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Old 06-03-2014, 04:52   #16
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Re: Cruising plans... How do you plan anchorages/moorings?

I recommend always planning for extra days. There shouldn't be any reason to rush, or to move in nasty weather (unless you encounter it on a bluewater passage), and we often discover unexpected places where we want to spend some extra time...whether a secluded anchorage or a quaint town. Although we take more "purposeful" voyages (i.e.: Chesapeake Bay to the Bahamas), sometimes it's just fun to take a week or two on the Bay (or any cruising area) and go whichever direction is the best point of sail, check the cruising guide for an interesting anchorage or marina...then see where the next day takes us. Happy cruising!
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:29   #17
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Re: Cruising plans... How do you plan anchorages/moorings?

We are on the return side of our trip from Kentucky Lake to Punta Gorda, FL for the winter and are presently sitting in Clearwater and waiting for a weather window to cross the northern Gulf to Pensacola. We will enter the GICW at Pensacola and proceed to Mobile to have the mast taken down for the trip north up the Tenn-Tom to Tennessee River and Kentucky Lake at Lighthouse Landing at Kentucky Dam.

We use Active Captain for the bulk of our information. It shows marinas, anchorages and other useful information. I use the mobile version of Garmin to display the information on my IPhone and IPad. For the trip down the Tenn-Tom, I made a spreadsheet of anchorages, Locks and Marinas by Mile Marker. I reversed it for the trip back. It is really handy for planning and for adjusting the plan once in the Tenn-Tom system of locks. Since we are not a priority on locking, it can take several more hours due to the 12 locks that have to be traversed. If we get to one and a tow is there are nearby, we have to wait for them to go up or down before we get our turn. We have a plan for the day and then make adjustments based on how we are actually progressing and the weather.
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:18   #18
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Re: Cruising plans... How do you plan anchorages/moorings?

Intrigued, You have received some good suggestions. We are usually underway about 9 to 10 months out of the year. Like others, our first days destination is planned but we also have a fallback plan B in case the weather turns bad, something breaks down, etc. That evening we sit down with whatever resources we use on a regular basis, Looking closely at the next days weather, and plan out the next day, also having plan A and B. The next morning we check weather forecasts and conditions for the day and decide if we go or stay. That is pretty much our routine. Since our cruising includes research for our anchorage books we also factor in any stops we need to make or pass through we might need for the books. Our marina stops are about every week to ten days to take on water, wash the boat, shop for groceries, do laundry and whatever else needs doing. The marina stop can be for only a day or for multiple days depending on what we need. Even on weekend or week long cruises, this is our pattern. Planning is where paper charts are our preference. Even our plotter or nav computer is a pain to try and see the big picture while sitting at the dinette planning the next day. We use chartkits for the areas, our own books of course, and several online sources, especially for weather. We have been at this for so many years that in many cases we really no longer need to consult charts for planning since going down the ICW for over 20 years we pretty much already know the waterway. But we carry them anyway. We use Cruisersnet for the most current and accurate information about issues with the waterway, bridges or other things that might delay us or cause us to change our minds. I have always believed in using several different resources for information. we often find bits and pieces from one that the other did not have, and at times those bits and pieces are important. It's best we don't put all our eggs in one basket. Hope this helps, Chuck
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:10   #19
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Re: Cruising plans... How do you plan anchorages/moorings?

Active Captain has become our primary source for anchorages and marinas. It's hard to beat the up to date nature. Also, it's the only source we have come across that at least lists every marina (even if the info isn't complete).

We have a good idea of our next stop when heading out and a rough idea of stops a week or two out but after the first it is almost always open to change.

The catch would be if you are trying to make a festival or meet up with someone flying in. In that case we plan to be in the area sooner so we can wait out weather. Often we will stop a days travel away and hang out if the location is pricy.

We are probably 90% of the time in marinas. We do let cost steer us to a degree. If it's an expensive area, we tend to move through quicker and anchor out more. If it's cheap, we slow down and stay longer. But there are exceptions, if a location is really enticing, we will splurge on an expensive slip to be there (a month in the keys, 3 weeks in NY city, etc...)
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:14   #20
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Re: Cruising plans... How do you plan anchorages/moorings?

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We've developed an inventory of places we'd like to visit, where we'd be comfortable staying. We do somewhat plan our trips, but total flexibility. We have a data base though of all the locations and ports we'll be passing so that when we find ourselves somewhere we can select the intended area or others from our list easily.
Likewise. Our known/favorite anchorage lists cover the Inside Passage, where weather often alters the plan for our small power boat. We start in the morning with a destination in mind, but always have in mind anchorages along the way for bailout if necessary.
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:18   #21
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It seems in the morning or evening we are looking at charts for destinations (islands) and changing islands usually means changing countries so there is usually no problem anchoring or mooring near clearance. After clearing, we try to have a few different options for anchorages that are near. Really don't plan much until the evening before or morning of departure, and then do the planning with charts. Well, that's how we handle it down island anyway.
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:22   #22
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Re: Cruising plans... How do you plan anchorages/moorings?

I'm almost always cruising an area new to me and also must sail to a schedule due to friends joining/leaving from certain spots.

What I do is spend a lot on pilot books and then study the area with Google Earth. What I'm generally looking for are medium sized, very sheltered bays with good holding bottoms or village quays that have a lot of capacity. This doesn't mean we always go there, but it's nice to have a good plan beforehand. Then, usually two days before I'm picking up or dropping off someone, we get within a reasonable range of the destination.

