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  #11  
Old 03-14-2011
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rmeador,
Another option might be to stay in downtown Norfolk. You could stay at waterside which has slips available with power and water. Not a bad night life and you could catch a bus from Norfolk to the oceanfront. It's a straight shot down I-264. Not sure what the slip fees are these days but they used to be reasonable. It is also an interesting ride by the navel base.
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  #12  
Old 03-14-2011
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Here is my suggestion...we do our reverse trip. Every year we travel up to the LI Sound or NE from Baltimore/ Annpolis area. Heading south in July you will fight the predominant winds.

The trip usually takes 2-3 weeks of our vacation time. It alows us to "play " in a few of the NE towns as wells Block I and the towns along the Sound. You also need to allow for some lousy weather days in your plan

You could do the reverse with your destination being Cape May or push it and make it Annapolis and stay in a few of the great places on the Chesapeake. As well as a couple days in Cape May or Lewes coming down and the other going back. I would not venture the overnighters in the ocean till you get some more experience in night sailing, also the round the Provodince way can be a rough sail unless the weather is good.

You say you are on a thin budget, but you also need to allow for some money to fix something major if it need be. I would do an Itinerary like this and break it into day trips. If you want to do one overnight in the ocean do the Block Island to Cape May run. That usually takes me 36 hours.

Heres my ramble:

Boston through the canal to either Marthas Vineyard/ Cuttyhunk/ or Saildogs homeport ( i know it up there somewhere up the Vineyard Sound I beleive)

From there Newport or Block Island ( nice beaches and a couple days are nice there)

Then either to Cape May on the outside or Port Jefferson along the sound
Course you could detour a few days to the Hamptons like we did (Sag harbor). Plenty of beaches and nice restuarants there- BRING MONEY

If you do the Port Jeff route then Atlantic Highlands or Liberty Marina across from the Statue of Liberty down the East River...a ride you will never forget
going by NYC ( and the East River current). That would take a week to 8 days enjoying the sights...relaxing at a few beaches. From there you can do

Atlantic City, a very long day...but one of the nice easy NJ inlets- AGAIN BRING MONEY or do Barnegat Inlet. There is a nice Yacht club or anchorage behind the lighthouse and they have great beaches on Long beach Island

Cape May is next..2 days at least there. Now youve been gone two weeks,,,relaxed...seen some great sights...nice beaches....gambled and are ready for an overnight ocean trip back as you will have the prevailing winds on a broad reach. Go Cape May to Block Island or Montauk. agin beaches and 36 hours. Do Mystic or Newport or Marthas Vineyard or any of the town like Sag Harbor, 3 mile Harbor..Greenport on Gardiners Bay.

You will have fun with your 3 weeks and gain a lot of ocean experience with safety. You can still push yourself, but still relax and get to see the scenery.

Your trip to Virginia Beach to relax...needs more time but is certainly doable...

Feel free to PM me as I have been in all of these places a few times as have others who will give you advice. Active Captain is good for a look, but you need to buy the charts and map it out with contingency plans and outslets (inlets). Sounds like a fun trip

Dave
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  #13  
Old 03-14-2011
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VA beach sounds like a reach for your experience level. New England offers better sailing in the summer that the southern Chesapeake Bay area, so I's advise you spend some time closer to home.

If you are looking for warmer water, get yourself south of Massachusetts Bay,and spend some time along the south shore of Cape Cod or further to the southwest, like in Rhode Island waters. The water temperature peaks in late August, so plan accordingly. If you want a social scene, try Newport, RI. You might get your beach activity at Block Island, which has one of the 10 best beaches in the northeast, according to the Conde Nast Travel magazine. Block Island also has a younger social scene.

A couple of suggestions: Don't do a circumnavigation of Cape Cod with your level of experience. And don't go south of Long Island yet. Regarding VA Beach, I would suggest you go the longer way via Cape May Canal, the C&D Canal and the length of the Chesapeake, but the round trip would eat up your available time. If you go that route and are able to pick your weather, you might do an overnight from Block Island to Cape May (plan on motoring into the SW breeze outward bound). You'll need to be comfortable with ship traffic, but it's a lot quicker than going down Long Island Sound and by NYC.
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Old 03-14-2011
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I seriously doubt that with the prevailing, summer winds that you could make VA Beach and return home in just three weeks--especially looking at your sailing experience. If you ran the outside with favorable winds and very few tacks, you're still looking at nearly 550 to 600 miles each way. That's a fairly long trip for a bunch of guys with very little experience.

Were you going to sail at night as well as during daylight hours? If so, the trip may be doable, but in these heavily traveled waters you will need radar in order to do this safely.

And, as stated earlier, once you get to Virginia Beach, there are just two inlets--Lynnhaven and Rudee, both of which are pretty much inaccessible to sailboats. Rudee Inlet is too shallow to even consider entering and Lynnhaven is deep enough, but the bridge clearance is just over 30-feet if I recall.

