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Old 31-10-2015, 23:16   #1
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Cruising grounds in retirement

I am approaching retirement and looking at several scenarios.
1. I currently cruise Lake Michigan and would cruise summers on the Great Lakes with my current boat.
2. But a larger boat and go down the St. Lawrence Seaway and cruise the Atlantic Coast.
3. Sail Summer's Great Lakes and winters Caribean.
4. Buy a big boat and circumnavigate.

My question is for those who cruise Newfoundland, Maine, New England, the Cheasepeake , the Carolinas and further south. Is there enough to explore to take ten seasons?



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Old 31-10-2015, 23:33   #2
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Re: Cruising grounds in retirement

Enough for 10 seasons? Unequivocally yes!

We spent the summer passing through Nova Scotia, and cruising Newfoundland, and one could easily spend 10 summers between NL and Labrador and rarely see the same place twice. We liked it so much there that we will use Newfoundland as our jumping off point for Europe next summer, just so we can have another bit of time there.

We came up the east coast from the west coast via Panama, and have now been about 18 months over on the Atlantic side.

Maine's a gem, of course. Further south, there are also lots of cruising opportunities too, Rhode Island, the Chesapeake, etc, etc.

You could certainly entertain yourself for years without ever leaving the US/Canada/Bahamas.

You'll probably want to get somewhere south of Cape Hatteras for the winter if you're staying on board. Unless you like the cold more than most. We wintered in Rhode Island last year, hauled the boat at the end of December, and launched again in early March. That was cold enough for us!

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Old 31-10-2015, 23:37   #3
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Re: Cruising grounds in retirement

You could spend ten years in the Carribean (we did) and not run out of things to do. Probably the same in the Med and Europe, and even more in the Pacific.
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Old 31-10-2015, 23:56   #4
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Re: Cruising grounds in retirement

While it would certainly be an excellent adventure almost no one does the St. Lawrence seaway to get to the east coast.


Most use the Erie Canal/Hudson River or they go to Chicago and go down the river system.


I suggest googling America's Great Loop and you will find lots of info.


Yes, there is plenty to keep you busy for years.
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Old 01-11-2015, 01:25   #5
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Re: Cruising grounds in retirement

You seem to limiting yourself quite a bit. Maybe for reason maybe not.

I retired 9 years ago when I lived in Miami and did a single handed run from Miami to Hadleys Harbor and back. My sig other decided I was having to much fun so she joined me and we did 1/2 of the Bahamas before heading to Maine and back to the Bahamas and back to the Cheaspeake for some major boat upgrades then headed to Mexico down to Colombia to Jamaicia to Trinidad to Antigua to Azores to the Med and now just finished year 2 in the Med and planning year 3.
I am 70yr and the world is a lot bigger than Canada, east coast USA, and Bahamas.

Get out and enjoy it it is a big wonderful world. and why limit yourself.
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Old 01-11-2015, 04:28   #6
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Re: Cruising grounds in retirement

We cruise Maine every summer, and I'm always left with the feeling that you could spend a lifetime there and not see it all. A but daunting when you start adding up all the places like that. . . . Ten years for the Med, ten for the S. Pacific, ten for Maine/Nova Scotia/Newfoundland, ten for the Caribbean . . . I sure hope reincarnation is real, so I can come back and try again for a couple dozen lifetimes.
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Old 01-11-2015, 04:38   #7
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Re: Cruising grounds in retirement

We've enjoyed cruising the US Coast from Maine to the Keys as well as the Bahamas for 44 years. We don't "consume" our ports and anchorages. Sure, there's more to the world and we do travel worldwide too, but those are trips away from our "home" on other boats and planes.
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Old 01-11-2015, 07:53   #8
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Re: Cruising grounds in retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
While it would certainly be an excellent adventure almost no one does the St. Lawrence seaway to get to the east coast.


Most use the Erie Canal/Hudson River or they go to Chicago and go down the river system.


I suggest googling America's Great Loop and you will find lots of info.


