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Old 26-02-2008, 13:55   #1
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Jumping-Off Points for Bermuda

Hi Guys:

I'm looking for places that might be appropriate for waiting for good weather for the jump from the continent to Bermuda in October/November.

In 2004, I travelled down from New Brunswick to the Newport area, and then went upriver to East Greenwich Yacht Club. There I waited for a week for both my extra crew and for Herb Hilgenburg (Weather Guru) to give us the go ahead for the jump to Bermuda. It was an excellent spot, with protection from the rotten, rainy, windy weather and with real friendship and support from the members of the yacht club (We were total strangers). The only real downside was that we were over 3 hours inland, and 7 more hours to Long Island.

I am again heading to the Caribbean, and expect to jump off to Bermuda this fall (2008). Are there other places where a yachtie can wait out the weather, and be ready for the jump?
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Old 26-02-2008, 14:32   #2
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Well, let's see....

Off the top of my head, I can think of about a dozen!

It depends on how far south you wanna go.

Norfolk is an excellent place. So is Beufort NC. So is Cape May. Or Atlantic City. Or just about anyplace on the U.S. East Coast.

What a problem: so many ports to choose from, and so little time :-)

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Old 26-02-2008, 14:42   #3
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Stonnington CT ( 3 Hours to Montauk) Can be a bit rolly on the hook.

Greenport, LI (3 hrs to Montauk) (chandlery in walking distance as well East End Supply (wholesalers) If you get mooring or a slip i Stirling Creek/Harbor it is very well protected.

Both are nice little towns to hang out in.
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Old 26-02-2008, 15:40   #4
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Sail down the coast and through Chesapeake Bay beforehand.

Hampton, Virginia. Great little town, good restaurants, Virginia Air and Space Museum (supported by NASA), and three marinas to wait for weather in:

Bluewater Yachting Center (Aussie Ian Bates, mgr--great guy!)
Hampton City Marina
Hampton Yacht Club
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Old 26-02-2008, 16:19   #5
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All points on the East Coast are the same mileage (within 100 miles) including Yarmouth,NS. The choice, then, is how many miles do you want to sail before jumping off for Bermuda. The miles you travel going to Virginia will put you in Bermuda if travelled directly.
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Old 26-02-2008, 16:59   #6
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Jentine,

Very true! But, what is better than sailing in the Chesapeake in late September and October? It just adds a dimension to the trip to Bermuda!
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Old 26-02-2008, 17:13   #7
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What is wrong with your previous departure point?
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Old 26-02-2008, 17:13   #8
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In October you wait for a NW breeze and do a broad reach from southern New England. Depending on where he is starting this journey and the Gulf Stream eddies and how much time he wants to take to get south must be considered.

Watch out for commercial traffic especially in separation zones.
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Old 26-02-2008, 17:14   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jentine View Post
All points on the East Coast are the same mileage (within 100 miles) including Yarmouth,NS. The choice, then, is how many miles do you want to sail before jumping off for Bermuda. The miles you travel going to Virginia will put you in Bermuda if travelled directly.

That's the key. All depends how much sailing you want to do before the trip.
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Old 26-02-2008, 17:15   #10
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About 20 years ago I sailed to Bermuda from Cape May on a 40' Hunter. We had fair winds and it was a fast and glorious passage. About 30 years ago I had a power boat at the East Greenwich Yacht Club - great place and people - crappy half planked half plywood bottom on the boat, but it got us to Block Island a few times. East Greenwich is, of course, east of West Greenwich, RI. AFAIK, there is no just plain Greenwich in Rhode Island.
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Old 27-02-2008, 10:15   #11
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Thanks for the info so far...

I'll investigate the ideas you've provided.

As for the questions:

Nothing wrong with East Greenwich except that it is up to 10 hours further away than some of the other options, therefore 10 more hours away from starting the Gulf Stream. This makes the weather prediction for the Gulf Stream 10 hours older than it has to be. The area is also arguably further north from the "throat" or narrow portion of the Gulf Stream that it may have to be as well. I guess the fact that the nearest grocery store is miles away, there is no public transit, and even the taxis will not take you there or pick you up is a problem as well. The extra 10 hours in the open ocean can mean life or death as the weather prediction becomes 5 days old. Still, and don't get me wrong, the people and anchorage in East Greenwich are great.

It is true that most of the seaboard is rather equidistant from Bermuda, but the intent is to get south far enough to create a narrow crossing of the Stream, and to have the best weather advice when you tackle it. As well, all fall and winter storms seem to be worse the further north you are.

Moving further South does get more of the "jump" in warmer weather; but the problem is that every day along the coast is also increasing our time in the cold weather, and increasing the dampness of our boat and bedding. it also erodes our morale. Also, the sailing from Long Island to the Chesapeake area is quite a "jump" in itself.

As for prevailing winds, well, I've forgotten what route is favoured. I'll have to get my Jimmy Cornell book out.

If this provides more clarity, I'd appreciate more specific info on any other options you have. In the end, like in most things in life, there will be a compromise in the final decision.
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Old 27-02-2008, 14:46   #12
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How about just heading down the East River and hanging out in Atlantic Highlands behind SandyHook NJ for the right weather window to appear?
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Old 27-02-2008, 17:36   #13
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Sandy Hook?

I found it on GoogleEarth. Big place and big bunch of boats. It is 170 more miles down the coast, which means a couple of days more travel at least. It would be an interesting place for us to explore. What kind of difference would this make in the ambient temperature?

How are the facilities and the costs?
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Old 27-02-2008, 18:29   #14
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I grew up on the Shrewsbury River right inside Sandy Hook Bay, and I still live here:] Sea Bright, the town, just outside of the Sandy Hook National Park, has a huge strip of serious marinas, all with everything you could want in terms of service, etc. If you wait for the Oceanic and Seabright drawbridges on the Shrewsbury there are some seriously sheltered parts of the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers that you could anchor in no problem. People regularly park it for a few days at a time. The rivers are pretty shallow outside the channel but your Cat should have no problem.

The narrow part of the Shrewsbury along Sea Bright can have currents up to 12-15 knots during a serious tide change, so keep this in mind, holding station can be a little tough at these time waiting for the bridge.

That said, I spend most of my time in these rivers in a 18' runabout. I have no idea how much they might charge you for a cat slip or official mooring. Look up Sea Bright Marinas and make some calls. Good Luck with your trip.

Oh I forgot, the channels around the tip of Sandy Hook are filled with giant container ships that can't see or steer, apparently you have a lot of experience, so use your judgement. Have fun!
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Old 27-02-2008, 18:32   #15
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Ohhh and the temperature in the Fall is just freaking awesome at the shore, which is where you'll be. The last three years have been serious INdian summers with temps even in the high 70s in October, but next year who knows...
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