We have been preparing this summer for a trip to the Caribbean starting from Kingston on Lake Ontario, down the NY State canals (Oswego Canal, Erie Canal) to the Hudson River, NJ coast, Delaware Canal, Chesapeake Bay and a crossing from Norfolk VA to Tortola BVI in early November. Our planned departure date is Sept 7.
Based on the reports on damage in NY state from Irene it looks like the Erie Canal has sustained significant damage and it is unclear when it will reopen again. The Champlain Canal is also closed but appears to be in better shape, again it is unclear when it will reopen.
Waterway Cruising Guide | Navigation Updates
Clearly we are trying to assess the options so that we don't have to give up on our dream of taking the boat south.
For those of you with experience making the trip south I have the following questions:
-Is it too late to rule out the long route up the St Lawrence River and down the east coast of Canada/US?
-Is the Champlain Canal route a good option (assuming the damage is relatively minor and it reopens soon). I have not looked into mast unstepping options on this route. Are there any recommended locations?
-Are there mast stepping options south of Catskill. All the options I looked at were in Catskill but that area appears to have been hit very hard.
Videos show upstate New York, Vermont Irene flooding | The Lookout - Yahoo! News
Any advice from people with experience with any of these routes would be much appreciated.