...bad idea or not? We have a C&C 32 and I want to try to get down to nantucket or, perhaps, P-town and be back in a week (well, 9-10 days really). Anyone out there done this trip with kids before? The "plan" as far as I see it would be to do this starting labor day weekend and the week following. Suggestions, ideas, comments, would be welcome.
I have not done that trip per se, but I have been in and out of Salem and in and out of Nantucket, and a fair number of places between, many times.
Short of weather, I can't think of any reason why you couldn't do this trip comfortably in a week+. I wouldn't hesitate to do it with a 3 year old that is accustomed to sailing -- and here I assume yours is -- provided you are not the lone adult that must both sail the boat and watch the child. PFD at all times while on deck for the kid, of course.
A good route would be to jump down to Scituate from Salem. Then down to the CC canal. Spend a night in or around Hyannis, then out to Nantucket the next day. Spend three or four days in Nantucket. Coming back, you could do P-town instead of Scituate.
Just a suggestion... Sounds like a great trip. Nice to do it before the windmills go in.
Easy day trips -
Day 1 - Salem to Cuttyhunk
Day 2 - Cuttyhunk to Nantucket
One of the most crowded weeks/weekends in Nantucket
Salem to Cuttyhunk is about 80 miles, that would be quite a long day (and night) in 32 feet.
A stop in Scituate or Plymouth, then another in Cataumet would make the trip fun as opposed to tremendously tedious. There's not much to see/do at Cuttyhunk, I'd visit Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs (for th ekid...) and Edgartown, and even Hadley Harbor, before heading out west to Cuttyhunk...
I don't have Eldridge in front of me, and haven't been through the canal since May, but given distance from Salem and need to time entry, it sounds like it will be tough to get from Salem through the canal on first leg. I agree with above to put in to Scituate and head out next morning. Maybe Plymouth, but it is a ways in and a ways out. Then, if you get a morning current ride through the canal and all things going well, get through Woods Hole (again, depending on state of current) and figure out whether you've got enough time to proceed to N'ket or stop in Vineyard Haven, and head out next morning. Cuttyhunk was suggested above, but it would take you well beyond Woods Hole and you've have to back track by a couple of different options to get back on your path. C'hunk definitely worth going to, but you sound like you want to get to N'ket. So, maybe with all that you get into N'ket on your third day, all things considered. Don't know how aggressively you want to get there. Eldridge will dicate what you can accomplish re: CCC, Woods Hole, Vineyard Sound, N'ket.
Hope you have a great time.
A stop in Scituate or Plymouth, then another in Cataumet...
I like the suggestion of Cataumet -- better than mine of Hyannis.
Plymouth/Duxbury is a great location too. However, I did not suggest it because it can take so long to sail up and into Plymouth Harbor (especially with a foul tide) -- almost as long as it takes to go the remaining distance to the canal. And then you have to double back on the way out.
But if you do go in there, you can save some time/distance by hooking a right at Duxbury Pier Light (aka "Bug Light") and anchor near Clark's Island (check charts carefully for depth at low tide). From there, if you have a dinghy you can go ashore on the backside of Saquish Head, which is a fun beach for kids (Clark's Island is private so no trespassing).
I have even seen boats spend the night anchored off the beach at Saquish Neck (between the Gurnet Light and Duxbury Pier) - but only with a fair forecast.
OK, I have looked in several internet resources, and I am slightly confused about the way one can run the canal. Someone, please tell me if I am reading it right:
1. If it is High tide going to low tide, and you are on the Sandwich side of the canal, then the current will run with you as you head toward Buzzard's Bay.
2. If it is low tide, heading to high tide, then you can run the canal from Buzzard's Bay to Sandwich because the current will be running north/east.
I would recommend taking the trip in shorter segments than K1vsk has recommended. Planning on 9-10 days, rather than 7 would give you some leeway in case of weather or other delays, and also make the trip less stressful.
One warning—watch your Cape Cod Canal transit carefully, as a strong SW wind can make exiting the canal very dangerous.
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