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Old 04-10-2009, 17:30   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Newport, RI
Boat: Gulfstar 44 - Safari Tu
Posts: 30
Newport to Chesapeake - Advice from a Newbie

Hi all,

Have just travelled from Newport down as far as Baltimore - wanted to share some relatively real-time info with the forum. Note that this is our first trip down the coast, so there are others who know much more than we do. But here's a quick summary of our experiences (and learnings) - happy to answer any questions you might have...

We are aboard Safari Tu, a 44' Gulfstar cutter with a 5 1/2' draft. We normally prefer anchoring out, but we found ourselves tied up at a dock much more than we expected thus far.

Westbrook, CT
After visiting the Block and spending some time in Long Island, we headed to Westbrook, CT. The entrance is well marked on the way in, and the Brewer facility on the north side of the entrance has good supplies and a nice restaurant. They charged us $3/ft. Note that when you leave, the markers are completely unclear and not colored (which is red? which is green?) so be careful.

Greenwich, CT
Friends helped arrange for a guest mooring at the Indian Harbor Yacht club - very nice if you can swing it. Otherwise, keep heading south for City Island

City Island, NY
We spent several days here, using it as our base to explore NYC. We stayed at the very basic South Minneford Yacht Club ($2/ft). You don't want to be here in a NE breeze, but it is otherwise fine. No real good place for supplies on the island. The bus/subway into NYC takes about 1:15 mins.

Liberty Landing Marina, NJ
Our most expensive berth yet, at $4/ft. Nice views of downtown Manhattan and a convenient place to pick up / drop off crew. It's actually not all that easy to get into Manhattan from here (water taxi on a fixed schedule to a train, to downtown, etc).

Sandy Hook, NJ (Horseshoe Cove)
Do NOT try to anchor here at night - there are all kinds of obstructions and fish stakes not marked on the chart. Good holding and a quiet place to rest before the offshore trip along the NJ coast.

Cape May, NJ
More expensive dockage! We opted to head all the way along the NJ coast (30 hours) and were happy to be safely tied up and plugged in at the South Jersey Marina after our journey. There is a small anchorage on the north side of the coast guard station, but it is quite tight and only good when the winds are out of the East. We did see someone anchored just outside of the channel leading to the SJ Marina, but it was exposed from all sides. Cape May was quite nice and we spent 3-4 days here.

Delaware Bay + C&D Canal
Several boats headed from Cape May thru the passage close to shore into Delaware Bay, but we opted for the outside route as recommended by the Maptech guidebook because of the changing shoals near Cape May. We lucked out with SE/S winds and had a great ride all the way up the bay to the entrance of the canal. The canal was easy, and was very quiet (because it was a Sunday?) - we were the only boat going thru. On the Chesapeake side we anchored in Veazy cove in the pitch dark and found it to be great holding in changing winds.

Sassafras River
Lots of room for anchoring everywhere, and good food at the Granary way up the river. Just about every boat we see now is headed south.

Rock Creek (entrance to Patapsco River)
Great anchoring with protection from all sides. Pretty, residential cove very near to Baltimore.

Baltimore Inner Harbor
Note that the harbormaster will only allow mooring between the docked submarine Torsk and the white buoy near the tall ship Pride of Baltimore. This is completely different than what is shown on the chart and in the pilot books, but the harbormaster himself visited our boat to tell us that we needed to move - bummer. The Inner Harbor East Marina is currently running a special on dockage -free for transients from Tues-Thurs every week. Take advantage of it!

We are headed for Beaufort, NC and then the offshore run to the Caribbean... Will provide another update later....

Fair winds,
Safari Tu
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Old 05-10-2009, 20:05   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: virginia
Boat: islandpacket
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Great job, Keep up the posts.
That derelict boat was another dream for somebody else, don't let it be your nightmare and a waste of your life.
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Old 12-10-2009, 10:20   #3
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Location: Branford, CT
Boat: Formosa 41 - S/V North Star
Posts: 9
This is so helpful! We're going cruising for the very first time at the end of the month, and we'll be doing the same trip from CT to Baltimore, then making our way south via the ICW. Thanks for sharing.
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