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Old 27-03-2010, 06:17   #1
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Advice Needed - North on ICW from Maryland Up to Nova Scotia

Will be leaving Deale, Maryland around June 15th up Chesapeake to ICW and then on ICW as far north as possible and either hugging coast to Calais or crossing gulf of Main from Portsmouth. Boat draws five feet, full keel. Any and all advice welcome regarding route and marinas along the way. Thanks.
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Old 27-03-2010, 07:07   #2
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Hi Mparent,

My 1st thoughts are that your options are almost unlimited here.
How tall is your rig? That might be a limiting factor in a few spots ( Cape May Canal) comes to mind. Your draft should be fine in most places along this route. There will be some skinny parts on the Barnegat Bay if you choose to stay inside through NJ.

If You don't know the region that well, I would recommend getting the cruising guides to help you with all the nuances. Waterway's..or others.

I also have the Cruising Guide to the New England Coast by Paul and Wallace Fenn, and find it to be a wealth of information.

That said, answering some questions might be helpful. For instance, do you want to stop everynight, or are you willing to do some overnight sails? Are you planning on Marina Stops, anchoring, or a combination of both? Do you like quiet isolated areas or busy, touristy spots...or both?

Annapolis to Chespeake city is a day, The canal to Cape May is a long day.
From there the options open up. You can head right for Block Island ( 36 hours + or -) or Sandy Hook ( 24 hours) or you can bounce up the coast of NJ..Atlantic City is easy, I'd skip Barnegat Inlet and maybe head for Manasquan. Again you have the option of heading for Block I. From there...or going inside up the east river to the long island sound. Then you have the choice of bouncing along the long island side or the connecticut side. ( I prefer long island).

one trip, I have planned goes like this. East River, to Port Jeff L.I. ..Port Jeff to the Connecticut River, to Block Island, to Cuttyhunk, to Onset, to Provincetown to Boothbay. The only overnight is p-town to Boothbay. I haven't looked past boothbay, so maybe someone else will have tips beyond that..
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Old 27-03-2010, 08:14   #3
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Specs

My mast is 51 feet DWL, we are willing to anchor out but every third day are thinking of a marina since we are newbies. I plan to buy the Maptech books for the area.
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Old 27-03-2010, 09:03   #4
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With a 51' mast you will not clear the bridges in the NJ section of the ICW. So from Delaware Bay you will have to go outside to NY harbor.

From there if you want to stay in protected waters go up the East River which is not really a river at all but a channel that connects NY harbor to Long Island Sound. Trip through NYC is scenic if you haven't done it. Watch the tidal currents through the East River, especially around Hell Gate where they can hit 5-6 knots at max ebb and flood.
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Old 27-03-2010, 10:15   #5
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Skip,

I think you're mistaken ..To Clarify....Cape May is 55' He should be fine going through the canal. I'm 50' and have done this route with room to spare.
Especially at low tide. The power cable at the west end should be fine too, especially if you stay to the high side.

He can also leave Cape may and re-enter Atlantic City, then come out AC and re-enter Barnegat, or Manasquan. His main problem south of Barnegat is depth and narrow channels. I've come in at Little Egg and run the ICW to Manasquan. Though, I wouldn't recommend Little Egg ,marks are slim, it shifts and breaks. Barnaget can also be tricky.

You do not have to Run from Cape May to NY, if you want to stop each night.

Although it is a pleasant trip in good weather! It's about 24 hours..
And if you stay about 2 to 3 miles offshore you'll be in 60 ft of water and see all the inlet bouys and the shorelights.
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Old 27-03-2010, 10:52   #6
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I can't clear the cape may canal bridge like I used I agree that on is 55'. However when I could clear it there was no where to anchor. Now I rest up on the otherside at cape henlopen inside the breakwater no so scenic but dolphins cime in there. Also holding is good and I can anchor. I jump straight from there to block island. The run through the east river is great but it's better coming from the long island side. No reason but the transitions are more to my liking.
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Old 27-03-2010, 11:13   #7
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After doing the long day on the Delaware bay, if you've anchored the night before, Cape may is one of those places I appreciate a nice hot shower, a good meal and a good nights sleep before heading out again. I've stayed at South Jersey Marina, a little pricey,( prob. $4.00/ft ) but great showers and service. The lobster house is right next door, or you can walk or grab a cab downtown and the beaches. I believe you'll be there after the Shark tournament in june, but I would suggest getting reservations in Cape May in advance, if you want to stay somewhere there.
If you've never been...it's a great town!
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Old 27-03-2010, 11:20   #8
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Hi Tempest 245,

Thanks for the reply. I am basing my recommendation on NOAA charts and, since I went around last fall on my only trip on this end of the waterway I cannot confirm from personal experience.

