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Old 01-09-2014, 00:38   #1
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Maine to Baltimore in sept?

Hey folks, so we are finalizing the purchase of our new boat and need to get from Maine down to Baltimore in the next few weeks. Can Anyone in the know let us know what we could expect as far as prevailing winds etc. We were thinking of sailing around Rhode Island through Long Island down the East river then on to Cape May Back Creek into the Chesapeake. We are not novices but this is our first boat and don't want to bite off more than we could chew. Any thoughts?

Thanks
Will
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:24   #2
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Re: Maine to Baltimore in sept?

Only done that trip once so no expert, but it was in September so here's what we had... mainly light south to east winds as the lows went below us. Nothing nasty. We went outside until Cape May and then up the Delaware. An easy trip for us but I'm sure it can be a lot tougher.
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Old 02-09-2014, 10:54   #3
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Re: Maine to Baltimore in sept?

Really depends how you are crewed, sailing overnight etc. Like anything keep an eye on the weather, plan out emergency stopping points. I would go through the Cape Cod canal (timed right), rest stop at Cuttyhunk. If you are going through Long Island Sound I would be more inclined to do that in daylight (especially the western end). Pick a good spot on the Long Island side for jumping off point down the east river, again with the right tide. It will be a great trip, enjoy!
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Old 05-09-2014, 18:47   #4
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Re: Maine to Baltimore in sept?

If you check the North Atlantic pilot charts you will find that winds average around force 4 and really don't have a historical direction ( out of NE has a slight favor).

But, I believe that the gulf of Maine may have primarily winds from the south so you might have a slog to get to Boston unless you coast hop.

Once in Boston you have pretty easy goings with lots of good shelters all the way to "Hells Gate". Well named, Know the tide tables and time your passage so you transit during slack.

NY harbor to Sandy Hook and wait for good weather. There are no good inlets between sandy hook and cape may if there is any weather.

Sandy hook to Cape May is at least an overnight for sailboats. Enter Cape May inlet rest up then an easy two days to Baltimore. Spend the night at anchor in Engineers Basin on the west end of the C & D canal. ( contact Corp of Engineers for permission to be courteous )

Don't rush it and it can be a great trip!
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Old 05-09-2014, 20:27   #5
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Re: Maine to Baltimore in sept?

September is the time to head from Maine, as you can get frontal passages followed by northerly winds. Ride the northerlies down to P-town through the canal to Cotuit, then day hop your way to Newport, Block Island, Duck Island Rhodes, Port Jefferson, and Manhasset Bay. A quick trip with the tide through Hells Gate and down to Atlantic Highlands. One long day to Atlantic City, half a day to Cape May and keep going if the tide and wind are right, though the C&D, and stop in the Sassafras.

It can be a great trip if you wait for the weather, and a bad one if you don't.
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Old 07-09-2014, 19:38   #6
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Re: Maine to Baltimore in sept?

Pick up a copy of the 2014 Eldridge's pilot guide. It looks old fashioned, but it's a great resource and can help you plan your passage pretty much all the way down - particularly for things like the Cape Cod Canal, Hell Gate, Woods Hole, etc. Even has great advice for working the tides to your advantage in Long Island Sound.

Since you're doing coastal sailing, keep a weather eye, and if things look dicey, put in somewhere.

As you get to the Jersey Shore, you would want to have a good weather window for the run to Cape May as there's not many places for a sailboat to seek refuge there. You could get clear of NYC and then stage in Atlantic Highlands until you've got a nice weather window.

Have a great trip.

Cheers
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Old 10-09-2014, 21:26   #7
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Re: Maine to Baltimore in sept?

I'm not trying to be a wise guy or anything but is that really true there are no good inlets from Sandy Hook to Cape May? I have thought about doing this trip a lot, but really have no interest in an overnight offshore sail down the coast of New Jersey. I was looking at the posts on Active Captain and it looked to me like there were a number of options for jumping inshore for a night's sleep on the hook on the way from sandy Hook to Cape May. Am I wrong and does it really need to be done in one hop if one has a sailboat with a 50 foot mast?
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Old 10-09-2014, 21:42   #8
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Re: Maine to Baltimore in sept?

Both Barnegat Bay and Atlantic City are wide and deep inlets with lots of boat traffic. Barnegat Bay is almost exactly half way from NYC to Cape May. A very nice anchorage just inside (see Active Captain as the buoys inside are confusing)

That said, these inlets and the entire NJ coast can be miserable and dangerous in an easterly gale - and these gales can be frequent in the fall. That's why you are getting the advice to wait in NYC for a weather window. You could wait as long as a week.
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:46   #9
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Re: Maine to Baltimore in sept?

A lot of good info, been in Shark River Inlet (Belmar), inlet itself isn't terrible, the bad part is you are barely in and there is a bridge that needs to be raised (along with another one further in), so need to call ahead while waiting to enter inlet, if rough conditions its a bit of pucker factor. As others have said Atlantic City is a good one and of course Cape May. All about wind and wave heights.
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I'm not trying to be a wise guy or anything but is that really true there are no good inlets from Sandy Hook to Cape May? I have thought about doing this trip a lot, but really have no interest in an overnight offshore sail down the coast of New Jersey. I was looking at the posts on Active Captain and it looked to me like there were a number of options for jumping inshore for a night's sleep on the hook on the way from sandy Hook to Cape May. Am I wrong and does it really need to be done in one hop if one has a sailboat with a 50 foot mast?
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:23   #10
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Re: Maine to Baltimore in sept?

Came into belmar last evening in an easterly and it was easily the scariest experience if my life. By like 10x. I'm told all the other inlets are much worse. Shark river apparently is much worse than it used to be beaches of beach reconstruction. Called the bridge operator 1.5 hours before my arrival and everything seemed great but then realized I'd been talking to the wrong bridge (there's two). The right bridge (ocean ave) did thankfully open in time. Breakers coming over the very short breakwater. It was total craziness. In the future I would definitely do an overnighter but I've never done one before. Im told barnegats bay etc are much worse at times.


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Old 03-10-2014, 09:42   #11
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Re: Maine to Baltimore in sept?

Most inlets within Slack Highwater and no wind are good, its when the inlet current flow is against the wind most are very difficult unless they are very deep, most are not.
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Old 03-10-2014, 14:08   #12
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Re: Maine to Baltimore in sept?

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There are no good inlets between sandy hook and cape may if there is any weather.

Don't rush it and it can be a great trip!
Yes, yes and yes. Forget the "inlets" they are treacherous. I live on the West Coast, read this and other boating forums, and have friends back east.

Please, do it right, and safely.

Have fun and a great trip.
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Old 05-10-2014, 14:03   #13
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Maine to Baltimore in sept?

Hhhhh
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