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Old 01-11-2018, 11:49   #16
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Re: Easiest location to ease into the cruising lifestyle

Excellent suggestions all, I really appreciate it. Quite a few votes for Chesapeake Bay and it makes sense (although we'll keep the Med in the mix too). I guess if Chesapeake I'll have to consider a shoal or variable draft boat.
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:59   #17
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Re: Easiest location to ease into the cruising lifestyle

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Excellent suggestions all, I really appreciate it. Quite a few votes for Chesapeake Bay and it makes sense (although we'll keep the Med in the mix too). I guess if Chesapeake I'll have to consider a shoal or variable draft boat.
It helps if you want to explorer some of the more shallow areas but you can sail way up Mobjack Bay with a 5'-6' keel and anchor up the Severn river in great protection with that depth.

You can get all the way into Onancock, VA (and Cape Charles) on the Eastern Shore and there's free anchorage right in front of the Wharf with washers and dryers available at the dock

Onancock, VA : Early Morning on Market Street, Onancock photo, picture, image (Virginia) at city-data.com
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Old 01-11-2018, 13:37   #18
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Re: Easiest location to ease into the cruising lifestyle

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Excellent suggestions all, I really appreciate it. Quite a few votes for Chesapeake Bay and it makes sense (although we'll keep the Med in the mix too). I guess if Chesapeake I'll have to consider a shoal or variable draft boat.

===


We cruise Chesapeake Bay with 5 1/2 ft of draft - no problem at all. Others do it with even more.
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Old 09-11-2018, 17:55   #19
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Re: Easiest location to ease into the cruising lifestyle

Bahamas then ease up the east coast for hurricane season. Or you can go for the gusto and beat all the way down to Grenada like we did.
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Old 08-01-2019, 21:53   #20
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Re: Easiest location to ease into the cruising lifestyle

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Fly down to Guatemala, buy a boat and just hang out for a while. Years maybe. Work on the boat, drink beer, catch a few rays and get into the lifestyle. Then when you think you're ready, sail to Belize. It takes several hours.
Yeah, that ..., Don't start in Hawaii!
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Old 09-01-2019, 02:13   #21
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Re: Easiest location to ease into the cruising lifestyle

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Cruised West Coast... not a lot of places to go, all marinas are crowded/ expensive, very very limited anchorages. Southeast is way to hot & humid for us to just cruise/ hang on anchor. NC inland waters very shallow, but more place to anchor, lower marina cost.

Northeast... back to expensive crowded marinas, but good anchorages, short season.

For my money... I think Chesapeake Bay offers best mix of what cruisers in Training need: almost unlimited protected anchorages, reasonable cost marinas, plenty of boatyards for repairs/ upgrades, lots of places to duck into if wx seeks up on you (did you know you can legally tie-up to any dock if you feel your boat/ crew would be in possible danger from approaching storm), 65 free over air TV viewing options... several are 24/7 local wx with live wx radar. Lots of history, walkable restaurants/ grocery and hardware stores. Recommend you join a no-frills yacht club that has reciprocality, that allows you access to reduced dockage fees/ lower restaurant food costs as visiting guests and hang with other sailors in a relaxed environment and discuss their experiences/ recommendations. Also, highly recommend getting a ham radio license... it not only provides another short and long distance communications option... it’s also opens up another great group of sailors/ cruisers to chat with, travel in a pac with, get recommendations about marinas, anchorages, restaurants, social gatherings from. I grew up around the Chesapeake Bay area... and after retirement and extensive cruising... we returned for a combo of traditional house & yard and stints of shorter cruising on our Cal 46 ketch. At 72 not cruising as far, but totally comfortable anywhere in Chesapeake Bay (120 miles long) and all its tributaries... more coastline in Chesapeake Bay/ tributaries than all of West Coast! When you’re ready you can either head South via ICW down by Norfolk, VA, or many a port turn and head out into Atlantic for either direct to Bermuda or St Thomas... or hopscotch South down the coast. You could ease into just long day coastal sail plans or one over-nighters, to 2-3 or more as you feel comfortable/ wx looks threatening... so many East Coast ‘get back inside’ options. Good luck on your adventure! Hope you enjoy it as well as we have.

A lot of great points. One thing please do not underestimate is cruising itself. When we first started were sailing the EC of the USA and made Maine where we met another boat who wanted us to join them on a circum nav. We said we were not ready nor was our boat. We went our separate ways - them towards Panama and us to the Bahamas for a 2nd year. We decided to extend our range and went into the Chesapeake for hurricane season a lot of boat upgrades. We then set off for the western Carib and in the Bay Island ran across the same boat again but only over the ssb as they were headed north to the USA to sell the boat and quit. I think had they gone with us to the Bahamas they would have learned how to cruise and the ups and downs of it. We would suggest as above the Chesapeake and then wander down the ditch to Miami and cross over to the Bahamas and learn how to cruise. It may or may not be for you. Then expand your horizons.
For us we eventually did the entire western and eastern carib, an atlantic crossing, the entire black sea and almost all the med. we are glad we started simple and the bay is a good place for that.

