Join Date: Apr 2006
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Re: Preparations for a Manhattan to Nantucket straight through passage on the south s
Seriously, you will be crossing the submarine channel into CT, and the short version of that is that if you see ANY smoke or buoy come up out of the water--bugout and make noise, there's something very big coming up under you. Volume I of the LNM can give you more specific details but "stuff comes up, bugout!" is the abridged version.
The inlets on the south shore of long island should all be considered dangerous and impassible in bad weather, or with opposing wind and current. Assume that's a lee shore and you may not be able to put in anywhere from sheepshead bay to the east end, unless the weather and light are good.
If you can get to a skipper's meeting for the ALIR, or talk to some of the posted entries, you may get some opinions on how far offshore to stay. There's usually a west-bound current inshore, so you'll make better time staying off a bit. But, also do avoid the traffic lane coming into Ambrose and presume ALL those guys are deaf and blind, they won't see you. Trawlers and commercial alike. This is not to scare you from a beautiful trip, just to let you know, those waters are heavily used and you will have to avoid the traffic.
On food, you should be able to at least freeze two good dinners, in solid blocks, several days before. Then you put the dinners in your cooler where they act like block ice, and #2 will be cold but defrosted by the time you need it. Save the freeze-dried delicacies for later. (G)
If you round the east end and come up into the sound west of Block Island? There are so many shore lights that piloting can be impossible. The bottomfinder (deep central channel) and GPS are your friends here. On Block itself, the north and south lights can sometimes both be seen at once (one is high the other low) making that confusing too.
The problem with "just two" is that most folks need a 6-hour "big sleep" once a day in order to function at 100%. But that leaves one guy on watch solo for six hours, which is longer than optimum. So you might want to compromise, cut your big sleeps to 5 hours, and I'd say to make them in the daytime but between the heat and light, don't know it that would work. If you make the 20:00 to 01:00 and then 01:00 to 06:00 that might be best, giving your friend the easier (earlier) watch and trying to work on getting him to trim better in the meantime.
Besides the safety gear, you might want to find someone reliable and maybe make a cell phone check-in twice daily. Pooh pooh, training wheels, yeah, there shouldn't be any need for it. But calls are cheap and coverage is good these days, I'd call it cheap insurance for a first time trip. Last time I checked, cell phone coverage only reached 2-3 miles off the south shore, so if you're SPOT can send a track or an "OK" signal...might as well test that too.
For practice: Ask the USCG to send you the forms to report a vessel missing/overdue. You'll be surprised at how much information they ask for, and if the person holding your float plan ever has to send that in--it will be way better if they have a set pre-filled for your boat.