What I am seeing on the charts is a 35' vertical clearance fixed bridge at Avalon NJ, another just south of Ocean City also showing 35', and third 35' fixed bridge just south of Atlantic City. I am assuming this is the stretch we are both referring to?

Am I confused, missing something or are my charts out of date? Actually I am frequently confused and miss things so wondering what I missed here.

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Skip,

I think you're mistaken ..To Clarify....Cape May is 55' He should be fine going through the canal. I'm 50' and have done this route with room to spare.
Especially at low tide. The power cable at the west end should be fine too, especially if you stay to the high side.

He can also leave Cape may and re-enter Atlantic City, then come out AC and re-enter Barnegat, or Manasquan. His main problem south of Barnegat is depth and narrow channels. I've come in at Little Egg and run the ICW to Manasquan. Though, I wouldn't recommend Little Egg ,marks are slim, it shifts and breaks. Barnaget can also be tricky.

You do not have to Run from Cape May to NY, if you want to stop each night.

Although it is a pleasant trip in good weather! It's about 24 hours..
And if you stay about 2 to 3 miles offshore you'll be in 60 ft of water and see all the inlet bouys and the shorelights.
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Old 27-03-2010, 12:22   #9
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So I like cape may as a town but I ve done that. Maybe we need a thread cape henlopen Va cape may. Cape henlopen free and good anchoring. Cape may bit shorter if you clear 55' no anchorage. Cape henlopen good beachside to run up on and walk cape may nice walk to town. Cape henlopen little store that' sells hotdogs and Plastic sharks and milk not sure who is buying all those plastic sharks. Cape may architecture riocks. Cape henlopen architecture is combineded with mc shack and bomb shelter. Cape henlopen ready to leave for the jump off shore but it's free so I choose the best jump time. Cape may I'm spending 4 bucks a foot I need to leave. I don't want to be here any way I want to be sailing buzzards bay or better casco bay. That being daid the past 2 Yeats have yielded some fast sailing on the Delaware. In the past it has been a long slug down a desolate bay . Lately it had been great sailing down a desolut bay.
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Old 27-03-2010, 13:03   #10
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Hi Skip,

No You're not confused....I was responding to the guidance that the op HAD to do the whole trip.. outside... from Cape May to NY.

He does not have to go around at Cape May..he can transit the Canal from the Delaware Bay. Also, anyone that needs to go around Cape May, can still enter the inlet... the Marinas are all east of the Bridge.

From Cape May...you can go outside and then re-enter AC..for the night....and several other inlets in NJ with a tall Rig. Yes, you see fixed bridges that are 35 feet north of CM on the ICW but north of Barnegat, you can run the ICW fairly easily, all the bridges either open or have ample clearance.
On my last trip north from Cape May.. with bad weather coming, I ran into Little Egg inlet..ran up the ICW...spent a snug night at the Captains Inn on forked river for $40.00 and proceeded north to exit at Manasquan. There are so many ways to do the NJ coast.

Sabray...I can't compare the merits of Cape May vs Henlopen..since I've only stayed in CM....maybe I need to expand my horizons.....I will say that I have to provide some level of comfort ( long hot showers ) to my crew once in awhile...or they will Mutiny...lol...

Anyway, the OP is going to Nova Scotia...so I don't want him to get stuck in NJ..so we can discuss this elsewhere if you like. Delaware bay has been either hot and windless for me, or blowing like crazy, seems like I haven't found the middle ground there.

Good Sailing!
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Old 27-03-2010, 13:10   #11
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Cape May is a lovely place to visit, but as Sabray mentions, there are no great places for you to anchor with your 5 ft. draft.

