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Old 01-02-2005, 13:37   #1
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taking the boat from the great lakes

We are tenitivly planing to take our boat to palm beach florida this summer. We think we will leave holland michigan june 15 2005 and take the boat out the st. lawrance seaway. We have 10 weeks to make this trip. Our boat is not able to use the intercoastal due to mast hight and draft so we will be going out side. What concerns should I have about making this trip in the summer?
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Old 01-02-2005, 13:56   #2
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I'd be slightly concerned about Hurricanes, and greatly worried about Rum Shortages
Good luck on your escape South.
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Old 01-02-2005, 14:00   #3
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Gord, are you saying that you would not let the time of year stop you from making the trip?
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Old 01-02-2005, 22:05   #4
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A wonderful trip is ahead of you. Aside from the cold water producing fog in Canada and northern New England, the extreme currents in the Bay of Fundy, and bad weather, you will have a great trip. You certainly have alloted sufficient time for the passage but not much for sight seeing. It will be the trip of a lifetime. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!

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Old 02-02-2005, 03:36   #5
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You go Gunner. Maybe I'll be able to go in a couple of years, some of us have to work.

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Old 02-02-2005, 03:42   #6
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Irwinsailor:

Well, you are planning a serious voyage (Halifax - Miami = > 1350 nm), which deserves all due consideration & prudence (I was previously being a little facetious).

Some considerations - East Coast Canada to S. Florida:
June 15 Departure (Great Lakes) - 10 Weeks Enroute = Approx Sept. 1 Arrival.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season officially begins June 1, but doesn’t usually get “cooking” until August or September (“Andrew” was August 22/92, and then the 4 Horsemen of 2004 began Aug. 13 /w “Charlie”). I’d expect to be fairly safe (actually, no such thing) until Mid- July, or even August 1. That leaves a full Month of increased likelihood of encountering a Hurricane.

I’d hope to make the offshore passage (? say, Halifax - Palm Beach ?) in about 2 weeks, or a little more (depending on how far “out” the Gulf Stream is) - MUCH more if you Coast Hop, hence your entire offshore passage will occur in the more dangerous time period.

The well known axiom that “Deadlines are DEADLY” is absolutely true.
I can (sort of) understand a departure deadline, but wonder what drives your 10 week maximum time enroute?

The problem with a firm arrival (Sept. 1), is that it drives your departure offshore. Your 14 day offshore interval is at least TWICE the amount of warning time (Hurricane development) that you can count on (almost). Your deadline compels that you depart not later than August 15.

I’d like to offer a little more discussion, and some online planning resources, based upon your further explanation regarding the DEADline.

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Gord
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Old 02-02-2005, 05:25   #7
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our deadline is not cast in concrete. Our daughter has last year of school and we may come back to Michigan for the school year. I am not going to rishk our lives getting down there no matter how long it takes. I would like to hear anything that will make the trip safer for us.
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Old 02-02-2005, 05:39   #8
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Andy, I sure hope you make down and find us.
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Old 02-02-2005, 08:36   #9
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At some point, you are going to be dealing with the Gulf Stream. I think that the Stream may be your most certain contentious issue - independent of when you voyage south - whereas Storms (hurricanes & northers) would be possible seasonal hazards.

So, in addition to weather (storm) avoidance planning, you want to consider routing & timing to minimize the negative (or improve the positive, if you find a southward eddy) effects of the Gulf Stream.

Whenever you go, I imagine you might end up as much as two days offshore. This means that you must keep a very close watch on any approaching adverse weather. You’ll want at least 2 days warning!

So, if Plan “A” is to turn right at Lon. 60-something (NS), and shoot more or less South-South-West to Lat. 26-something (FL) - then what is your bail-out Plan “B”?

I think you must be prepared to return inshore, at any time untenable weather threatens. This could require that you leave the boat at that “bailout” port, and fulfill whatever time-sensitive commitments you have.

There’s no way you can commit to a two-week Atlantic voyage without accepting the possibility of encountering a storm that was unknown at your time of departure.

Some on-line Gulf Stream resources:

EMC/MMAB - OPC Gulf Stream Finder Project:
http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/gsf/

Jennifer Clark’s North Gulf Stream Chart:
http://users.erols.com/gulfstrm/nogulf.htm

Sailnet Article “Gulf Stream Tracking” ~ by Micheal Carr
http://www.sailnet.com/collections/a...eid=carrmi0035

N. Atlantic Pilot Charts (Monthly):
http://pollux.nss.nima.mil/pubs/pubs...html?rid=10499
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Old 02-02-2005, 10:54   #10
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Gord, how many miles are you thinking when you said "two days off shore"? I know nothing about making a trip like this. I will do it by the seat of my pants, which my not be the safest way to do it, that is why I asking for your help.
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Old 02-02-2005, 11:29   #11
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I hope you won’t take offense at my bluntness:

If you intend to “...do it by the seat of my pants ...” and you know it’s “... not the safest way to do it ...” ~ I’m afraid no-one can help (certainly not I).

I’d have expected you to chart a rough course, to avoid the Gulf Stream - which might put you as much as ? 100 to 300 nm ? offshore - I’ve never (and won’t now) charted this voyage, so cannot claim any detailed knowledge. I’m not trying to lay out a sailing plan, for you, so can only speak in very broad generalities.

I’d be pleased to comment further on any specific plans you develop.

Respectfully,
Gord
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Old 02-02-2005, 11:50   #12
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I have all the equipment I need for this trip, All the charts that I will need, I have. My wife is reading Jimmy Connell. But I have never made a passage like this. It is a big step. I need to make it otherwise I will be waiting forever to do it.
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Old 02-02-2005, 13:35   #13
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Couple of random thoughts

We left Chicago on a similar trip ending in Annapolis about 10 years ago. Left in Mid June and cruised our way to the Bay. We landed in Annapolis in Mid-Sept. So unless you are going to really push your way out of the Lakes and up the St. Lawrence the timeline could be tight.

