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Old 05-05-2009, 10:31   #1
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Norfolk to NY Inlets?

I'm heading up the coast the first week of June and want to head outside along the coast traveling North. What are some good inlets to duck in along Maryland and New Jersey about 60 miles apart? I am on a sailboat , 5 knots , mast 46', 3 foot draft.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:46   #2
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Come on,

Use your charts and cruising guides. Asking online is just lazy.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:51   #3
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Get a couple of crew members & go non-stop. We did it a few years back on a smaller (40) sailboat - pretty easy trip except for lack of wind off Jersey & tug/barge traffic coming into NY harbor area before dawn.
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:16   #4
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If you want to day-sail, there are a few good inlet options on the leg from Norfolk to the mouth of the Delaware Bay, but except for Ocean City, Maryland, you could use a little "local knowledge" in order to use them. Your shallow draft will be a plus.

There's a member here who knows quite a lot about the Atlantic side of the DelMarVa Peninsula, Thinwater. You might want to check some of his posts, and his personal website.

Also, try the Google search feature in the small "Search" pull-down menu upper right on the page. There are some prior threads on the subject. Feel free to ask if you have questions. Good luck!
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:01   #5
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Local knowledge for inlets in these areas is almost a must! I can chart any of them but if some are easier or safer why wouldn't I ask?
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:45   #6
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The "safe" ones going north are Ocean City, Harbor of Refuge, Cape May, Atlantic City, Manasquan and Atlantic Highlands before you cross to NY and head up the East River. I will assume you know the suitable LIS harbors.

With your draft and in settled weather you should probably be able to get into Great Machipongo,Chincotegue and Barnegat inlets as well but you'll need local knowledge for those and luck with the weather. Maybe someone here will be able to speak to those.
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Old 05-05-2009, 16:29   #7
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Cam has it right, Cape May, AC, Manasquan, and the Highlands are all preferred in NJ.
Barnaget can be tricky, try to follow a deeper draft local in.

I might suggest, that if you have a good weather window, you can run the NJ coast overnight. It's about 24 hours from Cape May to Sandy Hook. It's a pleasant sail if the wind is right....prevailing is SW...

Manasquan can be tricky once you get inside, if the current is running full. To get to the marinas in Brielle, you need to navigate through a tight rr bridge, caution is advised. At slack it's much easier.

I wouldn't advise attempting Barnegat or Manasquan at night, so time your arrival.

IF you are headed up the east river, you might want to consider passing up the Highlands and heading for one of the Marinas on the NJ side of the Hudson.
Newport, Liberty Harbor. Not that there's anything wrong with the Highlands.
The Hudson River marinas will set you up nicely for a trip up the East River.

Call Ahead for Reservations, slips...

The Highlands have moorings and a launch service.

Have a nice trip!
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Old 05-05-2009, 16:54   #8
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You ask a bunch of monohullers, and get the guide book answer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MICHAEL K View Post
I'm heading up the coast the first week of June and want to head outside along the coast traveling North. What are some good inlets to duck in along Maryland and New Jersey about 60 miles apart? I am on a sailboat , 5 knots , mast 46', 3 foot draft.
Just kidding. But this guy has a Gemini and no draft! As the moderator mentioned, I have done the Cape Charles to Cape MAy part a number of times and even wrote a guide after the 4th trip. We'll be going again this summer!

Yes, there is some stuff on my blog, listed below in my signature. We did the trip in a Stiletto 27, but I have friends who have taken Geminis and had similar experieinces. I now have a PDQ 32, very much like the Gemini.

Inlets and charts. Just because the chart don't show the marker does not mean they are not there. Chincoteague is very well marked; 12' draft and the Coast Guard keeps a tender there. Great stopping point; very... odd. Whachapreague is well marked but shallow back into town... but not shallow for you. The big sport fishers have no trouble. Sand Shoal is a beautiful inlet, that doesn't really go anywhere. But for a nature experience, it is without equal.

You can also consider parts of the inner passage, with your draft, if it is ugly outside. However, with you mast, only the portion from Sand Shoal to Watchapreague is navagamle, and I won't kid you, it is some work. But it is beautiful and quiet. No sailing, just motoring quiet marshlands.

Cape May deserves a few days. The town is very nice. Lewis is nice. Ocean City is loud and the marinas are subject to surge. If I was'n sailing at night I would probably stop in Norfolk, Chincoteague, and Cape May, and either Sand Shaol or Watchapreague as time allows - Watchapreague is the eaier of the 2 - well marked.

My blog is in my address. Up-dates to my guide and some other stuff is posted there.

Enjoy!
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Old 05-05-2009, 22:55   #9
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A bit more detail...

I was jumping on a plane, so the last entry was rushed.