The combination of Earth and pilot books really works for me. I use the anchor icon for safe harbors and the ship icon for village quays. Sometimes I put extra details into the placemark for surrounding things to see but generally rely on the pilot book for that.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:14   #23
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Re: Cruising plans... How do you plan anchorages/moorings?

We also read a lot of others cruising and make notes there of places they found and that were special to them. So many great sources of information. When we're to meet someone we allow extra days in getting there. Also, if weather does prevent, they know they'll need to come to us elsewhere.

While we generally use marinas, the approach is the same.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:32   #24
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Re: Cruising plans... How do you plan anchorages/moorings?

Our Rule #1 is: Never "schedule" our destination. We make flexible, tentative plans and when the weather and sea conditions are right, we head out.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:58   #25
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Re: Cruising plans... How do you plan anchorages/moorings?

If I dont have a specific end place I'm going, I have a general plan but it usually changes. The weather report/wind direction often decides where the next day will be, or even the eventual goal. For just a daily movement I always like to be at the next anchorage early in the afternoon, due to crowding and possible weather issues (forcing change in plans) etc.
If I'm trying to get to somewhere specific that's a day or two away, I will have daily goals planned based on the anchorage, and daily distances attainable.
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Old 06-03-2014, 19:39   #26
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Re: Cruising plans... How do you plan anchorages/moorings?

I cruise non stop for the season. I make an exhaustive survey of the Area on pilot books to find the best anchoring spots (it is too expensive for me to go much to marinas or even ports during so much time). Then I look for the places on google earth to have an idea of how beautiful they are. I cross references with regional touristic guides (books). I look also for good non expensive ports, preferably ones with a nice town.

With this information I make a rough plan with many different options and in the end I follow the wind adapting the plan to the possible wind directions (I like to sail) and to escape too strong winds. The big knowledge of the area allows me to have many options.

That work in an areas like Croatia or Greece that have many shelters and a huge number of sail possibilities. On other areas with much less sailing destinations the options will be much more reduced but a very good knowledge of anchorages, marinas, ports and nice places is always very important.
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Old 06-03-2014, 20:51   #27
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Re: Cruising plans... How do you plan anchorages/moorings?

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How are you planning each night's mooring, anchorage or dock/slip? Are you planning the whole thing out up front or are you just winging it and pulling out the charts and getting information on where to anchor/moor area when you arrive? Are you planning everything out on your charts and highlighting your "option" locations?

I've always wondered about this.. What is your process? How often will you rent a slip for a night or two (for water/power/rest)?

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Weather, natural disasters, political upheaval set the tone.

First - We pick a country, and also an optional country (or two) depending on our whereabouts in the world. We note the ports-of-entry available. Storms happen, things break, medical situations may arise, even a coup d'état may occur in the intended landfall - so we want flexibility as per destination.

As my wife likes to say: "We practice variable destination navigation." {Wish I could attribute the original punster!}

Then using sea charts, pilot charts, guide books (etc) we get there and clear customs/immigration. We've also found Noonsite.com — Noonsite very helpful.

After that... We wing it!

Because, really, if we wanted to plan things down to the last crossed T and dotted I we would never have bought a sailboat! The world is big; anchorages are many; cold beer is cold beer. Hey! I can do most ship's maintenance wherever the boat happens to be anchored.

Anchoring out is always our preference, followed by rental mooring, then (if required by law or circumstance) a marina slip.

We installed solar panels, wind turbine, water maker, and much more so as to be independent of shore facilities. Well, we DO need local currency, food and bevies, of course, but the dinghy and public transport get us where we need while in port.

Mind you... My wife and I have only been sailing together these past 20 years and have only visited roughly 37 countries. {Need to check the logbook. } YMMV, as is said.


EDIT: I'd never even HEARD of Active Captain until reading this thread. Hmmmm.......
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Old 07-03-2014, 05:43   #28
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.........
First - We pick a country, and also an optional country (or two) depending on our whereabouts in the world. We note the ports-of-entry available. Storms happen, things break, medical situations may arise, even a coup d'état may occur in the intended landfall - so we want flexibility as per destination.

..........
How does this work after checking out.. I've always felt the countries we've checked into and out of were pretty strict on what our previous port of departure was, travel time to the destination, how long are we going to be there, and what is our next port of arrival. How has that worked out for you if you have shown up in a different country than what you said you were going to?
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Old 07-03-2014, 05:49   #29
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Re: Cruising plans... How do you plan anchorages/moorings?

I've been using charts, regional guide books, and Active Capitan

I find it interesting that Active Capitan will lots of times have better info far as moorings than I can find by searching on the internet for the location and even for some of the marinas own webpage
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:26   #30
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Re: Cruising plans... How do you plan anchorages/moorings?

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I've been using charts, regional guide books, and Active Capitan

I find it interesting that Active Capitan will lots of times have better info far as moorings than I can find by searching on the internet for the location and even for some of the marinas own webpage
We plan ahead but then at night we'll often refresh ourselves, sometimes in bed. We just look at probable and possible places we'll end up, note all the choices from our pre-plans and have our list. We often use Active Captain as a starting place and add in all the other information we've accumulated from the many sources over time, especially updated shoaling, hazards and depth information.
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