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  #1  
Old 02-12-2007
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lake erie to caribbean

Just wondering on peoples opinion on what is the best way to get a boat from Lake Erie to the Caribbean? I'm currently thinking of either the mississppi the hudson river or the Erie Barge Canal. I would like to hear about others experiences. Can anyone recommend any good books/cruising guides?
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The two most used routes are through the Erie Canal to the Hudson River, then down the East Coast (or offshore, depending on destination and boat). The other is to go through Lake Michigan to Chicago, across Illinois to the Miss. R down to the Ohio R. and to the Tennessee R. That will take you to the Tenn-Tom Waterway and Tombigbee R to the Gulf of Mexico at Mobile, AL.

Both routes involve dropping the mast for part of the trip, either across New York or across Illinois. Bridge heights on the Tenn. R are minimum 51 feet.
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Old 02-12-2007
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Umm.. why not just go down the Mississippi, once you're on it??? Or am I missing something here.
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Old 02-12-2007
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PBZeer,

Any idea about how long it takes to get down using your option 1 (Hudson) to get to Miami?

-Mark
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If you put your post on the Lk Erie site you will get some great detail from a couple who wrote a book on their trip from Cleveland to the Keys.

John
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SD - from all my reading, one of the main reasons for the Tenn-Tom Waterway was to make it possible to avoid the Mississippi. I don't recall the specific issues that were raised, but the end result was the Tenn/Tenn-Tom/Tombigbee route was better. I had researched this fairly thoroughly, as my original plan was to leave from Chicago.

Mark - sorry, no info on that. I do know you would be motoring across New York, and with locks to transit and other things along the way, I wouldn't plan on more than 40 miles a day. Been a very long time since I was up near Albany, so I couldn't really say how much sailing you'd do between there and NYC. There should be a few on here who have made the trip from NYC/New England down, so I'll let them fill in that part, as I haven't done it.
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PBz-

The only reason I asked, was that I don't believe you'd need to drop the mast on the Mississippi... but I could be wrong.
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Not sure about the bridges, but min. height on the Tenn R route is 51 feet. Was searching back through my mind and I believe one of the concerns on the Miss. is the amount of shoaling combined with the commercial traffic making for some rough passage areas. Also, fog can be a big concern as the cold water from the watershed can be a problem in the lower reaches.
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Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
JCP


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The Erie canal route is the way to go from what I've heard from others. Can't tell you how long it will take on the Erie...but from Albany, and staying with DAYLIGHT only sailing/motoring...you have 3-4 days to NYC.
From NYC to Cape May NJ is another 3 days.
From Cape May...up the Delaware, through the C&D canal and down the Chesapeake to Norfolk VA is 5 days.
From Norfolk to Miami is 3 weeks doing 50 miles a day on the ICW.
You don't say where in the caribbean you are going but lets assume the Virgin Islands via the Thorny path.
From Miami it is 5 days to George Town Bahamas (Exumas)
From Georgetown it is a week to Turks and Caicos, 24 hour passage to Luperon DR, a week to the south shore of PR and 2 days to the BVI's.
Of course this all supposes good weather. I would allow AT LEAST one month holed up in harbors waiting for weather and it will more likely be 6 weeks. So about 7 weeks of travel + waiting for weather.
The alternative is to go offshore from NYC to Bermuda...about a week. And from there, 10 days to 2 weeks to Tortola.
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You can also go here http://www.greatloop.com/ for more info on the majority of the trip.
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Ontario 32 - Aria

Free, is the heart, that lives not, in fear.
Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
JCP


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