As for the Med mentioned in this thread. The Med is tough with winds sometimes not exactly friendly. When the winds get up a bit so do the seas with a short steep breaking chop. Just have to deal with it. And then there is that nasty thing called Schengen that makes life interesting along with wintering in only a few places. We are in our 6th winter in the Med.

Good luck but as above do get an ssb and your ham license. It is well worth it.
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Old 17-02-2019, 07:05   #22
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Re: Easiest location to ease into the cruising lifestyle

Schengen makes sailing the Med even easier. However it’s total different compared to the US/Caribbean sailing. It offers with any doubt by far more culture than any place westwards the Atlantic. But when it comes to crystal waters and sealive Med can only compete partly in the western Med. But definitely worth to consider.
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Old 18-02-2019, 00:05   #23
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Re: Easiest location to ease into the cruising lifestyle

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Schengen makes sailing the Med even easier. However it’s total different compared to the US/Caribbean sailing. It offers with any doubt by far more culture than any place westwards the Atlantic. But when it comes to crystal waters and sealive Med can only compete partly in the western Med. But definitely worth to consider.
How does Schengen make sailing the Med easier. Once in Schengen you are always counting days until you got to get out for an extended period of time - It limits your stay for long if you want to explore a particular country or coast - It is difficult to live with and makes sailing the Med one hoping quicker than you want to -
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Old 18-02-2019, 06:23   #24
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Re: Easiest location to ease into the cruising lifestyle

Hi Chuckr,
have you considered that some of us are European Citizens? As an European, traveling through European countries is a piece of cake, no burden at all. Not to be compared with sailing the Caribbean.
Cheers
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Old 18-02-2019, 06:28   #25
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Re: Easiest location to ease into the cruising lifestyle

Chuckr, one more thought as I guess you have spent time in the Med. As a non EU citizen, solving the EU migration challenges is pretty easy in the eastern Med. Just check-in into Turkey (not a EU member) of a day and get back to the EU. In the western Med, its a journey to north Africa but common for Swiss sailors (non EU member too).
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Old 18-02-2019, 07:53   #26
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Re: Easiest location to ease into the cruising lifestyle

When I was ready to follow my aspiring sailor/yachtie dreams as a Californian I was shopping Pacific Ocean market, my friends told me to no end “Go To Florida” even made me promise not to buy boats I was negotiating/showing them...

As a then middle aged Californian I had no desire to go to Florida, much less Atlanta/Carib...but over few yrs I took trips to Chesapeake region and open minded I flew to Miami for a week to look around especially at lauderdale & boat market.

Shopping the Floridian market I looked at a boat solely because it’s design/builder and where boat was built (Orange Co Ca) and it ended up being an unconventional deal, and quite personable experience, free and owner mentored me to getting shipshape for my passage to Key West where I wanted to call home port/become a resident.

Now I’m 3 boats later evolved into same builder (Californian Mcglasson Co) but Robert Perry design, still in Florida but Floridian register voter who does jury duty in Key West.

Shopping/Buying/aquiring a southeastern Atlantic region boat is my advise, easiest most forgiving gentile learning curve opportunity rich environment with least risk/danger and affordable place in USA, what my friends tried to tell me for yrs when I laughed at them saying “I’m a Californian” when I was a Californian and I after following their advise I thank them more and more as yrs go by...
Knowing now what I know I wouldn’t have liked living in one of California’s 3 bays or especially trying to cruise between them...

Lotta boat deals in Florida, and easier transition to yachtie life...and centralized place where many worldly cruising destinations aren’t more than 30days passage away.

Biggest thing is comitment to following your dreams/plan...I wasted 5yrs shopping Cali/Wa state/Hawaiian market arguing w/my friends before coming to Florida.
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Old 19-02-2019, 03:18   #27
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Re: Easiest location to ease into the cruising lifestyle

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Chuckr, one more thought as I guess you have spent time in the Med. As a non EU citizen, solving the EU migration challenges is pretty easy in the eastern Med. Just check-in into Turkey (not a EU member) of a day and get back to the EU. In the western Med, its a journey to north Africa but common for Swiss sailors (non EU member too).

Nelsons

First it appears the OP is from North America and I was responding to that.

Second we are on our 6th year in the Med having wintered over in Tunisia twice, Turkey three times and now Israel for this winter.

Third Schengen is a bit of an issue for all from non Schengen countries and it take creativity to work within the confines of it and a lot of planning.
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