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Old 11-05-2010, 10:27   #1
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Location: Hilton Head Island, SC
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East Coast US for Summer ?

Our refit went overtime and over budget....from what I understand that's par for the course -- good news is Illusion is looking hot, new deck paint, wind generator, windvane, through-hulls, sea cocks, rebuilt engine, solar panel, full boat awning, and well....it doesn't look like a neglected POS anymore

we were planning on heading south, with the USVI's as the eventual goal as a place to hang out during hurricane season and find work for 3 - 6 months and refill the kitty (us citizens, we have friends in St. Thomas and some leads on jobs) but it's may, we're in South Carolina and NOAA et al are calling for a bad hurricane season.

After all that work on the boat there are plenty of bugs to iron out -- we took her out for her first sail in 15 months and the engine overheated, the chart plotter lost GPS connection and the mast alignment looked way off so....our intrepid captain and crew are now leaning toward heading north with the rest of the cruising community to break in the boat, finding work for hurricane season and then trying to head to the Caribbean in the fall.....

our initial thoughts are Nantucket/Martha's Vineyard/Newport/Mantauk general area and find an anchorage that suits us and jobs near by, figured touristy places will be easier to find short time work and the money should be decent.

Any recommendations would be appreciated, we're 28 and 26 -- experienced in many different areas (I've managed a restaurant, was head of operations for a small IT company, crossed an Ocean and now completely refit an old sailboat myself from rebuilding the engine to new keel bolts, painting -- the whole deal) not sure what kind of work I'd like to find -- but staying around boats would be nice....but cash from touristy restaurants isn't so bad either, or doing adventure tours (kayaks, charter sailboats, etc.) would be great too....I have the miles to qualify for my USCG and probably my 50 ton, but probably won't do it unless there's a job involved, even a boatyard job would be fun -- I'd like to keep learning/building on my skills

my girlfriend is an artist, she has works in a gallery in SC (hopefully they'll sell over the summer!) as well as some available for sale online and has a deal to stock an outdoor shop in the Yorktown, VA (where she's from) with custom designed t-shirts.

Our criteria for a place for the summer would be:

1) Good anchorage (well protected, good holding) with other liveaboards, preferably with a dinghy dock and some facilities nearby whether through a yacht club, marina, or otherwise

2) enough of a community close to the anchorage that we can ride our bikes somewhere close enough to work

3) decent cruising grounds close by, places within a day or two away that would be good to sail to (boat needs to get broken in!)

4) an interesting enough place to be for a few months

thoughts out there from the ol' interweb?

Thanks!
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:38   #2
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Lots of restaurant work on Nantucket and the Vineyard, and many places only open for the season which unofficially starts Memorial Day. But, you're kind of late to start looking - mucho competition with college students. Long Island, of course, has a much larger population and should offer many more seasonal/temporary job opportunities. If I were you, I'd consider going further north to Maine. The season starts later; it's not quite as crowded; Boothbay (they still build boats there) and Bar Harbor are big summer time arts and crafts centers; and both the coast and the sailing are spectacular in the summer (after the fog lifts).
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:10   #3
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1 vote for maine.....

that's a lot of ground to cover 1000 miles + but looks beautiful

Anyone else out there proud of their anchorage or fond of another one?
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:11   #4
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Northern cruising

Great Peconic Bay, between the forks of Long Island provide good, protected anchorages and staging area for trips to Block Island, Newport, Martha's Vineyard, etc. Clean, mostly deep, water constantly flushed out by the ocean and constant sea breezes make for good sailing and comfortable summers

Evidently Chesapeake can get VERY hot in the summer. Haven Charters once recommended that a summer charter should be on a boat with air conditioning.

Block Island certainly sounds like what you might be looking for. Block Island evidently is always looking for summer help, especially in the restaurants/inns--I know a good percentage of the employees we speak to are from Europe and just come over for the season. There is excellent cruising, great anchorage, dinghy dock, small town, bicycling all over, marinas (jobs?), and it is artsy (your GF could definitely make some money here).

You might want to do some research on BI before you make a definite decision. I think it is quite a stretch of someone's imagination, but I have seen Block Island referred to as the Bermuda of the North in a couple of places, though it is quaint--just a little crazy around July 4!

Good luck finding a spot.

Marshall
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Old 11-05-2010, 13:17   #5
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I'm voting for Maine too. Easy to get work in a variety of places, especially boating-related and tourist/restaurant-related. Incredible anchorages available and friendly, helpful people. The town of Rockland seems custom made to what you want - lots of galleries, Farnsworth Museum, plenty of restaurants, and a handful of larger boatyards. And all of it is walkable from the anchorage.
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Old 11-05-2010, 13:27   #6
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Perhaps a slightly unlikely suggestion - it is certainly not as idyllic as some other locations - but City Island (which is technically part of New York City) could be an interesting spot to spend the summer.
There are several active marinas, 2 sail lofts, and it is only around an hour to downtown NYC on public transportation. In terms of restaurants it would be much more downmarket than Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket etc.
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Old 11-05-2010, 13:43   #7
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I will go along with Maine, recognizing that the season is much shorter and therefore the total dollars to be made are less, plus you have to get there and back...

