Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-04-2013, 16:44   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 21
Norfolk to Boston conditions offshore in early May

Hello,
I am considering moving my 35 sloop from Norfolk to Boston in early May. It's been a rough spring so far and was wondering if anyone can provide insight into the prevailing/ likely conditions for an offshore passage during this time. I'm inclined to sail directly from Norfolk to block island than hop around cape cod. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
__________________

__________________
xluke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2013, 16:49   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,949
Re: Norfolk to Boston conditions offshore in early May

It's a bit early and will be chilly, especially offshore, but you should have prevailing SW winds if the weather forecast is good. I usually shape my course to parallel the Delmarva peninisula in order to be able to duck into Cape May after one night if the weather looks to be deteriorating. From Cape May with a good wind it is one overnighter, and you should just be able to get into Block Island at dusk, though in May it gets dark later. Using that route you won't outsail your forecast and you should be able to do it with fair winds. From BI to the CC Canal is a long day, but I usually stop at Cuttyhunk. Then do Cuttyhunk to Onset or go through the CC Canal if the current is favorable. You really need a fair current through the CC Canal. You can stop in that little basin inside the Canal for the night, or you can go up to Plymouth, though it is a long way into the harbor. Scituate is another intermediate stop. Sometimes I go over to Provincetown, and then the next day go to Boston.

It is much longer and much more exposed going east of Cape Cod.
__________________

__________________
Kettlewell Cruising
Kettlewell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2013, 18:59   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 21
Re: Norfolk to Boston conditions offshore in early May

Great advice! thank you. Can you comment on the frequency of systems during this time that would delay passage? I'm happy to hear that your experience agrees with the pilot charts that show at least 50% of breezes coming from the south/ south west. I'm considering trying to make this trip with a crew window of about two weeks and with optimal conditions it's a five day passage... does this seem reasonable?

Thanks again!
__________________
xluke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2013, 20:45   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Southport CT
Boat: J/36
Posts: 377
Re: Norfolk to Boston conditions offshore in early May

If you're planning on heading to Block anyway might as well shorten the trip a touch and take the Cape Cod Canal. Avoiding the shoals and possible lee shore of the Cape might be a good idea. (That's why they built the canal.) We usually stop at Onset to await a favorable tide. If you get to the canal at the right time, no reason to wait - push on through. Watch out for the Boston-Provincetown high-speed ferries. They're pleasant and professional on the radio, but at 30 knots, they can sneak up on you quite fast. Take your ski clothes. You will not believe how cold it can get, especially if you're used to to VA. In CT there was still snow in some shady spots today.
__________________
psk125 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2013, 07:06   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,949
Re: Norfolk to Boston conditions offshore in early May

Every year is different in terms of weather, and it can change so quickly. It should be possible to get a good three or four day window of favorable winds to make the trip, but sometimes that window doesn't fall when you need it. From Norfolk to Cape May is one short overnight (arrive Cape May in the morning), and from Cape May to Block can be another single overnight (I think like 175 miles off the top of my head), so you don't need big windows, assuming you have the time to wait in between. I will second bringing your ski gear--we're serious--hats, gloves, long underwear, parkas, wool socks. A few years ago in June in Massachusetts I needed to wait for frost to melt on deck before I could start work on the boat. On the other hand, it could be nice and warm. You can get almost anything in May.
__________________
Kettlewell Cruising
Kettlewell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-04-2013, 01:27   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 21
Re: Norfolk to Boston conditions offshore in early May

Thanks again for all the great replies. I just wanted to bump this thread for one more question. Are there any advantages to going through NYC/Long Island Sound to get from Cape May to Block Island? It seems to me that this only adds trouble and time, but with a slower boat (vmg 6-6.5knots) it would avoid an extended passage offshore (not something I necessarily want to avoid!!). Any thoughts?

Thanks again!
__________________
xluke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-04-2013, 19:04   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Southport CT
Boat: J/36
Posts: 377
Re: Norfolk to Boston conditions offshore in early May

The advantage of going through LIS is having places to duck into if the weather gets nasty. You can pick up/drop off crew, get rest, supplies (fuel?) or make repairs in any of 50 or more harbors. Long Island can become a L O N G lee shore if you're outside. The few inlets can turn into maelstroms right when you think it might be nice to seek some refuge, and even if you can sneak into one before the entrance bar turns the ocean white, it's not usually very deep over there. The channels are shifty (its all sand), and Hurricane Sandy has probably changed things from what your chart might show. The Coast Guard probably hasn't had time to move the channel buoys to show the new situation yet, either. Going through NYC and the Sound, the current can be helpful if you catch it at the right time. Out at sea, the current won't be much of a factor. If the weather's nice, you can slide by outside in about 24 hours. If not, it could take you three days of cold, wet, beating into 20' waves. You pick!
__________________
psk125 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-04-2013, 19:10   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,949
Re: Norfolk to Boston conditions offshore in early May

psk125 sums up the two routes nicely. I would add that it is around 175 miles from Cape May to Block, and I find if I leave really early I can usually get into Block just before dark at the other end. Block isn't too terrible to enter after dark as the channel is well marked and straight, but fog or bad weather can make it trickier. The more difficult thing is to blunder around in the dark inside the harbor to find a mooring or drop the hook without fouling on one of the many moorings. In May it shouldn't be crowded at least. If conditions were favorable when you reached Block, there is no reason you couldn't keep on sailing towards the Cape Cod Canal or maybe stop at Cuttyhunk on the way.
__________________
Kettlewell Cruising
Kettlewell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-04-2013, 19:38   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Annapolis, MD
Boat: Hans Christian 38 Telstar #123
Posts: 48
Re: Norfolk to Boston conditions offshore in early May

Not sure if you're talking about a roundtrip or not . . . Our strategy has always been ride the SW on the way up going offshore and harbor hop our way back south.
__________________

__________________
SVAndante9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
offshore

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:42.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.