I'm considering/planning a late May or early June circumnavigation of the Delmarva on our Catalina 27 with the spouse and two little ones (will be 4 years old and 2 years old) as our big family vacation. The key is its a vacation not a sailing trip with a goal.
The rough plan is:
10-14 days, 360nm-400nm
Clockwise, starting and ending in Baltimore
Would like to stop and see the sights as much as possible Chincoteauge, Cape May, Cape Charles among others
Would like to avoid overnight passages if possible.
Would like a few "down" days seeing sights or relaxing on a beach somewhere
The 130nm Atlantic leg from Cape Henlopen around Cape Charles is the portion that worries me the most. From what I've read of other trips around Delmarva, once you leave Cape Henlopen or Indian River you are committed as there are not real bail out options in bad weather. It sounds like most inlets along that stretch are hard to get into even in good weather.
Lots of questions. What are the prevailing wind directions (worried about the lee shore...)? What is a good weather window? What are solid criteria for a good weather window (average windspeed, gusts, average wave height) for the Atlantic stretch? What are the bail out options?
My wife and I have sailed for the last 6 years and have about 1000nm in the Chesapeake since buying our Cat 27 about 2 years ago. We regularly overnight with our kids on weekends and long weekends in the summer. I'm also ASA certified up through ASA 104. Thought the Delmarva might make a nice trip.
Thoughts? Other issues? Looking for advice and feedback. If we need to prep in other ways such as a night hop or two, I'd like to that in advance.