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Old 07-06-2010, 02:20   #1
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ICW Entry from New York

Hi i'm new on the forum and am looking for advice and tips etc.I'm an experienced professional sailor from NZ and have recently purchased a small sailing boat to sail in the Rhode Island area before making my way down the ICW.I'll be cruising from Mid august to Mid Sept in the Rhode Isl area so any 'MUSTS' would be appreciated , cruising guides, anchorages etc as well as a cheap rowing dinghy for sale in the North Kingston area.Going SouthWhat is the most interesting/ effective/ easy way to enter the ICW system from the NY end. Do you have cruising guides andd sailing directions etc that you recommend.I will be sailing til the end of October and expect to find a suitasble inexpensive mooring or slip toward the florida end to leave my boat til next year, any offers or ideas (32ft sail boat) Any recomendations suggestions ideas most welcome cheers keith
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:30   #2
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Mile 0 of the Atlantic ICW starts at Norfolk VA. Most folks enter it here. Go out from NY to the ocean and down to Cape May NJ, enter Delaware Bay through the Cape May Canal (no locks) go up the Bay and through the C&D Canal (no locks) to the Chesapeake Bay, down the Chesapeake Bay to Norfolk.

The cheapest place to leave the boat in FL would be at a dock in someone's backyard. Look in local papers in FL. Bottom will need to be cleaned regularly if the boat is left in the water.
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:10   #3
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Hi Keith,

If you're coming to NY via the Long Island Sound and via the East River that is an insteresting trip if you've never done it. There are alot of options once you are in and around NYC. You might take a look at Liberty Landing Marina if you want to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island! There are ferries that will take you to manhattan.

From NY you can go outside along the entire coast of New Jersey and as Vasco says Enter the Cape May inlet and transit the Canal to the Delaware bay etc.
The sail from New York to Cape May is roughly 24 hours and you can't sleep if you're solo?? There's alot of traffic off the Jersey coast.

If you're solo, and need to stop for the night, you can duck in at the Manasqaun inlet
and the next day pop out and head for Atlantic City ( Farley State Marina) and then Cape May.

If the weather is right an overnight sail aloing the coast of NJ is the easiest.
Of the inlets, Atlantic City and Cape May are Pretty mild. Manasquan can be tricky as you get near the railroad bridge ( currents run strong ) and Barnaget should probably be avoided if you don't know the area ( shifting )

Your trip covers about three of the cruising guides: Northern, Mid Atlantic and or Chesapeake Bay and Southern. I use the Waterway guides, but there are a Number of them. For the Northern Part, from RI to NY I carry " the cruising guide to the New England Coast. ( it's a book format) I find it full of good information.

You can check in here if you have internet access and will get lots of good tips along the way.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:18   #4
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Leave yourself at least several weeks to properly experience the Chesapeake Bay. You can visit our Nations capital, have beautiful anchorages all to yourself, visit Annapolis (our sailing capital), and relax as you head from top to bottom toward mile 0 of the ICW...

Here's to swimmin' with bowlegged women!
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:05   #5
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Completely agree with Christian. Spend all the time you can on the Chesapeake. And when you get south, definitely go up the Potomac to Washington. In my experience, the Virginia side of the lower Potomac is actually more boat friendly and has more dockside restaurants and pubs than the Maryland side. Don't miss Colonial Beach.

But definitely stay in the channels and watch your depth, channel dredging has fallen behind in the Leonardtown area. The sandbars around St. Clements Island are treacherous and seem to relocate daily. As they have for 150 years...
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:07   #6
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Rhode Island and the Long Island Sound area are great cruising grounds. Narraganset Bay by itself could take a summer. Bristol and Newport are nice places to visit. Around LIS go to Block Island, Martha's Vineyard, Mystic CT, Long Island all around the eastern end.

Southbound to FL, I did this last fall. Plan on 2-3 weeks min if you are in a big hurry and travel every day. If you have the time and want to see more of the sights it could take 2 months easily. This has been discussed in a number of previous threads. One that covered a lot of the issues

We went south down Long Island Sound and through NY Harbor. You do have to time your pass down the East River and through Hell Gate to deal with the 5 Kt ebb and flood tidal currents. Plenty of places to anchor just north of the city if you have to wait out the tide.

