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  #11  
Old 09-25-2012
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Re: Maine to Chesapeake Fall Passage

I agree the Cape Cod Canal.

We take this route up and back from the Chessie every year. It depends on how you wish to push it. Daylight hours are waning this time of year. We usualy go from the Patapsco ( Baltimore area up to at least Newport and Back in 3 weeks)

In order to do this I would insure your engine is in good condition as you will be motoring a lot. You probably want to maintain an average of 5 knots. * hours means you are averaging 40 miles per day. You may have to increase this as you come down the Jersey Coast though.

Your trip down Buzzards Bay and the LI Sound ( Race. Watch Hill, Plum Gut) as well as Hell Gate and the Delaware River should be timed with the tide at the choke points and the Delaware River,

Some routes we have taken include

Cape Cod Canal to Cuttyhunk -35 miles
Cuttyhunk to Port Judith- 28 miles or into the Sound to Stonington- 45 miles
Stonington to Old Saybrooke- 20 mile or Mattituk 33 miles
Old Sayebrooke /Mattituck to Port Jeff 40 miles or 32 miles / Northport or Port Washington.-

There are so many variations and stops on the LI Sound you could adjust according to weather or day length.


Look at the cureent charts for Hell Gate and ride down the East River to Atlantic Highlands.

From here it is trickly..only 3 easy inlets and 1 dangerous one but passable on the Jersey coast. All others I would not transit or attempt.

Atlantic Highlands to Manesquan- 40 miles
Manequan to Barnegat Inlet -32 miles
Barnegat Inlet to Atlantic City- 33 miles
Atlantic City to Cape May- 38 miles

Now you are set up for the Delaware River. You should leave 1 hour before dead low tide. Since I assume your 33 mast is less than 55 feet you can transit the Cape May Canal and head up to the C&D..42 miles. You will be able to shoot through the canal and maybe make the Sassafras River. 60 miles ( you will have at least a 2 knot current boast throughout.

Sassafras to Rock Hall- 28 miles
Rock Hall to Rhode River or Herrington Harbor 20 or 30 miles
Rhode or Herrington to Solomons Island 30 miles.

Hope this helps feel free to PM me. You will really have to watch the weather this time of uyears as the frons move trhough every 3 days or so. The Jersey Coast and Delaware Bay can be downright mean.

Dave
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  #12  
Old 09-25-2012
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Re: Maine to Chesapeake Fall Passage

I am making the same passage with a friend on his 38 footer, we plan on departing on oct.11/12. We probably will wait for nw wind to make Provincetown overnight in one shot. Then through the canal to maybe cuttyhunk, overnight through the sound, hell gate in the late a.m. with the tide.
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Old 09-25-2012
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Re: Maine to Chesapeake Fall Passage

Quote:
Originally Posted by eastcoastsailing View Post
Thank you for the responses. I am trying to decide if should come down the coast or head straight from Camden to Cape Cod Canal in one hop.

Thanks!
I've done your first leg several times(Rockport as a matter of fact to CCC). You'll save quite a bit of time going straight through. The Gulf of Maine is quite a bit longer along the coast than the actual 120 or so NM compared to the rhumb line. It's not only the extra length, but the jogs in and out of suitable harbors.

Of 4 trips down, I've ended up in Ptown twice, due to conditions, but all four were made in 30+ hours or less. Wind on the nose in the Cape Cod Bay area is the worst problem we've encountered(almost every time). In can get nasty in that bay.

About 75% of miles down(going south) have been under power. Amazingly, our fastest trip was all under sail into a southerly breeze from very light to about 15 to 20, that nicely went more westerly for the last third.

We did the most miles on that trip(but only 3 tacks!), arrived in Onset(from Tenants Harbor) in about 24 hours(we hit the canal perfectly). I had my two college aged kids for crew(the best).

It's a great trip across the Gulf of Maine and I've made about half of them by myself. I look forward to more.

The shortest I can do if I break it up is; Onset or P-town to Isle of Shoals. I of S to Monhegan. Those are long "days"(14+ hrs?) that have been in light conditions mostly under power. Add Monhegan to Rockport, and you've burned most of 3 days.

If I shorten the days and hit places like Marblehead, Portland for instance, it becomes a 3 to 4 day trip. But this is fun if you have the time.

Good luck. Tom Young on Christmas in Rockport.
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Old 09-25-2012
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Re: Maine to Chesapeake Fall Passage

I don't mean to spoil your adventure...an it is an adventure, but in your planning figure the length of the voyage and all of those expenses plus the value of your time. What's the cost to haul, ship, an relaunch at Deltaville. BILL
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Old 09-25-2012
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Re: Maine to Chesapeake Fall Passage

Another consideration.
Do you have a reliable auto pilot or steering vane on your P33? It can be done without an auto pilot but allows you a lot more freedom and generally makes watch standing a bit easier.
Do you have radar? Maine = fog.
Do you have charts for the entire trip yet?

It sounds like a fun trip to me. You might be able to pick up some crew along the way from here/sailnut or other forums.
You would likely learn a lot and (hopefully) gain a lot of confidence in your and your boat's abilities.

