As I mentioned I haven't sailed much along the SE coast. But I don't think there are many snug harbors you can tuck into after working your way up (or down) the coast.
Boats go slow and so if the next landfall is more than 30 miles from your position, figure 6 hrs to get there. And then consider that you are sailing in unfamiliar waters and making landfalls are less stressful when you have light and you have more visual cues.
One of the joys I found in cruising in ME and Southern NE, of you are not in the process of getting from one point to another as in a long distance delivery
, is that you have many options for a landfall.
For example, if we have been anchored in Newport
RI, and want to sail we can pick a destination
with a comfortable point of sail. If we have winds from the entire northern quadrant we can do a pleasant sail to Block Island or to the Vineyard. If it blows from the Southern quadrant we can sail up into Naragannsett bay which has lots of nice harbors to visit in anything from a few hours to a 4 or 6. And a safe easy landfall is never that fall away.
I found the sailing in the Windward and Leewards was not challenging as far as landfalls and so the longer sails
between islands was hardly a problem.
is gorgeous and full of wonderful harbors and thousands of islands. But it has fog
, cooler weather
, lobster traps galore and rocky ledges all over the place. But it's well marked. If I had to choose one region to sail in for any length of time, it would be Maine
. Also ME is pretty remote
so the on water
traffic is very different from the regions near bustling metropolitan areas. This is why, though I live in NYC
I keep the boat 100 miles to the East out in Shelter Island. Nice as it is out there, it is nothing compared to Maine.
My sense about Florida is that many live there because of the year round warm climate and since it's surrounded by water
there are tons of recreational "weekend sailors" along with those cruisers passing through. So it seems crowded with boats an not many good places to sail. aside from the Bahamas which are up wind and across the stream. Perhaps this is the view of someone who doesn't know the region.
NJ is another coastline with hardly a harbor worth visiting as is the south shore of Long Island
. I think the most flexible and interesting sailing for gunk holing day to day is from Southern NE up to crown jewel of cruising - Maine. I've never heard anyone bash ME except for the short sailing season and the fog. GPS
plotters and radar
have made this more attainable and less stressful.
My fav guide to ME was the two part series by Don Johnson. But there may be newer and better guides out there now. As Hud says, these are indespensible and worth their weight in gold.