Once you get to central/south North Carolina the bugs can be an issue. If you anchor in the marshland areas you will probably encounter the no-see-ums. A few spots the ICW is shoaling. South Georgia is the worst. Again you have to work the tides and you should have plenty of water.

Several websites online have frequent reports and updates on ICW issues like bridge closing/construction and shoaling. Cruisenet is good. Get the Waterway Guide and Skipper Bob's guide to marinas (dockage costs, fuel costs, number of slips, are the bathrooms clean) are good. If you have internet access Activecaptain is great.
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:21   #7
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Have little to add to the above. As stated there are many cruising guides that cover the trip you will be making. Try for cheaper,used guides. We were held up one year and got a late start and the cold fall weather followed us south such that when we got to St Augustine, FL the temperature for our first night in Florida was 28 degrees! So don't leave too late.
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Old 07-06-2010, 22:49   #8
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Thanks everyone thats most interesting and helpful.I'll be sure to take your advice as it sounds i may have to extend my voyage??Cheerskeith
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Old 07-06-2010, 23:04   #9
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Originally Posted by sailing123 View Post
. . . a cheap rowing dinghy for sale in the North Kingston area. cheers keith
Here you go, Keith . . . it isn't in N. Kingston, though, it's in Tiverton, and listed on craigslist. It's PostingID: 1780432608, and is listed as "8ft Dinghy/Rowboat - $100 (Tiverton)." It even says $100 o/b/o (or best offer) in the ad - might be worth checking.

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Old 09-06-2010, 17:12   #10

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Keith, eight weeks might be too short to cover all that ground if you are not heading south until that's half over. Especially as you will be "driving the bus" at around 5 knots in most of the ICW, waiting for bridge openings, etc. Might be worth taking your time, and planning to leave the boat well north of Florida, making the rest of the trip when you come back.
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Old 20-06-2010, 00:01   #11
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Hi Keith, and anyone else making this trip on or about August/September~ Interested in joining you on this New Jersey to Cape May/ICW trip..I just purchased a Nonsuch Sailboat and will take delivery in Nyack New York August 1st and will be going south and would like to meet up with other boat/ sailors..IF you are interested please let me know and maybe we can "Hook Up" Best Regards, Chris S/V Outward Bound
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Old 20-06-2010, 00:49   #12
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Hi chrisThanks for the contact.I'll be headfing south mid to late August (or later depending on the sailing around long Island) but would like to hook up any way.What boat do you have? mine is 32 Dufour.Kathy is also looking to sail south at that time. I'll let you have her contact.I'm in Nz at present and wont get to Us until Aug 17.Will advise TP number at that time.Cheers Keith
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Old 20-06-2010, 01:17   #13
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Chrispohr, Sailing123,

We will be headed south this fall bound for the BVIs but will be taking the easy / scenic routes until at least Norfolk VA.

I'd be interested in forming a loose group of snowbirds as it will be our first long trip south also.

We are currently in RI and know the area a bit esp. Narraganset Bay / Block Island / Marthas Vineyard etc. Be happy to share some tips for that area, here are my top four :

1) Watch out for the FOG !

2) Stay away from Block Is. at the weekend.

3) Stay in the left hand channel (WRT the ocean) around Jamestown, the other side is too busy for me

4) If you must visit Newport (you should !), take the ferry from Jamestown rather than trying to get into Newport itself.

I'm 45ft, but can still get to some very nice places around there.

Duncan & Joan
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Old 20-06-2010, 14:19   #14
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Hi Duncan & Joan~ Thanks for the reply, My first exp. with the forum and its really great...I would like to try and rendezvous with you by the end of August perhaps @ Liberty Island Anchorage? I just purchased a 26' Nunsuch in Nyack New York on the Hudson and will be singlehandling to Flordia and eventually over to the Bahamas unless you talk me in to going to the BVI's!!!I have sailed the east coast from Cape Cod to Maine several times and florida to the Bahamas many times but never the Jersey coast and very little of the ICW, so I would very much like to form a group of Sailors headed in the same lets keep in touch and maybe trade phone #'s as we get closer to jumping off....Best Regards, Chris
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Old 23-06-2010, 02:26   #15
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Hi duncan and JoanThanks for the heads up!Where would i get a break down of weather patterns in the RI NY area?also looking for a cheap hard dinghy. Any ideas??cheers Keith
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