If you are thinking NY area, I might suggest something on LI. I would much rather spend time in Oyster Bay than City Island (ugh!).

For sure you are thinking about this very late in the game though.

Fair Winds,
Mike
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Old 11-05-2010, 14:54   #8
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Originally Posted by sgtPluck View Post
Perhaps a slightly unlikely suggestion - it is certainly not as idyllic as some other locations - but City Island (which is technically part of New York City) could be an interesting spot to spend the summer.
Ya, and you could make in time for the grand homecoming of the incredible drifter Reid Stowe.

John
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Old 11-05-2010, 18:18   #9
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What sort of payday could a semi-skilled worker expect to pull down east in the summer?
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Old 11-05-2010, 19:08   #10
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How about Dering Harbor, Shelter Island. It's located in great cruising, there's a yacht club, small marina, very protected anchorage for most sectors, dinghy docks, and Greenport is just across the harbor with everything you need including a huge Brewer's complex, fuel docks, chandlers, tons of restaurants, and art galleries... train and direct bus is 2.5 hrs to NYC and it's quiet out there since it's an Island.

You can sail to Block in a 5 or 6 hrs, to Newport in a day's sail... and there are loads of anchorages to explore and the weather's a lot better than Maine and the water's warmer and the beaches better. And of course there's the Hamptons near by if you want to rub shoulders with the celebs. And speaking of vineyards there's loads of them and plenty of farms and farm stands.

I'm partial because I cruised from out there for years and love it. Maine is a dream, but cold and foggy too, so you get a lot but in spirts between the fog. Don't get me wrong, I think Maine is the cat's meow, but if I wanted to homebase for the summer, I'd go for something like Dering Harbor.

Check it out!
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Old 12-05-2010, 17:34   #11
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sounds like there are plenty of good options...I'll think we'll shove off tomorrow once I change the oil and put everything away and start working our way north and check out a few places, that whole block island sound area sounds promising, Maine might be a push but if we're feeling good we'll keep on heading up there -- play it by ear sounds good, any recommendations on places to go in on the coast during the sail north? We're leaving from the Charleston area, probably head north and see how far we make it before needing to come in off the ocean, maybe beaufort/oriental area? Any thoughts on a natural progression north? We average around 5 knots under sail.....will do some overnights, but there's only two of us so will want to stop and rest now and again....we are going to stop in the Norfolk area to visit my girlfriends parents

thanks!

Brian
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Old 13-05-2010, 13:24   #12
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The "easy" way is:
  • ICW/Offshore to Beaufort, NC
  • ICW to Norfolk (go through the Dismal Swamp if it's open, much nicer for sailboats)
  • Chesapeake Bay to C & D Canal
  • Delaware Bay to Cape May
  • Cape May to BI via a 2-3 day passage OR
  • Cape May to Barnegat Inlet (avoid Manasquan Inlet!)
  • Barnegat to NY City (try the 79th Street Basin)
  • East River to Oyster Bay
  • Oyster Bay to Greenport (near eastern end of LI)
  • Greenport to BI, Newport, etc

Depending on what you are looking for this route gives you lots of opportunities to explore employment in the Chesapeake, Cape May, LI, BI. The ICW may be a bit slower, but there are lots of nice anchorages along the way. Plus, you don't have to get around Cape Hatteras.

Fair Winds,
Mike
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Old 13-05-2010, 17:19   #13
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Route North

IMHO, Mike probably suggests the best route. Oyster Bay to Greenport could be long haul. I would suggest stopping off in Port Jefferson (BIG, good safe harbor), before heading out to Greenport.

Greenport might also be the first stop to look for jobs, as the tourist season will be starting to kick in. If you don't find anything interesting, move on over to Sag Harbor, Montauk, or Block Island.

Marshall
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Old 13-05-2010, 18:08   #14
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The job is going to be the hard part. College kids I know report that this year is worse than last year - if that's possible - since so many 2009 graduates are still without work.

Rockland would be good but unemployment in the area is high. Great harbor.

I'd look at Nantucket or Marthas Vineyard. There is always is a labor shortage since there aren't enough affordable beds ashore for the workers. This is especially true of Nantucket. Given your skills, I'd do some house carpentry. You've got people with six million dollar summer houses that can't get the deck fixed, the shelves installed or the fence fixed - and have 250 people coming to a wedding in three weeks. They will pay just about anything - really - think "obscene" amounts of money. Space for anchoring in Marthas Vineyard or Nantucket is limited (the moorings are $50+ a night) but it can be done. Just be a nice guy to the harbor master - he puts up with a lot of jerks.

Also, Nantucket and Marthas Vineyard are a lot of fun. Great (but expensive) restaurants. Lively bars. Music. Carly Simon still lives on the Vineyard. Occasional presidential visits spice things up.

I have a friend who used to support herself quite well in Nantucket being the NetJets caterer. All she had to do was take lots of shrimp, oysters and really expensive wines down to the airport for the private jets.

Carl
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