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Old 09-10-2019, 03:47   #16
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Re: Down East Loop

We are NOT the "yottie type" and will thoroughly enjoy the arrangements you describe!


In the southern Bay, at an old fishing town called "Reedville" earlier this year, we tied up where we had to almost beg to pay someone for the night. Then we walked through town, where we were accosted by a woman who stopped her car to ask if we were on the sailboat and did we need a ride anywhere. Yeah, now we're talking!
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:15   #17
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Re: Down East Loop

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In the southern Bay, at an old fishing town called "Reedville" earlier this year, we tied up where we had to almost beg to pay someone for the night. Then we walked through town, where we were accosted by a woman who stopped her car to ask if we were on the sailboat and did we need a ride anywhere. Yeah, now we're talking!
This is about how it goes in much of the CA Maritimes.

If you're interested in a good story about hospitality, read a few days' worth of our mis-adventures in Escuminac Harbor.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:44   #18
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Re: Down East Loop

I’ve done it.

Two thoughts from a wet blanket- unfortunately.

7’ draft will NOT make it through the Erie Canal. Our 33’er has 5’4” and we touched a few times.

It’s far too much for one season. Make it to Newfoundland and over winter there.

I have a great deal to add but you need to deal with these two issues first.

Your only real option to do it with the boat you have is to go up the Atlantic coast. It’s a great sail up, and a loooong motor back unless you want to run to Bermuda or cross over and come back to the Caribbean.

My condolences.
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:11   #19
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Re: Down East Loop

Just to clarify a little re: depth. There may be more or less water at various times of the year. I’m not sure about this and you need to research it. Along with what the projected open season is. They close and drain parts of the canal for maintenance during the off season. Then you have spring floods which can damage locks and can delay the start, sometimes a week or two. The canals principal use now is for flood control. We went through latter in the year and may have experienced somewhat lower water than maximum.

There are SPOTS where the water is lower, less deep, and I was able to identify most of these prior to leaving, can’t recall exactly how I got the info. But here is what happens, there are side culverts that drain into the canal, they bring down silt and debris that create shoals. So I got looking for those spots, where something entered the canal, and being cautious in those areas. Still touched a few times.

Like i said we were going up in Juneish so the water may have been a bit lower. You said 7’ but Sailboat Data says 6’2” for a Saga 43. You should look carefully at that.
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:15   #20
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Re: Down East Loop

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draft will NOT make it through the Erie Canal. Our 33’er has 5’4” and we touched a few times.
He's only planning the eastern end and the Oswego Canal, all of which is supposed to be maintained to 14ft depth. Realistically, some areas are shallower, but he should get through just fine. I went through there a few months ago and only saw 2 spots get down to 7ft or less (plus one shallow spot while docking, but that's been dredged since). And one of the shallow spots was scheduled for dredging according to the guy at lock E19 that warned me about it (that spot got down to about 5.5 ft at mid channel).

The canal corp does post their known depths online for anywhere that's not at the expected 14ft, so you can check ahead to see where you might have trouble.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:03   #21
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Re: Down East Loop

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You said 7’ but Sailboat Data says 6’2” for a Saga 43. You should look carefully at that.

Saga made a half dozen or more keels, ranging from a 5'0 centerboard (precisely one, and our offer on that one was rejected) to some over 7'. Many have been thought to be tender, and have had a "shoe" added to the bottom of the keel. Ours was born 6'9, with a 1500 pound, 3" thick shoe added to get to 7'. Before purchase of such a deep boat, we gave a great deal of thought to replacing or modifying the keel to get down to 5'3 (the second purchase attempt was on a 5'3 boat that had been bumped up to 5'6), but the $30-$50K price ($30K was modifying, $50K was a new keel) has had us mapping the bottom LOL.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:59   #22
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Re: Down East Loop

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Your only real option to do it with the boat you have is to go up the Atlantic coast. It’s a great sail up, and a loooong motor back unless you want to run to Bermuda or cross over and come back to the Caribbean.
That loop, outside the Northeast, up the St. Lawrence, through the Great Lakes and back down the Mississippi or Tenn/Tom, and back over to the Atlantic Coast is what I've started to call the "Greater Loop." Seems very do-able, and there's more equitable amounts of blue water and brown water.

Odd that I never read anything about it. I'm sure there are those who've done it. Would be interesting to hear about.

I won't comment on the depth issue, since I've never run anything with that much draft.
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Old 09-10-2019, 15:14   #23
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Re: Down East Loop

Capt Tom,

A slight misunderstanding, although what you suggest is indeed interesting. I was suggesting a run up the East coast past Nova Scotia and on to Newfoundland. Then to return the same route, but in the next year.
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Old 09-10-2019, 15:18   #24
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Re: Down East Loop

Rslifkin,

Quote:
only saw 2 spots get down to 7ft or less (plus one shallow spot while docking, but that's been dredged since). And one of the shallow spots was scheduled for dredging according to the guy at lock E19 that warned me about it (that spot got down to about 5.5 ft at mid channel).
This is not substantially different from what I said. There are spots that are under 7’. There only needs to be one, and waiting for a dredge does not sound like fun when on a time budget.
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Old 09-10-2019, 15:18   #25
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Re: Down East Loop

We started a Down East Circle group on facebook. Its full of folks that are working the loop right now. Lots of real time info.
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Old 10-10-2019, 13:14   #26
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Re: Down East Loop

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We started a Down East Circle group on facebook. Its full of folks that are working the loop right now. Lots of real time info.
Can you post a link please. Could not find it easily, or would not load
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Old 10-10-2019, 13:21   #27
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Re: Down East Loop

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Rslifkin,
This is not substantially different from what I said. There are spots that are under 7’. There only needs to be one, and waiting for a dredge does not sound like fun when on a time budget.
The good news is, the shallow spots should just be silty. So the penalty for bumping the bottom with the keel is minimal. And it's not necessarily going to be shallow all the way across the channel. So between paying attention to the posted depths on the canal website, talking to lockmasters, etc. I'd be surprised if a 7ft draft can't get through.

