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  #1  
Old 09-03-2010
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New York to Cape May

Hi,

I am planning to go from Lake Ontario to Hampton and then to the BVI.
The stretch that I have some questions about is from New York Harbour down to Cape May. I am not sure how long it will take, what the conditions may be, and where to stop, either overnight, or for protection.
I wonder if I can get some advice.
Thanks
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Old 09-03-2010
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The problem with the New Jersey coastline is that it doesn't have much in the way of good harbors, especially good bad weather harbors. What size boat are you planning on doing this in and what time of year were you considering doing it?

I usually go offshore, when going from Buzzards Bay to Cape May or the reverse. IMHO, it is easier and safer to do so than it is to hug the shore, but you need a decent weather window to do so. If I were going from NYC, I'd probably do the same thing... head southeast, away from the coast, to get clear of the heavy traffic, and then head for Cape May.
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Old 09-03-2010
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Hi jjdin,

NYC to Cape May is roughly 24 hours + 0r - It's a pretty straightforward coastal cruise. You can stay about 2 to 3 miles offshore in approximately 40 to 60 feet of water. The prevailing winds are SW ( direction of travel) unless you catch a front moving through that gives you some west, nw, n and ne winds.
Which could be helpful.

There are a few major inlets on this route should you desire a layover. The first one is Manasquan which would be early in the trip. It's a well used inlet and pretty straighforward. The next is Barnegat, also well travelled but a little more caution is required to stay in the channels once inside.
After that the next is Atlantic City, and then Cape May both excellent inlets.

Conditions vary with the weather, wind direction and currents. It's best to get a weather report before departing. If the weather is clear, it's a pleasant overnight trip along the coast, and saves the anxiety of entering an unknown inlet especially in bad weather.

There are many ways to do this trip, the easiest imo is the coastal run.

You could also, enter Manasquan and follow the inland waterway through Barnegat bay and exit again at Barnegat inlet then back in at Atlantic City. The Bay is pretty shallow outside the channel and you would have a tricky canal with 2 bridges and other various railroad and highway bridges to contend with.

FWIW....I think it's worth laying over in the NY or upper NJ area for a good weather window to do the whole trip outside. it would be ideal to arrive in Cape May with a High tide at slack..if you could time it but not essential.

As far as where to depart from in The NYC area or NJ..there are several options depending upon whether you are looking to stay at a marina, or at anchorage. Let us know your preference. A little info on your vessel, and what she draws would help too.

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Old 09-03-2010
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One little point to remember is the the two bridges across the Cape May canal have 55 feet of clearance. That could be an issue.
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Old 09-03-2010
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Old 09-03-2010
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We have taken our 4'3" draft in at Manasquan from Sandy Hook and then out at Absecon Inlet, then back in at Cape May. We're gunkholers and do a lot of poking about. Take care and Joy, Aythya crew
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Thanks Denise.
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Old 09-04-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjdin View Post
I am planning to go from Lake Ontario to Hampton and then to the BVI.
The stretch that I have some questions about is from New York Harbour down to Cape May. I am not sure how long it will take, what the conditions may be, and where to stop, either overnight, or for protection.
I wonder if I can get some advice.
I'm unclear on what your expectations are. Am I correct that the Hampton you mean is Hampton VA? Why are you going through New York Harbor?

If your goal is to get to the BVI then I would launch from somewhere in Rhode Island or Massachusetts to Bermuda (four or five days) and from there straight down 65W to Tortola (although I use clear BVI customs in Great Harbour JVD) in six to nine days.

If you have a particular need to stop in Hampton VA I'd head offshore from Rhode Island or Massachusetts to the mouth of the Chesapeake (three(ish) days). Get a paper copy of the Gulf Stream velocity projections from the Internet before you go and decide based on weather what specific route to take. From Hampton head back offshore southeast until you get to 65W and again head straight for the BVI (eight to twelve days).

If you plan to coastal hop (all the way to the BVI?) and go sightseeing it would help to know where you want to stop and what you want to see.

What boat and what crew experience? What equipment on the boat for communications, particularly of weather information? When are you planning to make the trip?

With respect to NY Harbor to Cape May, Sandy Hook (an hour South of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge) to Atlantic City is 8 to 12 hours depending on weather and boat speed. Atlantic City to Cape Henlopen--which is my preference for staging up the Delaware Bay--is another 7 to 10. I prefer Cape Henlopen to Cape May as it's quicker to get in the current when I'm ready to head up the DE Bay and avoids issues with low bridges and shoaling in the Cape May Canal.

Coming South down the New Jersey Coast, Atlantic City breaks the trip up nicely for less experienced crew. However, if you are planning to go offshore to the BVI then a short hop (such as Rhode Island to Cape Henlopen (less than two days) or straight to Hampton (about three days)) is a good way to ease crew (and you) into going offshore. Even if you are only a few miles offshore and can see the lights, getting people into the practice of watchstanding and continuous sailing is helpful.
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Old 09-04-2010
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Much good information in Auspicious' posting. If you are going to Hampton for the Caribbean 1500 or a private launch from there I would suggest staging in New York Harbor either at the anchorage behind the Statue of Liberty or marina at Atlantic Highlands and the leaving with a good forecast for an overnight to Cape May. When we did it we did not stop there as we arrived 0600ish with the tide just turning to go up Delaware Bay so we kept going to Chesapeake City. The entrance of Delaware Bay is very shoally and your options are the Cape May Canal (55' vertical clearance) or to go around the tip of the Cape (if you look at the chart it is clear where the channel is although it is not marked) or you can over nearer the Delaware shore but that is an extra 10 miles or so.
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