A few worthwhile notes of caution:
  • Ocean City is the only DELMARVA inlet that is lit at night. The others may be well marked but not lit.
  • Ocean City is no fun in strong on shore conditions, not matter how popular it seems. Expect that it may be breaking in anything beyond 20 knots from the east or a big swell, and it breaks HARD.
  • Ocean City has signifigant hazards just to the south, so aproach from well out. One of the jetties is awash and hard to see.
  • Wachapreague can break too. Chincoteague very seldom breaks; it is quite safe during the day but IS NOT for visitors at night. It winds too much.
  • Cape May ocean-side can be scary in on shore conditions; I recall seeing it in a text as a classic bad entrance in certain conditions. Cape May bay-side is ALWAYS casual, though there can be some bumps in the mouth of the bay. However, the bay-side canal can be a challenge bucking the tide for under powered boats (less than 7kn) since the peak tide under one bridge aproaches 5kn. You should be fine.
Even though I have sailed all of these numerous times in small boats, I don't consider any of them to be all-weather inlets; duck in BEFORE it gets really bad.

A friend of mine will be going around the Delmarva in a Precision 185 (open dingy) about the same time. He's a gutsy guy and a good sailor.
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Old 06-05-2009, 07:06   #10
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We sailed from Greenwich, NJ (Cohansey River) to NYC last summer. It was actually our first time in the open ocean. I wanted to stop every other inlet and go nice and slow but after reading "DO NOT ATTEMPT WITHOUT LOCAL KNOWLEDGE" in the Pilot books regarding the NJ Shore Inlets I was quite discouraged. Also I called pretty much every marina on the Jersey shore and the space for transients is very very limited. Cape May had a fishing tournament that weekend so there was nothing available in any marina. The state marina in Atlantic City has 2 nights minimum and $4.00 a foot so we decided to go non-stop. It took us about 35 hours.

check out New Jersey Marinas, New Jersey Boats For Sale, New Jersey Boating Services, New Jersey Boat Dealers, New Jersey Fishing Reports, New Jersey Waterfront Restaurants, New Jersey Charter & Party Boats and New Jersey Bait and Tackle Shops
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Old 06-05-2009, 07:10   #11
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Gak,

The Cohansey...is that where the " Bait Box " restaurant is ?
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Old 06-05-2009, 07:46   #12
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Temest245.
Yes the Bait Box Restaurant in Hancock Harbor Marina in Greenwhich, NJ on the Cohansey River. I love that place and I would highly recommend that place to anybody traveling from Norfolk to NYC (via Chesapeake Bay, C&D Canal and Delaware Bay) I think it's one of the last few undeveloped and beautiful places in NJ and it's a great bargin for a stop over comparing to Cape May or AC
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Old 06-05-2009, 22:37   #13
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That is very true.

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Originally Posted by gak222 View Post
Temest245.
Yes the Bait Box Restaurant in Hancock Harbor Marina in Greenwhich, NJ on the Cohansey River. I love that place and I would highly recommend that place to anybody traveling from Norfolk to NYC (via Chesapeake Bay, C&D Canal and Delaware Bay) I think it's one of the last few undeveloped and beautiful places in NJ and it's a great bargin for a stop over comparing to Cape May or AC
Came May rates are like staying a hotel... without the hotel.

But anchoring at the south-east end of the harbor by the Fisherman's Memorial is nice if strong north winds are not predicted. A Gemini could get quite close to the beach. There has been one Gemini in that anchorage for years.
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Old 14-05-2009, 08:50   #14
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The only thing I can add is that the Delmarva coast is shallow WAY offshore. I'd suggest going sea buoy to sea buoy before coming in. I had the horror story of my sailing career in Wachapreague with 5 feet of draft. Went aground twice and had to be hauled off, breaking the rudderhead in the process. All the locals in the restaurant said they were wching me all the way in and were surprised I gat as far as I did.

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Old 15-05-2009, 07:50   #15
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Since the bar at Watchapreage is reported in the Coast Pilot to be 6' and variable

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The only thing I can add is that the Delmarva coast is shallow WAY offshore. I'd suggest going sea buoy to sea buoy before coming in. I had the horror story of my sailing career in Wachapreague with 5 feet of draft. Went aground twice and had to be hauled off, breaking the rudderhead in the process. All the locals in the restaurant said they were wching me all the way in and were surprised I gat as far as I did.

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Going there with a 5' fixed draft in any kind of waves is very dicey....

But the off-shore boats do it every day. I've done it dozzens of times in a cat, and a Gemini with ~20" draft and kick-up rudders is safe. IT is well marked. I would not suggest it for boats drawing over 3' without local knowledge. It gets shallow going to town, as well.

The other thing to remmember on the Delmarva is the 5' tide. Many places are safe near high tide. Many are not at low tide. Locals learn to go with nature, not a city schedule. Fishing is like that.
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