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Old 06-01-2010, 17:25   #16
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Sounds like a Great Trip! I think your planned milage is reasonable and conservative, for your boat speed. You didn't say whether or not you planned on anchoring out or staying at marinas...or a mixed bag. That might help with options. And Yes, you'll probably motor a fair bit!!

If you're doing this trip for the 1st time, I think there are some must see places and some ...would be nice..if you had time....and like you said you can always adjust as you go.

In between Salem and Plymouth you might check out Manchester Harbor...if you need to duck in somewhere. or as an alternative.

If the wind and weather were with you..I might jump over to Provincetown. Though it's too early in the season for the summer crowds, it is a nice place. ( even nicer without the crowds) You could make onset from there...or check out Wellfleet..my favorite cape cod town...(a little tricky harbor , but then you're a Maine sailor! )

Cuttyhunk ( mooring ball ) could be after onset...and would set you up nicely for Block Island (great salt pond) Where you could anchor or pick up one of the town mooring balls. I think Block Island is a must see!!! You could do Newport from Cuttyhunk then over to block or visa versa....Block and Newport are worthy stops..

From there..I think the Connecticut River is worth a look..either old saybrook or Essex...very pretty..easy entrance.....if anchoring is your thing..check out north cove....if you want luxury ( saybrook point marina) ..quaint...essex..

in either case...IT's critical that you carefully time the currents at the Race of long island! The Cape Cod Canal, and the East River!!!

From Saybrook...I'd cross over to Port Jefferson NY...it's 40 miles..leave early..you're there in plenty of time...I really enjoy Port Jeff..and it's inexpensive ( moorings)

You can make city island from port jeff..easily enough, but keep in mind there is no diesel fuel on city island...I'll pm you a great italian restaurant there...(.either fuel up in port jeff..or duck into manhasset bay for fuel...
Time your East River passage carefully....if you get it right, you may also carry a fair current to the highlands....Wind against tide in the narrows can be a pain!....if you get a stiff south wind against the ebb..you can duck behind Hoffman Island..and head to Great Kills harbor on Staten Island..

The Jersey shore is pretty straightforward....the current runs strong in Manasquan..watch the RR bridge..near the Brielle Yacht club...which is a good stop!

Your longest day!...will be the Delaware bay...so wait for good weather..if you have to..Cape May is a great place to be anyway...

How far down the Chesapeake do you want to go?...Rock Hall has a great Reputation, then there's the Sassafras and Chester Rivers...

I hope to be taking the opposite route by June!!...I'll be interested in your reports..if you get to post any news as you travel..

Best of luck!
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Old 06-01-2010, 17:26   #17
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The only reason we haven't thought of doing the Penobscot Bay straight to Province town is that we are in a new to us boat that we have never sailed before we are picking it up in Belfast . We will sail it around there for a few days to get a handle on it but not sure about taking on a 24 hour overnight sail and also we have never done an overnight sail. Do you think we are being overly cautious? Is that sail pretty straight forward?

If you don't think you are being too cautious then you aren't and you listen to yourself. I did crossing from Provicetown to Salem last May and it was rough. I've make that crossing as few times now and Provicetown in a blow isn't that protected. Time the trip though the Cape Cod Canal with the current. If not it is just as fast to wait for it or you can make 1-2 knots motoring (assuming no wind).
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Old 06-01-2010, 20:09   #18
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Do you think we are being overly cautious?
No, you are not being overly cautious. Go down the Maine coast and take it all in.

You'll know when you're ready to do an overnight passage. Don't push it. Enjoy it and take your time with it.
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Old 06-01-2010, 21:40   #19
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In May, the sooner you can get south of the Cape the better. You also have to work with the weather. If you get a northerly wind go for it. Also, if you get a calm day, motor. The distance made to warmer conditions is worth the noise and fumes.

