.

Wire traps are LIGHT WEIGHT and dragging ten of them is no problem for a boat with sails up or one in wind and current. Often times what happens is the boat drifts, and drags the the string across a few others. This makes a HUGE, HUGE mess!!

I used to run pot buoys on both ends of my strings as most all fisherman do. Not once did I ever loose both ends at the same time. Could it happen? Sure anything is possible but very, very unlikely. Replacing a pot buoy is FAR cheaper than loosing 300 feet of warp to a tangle and the time in man hours involved in re-rigging and re-stringing them..

Other commercial guys may not feel this way but that is my take as someone who used to do this for a living. Every time I was in a tangle I was wishing my buoy or someone elses was just cut. I still used to get about 60% of my pot buoys back after they washed up. If in good condition I would re-use them.

All that being said I actually detest line cutters, had one made by Evolution in Rockland, ME, and they are VERY, VERY dangerous. Trust me they DO NOT always cut floating line, which we have lots of up here in Maine. I have also had Spurs and they too DO NOT always cut the line.

When, not if, you need to dive on your prop to cut away fouled line you WILL want a set of wire mesh oyster shucking gloves or you could certainly wind up with a massive gash like I did. Might as well stick your hand into a bucket of razor blades when you are diving in lumpy seas to free a line that the serrated "line cutter" did not cut. These devices seem to cut attached buoys ok but floating line, like we often see pulled back into the bay during spring tides, are not always cutable before they strop the engine.

In my experience the serrated type of cutter is fairly useless and the pizza wheel even more useless. They do not always cut the line, been there done that and have the scars from the stitches on my WRIST to prove it. I was damn close to the main "suicide" artery so it was damn scary and coupled with being hours from the nearest hospital..well....

Sorry to be so blunt but those things just do not work well enough to keep you from diving 100% of the time. They most often do work but when they don't and your diving on the prop you run a huge risk of being sliced & diced and the risk of serious injury.

I no longer have a shaft cutter, scrapped them, but do have a hook knife on a pole, a wet suit, dive knife with lanyard and a thick dive hood to prevent head bangs in lumpy seas. I've also split me head open when the hull came down on me. This was diving on a tangle when I had Spurs.

I never even felt the slice to my wrist, these things are SHARP. The water was so murky and the current so strong I also never even saw the blood until I cam back onto the boat five minutes later. Had I sliced the artery I could have easily passed out in the water..

The single best investment for snagged pots I have made is the hook knife from Sailors Solutions...

Just my .02 worth of caution.
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:54   #24
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I am in the process of planning a trip to Maine this summer and am finding this thread very helpful. In my planning I make it a practice to check out the state laws of the places I'm going just so I don't run afoul of some obscure regulation. In doing so I came across this item on the Maine state Boating laws web site:

"Any watercraft or houseboat, operated upon the inland waters of this State and having a permanently installed sanitary waste disposal system shall have securely affixed to the interior discharge opening of said sanitary waste disposal system a holding tank or suitable container for holding sanitary waste material so as to prevent its discharge or drainage into the inland waters of the State. The holding tank for sanitary water waste must not in any way be connected to any through-hull fitting. "

Do boats visiting Maine actually have to remove their overboard discharge hoses from the through hull rather than just locking the seacock closed? My vent hose connects to a through hull as well though it is above the waterline. Do they really expect people to vent their holding tank inside the boat? Technically even the pumpout is connected to a through hull. Clearly this law cannot be enforced as written. So what is the real situation in Maine?
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:02   #25
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No, you can cruise the coastal waters of Maine with any legal MSD system that you could use in any other coastal state. Not sure what the rules are on inland waters. Basically, a locked through overboard thru hull should do it. Practically speaking, I have never been hassled in Maine with anybody inspecting my boat. They are very boater friendly folks up there.
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:29   #26
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The single best investment for snagged pots I have made is the hook knife from Sailors Solutions...
Ditto on the Sailors' Solutions blade.

1) Try tacking or backing the boat to get the pot off.
2) Try pushing the line down with a pole until it pops off the rudder or keel.
3) Cut the warp with the S.S. hook knife on the end of a pole.
4) Last resort: put some water on the stove to boil. Hop over the side, knife in hand, and cut the warp. Get back aboard and enjoy some hot tea!
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:37   #27
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I am in the process of planning a trip to Maine this summer and am finding this thread very helpful. In my planning I make it a practice to check out the state laws of the places I'm going just so I don't run afoul of some obscure regulation. In doing so I came across this item on the Maine state Boating laws web site:

"Any watercraft or houseboat, operated upon the inland waters of this State and having a permanently installed sanitary waste disposal system shall have securely affixed to the interior discharge opening of said sanitary waste disposal system a holding tank or suitable container for holding sanitary waste material so as to prevent its discharge or drainage into the inland waters of the State. The holding tank for sanitary water waste must not in any way be connected to any through-hull fitting. "

Do boats visiting Maine actually have to remove their overboard discharge hoses from the through hull rather than just locking the seacock closed? My vent hose connects to a through hull as well though it is above the waterline. Do they really expect people to vent their holding tank inside the boat? Technically even the pumpout is connected to a through hull. Clearly this law cannot be enforced as written. So what is the real situation in Maine?
"Inland Waters" means lakes, not salt water. I believe that in Maine you can discharge anywhere in salt water if you have a macerator or other approved MSD.
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:44   #28
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" I believe that in Maine you can discharge anywhere in salt water if you have a macerator or other approved MSD."-Not true, the same rules apply here as elsewhere you have to be past the 3 mile line, also some bays and areas are trying to prohibit discharge of Grey water. Casco bay has been trying for years to prohibit the discharge of grey water so IMHO I would check the Local boating laws carefully to be sure.
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:52   #29
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Isn't the 3 mile rule for untreated waste? With a macerator, you are discharging treated waste.
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:30   #30
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I don't think the macerator "treats" waste. You need a fancy system that reduces the bacteria count below the minimum in order to discharge inside 3nm.
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