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Old 27-01-2015, 08:55   #1
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Nantucket

Good morning,

I am sitting here in Boston's blizzard thinking of upcoming better days on the boat. It is now my second year with the IP 31. I am thinking about making a run from Boston toNantucket (to race their triathlon...another addiction and a different forum).

I would like to ask you all if this would be "too much" of a trip for me. I would say my abilities are modest (and I hope that I always maintain that perspective.) and would stop often along the way, Redbrook Harbor, MV, etc.

Thoughts on the best route, whether it is too tough?? Any advice is appreciated...

Thank you

John


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Old 28-01-2015, 15:20   #2
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Re: Nantucket

Not a hard sail at all. To do it in one day alone would be tough, but there are so many great places to stop. Check the canal timetable and plan accordingly. Cut through at Woods Hole. You could do a moderate 2 day (boston-sandwich/onset-nantucket) or an easy 3 day (Boston-scituate or plymouth-Hadley-nantucket), or 4 day .....or more

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Old 28-01-2015, 16:53   #3
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Re: Nantucket

Also, don't rule out going around the Cape on the outside. If the winds are right (more likely when returning home on a SW wind), you can have a strong wind but relatively mild waves with the short fetch behind the Cape. You could ride a NW wind down if the weather works out right. . . . The thing is, it's a really beautiful sail to stay in sight of the huge bluffs on the back side of the Cape. Lots of whales out there to keep you company, too.
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Old 02-02-2015, 07:42   #4
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Re: Nantucket

Thank you!


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Old 02-02-2015, 08:09   #5
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Re: Nantucket

On the subject of Nantucket, I am curious to know if anyone has experience sailing across the Nantucket Shoals?

I cut across the southern half last summer on a delivery. This course wasn't the original intent but given the vagaries of wind and current that's where we ended up.

The wind was light southwesterly and the seas flat, but none the less I spent a few tense hours watching the depth and our progress on an iPhone chart app that was the only chart for the area we had. Like I said, we hadn't planned on being there so other than a cursory look at the area before our departure, there was no in-depth study beforehand.

I have to say it was the creepiest part of the ocean I have ever been. The way the current flowed through the rips, producing boils and standing waves like on a river, it was eerie. Made me a little nervous.

After we passed, I noticed when zooming in on the chart an advisement to avoid the area if possible due to fast currents and shifting shoals.
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:59   #6
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Re: Nantucket

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jjk2783 View Post
Good morning,

I am sitting here in Boston's blizzard thinking of upcoming better days on the boat. It is now my second year with the IP 31. I am thinking about making a run from Boston toNantucket (to race their triathlon...another addiction and a different forum).

I would like to ask you all if this would be "too much" of a trip for me. I would say my abilities are modest (and I hope that I always maintain that perspective.) and would stop often along the way, Redbrook Harbor, MV, etc.

Thoughts on the best route, whether it is too tough?? Any advice is appreciated...

Thank you

John


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If you want to break it up and make a nice and interesting cruise out of it, I'd suggest the following stops:
1. Sandwich
2. Woods Hole or Hadleys Harbor
3. Edgartown
4. Nantucket

All segments are relatively short and all stopping places are very pleasant and interesting.
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:05   #7
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Re: Nantucket

A trip to Nantucket is a great thing to do in a second year of ownership. Nothing too hard but a serious trip. Some suggestions:

1. Buy a 2015 copy of Eldridge. You will need it. Every New England cruiser should have a copy aboard. Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book 2015

2. Remember that the #1 rule of cruising is to not be driven by schedule. Even in these fairly protected waters, you need to pick your weather. Allow for a lost day.

3. Because of the above rule, I would schedule four days before the triathlon start (since the Triathalon is the reason for the whole trip, five days would be safer). Three days back should be fine because you'll be going with prevailing winds.