I'd consider having one long day from Biddeford Pool to Gloucester. It's easy in daylight if you start early with a favorable wind or under power. There's even time for a quick lunch stop at the Isle of Shoals. Gloucester is easy to enter even if you arrive after sunset with plenty of moorings right behind the breakwater. From there, it's a short day to Plymouth.

If you start out from Biddeford and the weather turns bad, head for York. Also easy to enter with moorings.

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Old 12-01-2010, 19:34   #20
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I agree with those who have recommended Newport,RI and Block Island RI. I also agree with those who mentioned the currents -- you really have to consider them when transiting Block and Long Island sounds. Read's has a special section on it. You will have an extremely difficult time at the Race and Hell Gate in particular if you don't sail on favorable currents. Based on your daily mileages, I would suggest that you consider Lake Montauk or Greenport on LI (Sag Harbor and Shelter Island are each worth a visit if you have time). Not a fan of Point Judith. From Greenport/Shelter Island, I'd go to Port Jefferson although it's further than you want. There is Mystic Conn and the western LI Sound Harbors for a mid-Sound stop. Before going through Hell Gate you should stop at the Western-most of the LI North Shore harbors (I.e. closest to "Hell Gate"), time your departure to the current and do a long run to Manasquan rather than ducking under the Highlands. Not much at Manasquan, but its safe. Atlantic CIty is OK (the marina at Trump's casino should still have low rates - it used to be a state-owned marina), but my favorite is Cape May. Pull into the marina, walk a mile into town and enjoy a great meal and the Victorian architecture. I've not found the Delaware Bay to be as nasty as some, but again it really pays to catch it on the beginning of the flood tide - and I'm guessing that your mast height will allow you to use the Cape May canal and save a fair amount of distance compared to going around the point. The navigable part of the Delaware Bay is narrow (and full of scary names such as Dead Man's shoals and Joe Flogger's shoals) and there is a lot of merchant traffic, but it is not so troublesome that it warrants the extra distance to Norfolk. On a fair tide, you can run the Bay in 10-12 hours, keep the fair current through the canal and onto the Chesapeake, where it often links up and will now be ebbing (in your favor). I'm not sure why you would want to stop at Chesapeake City rather than continuing on to Havre de Grace, Chestertown, or Annapolis,MD. The northern part of the Chesapeake Bay is the prettiest and it's only one day from the canal to Annapolis. Good luck with your trip.
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Old 12-01-2010, 20:02   #21
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The trip up the Delaware Bay can be the roughest part of your trip.
I agree with that. I came down Delaware Bay this past April 15--ride was a little hairy. We really had no problem, but it was a lot of work. By the noise on the VHF the Coast Guard was working pretty good that day--there were several calls for help!

If you are looking for a GOOD haul out facility, I used Tidewater Yacht Service Center in Baltimore last winter. They are reasonably priced, do good work, and are about a 10-15 minute cab ride from BWI airport. Brett Steinmiller was very good to work with. Tidewater Yacht Service Center - Baltimore and the Chesapeake Bay's Premiere Boat Yard

If they were closer, I would use them for my winter storage!

Have a good trip.
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Old 12-01-2010, 21:56   #22
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Get a copy of the 'Eldridge Tide & Pilot' book for 2010 and read it (where there is text) from cover to cover. There is a ton of helpful information contained in one handy paper back book. Other 'almanacs' offer similar information.
For more detailed information on each potential harbor of refuge download the US Coastal Pilot chapters 1,2 & 3 from here to your laptop: United States Coast Pilot®
Your dogs will probably enjoy the trip a bit more if they get to 'go' on land at least once a day. It sounds like you will be happier too if you have a safe harbor each night - I know I would be. There are a few threads on various sailing forums about sailing with dogs but one good tip is that if they smell urine (from you or another dog) on a piece of carpet placed on the foredeck they will likely 'over mark' it.
NYC is dog friendly as long as you clean up after her or him. The cheapest places to stay in NYC are: Marinas : West 79th Street Boat Basin : New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
and: Hudson River Park - Pier 40 Moorings
Their transient moorings are around $40/night - way cheaper then a hotel or marina. If you arrive late and leave early (6AM) the next morning you may not have to pay at all. This loose footed rule can apply almost anywhere there is no staff on hand after 8PM. This works best in off-peak seasons when everyone goes home at night. I got lucky a few times by unintentionally arriving late and leaving early.
The Chessy is worth the voyage.
Sounds like a fun trip.
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Old 13-01-2010, 09:16   #23
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Going from the north shore in Massachusetts to Onset is fine if you hit the current correcly in the CC Canal. Otherwise, go into Scituate to wait for a good time to transit the canal. Scituate is a nice harbor with moorings and a launch service. Careful going into Onset - the first 100 feet at the entrance has strong current. After 100 feet - no problem. Onset is a beautiful harbor.