You don't mention how much time you want to spend sightseeing on your way north. If this is a leisurely trip, I suggest you head up to NYC and spend a couple days, before cruising up the East River into LI Sound. If you want to pick up the pace, head offshore and make the run up to Montauk or Block Island.

From there, you've got the option of heading over to Newport (one of my favorite places to visit) or pushing on toward Cuttyhunk and the Cape Cod Canal. You can also choose to skip the Canal and head over to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket (both wonderful places) and take the long way around Cape Cod. If you go this way, Provincetown is certainly worth a visit.

Once you enter Cape Cod Bay, you can cruise NE to Gloucester, or head up along the coast to Boston. Once again, time will determine your plan of action. If time permits, Boston/Salem/Gloucester are all good stops.

As I am retracing these routes in my mind, I admit to being envious or your voyage. This is a great time of year to be cruising these waters and I wish you fair winds and calm seas!
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Old 27-03-2010, 13:38   #12
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MParent - Stay on the outside as much as you can. When you go through the C&D Canal you can anchor before going down river to Cape May or stay at Chesapeake City Marina. Catch the current going south and it will make for a faster trip. If you want to visit Cape May go around and came in from the East. Remember you are doing all this in June. If you arrive any where at an inlet on the week ends it will be hell to go in with all the smaller weekenders. Atlantic City is the only alternative and that is going to be tight also. Stay out of Barneget!. No room or depth. The Mansquan canal is hell with a Sail Boat. The only relaxation you will get is around the back side of Sandy Hook, NJ. Or you can shoot across to Great Kills Harbor - Staten Island. After that if you continue you can go past NYC just stay far right behind governers Island up the East River all shipping channels from Sandy Hook. Watch Tides. The rest after you pass Execution Rocks out Long Island sound is nice sailing. Most will be motoring. There will be a lot of opinions here, but stick with the charts and your own ability. The Charts are correct. 3-5 mile off the coast is fine for sailing. I have done this every year with Sail & Cruiser. back and forth. The sugestion to go straight across is also ok if you have go offshore previous and have a good weather window. Gets ruff out there sometimes.


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Old 27-03-2010, 15:37   #13
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There's also several options on the Hudson river. Liberty Harbor is quite nice and sets you up nicely for a trip up the east river, newport harbor, and lincoln harbor are there too...but Liberty is the nicest.
Another option behind Sandy Hook is the Atlantic Highlands...you can anchor behind the breakwater or pick up a mooring or a slip....this is a decent town to step ashore.
They have a launch.

Born Sailor: It's the Point Pleasant Canal on barnegat bay (ICW) that is tough..and I wouldn't recommend it to someone who has never done it....
I do it in the fall and spring...and/or very early in the morning..with a slack current..or even with a knot against me...so I'm not pushed toward the bridges...mid day...is a white knuckle ride, with all the big powerboats churning up the water.

However, the Manasquan Inlet is quite managable as stopover for someone not wanting to stay offshore overnight...as is Atlantic City. There's plenty of water in AC..( state marina) and the streets are lined with gold....... I think people should know where they can get in...if they need to....Both AC and Manasquan are two of the best inlets on this stretch of coast....in fact, they may be the two of the best on the entire east coast.

Having said all that, ( sorry) the NJ coast is an easy overnight in good weather..and If the wind and weather are with you, it's much easier and cheaper, and relaxing to simply keep going...

Going outside, along the southshore of Long island is trickier imo...The inlets are much more treacherous in all but ideal weather. So it's a committment...to stay out until Block or beyond.

Also..Given the choice of going around Cape May and entering from the east...or going into the west entrance to the Canal....I'll take the Canal...every day and twice on sunday.....it's a bay entrance, not an ocean inlet....there's no jet ski's allowed in there, and most people are respectful of the speed limit...it's a pleasant trip. And get's you to a rum and coke much faster!
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Old 27-03-2010, 15:40   #14
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I plan to buy the Maptech books for the area.
Having used those in the past, I much prefer the Waterway Guides. Also, be sure and get a copy of Eldridge Tide & Pilot Book - a must have reference for catching the currents in all of New England and New York.
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Old 27-03-2010, 15:55   #15
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At Henlopen, can you anchor behind the inner breakwater near the ferry docks without getting in the way of the ferry?
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