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Old 08-07-2016, 05:34   #1
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St Lawrence Seaway, Gulf of St Lawrence, Nova Scotia, Gulf of Maine sailing time wind

When is it safe or not safe to sail in these areas? We're planning a trip in the very near future that will take us through these areas in an North East to Southerly direction. What are the optimum times to sail in these areas?
Thanks for your advice!


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Old 09-07-2016, 16:04   #2
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Re: St Lawrence Seaway, Gulf of St Lawrence, Nova Scotia, Gulf of Maine sailing time

there kinda isnt an optimum time.. have been that way july& august.

its summer, so if winds are light there will be lots of coastal fog, if winds are stronger then prevailing is SW and progress may be "interesting"..
strong currents, big tides, 10 million lobster pots, great shoreline, all deep water, no fancy marinas
if you have a chance, do the reversing falls in St Johns.

a great trip, enjoy.
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Old 10-07-2016, 05:24   #3
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Re: St Lawrence Seaway, Gulf of St Lawrence, Nova Scotia, Gulf of Maine sailing time

get some pilot charts to give an over view
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Old 10-07-2016, 05:34   #4
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Re: St Lawrence Seaway, Gulf of St Lawrence, Nova Scotia, Gulf of Maine sailing time

I'd say June-September. You will still get a few nice days outside that window, but in general the weather tends to deteriorate and the temperature drops.
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Old 10-07-2016, 06:12   #5
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Re: St Lawrence Seaway, Gulf of St Lawrence, Nova Scotia, Gulf of Maine sailing time

I have made that trip. You want to ultimately be in Halifax by Oct first. If you've made ocean passages before this, then later works too. The latest I've left Halifax is Oct 31.

St Lawrence is mostly a motor, or motor sail, as currents are much more of a factor than wind. Once you leave the St Lawrence, the dominant wind in summer is SW, which will work fine for you to get to PEI or Cape Breton/bras D'or lakes, though a Norther is faster.

Eastern PEI is a nice cruise with very pretty anchorages, or if you prefer, go from the St Lawrence, and through the Bras D'or lakes (which is what I would suggest for it's pure beauty), then coastal hop to Halifax.

The trip to Halifax, if you want to make time, is best done during Northerlies, so a cold front is best. The wind comes off the land and the waves will be of no consequence.

From Halifax, if you're making time, again, cold fronts are your friends. If you're coastal hopping, then just sail when it's nice and you'll get there...

It's not a difficult trip, if you have some ocean experience. If you don't, take my advice: A 20 knot forecast from the N or NW is far more pleasant than a 15 knot from the SW between the St Lawrence and Yarmouth.

From Yarmouth to Maine is more of a Westerly trip, but watch the tides at the Bay of Fundy, the current will carry you, and affect the waves too.

Some folks like sailing on pretty days, and hunkering down in an anchorage on crap days. Personally, my wife and I prefer to play at anchor and tour the area on nice days, then hunker down in the cockpit offshore on crap days. This way we can see the best of our destinations during the best weather, and on crap days... well we wouldn't see anything at anchor anyway, so why not move on?

Our cat has not yet launched, so the experience I have on these trips are on 35 and 39 foot monohulls, both with good dodgers, and the 39 had a nice bimini too. Both boats had espar heaters, but you won't have any need for one between July first and the end of September.

Enjoy your trip, it's a beautiful way to see some of the Maritime provinces.

Cheers.
Paul.
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Old 11-07-2016, 10:51   #6
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Re: St Lawrence Seaway, Gulf of St Lawrence, Nova Scotia, Gulf of Maine sailing time

Thanks for your replies! We have not been in the ocean yet as we just purchased our first sailboat and have been learning on Lake Superior.


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Old 11-07-2016, 11:19   #7
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Re: St Lawrence Seaway, Gulf of St Lawrence, Nova Scotia, Gulf of Maine sailing time

Well, be patient, and think ahead, and you'll learn a lot on this trip.

Are you leaving this summer?

Paul.
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Old 11-07-2016, 12:40   #8
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Re: St Lawrence Seaway, Gulf of St Lawrence, Nova Scotia, Gulf of Maine sailing time

Plan on leaving shortly after ice out next spring. Could be moved up though.


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Old 11-07-2016, 18:05   #9
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Re: St Lawrence Seaway, Gulf of St Lawrence, Nova Scotia, Gulf of Maine sailing time

Well you've got lots of time to do research then. Get some experience reefing, and be sure to have a good autopilot, unless you really like steering.

Cheers.
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Old 11-07-2016, 21:53   #10
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Re: St Lawrence Seaway, Gulf of St Lawrence, Nova Scotia, Gulf of Maine sailing time

Quote:
Originally Posted by svquintana View Post
Well you've got lots of time to do research then. Get some experience reefing, and be sure to have a good autopilot, unless you really like steering.



Cheers.

Paul.

Thanks, Paul!
Jessica


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