Plymouth Harbor can be a problem - Shallow and a long way in and out. I'd skip it in favor of Scituate.

Most boats can't go through the canal against the current.
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Old 13-01-2010, 15:09   #24
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Thanks everyone we are taking all of your information and rethinking our route considering the stops you have mentioned - so good to have first hand knowledge. We know it will be cold but we sail here in Prince Edward Island from mid May till mid October so are use to it, we also installed a solid fuel heater in the cabin of the Hunter to help us keep warm. We have the tides book and will read it over - living and sailing on the ocean as we do up here on our Tanzer we know all about Tides and how to read the charts but currents are a concern since the they are not that bad here. We are use to navigating channels through mussel beds, lobster pots and shoals while dodging fishing boats so hopefully that experience will help us in Maine.
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Old 13-01-2010, 15:58   #25
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You will find no shortage of lobster pots..in LI sound, BI sound, or the Chesapeake ( crab pots) so you should feel right at home.

We may even throw in a little Fog...so you don't get rusty..
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Old 13-01-2010, 16:37   #26
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Going from the north shore in Massachusetts to Onset is fine if you hit the current correcly in the CC Canal. Otherwise, go into Scituate to wait for a good time to transit the canal. Scituate is a nice harbor with moorings and a launch service. Careful going into Onset - the first 100 feet at the entrance has strong current. After 100 feet - no problem. Onset is a beautiful harbor.

Plymouth Harbor can be a problem - Shallow and a long way in and out. I'd skip it in favor of Scituate.

Most boats can't go through the canal against the current.
I second that, Scituate is a beautiful little town, and has very easy access.
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Old 13-01-2010, 18:37   #27
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This is tragic.I always wanted to sail the Chesapeake .Not any more.Anyone thinking of being in the area for while needs to check this out.

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=16866
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Old 20-01-2010, 09:28   #28
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From Onset, I would go to Cuttyhunk in the Elizabeth Islands and from there to Newport. Both are a fairly short sailing day. Also plan your entry to the Cape Cod canal properly. Have a great trip.
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Old 20-01-2010, 11:15   #29
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This is tragic.I always wanted to sail the Chesapeake .Not any more.Anyone thinking of being in the area for while needs to check this out.

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=16866

So, Anthony, did you join the forum just to post that link?
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Old 20-01-2010, 16:15   #30
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Steve Hendry

Steve ,I am not sure how it happened,that there is no record but I did post before (not a lot) ;some info about using outboards on smaller yachts.An active boaty here in Australia and this spring I will be taking this same trip that bought me to the forum.Nothing shady, more information that crossed my path and changed my mind about the bay as a stop overfor a bit.We will probably head further south .I already have cancer which i would not wish on my worst enemy.I probably got cancer at the coal fired plant I worked at.I did rigging for Pickering reactor up in Canada and have seen enough of "big" business to know they could not run a bath.I am a boatwright by trade and if you think it gives me any pleasure reporting this forget it.I meant it; this was a lifelong ambition and I have responsibility to crew I take seriously.When they read the article the vote was unananimously against lingering there.
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