Also, if you stay on the outside there are very few inlets south of Cape May that are sailboat accessible. You can get into Roosevelt Inlet at Cape Henlopen, but the next one to the south that is navigable is Ocean City Inlet, which has to be entered at slack tide because of the currents. Farther south, Chincoteague and Wachapreague are doable because neither has bridges to contend with, but Wachapreague is constantly filling in and quite shallow at low tide. The next one south is Great Machapongo Inlet, which again is strictly a slack tide entry. Sand Shoal Inlet is a piece of cake, but there's nothing there to see other than tidal marsh, greenhead flies, black flies and mosquitoes. New Inlet can be entered if you really know the area, but there are constantly shifting sand bars in front of the inlet that you must be able to skirt--it's a tricky entrance and not much water. Once you clear Cape Charles, VA you can sneak under the High Rise Bridge, then sail across the mouth of Chesapeake Bay to Norfolk, but you'll have to navigate around the Inner Middle Grounds, a massive flat that is situated just above the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and is only a couple feet deep. It's best to stay outside until you reach the 4th Island, then cross the tube and head to Norfolk--it's a lot safer.

Going by your crews experience and the number of pop-up, afternoon thundershowers that time of year, I would make a right turn at Delaware Bay, head for the C&D Canal, then travel down Chesapeake Bay, where you can find hundreds of save havens when those unanticipated storms pop up. Not only is it a lot safer, there's a lot more to see on the trip south.

Good Luck,

Gary
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Read between the lines. Those of us with 1000s of miles under our keels can make it look "easy." It ain't--it's learned with little mistakes and good teachers on board to teach/correct/salvage. Part of your research as a newbie is to immediately read Michael Tougias' "Overboard". A classic example of how things can go very wrong very quickly with very experienced sailors. Love your sense of advanture and enthusiasm for sailing--make sure you can enjoy it for another 3-5 decades.
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Old 03-15-2011
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How about a week charter on the Chessy? Yeah, its an extra expense but it gives you experience you can use later when you have the time and experience to bring your own boat down.

For night life your best bets on the Chessy are:

Baltimore where there's free dockage or a paid marina within walking distance of Fells Point with more than couple of dozen bars and restaraunts. Its a few more blocks over to the inner harbor.

Annapolis with plenty of places within walking distance, inexpensive moorings if you get there in time to get one and great water taxi service around the town and to the moorings.

Norfolk I haven't been there by boat yet myself but there are marina's near major developments downtown and I believe they also have a water taxi from the marina's on the opposite side. We'll likely explore this are ourselves on you week cruise in September.

Good Luck.
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Chef2sail has a pretty good itinerary. Having done the trip between Marblehead Ma and Annapolis a number of times, I would suggest your destination be Cape May, NJ. Great party/beach town. I would go south through Long Island sound...thru New York City, East River and stop there at least overnight. Than in one longish day you can get to Cape May. You could stop in Atlantic City if you like to gamble, but not my thing. Tour some of the southern NJ beach communities (by rental car or cab)...lots of action and stuff to do. Cape May is a great beach. For the return trip, I would recommend the outside route (a double overnight direct to Block Island (fun place), or Cuttyhunk (quiet place). From there, Hyannis, Falmouth, Nantucket, or Martha's Vineyard..(all fun places). From there, if in Nantucket, you would be ready to go outside and go direct to Scituate...forget P-Town (too weird). Choose Boston or Marblehead...more fun towns.

My point in all this, by the time you're on your way back, you will have the confidence to do overnighters and with a prevailing southerly wind typical of the time, you should be on a downhill run where you will be 60 miles off shore when you go by New York. If you don't have radar, (which is ok), you will just have to keep a good watch when crossing the NY and Boston ship channels...but definitely doable. For the overnighters, just do watches: two people each watch, four hours on four hours off during the day and six hour shifts at night. Everybody gets enough sleep and you stand a different watch each day.

I'll be helping someone deliver a boat to Newport in June and looking forward to it.

Moe
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Old 03-16-2011
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Given your experience and your crews, I think your plan is overly ambitious. For many of the reasons already mentioned. You are already in some of the best cruising grounds on the east coast. Newport, Block Island, Martha's Vinyard, Provincetown, Nantucket, Hull, etc. I would head for P'town, then down through the canal to Newport, then to Block Is. and then see how long that takes you. If you feel ambitious, head to MV and Nantucket. Block to MV is over 50 miles and will take you 10 hours

The trip to Virginia Beach is either mostly all Ocean, or several longgggg days with not alot of party time left over. There's no allowance for bad weather keeping you in port, which will happen.

After getting up very early and a long day on the water, you still need to re-fuel, re-ice,
re-provsion, possibly make repairs, find a slip or an anchorage etc. By the Time you get to Virginia Beach you'd almost have to turn around and come home. I'm not seeing long relaxing days on the beach with nights of partying in that schedule.
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Last edited by Tempest; 03-16-2011 at 06:04 PM.
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