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Old 03-16-2008
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USA's best cruising areas (esp the East Coast)?

If you could spend a month or two living in any state in the US, and you wanted to structure a 1 year journey mostly around great US sailing/cruising destinations, where would you go? (I just quit my FT job to take my family and do just that...)

What about if you focused on any areas between Maine to Florida? (Boat is in Connecticut and can sail it up or down the coast as we go)

What about, specifically, the Outer Banks NC, Rockport Maine (Penobscot Bay) or Sarasota Florida? (I've already expect to spend a month or two in each). How's the sailing there?...

Any advice would be greatly appreciated...
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Old 03-16-2008
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Interesting that I am doing the same thing. Leaving FL in May and plan to cruise up the coast for 3 months. We are going to spend alot of time in the Chesapeake Bay area and visit DC. Hope to spend several days in the museums, etc. Will also go to NYC for a couple of weeks. Sailing will constitute about 50-60% of the trip with the remainder doing daytrips onshore, etc.

The difference in our trips may be that a southern boy is exploring the NE.

You will probably be more interested in southern waters. A person could spend months exploring FL and Keys.
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Old 03-17-2008
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I've been sailing in a lot of places and very few (in northern latitudes) compare with Maine. It is a great cruising ground that can only be improved if Al Gore comes through with the Global Warming and we get another 5 deg. F added to the summer temps. Another suggested improvement would be the removal of 1/2 of the lobster pots, but aside from these two things, it's hard to beat it. If I could spend a summer anywhere on the east coast it would be in Maine.

Chesapeake is nice, but shallow, muddy and hot in summer.

Have fun.
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Old 03-17-2008
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Nice! Sounds like we'll be waving hello as we pass by...If you make it to Baltimore, don't miss the aquarium (outstanding). NYC (where I live) is of course the center of the world, but I don't believe there are too many places to leave the boat. Long Island Sound is easy, protected cruising with lots of places to drop the hook (but wind can be light mid summer).

I don't know much about cruising the coast of FLa. I imagine there isn't much going on on the gulf side (ie Sarasota), but I could be wrong...
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Old 03-17-2008
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Depending on when you left, you could do the whole East Coast in a year.
Plenty of sailing, and plenty to see on Chesapeake Bay. The Outer Banks themselves don't have much sailing, too shallow, but there is plenty of sailing to found in Carolina, as well as many places to visit. Florida is mostly ocean sailing. Going outside between inlets.
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Thanks for the recommendation. Totally contrary to my normal operating procedure, this trip is open-ended. We will spend time in Chesty Bay and NYC but that will probably account for 1/2 of the time. We may very well venture farther north (will go to CG Academy in New London where my daughter plans to attend) and see this Maine Country for ourselves...
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Thanks Billyruffn...how late in the season is reasonable for Maine? Would Rockport in say, October be out of the question? October in CT is still warm enough with a sweater, but my crew (wife and 14 month old daughter) might scoff at anything bordering on icy...
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Old 03-17-2008
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The New England coast has a lot to offer...especially after dealing with Long Island Sound and New Jersey's coast.

There's Newport and Block Island in Rhode Island.

Then there is the beauty of Buzzards Bay, the Elizabeth Islands, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and Cape Cod, with many good destinations like Hadley Harbor, Cuttyhunk, Tarpaulin Cove, Menemsha, and more.

Cutting through the Cape Cod Canal, which can be very interesting to try and transit with a southwest wind... brings you to Massachusetts Bay and Boston Harbor. Boston's outer harbor has about a dozen islands to explore.

Heading north, you'll come up to Marblehead, Great Misery Island and then Gloucester, on the southern side of Cape Ann, Massachusetts's often overlooked Cape.

Rounding Cape Ann you'll come to Rockport, with Motif #1, version 2., which may be one of the most popular subjects of painters and photographers. Be aware, there's a big sea break northeast of Rockport Harbor, and you need to go AROUND the buoys, not between them.

Then you head up in to the Gulf of Maine and Casco Bay, which is beautiful, but can be somewhat unforgiving, given the dense fog, dense swath of lobster pot buoys, and rocky coastline.

Hope that helps. You could spend years exploring New England and all it has to offer, and the winds here are far better than the flaky, fluky winds you'll find on the Chesapeake.

We also have far better seafood than anywhere else in the world.
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Old 03-17-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
The New England coast has a lot to offer...There's Newport and Block Island in Rhode Island.
Heck, many sailors are content with sailing and exploring the deep waters of Narragansett Bay alone.
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Depending on how far north you want to go. I highly recommend Halifax.
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