4. You will need the Cape Cod canal and Woods Hole current with you. Eldridge will tell you.

5. Getting to Nantucket is upwind against the prevailing SW winds. I bet your boat doesn't do much better than 3.5 knots VMG to windward. So 30 miles is a full day. It's often calm first thing in the morning so consider motoring a few hours to make some easy miles. 3 hours of beating is fun. 10 hours isn't. Buzzards Bay in a typical southwest afternoon wind can be very rough.

6: Hazards: Study the chart for Woods Hole carefully before going in. Make sure you confirm the buoy numbers as you go by. There are a lot of buoys but the rock ledges leave no room for confusion. There's also a lone rock off Scraggy Neck near N2 to avoid on the way out of Red Brook. Even in July you may get thick fog near Nantucket. Have plenty of horn canisters and radar reflector. Consider adding an AIS transponder as a spring project. Easy to install yourself and can be had for as little as $500. It will greatly reduce the stress of sailing in crowded waters. Your friends can also see you on MarineTraffic.com

7. I would do the following trip - Plymouth, Red Brook Harbor, Vineyard Haven, Nantucket.

8. You will be arriving into Nantucket at peak season. It will be a zoo (although less of a zoo on the water than in the town). While you can anchor the tidal current is strong and the anchoring conditions difficult. You will be nervous leaving your boat for the day on an anchor with no one aboard. Most who plan to anchor end up deciding to pay for a mooring - $70. The dinghy dock is badly overcrowded so most also use the launch which I think is $5 a person. Consider reserving your mooring ahead of time online - Nantucket Moorings.
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Old 02-02-2015, 12:39   #8
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Re: Nantucket

If in season I will say the harbor is a bit of a zoo, it always amazes me such a large island and everything is compressed right in down town area. Go by ferry and use that cruising time for better locations like Hadley and Cuttyhunk.
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Old 15-03-2015, 18:33   #9
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Re: Nantucket

I will echo and amplify some of CarlFs comments.
1. Eldredge is a Bible. Buy one and believe in it. Pay special attention to the page about 'holding a fair tide'. It is better than ANY advice you will ever receive on boat operation (large or small). Although, I can relate that in the typical Bermuda High South West breeze that is so common, it may be better to go to Nantucket fighting a little foul current, so you get to Nantucket Bar with some flood left. This way you will not be beating into the harbor, against the tide (which will be against the wind) Not uncommon to have 2 to 3' on wind with tide, and within a half hour 4 to 6' when the tide changes. Leaving Nantucket is trickier, because you lose the fair tide before you even get to The Vineyard. (But, this is often better as the tide slacks against the SW wind) Two comments. DO NOT cut across Tuckernuck shoal. And Take the time to visit Edgartown and Oak Bluffs (either on the way to or from) Nantucket is almost exactly like Edgartown though! Note that the Eldredge has awesome tide flow charts for the area (also, Long Island Sound, NY Harbor, Boston Harbor among others) So you can see (hour by hour) how the current flow progresses. There are ways in most areas (including Woods Hole, Nantucket and Vineyard sounds) to 'chase' a fair current north or sound of a charted shoal, (or conversely avoid the current longer) when taking advantage of this info. In particular North or south of Middle Ground (Vineyard Sound) Or south or north of Hedge Fence or Squash Meadow. I typically go south of Squash meadow to get less fetch in the summer SW breeze though.

2. Carl mispoke. He should have said allowing for weather dayS!

4. Do Woods Hole in the Daytime. It's no fun to learn at night!

5. In the typical summer SouthWest, The direction from Woods Hole to Nantucket will be a broad reach with a close haul into Nantucket channel. You may be 'blessed' with a different wind cycle depending on fronts. But, nothing says loving like a good Nor'easter over the Nantucket Bar!

The summer time fog usually lessens around 1100. But, there have been times it just sticks for days. Even most of the Cape Cod and island communities have traditionally made fireworks displays in August. July is just too foggy. Just have patience in the fog. Ais is great for letting the big boys know where you are. But there are many who don't have it (and insist on running at 25 knots in the fog because 'Mr Furuno' says you can. And, it is not always evident that they know how to tune in their Radar!
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