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  #1  
Old 06-15-2014
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Help me plan my cruise North!

We are planning on venturing out of the Chesapeake (for the first time) with the intent to head north, hopefully to Marthas Vineyard, then stop a few places in between on the way back.

We don't have a long time, 16/17 days total leaving July 4th and returning to Rock Creek/Patapsco River by July 19th or 20th.

I am finishing up a few last projects and should be ready to cast off in time.

Any thoughts and suggestions on places to stay(like should I make reservations asap), must see, things to know, etc...

I need/want to get an EPIRB, should I rent a liferaft? The furthest from shore we'll be looks about 50 miles or so during our straight shot from Cape May to the Vineyard...otherwise the rest will be inside LIS or along the Jersey coast on the way back.

Thanks...I look forward to hearing what you experienced folks have to say.
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  #2  
Old 06-16-2014
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Re: Help me plan my cruise North!

Shawn

Sounds like fun. If this helps any, this is our blog of part of our trip. It was the first time for us in these waters. We bought our Irwin 34 in Edgewater MD and sailed her home to Canada. The blog for the part of the journey you are talking about starts here.

As to equipment - you need to get what makes you comfortable. For us, an EPIRB and a life raft were not on our "need to have list", but each is responsible for their own safety.
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  #3  
Old 06-16-2014
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Re: Help me plan my cruise North!

Nice plan. My advice is mostly about my neighborhood. I've done the trip back you've described on a delivery, but we didn't stop.

For the trip up I agree an EPIRB and raft cannot hurt. Hopefully the weather gods will cooperate and deliver the SW wind you're supposed to get with the short time window. If not, I'd wait for it. Weather has been weird this year, lots of persistent easterlies, hopefully that will end before you leave!

Our favorite local haunts include Cuttyhunk, Tarplin Cove, Menemsha, Hadleys, and Lake Tashmoo (requires shallow draft which I think you have board up). The area is busy in the summer, but these places tend to be relatively quiet(er). Places like Tarplin are not all weather, either are the and outside moorings at Menemsha, but are good in prevailing SWers.

For a little more noise go to Vineyard Haven. To rub elbows with the rich and infamous, go to Edgartown (ego town). To experience the disneyland like atmosphere of cobblestones and tons of tourists, go the the Nantucket. And if you need to party, go to Oak Bluffs, expect to raft on a mooring if they have space.

On the cape side, Hyannis or Falmouth might be a good place to provision, etc. If you come to Falmouth, call the harbormaster in advance, they may be able to put you on a dock, and groceries are within walking distance, but it's busy so call and try to reserve space.

On your way back, we like Block Island. Other netters can give you much more data on Newport, Long Island, CT, NY, etc. I remember doing the East River at night, pretty spectacular with the city light of NYC.

Mind the currents in Vineyard/Nantucket sound. They run 2-3kts, if you time them right your trips between these places will be much quicker. Careful in Woods Hole, it's a money maker for the local marina's, at least one boat on the rocks per week peak season...time the tides there too if you can.

Sounds like a great trip.
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  #4  
Old 06-16-2014
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Re: Help me plan my cruise North!

We've done the trip up the jersey shore 4 times. Hardest part is the timing down the Delaware bay out to Cape May. if you can get under the bridges in the Cape May canal it will be much easier. If not, Cape Henlopen is a good alternative with plenty of room to anchor.
Going N from Cape May you can bail out into Atlantic City pretty easily. If you anchor there, know the current runs very strong so make sure you are set well.
We dont carry a raft but do have a spot tracker.

The run down the East River is fantastic. We do Northport to Sandy Hook in an easy day with the current pushing us up to 11 knots.

We should be leaving the Upper Ches around the same time...
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Old 06-16-2014
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Re: Help me plan my cruise North!

I'll be doing a DelMarVa circumnavigation in August.

My plans for communications are:
VHF with DSC, tied to GPS.
SPOT tracker with SAR service.
Cell phone when close enough to shore.

This link: Rescue 21 Distress System Coverage

...was recently provided to me. It states (and shows with a map) that USCG VHF range, is engineered to project at least 30 miles offshore, and often goes much further than that.

These projections factor in a boat's VHF antenna only 2 meters off the water, not even masthead mounted antenna.

I'm not trying to dissuade you from an EPIRB, just trying to provide some useful information. Do whatever makes you comfortable.

I'm not going with a liferaft either.
I will have good jacklines, harnesses, etc.

Something oft overlooked is a securing mechanism and tethers for your hatchboards. If a hatchboard washes overboard, you now have a huge hole in your boat.

Being a "coastal cruiser" does seem to simplify things a bit, vs. being a "blue water cruiser".
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  #6  
Old 06-16-2014
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Re: Help me plan my cruise North!

LOTS of choices. Instead of heading to the Vineyard from Cape May, consider heading towards Montauk Point (its closer) and your first stop can be Block Island. From there you east to Cuttyhunk and the Vineyard, north to Newport and Narragansett Bay or west to Long Island Sound.
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Re: Help me plan my cruise North!

You'll probably want to make a reservation in Cape May if you want a slip for the night.
I believe Utsche's marina has the best price @ 2.00/ft. South Jersey Marina is a dollar more ($2.95) But double check. Don't wander out of the channel on the east side exiting the canal. The currents can run pretty good around the channels and marinas

If the current is favorable, I've left the C&D canal in the wee hours of the morning ( 2 a.m. once) headed for Cape May in order to beat the heat and green head flys that can terrorize you on the bay.

Options for stops are endless once out toward MV and Block. Block has become a real PIA in the summer, but if you haven't done it, it's an experience. I feel most comfortable on a town mooring,(green balls) or, a private mooring obtained through calling the harbormaster on VHF by 3 p.m. The anchorage can get very crowded, the slips @ Champlin's are expensive and you are rafted up at the dock sometimes 4 across.

On the LI sound coming back..Lots of stops...I tend to like the Connecticut River area..Old Saybrook, north cove, or Essex then I cross over to Port Jefferson. Some like to stay on the Connecticut side. From PJ you can head straight for NY or the highlands in a long day..or stop at Port Washington or City Island. and try to catch a morning ride down the east river. Diesel fuel, if needed, is easier to obtain in Manhasset bay than on City Island. Have a great Trip.. keep us posted.
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  #8  
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Re: Help me plan my cruise North!

Best prices for diesel fuel are usually at Utches in Cape May, Sandy Hook, NJ and Point Judith marina inside Point Judith harbor of refuge.
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  #9  
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Re: Help me plan my cruise North!

Thanks folks, this is great info...

I primarily want to get to MV, Block, and NYC and if time allows, Mystic or Newport.

What line from Cape May to MV is best, straight shot or go a little more east, hitting block first is a good idea as well, but would you suggest that from Cape May or go inside LIS first?

I will make a reservation in Cape May soon, probably Utsche's marina
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Re: Help me plan my cruise North!

Shawn, if the prevailing southwest wind is in place the sail to block gets you up there faster...from Cape May.

That same SW wind makes coming home offshore potentially a close hauled trip back.

Coming back inside the LIS gives you some nice places to stop on the way home like NYC ( on your list) being one. The downside to inside is you'll probably end end up motor sailing a fair bit of the way. My experience in the summers coming home on the sound..is that the winds typically don't pick up until afternoon, not unlike the Bay. So leaving port at 7 am..on the next leg will usually have you motoring sailing until noon or so. My strategy is to catch fish..and jump in for a swim..once in awhile. You could hang around town in the mornings, and leave when the wind picks up...and arrive at your next stop later. There's often an evening thunderstorm to dodge in July.

I tend to get up and go..and make coffee underway.
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