I would consider an alternate route which is Erie Canal [will require unsteping your mast] to the Hudson and then either cruise Long Island Sound / Cape Cod etc for a bit and then work your way south and cruise the Chesapeake Bay for a bit. Then go offshore from the mouth of the bay to Fl.

The advantage of that route is that it will maximize your cruising time vs delivery time and limit the off shore exposure if your statement of having never done that is correct.

The passage from NY Harbor to the mouth of the Deleware Bay is at most 36 Hours or so. From that point on you can go up the bay through the C&D and then enjoy the Chesapeake south.

Just a random thought....
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Old 02-02-2005, 17:47   #14
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I would like very much to go through the Erie canal but I don't want to take the rig down again. It took me 4 days to get it down and 5 days to put it back up. My main mast is 74' long and the mizzen is about 40'. it is a very big job.
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Old 03-02-2005, 03:59   #15
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Gunnar:
You have me at a disadvantage, as I have no charts - hence my restriction to ‘generalities’.

Jimmy Cornell has written about a half dozen books, but I presume (?) that you’re referring to (wife is reading) “World Cruising Routes”. If so, have her jump to:
AN140 - Atlantic Routes from North America - and report his recommended routing to us.

Departing the Gulf of St. Lawrence, southbound to Florida, I suspect Cornell might advise a 750 nm Nova Scotia to Bermuda Leg, then about 900 nm Bermuda to Florida (it’s been over 10 years since I’ve seen the book). He might direct you to stay inshore of the Gulf Stream from N.S. to NYC, then out to (or towards) Bermuda.

In any case, your route is likely to take you out towards Bermuda - so let’s discuss Bermuda a little.

See the “Sailing Instructions - Bermuda”: http://www.bermuda.com/yachts/

Excerpted information from the Sailing Instructions:

Crossing from New York City to Bermuda involves over 650 nasty nautical miles, which includes crossing the gulf stream. Any gulf stream crossing should not be taken lightly, as the gulf stream creates its own weather systems. Counter winds and currents can lead to confused seas with steep breaking waves and bad storm conditions. On the other hand, If anyone has any thoughts or aspirations of doing serious ocean crossings, this is certainly a good start for a first leap off shore. The crossing usually takes from six to eight days, and can have wide ranging weather conditions.

Bermuda lies 667 nautical miles to the southeast of New York, in the Atlantic Ocean at 32º 23’ North latitude and 64º 38’ West longitude. The Island is some 640 nautical miles from Norfolk, Virginia, and 687 nautical miles from Boston.

WEATHER:
Bermuda is not in a Trade Wind zone. The general North-Easterly flow of weather systems over the Eastern Seaboard of the United States continues over Bermuda. During the summer months, however, a high-pressure cell located between the Azores and Bermuda becomes the predominant meteorological factor affecting Bermuda weather. The so-called Bermuda-Azores High usually produces wind speeds averaging 15 knots. Although the centre of the system is near the Azores, the highest average pressures are recorded near Bermuda. Another big influence on Bermuda’s weather is the Gulf Stream. Its northward flow between the United States and Bermuda warms the island’s waters and stabilizes the climate. Temperatures vary little more than 20 Degrees F throughout the year, dropping to an average of 62 Deg. F in February, the coolest month, and rising to an average of 82 Deg. F in August.

The hurricane season is defined as occurring between June 1st and November 30th. The normal pattern is for a hurricane to move west until it reaches the Caribbean or the Southeast coast of the United States, before changing course to the north, then the northeast, roughly following the direction of the Gulf Stream. Most hurricanes, therefore, bypass Bermuda to the west between Bermuda & The US Atlantic Seaboard). The period of greatest frequency for these dangerous, and highly unpredictable storms, is between August 15th and October 15th - an average of 40% of the hurricanes passing Bermuda are recorded in September. The passage of hurricanes directly over Bermuda is rare.

An old Hurricane Saying:
June too soon - July standby - August a must - September remember - October all over !!

The Bermuda Weather Service has a home page on the Internet, www.weather.bm , including Marine Forecast Charts http://www.weather.bm/maps/chart4.jpg .


APPROACHES to BERMUDA:
When approaching Bermuda from the North, it must be remembered that reefs extend up to 10 miles from the island in this direction - consequently it is advisable to keep well to the East and approach St. David’s Head on a course of 226 degrees true. When approaching from the South, St. David’s Head should be safely passed at a distance of one mile or greater, and kept at a bearing of 225 degrees true until St. Catherine’s Point bears 290 degrees true.

In poor visibility, or when a vessel is having navigation difficulties or problems manoeuvring, the safest direction to approach the island from is the Southeast. It should also be remembered that the 100-fathom line is only 1 to 1.5 miles from shore.

During their approach, vessels should maintain radio contact with Bermuda Harbour Radio, whose staff will normally be able to assist if necessary. Bermuda Harbour Radio maintains a continuous watch (routine comm’s) on 2182 kHz and 4125kHz:

If in doubt about approaching Bermuda at night and entering harbour, vessels are advised to lie offshore until daybreak, or anchor in Five Fathom Hole.

PROVISIONS:
To calculate your minimum requirements of consumable stores, estimate the number of days required to make a normal passage, double it, and thrown in a few extra days for good measure. It is reasonable, for example, for a 50 - 60 foot yacht to take about 5 - 7 days to get from New York to Bermuda. In that case, stores and water should be taken aboard for a 14- 16 day journey.

FWIW,
Gord
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