Join Date: Nov 2005
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Sounds like you have a good boat for this kind of trip. Drawing 27 inches could come in handy if you don''t want to sail at night. When I did this circumnavigation last year with 2 other boats, we left Cape May one morning and sailed straight through to Norfolk, arriving in Little Creek about 32 hours after we left Cape May. (Well, one boat lagged behind, but that''s another story. They took about 6 hours longer.)
Here''s the rub -- there are limited choices for places to stop on the Atlantic side. You can go into Ocean City, MD. but that''s only about 1/3 of the way down. It also has an inlet that gets real rough if there''s a blow. Farther down into Virginia, the only real possibilities are Chincoteague and Wachopreague (I probably misspelled that one) neither of which has an easy entrance. Lots of shoals that will be most challenging if the weather turns bad.
In short, sailing all night makes the most sense, especially if you have the company of another boat that is about the same speed as yours. I always had one other boat in sight, which was comforting during a very black night on the Atlantic. But we also had light winds for most of the time and motorsailed about half of the time. If nothing else, it''s good to have someone else out there within radio contact.
Once into the southern bay, with two weeks for the whole trip you can take your time coming north. There are almost too many places to stop at to mention. But one suggestion is Crisfield, MD. Very boater friendly town as I found out in June during my 10 day bay cruise. Also don''t miss Solomons Island, MD. You really can''t go wrong with almost any place on the bay. Check out a cruising guide (the one from Chesapeake Bay Magazine is great) and see what interests you.
One other thing -- if you take the Cape May Canal from Delaware Bay, be aware that there are two bridges across the canal with 55 ft. clearance. That probably won''t be a problem for your boat, but I want to mention it.