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Old 09-12-2009, 11:53   #1
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Which Trip Would You Take?

The lady and I have been discussing (arguing about) which trip to take this spring. Originally, I wanted to sail (motor) down the Mississippi and into the Tenn Tomm. Then she got it in her head that she wanted to sail the Great Lakes a bit, enter the Erie Canal systems, head into the Hudson up Long Island Sound and home to New England . Obviously the latter trip would be way more involved and probably a lot longer. If you had three or four months, a pocket cruiser that you can trailer, and a bit of money, which adventure would you take?

Please excuse my crappy Open CPN Gifs that I have attached.

PS if you vote for my trip I will be forced to use it against my girlfriend in an argument. And if you vote for her's I will probably sulk a bit and then agree that she is right.
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Old 09-12-2009, 12:06   #2
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Given the time of year, South.
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Old 09-12-2009, 12:16   #3
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Why not each trip in successive years. They both sound fun to me
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Old 09-12-2009, 12:29   #4
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You've mentioned a trailerable pocket cruiser - does that mean you'll be towing the vessel and putting in here and there to sample various sailing venues? If so, I'd hook up and head south as early in the spring as possible, then turn around once you're into weather that you find too hot and sticky, traveling north with the leading edge of pleasant springtime weather.

If you start in Pittsburgh when the weather is just on the cusp of turning nice, then leisurely head south on your preferred route as the warmth of spring heads north, you're going to find yourselves in conditions you don't like at some point and thinking how pleasant it is, then, up on the Great Lakes or in New England.

The time to do the Mississippi / TennTom trip, heading south, is in the fall, I think. This portion of the Great Loop, done in the fall, would keep you in nice conditions as you head south. Then you could leisurely follow the Gulf ICW around and down to the Keys, slowly making your way up to the east coast of Florida.

If you're there before the return of springtime, you might even take advantage of your close proximity to the Bahamas and head over there for awhile as you wait for nice spring weather to return. When it does, head up the east coast so that you just stay ahead of the worst of the heat and humidity.

This puts you in New England for the summer cruising season, and in position to put in to the various canal systems as you make your way back to the Great Lakes by early fall. I understand that you don't have a year to do your proposed trip, but this is just to give you an idea of where you might want to be at certain times of the year to enjoy optimum cruising conditions.

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Old 09-12-2009, 12:53   #5
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Between May and September, lakes Erie and Ontario are really quite wonderful. The ice risk is usually gone by mid-April, but we often have spurts of cold weather until mid-May. In most years, everyone's hauled out or moved south by the beginning of October (this year was an exception- we had good, albeit cool, sailing conditions until two days ago).

Depending on what kind of cruising you're interested in, I might suggest that starting on the Canadian side- near Montreal or Quebec City, and heading up the St. Lawrence- might be a more interesting trip than the south shores of E. and O. The navigation is a bit more challenging, but you're not as exposed to nasty storms (Lake Ontario can whip up some pretty mean seas in a remarkably short time, and Erie- being so shallow- is even worse). English is common enough in southwestern Quebec that you can get a taste of the Old World without feeling lost or out of place.

Outside of the May-September window, I suspect you'd have more fun heading south. I'm not too familiar with the Tenn-Tom, other than knowing roughly where it is, but have heard some good stories about it.
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Old 09-12-2009, 13:19   #6
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hmmmmm....I'm with Tao on this....

By In the spring....if you mean April, May....I'd head south...

You might consider starting somewhere in the Pamlico or Abermarle. Then start working your way north....through the chesapeake..down the Delaware bay...up the
Jersey Coast...East River to LI sound...then out to Block island...Newport...and then head home.....you just need someone to deliver your truck and trailor.??...

Of course...there's lots of cool stops on the way...you could spend 2 months just on the chesapeake....

So...I picked neither...this way...no one is mad at me...:-)
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Old 09-12-2009, 14:03   #7
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Sounds like if you win ...you lose... no way do you want to be aboard your boat
for an extended period of time with an unhappy admiral. It is much more likely
that there will be a second trip if the first is more or less her route. As indicated, not
to early in season for Great lakes...if trailor is option, drive to Hudson River and launch.
Marina will hold trailor. This will leave more time for LIS and New England. And you
will be held in very high regard by your honey. And you will enjoy trip!
Give a holler if you do trip..we are in western LIS. Hugo
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Old 09-12-2009, 14:13   #8
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So...I picked neither...this way...no one is mad at me...:-)
I'm sure Beth can find a way to be mad at you. She's very impressive in that sense.

Thank you guys for the great ideas. It sounds like everyone's imaginations are as big as mine. I like the idea of extending the cruising season by heading South. I like the idea of doing the St Lawrence too but would be a little nervous about cruising Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Maine in such a wee boat. We both like the idea of river and canal sailing (motoring) because it is a nice stepping stone for her to get her confidence level up before we head out onto the big ocean.
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Old 09-12-2009, 14:50   #9
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Unbusted..

Don't rivers get pretty swollen in the spring..between the snow melt and the spring rains?.....thus, swift currents....seems like they'd work better as a later in the season option...

However.....if you do decide to enter at the Hudson river.canal system...you should catch a nice ride down to NY...and then up the east river into LI sound...that would be a very nice trip....in fact both trips would be fun....don't fight with the admiral!!

Do hers this year..and yours next....a wise man picks his battles....;-)
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Old 09-12-2009, 15:11   #10
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I wasn't thinking of heading out the St. Lawrence to the Atlantic... that would be a bit much for a small boat. Rather, start at Quebec or Montreal and head up (southwest) to Lake Ontario. Or if smaller canals are your thing, start at Ottawa and follow the Rideau down to Lake Ontario. Then across to Oswego along the eastern shoreline, and down the canals to the Hudson per the route in post #1.

I do believe that spending a large fraction of the trip out in the open on lakes Erie and Ontario will be a bit much for a small boat, at least until you've had a few extended cruises to get to know her- there are a lot of long, exposed stretches along here with not a whole lot to see but plenty of space for a good storm to whip up.
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Old 09-12-2009, 17:05   #11
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I do believe that spending a large fraction of the trip out in the open on lakes Erie and Ontario will be a bit much for a small boat, at least until you've had a few extended cruises to get to know her- there are a lot of long, exposed stretches along here with not a whole lot to see but plenty of space for a good storm to whip up.
Is it your opinion then, that that first leg from Erie to Buffalo would be a bit much for, what I have read is basically just, a heavy displacement daysailer?
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Old 09-12-2009, 17:24   #12
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Oh, your boat can probably handle it. But the open, unprotected stretches of the Great Lakes can whip up some weather that the folks in 30' keelboats don't mind too much, but that can really make things uncomfortable in lighter craft. If you have specific destinations along the south shore that you want to see, it's certainly doable.
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Old 09-12-2009, 23:10   #13
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Yeah I figure we will just be watching our weather windows big time. I am usually way over cautious when it comes to that stuff anyway. For example right before writing this I was checking out our stability index and screening for capsizing, conclusion: this would not be the boat to be caught out in. Which is fine because I don't plan on being caught out, and neither does Beth! Thanks.
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