As an example of the worst shallow spot I found, according to the canal info (Navigation Information - New York State Canals) the south side of the channel should be good to 8ft in that spot, the middle and north side are good to 5 currently. They were also nice enough to post a survey from May: http://www.canals.ny.gov/navinfo/depths/e095.pdf

Based on the survey data, getting a 7ft draft through there would be tough at the moment. But they usually don't ignore areas that far below normal depth any longer than they have to.
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Old 10-10-2019, 18:59   #28
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Re: Down East Loop

Well the OP has our opinions and will have to make up his own mind on this point.

We left DELAWARE City and spent our first night in Cape May entering through the Canal. That has a 55’ controlling air draft and is also tight on the water draft. Your options are to either go out around and come in from the ocean, to over night in Lews, DE or to just head up the coast.

Some folks are shy of the DELAWARE River, it can be a bit nasty and there is a fair bit of commercial traffic. There are a few threads on timing the C&D canal. This site is fun to play with and gives you the currents in the river and canal. Good for planning. Delaware City is a convenient stop over before heading down the bay.

https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/of...rrents_nowcast

We tucked in behind Sandy Hook after Cape May and commenced our run up river the next morning. The Hudson was interesting, not a lot of traffic above NYC. One night we sort of anchored on a hummock sort of in the middle of the river.

We used Ms Barr’s guide extensively. Especially good timing the St Lawrence.

Locks are interesting but nothing like the St Lawrence locks. We saw very little traffic in the canal.

We had some trouble with one of the Canadian locks. The operator has a reputation for being an AH, well deserved. We used Active Captain a lot. It had a bunch of good write ups on the SL locks.

The only bad thing that occurred was I hit a big buoy on the SL. Totally my fault, hot summer day and I drifted off while being swept by the current. Thank God for steel hulls! It’s a long trip, you can mentally space out, well I did.

We are pretty limited in what we could do due to the current. I’ve a 16,000 lb boat with a 13hp motor so I don’t fight the current real well. Still we made it all OK. Spent days here and there visiting and doing the tourist thing. Kingston, Montreal, Quebec City, Sauguany, Gaspe, Magdalene’s. The crossing to and from the Magdalen Islands was rough. Just could not get a decent weather window either time.

Your other options are to do the South coast around PEI, or the North coast along Quebec and Anacosti Island where they have huge deer herds. No matter your route you will miss something you want to see. Mike ORiley did the PEI route I believe.

From Magdalene we made straight to Rocky Harbor and then worked our way up the Northern Peninsula. The alternative is to continue on the Quebec shore around Herrington Harbor and then cross the straights near Cape Norman. Doing that you miss Gross Morn but the Cote Nord is really worth a visit. If you are only doing this once I would do the Newfoundland side.

By now the season will be well advanced and you should not have any ice problems. We had bergs this past year until mid July but that was unusual. The usual stops are Cows Head, Port Au Choix, and Flowers Cove. You may want to work in Red Bay on the Labrador side for the Basque whaling site. Port au Choix (all spelling very approximate) has a real nice museum, flowers cove has some very interesting fossils.

Once around Cape Norman you have reached your furthest north. That area is bloody cold due to the Labrador Current. If you have nice weather I would suggest running up to Battle Harbor. It’s a day up and back but well with it. It’s an abandoned town with a lot of history that has been converted into a museum.

Then it’s down to St Anthony. You can stop to see the Viking site but I would personally suggest renting a car out of St Anthony and also driving up to the lighthouse at Cape Norman so as to get the reverse view of what you just did. It’s classified subarctic there so poking around is worthwhile. From St Anthony you can do an over night run down to Lewisporte or take a few weeks to explore the coast. Lots of places to get lost out that way. I need to spend more time along that stretch myself.

But by then you will have had a whole lot of sailing and will need a good rest. This you will find in abundance at Lewisporte. Put the boat up here for the winter and fly home. She will be safe and sound in that facility. Then in the second year you can complete your trip, if you are in a rush. But odds are you will find yourself spending a season in Notre Dame Bay and doing a second winter in Lewisporte. It’s that kind of place, truly. But you will see yourself.

Getting back to Annapolis is a long beat. Lots to see and do, but all sort of anticlimactic to what you have done. LOTS of motoring, LOTS of fog and once in the US LOTS of lobster traps.

Hope this helps.
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Old 16-10-2019, 05:42   #29
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Re: Down East Loop

Happy to see this thread and the valuable information you've all shared. I am planning to depart Rochester, NY in the first week or so of July, 2020. I'm hunting for paper charts for the Canadian portion to borrow or buy. Let me know. Thanks.
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Old 16-10-2019, 06:01   #30
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Re: Down East Loop

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Happy to see this thread and the valuable information you've all shared. I am planning to depart Rochester, NY in the first week or so of July, 2020. I'm hunting for paper charts for the Canadian portion to borrow or buy. Let me know. Thanks.
Glad to see another Rochester local on here! If you ever see us out and around (38 ft Chris Craft with brown canvas named "Hour Glass"), give a wave!
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