I say go for it. Get going soon.
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Re: Maine to Chesapeake Fall Passage

This trip is a very common trip for delivery crews (although many keep going past the Chesapeake) in the fall and is certainly doable although it can be pretty cold and rough. It is not a bad shot from Penobscot bay, past Monhegan and to the Cape Cod Canal. If things get rough, Gloucester is a good place to duck into. On a 33' boat, the trip to the canal should be 18-30 hours depending on conditions (it will be a lot longer if you are trying to push or sail into a strong headwind and sea). Once you get south of the canal, harbor hopping your way down is not too bad or you can again run straight through. I would highly recommend going inside long island. Once you get south of new york, there are not many harbor options until you enter the Chesapeake. As long as you have cruising guides for all of the areas covered and do your reading ahead of time, there is no reason why the trip can't be done.

The real question is whether you and your boat are up to the trip. Do you feel sufficiently experienced? Do you have anyone going with you, this would help a lot? Is your boat in good shape? These are things that only you can decide.
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Re: Maine to Chesapeake Fall Passage

Have done the round trip many times. It's really fun. If you have a good crew, you can decide to go non-stop if in a hurry, or stop overnight along the way...probably would not go thru hell's gate during the night. Radar is very valuable if you have it because you will be crossing Boston and NY shipping channel. It's nice to see them (during the night) and can tell their direction. The Jersey coast can be done in a long day from Atlantic Highland (NY Harbor) to Cape May. We've always had great sails from Cape May to the CD canal...study Eldridge so you leave at the right time. I've always left when the current is slightly against you...that way it's with you or neutral when you finally reach the canal. Cape May to Annapolis is 24 hours....if you want to stop, Chesapeake City is the place to lay over. Anyway, fun trip. Good Luck.

Moe
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Re: Maine to Chesapeake Fall Passage

Atlantic highlands to Cape May is 105-110 nm in a straight line sail. Averaging 5 knots that's more than a long day. That's 20 hours. The time of year the OP is going with 11hours or less sunlight would make it a day and a night.

We haves used Reedy Island about 7 miles south of he C&D Canal as a stopover point in case you can not make it o the canal or yu want to Tate for the run down the Delaware River
The whole way with the tide.

I have done the trip to New England or back over 35 times. There re advantage to doings hot fro Block to Cape May as well as disadvantages. Crew strength and experience as well as boat preparation are definite factors.

Dave
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Old 09-25-2012
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Re: Maine to Chesapeake Fall Passage

A lot of your progress will depend on the weather and how much the crew can take. On one passage we left Harpswell ME at about noon on Saturday, and arrived in Southport CT on Monday morning before breakfast. Most of that trip was made under a reefed mainsail and fully furled jib. We entered the Cape Cod Canal with that combination up, against the tide, doing better than 10.5 knots according to the GPS. We had some breeze. The last time we headed south, we left Rockland at about noon on a Saturday and had to essentially power upwind most of the way to Gloucester. There we grabbed a mooring and some sleep before continuing into headwinds & rain to catch the tide at the canal. Small craft warnings were flying in Buzzards Bay when we to the other end of the canal, and we wore ourselves out in the slow, wet beat power/sailing up to New Bedford.
We had a miserable experience in Padanaram (South Dartmouth) There are few/no facilities there any more, and the New Bedford YC was inhospitable. Friends had a much better reception in New Bedford proper, where the waterfront has been entirely redone and marina slips, facilities, restaurants, hotels and moorings are plentiful and eager for business. We ended up coming back the next weekend to bring the boat down the rest of the way, and the weather was more favorable. Going with a crew of 2-3 will limit how far you can push in a day. I like having at least five for overnights because it allows getting some sleep in. That way when you get to a place where the navigation is tricky, someone is more likely to be awake enough to make the right decisions. Even then, the trip you plan is long enough that you'd want to stop and get some real sleep along the way. Depending upon when and where you are, there will be logical spots to pull into while you wait for the tide to change at the Race, or Hell Gate, for example.
Your idea of giving it three weeks should provide you enough weather window to avoid the bashing we pushed through.
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Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Maine to Chesapeake Fall Passage

Days are getting shorter/ nights longer and colder. You should leave soon if you're going. As others have mentioned, make sure you have a reliable engine. If you haven't checked things like the impeller, alternator belt, changed fuel/oil filters etc. Check trans fluid. in awhile, I'd do so before leaving and carry some spares ( impeller, thermostat, antifreeze etc..) . I don't know what your fuel tankage is but you might want to carry an extra 5 gallons. And keep the tank full.

Cape Cod canal. By the time you get in the neighborhood of Block I, Cuttyhunk etc..you'll know how things are going, and can make a decision to go offshore to cape may or continue through the Race into Long Island sound. Weather, crew fitness etc will help dictate your decision. I'd stay flexible, and have multiple plans at your disposal. Know where all your bailout points are and what services are available to you along the way.

Entering a strange ( new) harbor at night can be stressful at a time when you are most exhausted... so if you're stopping I'd make sure to arrive with some daylight. As Chef mentioned, If you plan on 40 miles a day average, you can begin to plan around that.
Keep in mind that many marina services ( fuel docks, launches, showers, etc ) are likely on shortened, off season schedules now.

Make sure you have plenty of ready to eat foods to keep strength up. If you get in to any snot, you won't be doing much cooking.
If you sail through the night, have a thermos or two of soup, coffee, etc and some sandwiches ready before nightfall, and all the other safety systems..ie jacklines, tethers.

Eldridge will likely be your most used resource.. you need to be able to hit currents at the right time. Forcing a schedule is where people get in to jams, so I would remain flexible and adjust and adapt the schedule to the conditions, the ship and the crew..

Have a safe trip..
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