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Old 30-03-2008, 17:31   #1
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Sailing in Maine in early May

Hello all,

I am planning a trip from Matinicus, ME to Boston starting on May 11. I am wondering what kind of weather to expect and hoping someone has advice on the trip itself.

I will be sailing a Morgan 33t with a crew of 4 including me. Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Charlie
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Old 30-03-2008, 18:08   #2
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Charlie,

According to the North Atlantic pilot chart for May (see below) you could encounter winds from most any direction, but the predominantly southerly winds seen later in summer have begun to set in, so you can expect wind ahead of the beam much/most of the trip. Winds from all directions are about Beufort force 4.

Given this wind pattern, I think I'd wait in Mantinicus for a favorable weather report, i.e., winds from other than the southerly quadrant or, if predicted from the south, of very low velocity.

It can be pretty chilly in mid-May, especially at night. I've done the trip in the other direction about 3 weeks later than you're planning, and it was still chilly but pleasant at night, with daytime temps comfortable.

Bill

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Old 30-03-2008, 18:24   #3
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Thanks Bill, exactly what I wanted to know.
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Old 03-04-2008, 17:43   #4
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You'll need *insulated* foul weather gear and some way to keep warm in the cabin. I use my snowboarding gear (waterproof and insulated to the degree needed) for this type of trip.

You can expect to to feel a raw, damp cold unlike anything else you have ever experienced before...

As Bill points out, you will be beating into it as well. Ahhh.... New England.
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Old 04-04-2008, 09:07   #5
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UNSULATED FOUL WEATHER GEAR! Sounds like San Francisco Bay on a mid August afternoon......
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:41   #6
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I rode down the river from Bath to the Atlantic on a Destroyer and froze my butt off. Don't take shorts to Me in June (lesson learned)
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:33   #7
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Hello Charlie, I will be heading to Cape Cod from Baltimore Inner Habor in a 40 foot sloop around May 5th weather permitting. I plan on bringing some of my thermol hunting gear. The cockpit has a full cover and the salon has a heater , so I feel I should be okay. Wear wool outside and poly inside.. Layer , Layer , Layer, ........best advice I can give you, and try to stay dry.yeah right......hahaha... Jim
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Old 09-04-2008, 19:15   #8
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Are you doing a straight shot or do you have stops planned?
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Old 09-04-2008, 20:51   #9
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Hello Tim, A streight shot is on the chart...
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Old 09-04-2008, 20:55   #10
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Also Tim, Maine is very foggy in May, therefore very damp...let alone cold........
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Old 09-04-2008, 20:58   #11
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In 2002..

IN 2002 I sailed from Hingham, ME to ME on April 11 & 12th. It was windy but fun and there were no issues. May is fine just watch the weather and you're good plus there are plenty of places to duck into. The winds are great in May..
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Old 10-04-2008, 04:43   #12
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We keep our boat in Newburyport, MA and are planning a one month trip to Maine this year in July when the water warms up to 55 degrees and the fog only occurs four times a week instead of seven.
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Old 10-04-2008, 05:27   #13
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Fog

I wanted to be sure the information on fog in Maine was accurate:

Historically, the percentage of days per month with fog in Maine is at its peak from June to late August. The absolute peak being July and August.

Why?

Fog is formed when a warm, moist (often South Westerly) wind blows in over colder waters. If the warm, moist air over the cold waters is cooled sufficiently (below its dewpoint/condensation point), you'll see fog.

The more "Down East" you are, the more likey you are to run into fog in any given month due to the cooler sea temps.

If you are cruising Maine and are new to it, pick up Hank and Jan Taft / Curtis Rindlaub's book, "A Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast." It's filled with information about fog, conditions, where to stop, local history, etc...

It's probably one of the greatest cruising guides ever written IMO, and there should be one for every popular cruising destination.
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Old 10-04-2008, 05:41   #14
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True, my numbers are definitely off as July and August are more foggy on average up there. It is more of a perception thing I think for me as fog with shorts seems to slip the mind whereas fog wearing a parka seems to be remembered. I helped deliver a boat from RI to the North Shore of Mass in April a few years back and we were in fog half the time. I just remember not being able to stay dry and being cold. I could only imagine what Maine, a little more to the north was like at that time. It sounds like a great passage you are going to take though.
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Old 10-04-2008, 05:49   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssullivan View Post
... Fog is formed when a warm, moist (often South Westerly) wind blows in over colder waters. If the warm, moist air over the cold waters is cooled sufficiently (below its dewpoint/condensation point), you'll see fog.
The more "Down East" you are, the more likey you are to run into fog in any given month due to the cooler sea temps...
Sean is describing “advection”* (or “sea”) fogs, which are fogs formed when air moves either over a cooler surface or over a warmer, moist surface, and as a result the air mass reaches saturation. Most often this occurs when a moist air mass moves over a cold surface, such as a large, cold body of water or snow/ice cover, whose temperature is below the dew point of the advecting air mass, and its lowest reaches are cooled to condensation.
Evaporation advection fogs occur when a cool or cold air mass crosses a relatively warm water body and has water vapour evaporate into it. Often, such fogs are caused by cold air outbreaks off land crossing large water bodies such as the sea or large lakes. Such advection fogs are often referred to as sea fog, and are common offshore in winter. Sea fog is sometimes called sea smoke because it rises from the water surface in plumes of moist air that resemble smoke.

* Advection is transport (of heat) in a fluid (air).

Radiation fog and frontal fog are perhaps the most common fog types, in those areas away from large water bodies. In hilly or mountainous terrain, one might experience upslope or valley fogs.
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