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Old 08-14-2011
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Smile Looking for destinations for first overnight sailing trip

Hello,
I am new to sailnet and I am on my second season of sailing. In a few weeks I hope to go on my first overnight sailing trip. I will be coming from newburyport harbor and I was thinking of sailing to Rockport ma or poss. salem harbor. I planned on sailing for 7-8 hours or so, getting a mooring for the night, and returning the next day. I really am not sure how long it will take me to get to these destinations and was looking for advise in general. I have a 25 ft tanzer sloop with a 3.5 ft draft. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and I would be very greatful for any advise!
Liam
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Old 08-14-2011
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Welcome to Sainet!

I can't give you anything about the area you're sailing in, but I applaud the decision to start with a single overnight. We did our first one 2 weeks ago, and we stayed at the resort docks (free if using facilities) and really enjoyed the experience. It's a nice way to travel.
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Old 08-14-2011
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Thanks for the reply

Thanks for getting back to me, I planned on doing a one nighter because I know I am still in the novice stages of this sport/lifestyle and I realize the danger and responsibility nec. to safely take my crew and guests to our destinations. I have 4 years experience in motorboating and after I bought my sailboat(last season) I took the aux c.g. seamanship course(16 weeks)[which I highly rec. to any novice boaters]. Also I have read the book "sailing for dummies" 3 times, which I also recommend, I know the newburyport/plum island area very well and would be more than happy to share my knowledge of the area to anyone coming to visit my hometown harbor. Thanks again,
Liam
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Old 08-14-2011
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Pick a beach that you can anchor off of... And have a B'B'Que on the beach, for one suggestion.
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Old 08-14-2011
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Liam,

There are a few good harbors near you to consider. I keep my boat in Essex Bay so we have roughly the same overnight cruising grounds.

Rockport: This is the closest but also the most crowded if you want to go into the inner harbor. There is always plenty of room to anchor out off the town beach (you may be anchored in 40' at low water) but call the harbormaster ahead of time if you want to get into the inner harbor. Be aware that you should not be anchored there with a large ground swell of heavy winds from the north or east. Sailing time there will be only a few hours if there is decent wind. It is not unreasonable to sail there and back on a nice day.

Gloucester harbor: This isn't quite as pretty as Rockport in my opinion but is sheltered in almost all weather. The harbormaster maintains several moorings and there is a good anchorage in the southeast harbor. This is a reasonable length sail in most weather. If you find yourself becalmed, you can shorten the motor by taking the annisquam canal, just be careful not to be going against a strong current on the Gloucester harbor end.

Portsmouth, NH: This is another good destination and there is always room to anchor in Portsmouth harbor at the west end of the mooring field. It can be a long beat home with the prevailing southerly so watch the forecast.

Salem sound: There are many anchorages or places to pick up a mooring here. It will probably be farther away than you want to try for your first overnight but is definitely a reasonable destination for you once you become comfortable with the area. Many of the anchorages can be rolly in the right conditions.

I hope that this helps. If you figure that you can average something like 3 knots, you can get a pretty good idea of your cruising area for an overnight.
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Old 08-15-2011
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Thanks so much for your time in responding to me, your info will be very helpful to me!
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Old 08-15-2011
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Look at the possibility of an overnight a Ilses of Shoals. This can be an easy day cruise with the weather choice and if you're heading there for a weekday there are usually moorings available. Portsmouth Yacht Club maintains a number of courtesy moorings available when they are not in use by members (blue mooring balls). Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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