Yes, there is plenty to keep you busy for years.
We are talking about two different ways of cruising, while it is definetly safer to cruise up and down small rivers, I personnaly think that the Saint-Lawrence gulf and river and the Atlantic coast has so much to offer it would be a shame to miss.
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:21   #9
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Re: Cruising grounds in retirement

We have sail.d down saint lawerence twice to cruise cape breton and nova scotia not sure y u would use icw..coming out of lake ontario but it was amazing trips and hope to do it again just a few locks to go threw and some strong currents around montreal other than that was very scenic and great people along the way
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:34   #10
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Re: Cruising grounds in retirement

Absolutely! Just finishing up delivering ours to Florida and could easily have spent seasons poking around and enjoying all this coast has to offer.

We've crossed Pacific as well and done all that but......hard to beat the beauty and convenience of the USA.
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Old 01-11-2015, 09:39   #11
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Re: Cruising grounds in retirement

I have always wanted to sail a tidal river and the St. Lawrence appeals to me more than the NY canal system.
1. If I decide to Blue Water cruise then I invest $400,000 into a boat and my retirement is cruising.
2. The Great Lakes is the boat I have now.
3. The US seaboard is a used Catalina.
4. The Caribean is about the same.
With options 2/3/, I can sail summers and afford to travel winters.


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Old 01-11-2015, 11:29   #12
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Re: Cruising grounds in retirement

Here on the West coast everyone told us as we were preparing to go cruising that we needn't prepare so much, that the best, cheapest cruising was just to the south of us starting in the Sea of Cortez. We are going farther afield, but we met many who never went below Cabo San Lucas and were content and truly get 95% of the experience of going farther/ Many cruise, especially Canadians, from the end of October until the beginning of June, then put their boat in a marina or on the hard for hurricane season and return to where ever they came from or many had motorhomes they would travel in during the hot season. I didn't get it until I was there. When we quit long distance cruising we intend to get a smaller, shallow draft sailboat and leave it somewhere in the Sea until we are too curmudgeonly to cruise anymore.
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Old 01-11-2015, 14:04   #13
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Re: Cruising grounds in retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Va2shp View Post
We are talking about two different ways of cruising, while it is definetly safer to cruise up and down small rivers, I personnaly think that the Saint-Lawrence gulf and river and the Atlantic coast has so much to offer it would be a shame to miss.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerfield55 View Post
I have always wanted to sail a tidal river and the St. Lawrence appeals to me more than the NY canal system.
1. If I decide to Blue Water cruise then I invest $400,000 into a boat and my retirement is cruising.
2. The Great Lakes is the boat I have now.
3. The US seaboard is a used Catalina.
4. The Caribean is about the same.
With options 2/3/, I can sail summers and afford to travel winters.


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Not trying to take away from it. If that's your dream to run the St. Lawrence. Go for it but understand it's a much more aggressive trip.

If you do the more typical routes, you can be in Chicago or Buffalo in September or October and still be in no real rush.

A late season departure south is far less realistic if you depart Montreal in late October for the long way around. Pull out a map and check the miles. It's a lot further than you might think.

While there are certainly interesting places (been there on RV trips), it's a lot more lonely country (which can be good or bad depending on what you are looking for). Since you ask about having enough to do for years, I assume you would want more civilization with a bit of wilderness as opposed to the opposite.

If your goal is to run a tidal river, the Hudson gives you around 150 miles of tidal river once you clear the Erie Canal and many segments of the ICW let you deal with tidal currents.

What boat do you have now? Most boats suitable for the Great Lakes are equally suitable for any of these routes.
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Old 01-11-2015, 14:13   #14
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Re: Cruising grounds in retirement

You certainly do not need a $400k boat to do bluewater cruising. if you did most people who are doing it would not be there - including us. The cheapest boat we saw in the South Pacific was a Bristol 27 that cost $3000 and the guy was having a great time. The St Lawrence is nothing special until you get to Quebec City, after that there is lots to see and do. Cruising Newfoundland is wonderful. I don't think we found anywhere in our rtw trip that was an interesting - although lots of places are warmer for sure. We are going to Newfoundland and likely Labrador next summer to see more. You could spend a very long time there, but the kind of cruising, as an experience, is entirely different than crossing an ocean.
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Old 01-11-2015, 14:39   #15
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Re: Cruising grounds in retirement

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My question is for those who cruise Newfoundland, Maine, New England, the Cheasepeake , the Carolinas and further south. Is there enough to explore to take ten seasons?
Wouldn't the answer to that depend on how "fast" you choose to go?

For eastern Canada, if you haven't already, look up Silver Donald Cameron, some really nice sailing books from him.
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