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  #1  
Old 01-15-2011
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sailing Newport to Annapolis routes

Hi all. I am new to SailNet and looking forward to getting into it. I am the new owner of a Beneteau First 40.7 that is currently in Newport RI. Once the survey is completed I am having the hull repainted and then will bring her home to Annapolis. I plan on doing the trip sometime in April. Any advise as to the best routes to take for the delivery would be appreciated. I have no desire to kill myself getting here, so will be looking to find harbors at night. Any insight is appreciated.

Steve
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Old 01-15-2011
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Welcome to sailnet, congrats on new boat!
April can be raw month in the northeast, pick your days
From Newport you want inside route, that is Long Island Sound in which there will be many good protected bays
on both Ct and Long Island side(eastern LI side not so many)LI side...Mattituck (better enter daytime 1st time)
Port Jefferson, Huntington Bay, Oyster Bay, Manhasset Bay...safe protected harbors, can anchor or marina in all
above.
CT, side...Ct River (check spring river conditions), Branford (not at night 1st time), Blackrock,
Mamaroneck Harbor, City Island plus many others.
On the whole LI side usually easier landfall depending on wind, as all approaches are bays except for Mattituck
which is a inlet. I'm sure there are differing opinions.
Stage for entrance to East River either in protected Manhasset Bay, City Island(less protected if anchoring)
both 2-3 miles from Throggs Neck Bridge where the East River begins or anchor in Little Bay at the southeast foot of the bridge, good holding and protected on 3 sides.
You want to leave LIS at high tide riding 3-4 knot current down (west) the East River and Hell Gate...and continue on the out going tide to Sandy Hook/Atlantic
Highlands.
OR some time to pass Hell Gate little after slack tide,
no problem either way...beware of strong opposing winds to current in/at East River/Hell Gate there have known to be standing waves. Also stay to the west of
Roosevelt Is. immediately pass Hell Gate as there is a low bridge to the east and the views are better closer to
Manhattan...you will pass the UN and the Statue of Liberty very close. Also you will pass under a total of
nine bridges (all with plenty of clearance).
Atlantic Highlands has a good marina to wait for for
your weather to go outside along the N.J. coast.
There are not a lot of options to tuck in along the Jersey
coast. Have been into Barnegat Inlet but not in heavy
conditions...do not cut buoy to north of inlet...I think
there is a seawall that covers and uncovers. Atlantic
City is very good. When you get to Cape May hang a right into Delaware Bay...to C and D Canal to Chesapeake bay. Watch your weather in April and leave
plenty of time.
Welcome aboard, Hugo
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Old 01-16-2011
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Minnewaska will become famous soon enough Minnewaska will become famous soon enough
All great advice from HUGO. I will add that I had a friend who picked up his 'new-to-him' boat in Newport and sailed directly from Narragansett Bay to the Delaware off the south shore of Long Island, then up to the C&D, etc. The trip took 3 full days sailing non-stop. If you are planning to stop overnight, avoid adverse conditions (he sailed in 8 to 10 ft following seas the whole way off shore) and take the longer protected route, I would plan 9 to 12 days.

Edit: April in New England is still pretty cold to be in the wind. Figure out how to stay warm and dry.

Last edited by Minnewaska; 01-16-2011 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 01-16-2011
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I've done the trip in both directions both direct and harbor-hopping.

Direct will take 2 to 2-1/2 days on your First depending on state of current when you reach Delaware Bay. Harbor hopping is 5 to 7 days depending on how long a day your are happy making.

Harbor hopping Southbound I like to anchor off City Island between City and Hart the second night and leave around slack water to make Hell Gate on rising current.

Incidentally, ignore TIDE since what you care about is CURRENT. The days of having to guess or winnow out local knowledge for the phase difference between tide and current. Check NOAA Tides and Currents and look under current predictions under products. The 2011 numbers aren't up yet but should be in the next few weeks.

After East River we anchor behind Sandy Hook. From there we stop in Atlantic City (good anchorage up by the bridge or stop in the municipal marina) and then Cape Henlopen (much better staging than Cape May for the DE Bay unless your mast will fit under the bridge). From Cape Henlopen catch the current up the DE Bay and you should be able to have a favorable tide up the Bay and through the C&D Canal and the northern Chesapeake. Depending on the time of day you can make Annapolis in a long day or make another stop somewhere like Worton Creek.

This is a regular trip for me so do please feel free to contact me directly.
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Old 01-16-2011
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Hey Steve,

There's an endless number of ways to do this trip. I first recommend obtaining a cruising guide there are several. I would also suggest obtaining a copy of the book a Cruising Guide to New England. These two resources will give you a wealth of information regarding stops along the way as well as great piloting advice. They make great Winter reading. Timing the currents at the Race, Hell gate and the C&D canal is critical.

As far as suggested stops along the way, everyone will have their favorites.
One of my favorite routes would be: Newport to the Connecticut River- Old Saybrook or Essex ( Essex is further up the river. but the town is right there)

From The Connecticut River, cross the sound and head for Port Jefferson a great little country town. From Port Jeff, you can head for either City Island or Manhasset Bay. ( port washington ) to set you up for the east river.
City Island has no diesel so fill up in port jeff, or manhasset ( capri marina)

Once you exit the East River you can head strait for the Atlantic Highlands, or Stop in Liberty Marina, or Newport Marina in Jersey City.
If you head for the Highlands, you can keep to the left and duck behind Governors Island and pass through buttermilk channel ( avoiding the battery.)

From the Highlands, you will want to wait for a good weather window to head offshore along the Jersey Coast. 1st stop could be Atlantic City, then Cape May. The Highlands to Cape May is about 24 hours +/- .
No need to get too far offshore, 2-3 miles is perfect. in 40-60 ft of water.
Check your bridge clearance for Cape May! You may have to go around ( in and then out again rather than going through the canal )

The trip up the Delaware Bay to the C & D canal is a long one. Waiting for a good weather window and the right current will make this easier. Once in the Chesapeake you have an infinite number of options; depending on your schedule you can explore any number of them, or just head straight for Annapolis.

It's good to have several plans and options and knowing where you can duck in if the weather turns.

Good luck, it's a great trip.
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Last edited by Tempest; 01-16-2011 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 01-16-2011
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SVAuspicious...quote
"Harbor hopping Southbound I like to anchor off City Island between City and Hart the second night and leave around slack water to make Hell Gate on rising current."

SVAuspicious are you sure you want to advise going
Southbound, down East River (Hell Gate) into a opposing rising northbound current!
I don't need to be right...but want to do right by swe396.
point of information re East River/Hell Gate...
when traveling west...you go down or south,
when traveling east... you go up or north on river.
Sailboats usually want to go with the current as it
can reaches 3-4+ knots.
One might want to get underway from City
Is. area heading west/south/down the East River
at/around "high slack water" and make Hell Gate
riding current (falling) down the river.
If tide/currents timing is good in a.m. can make Sandy
Hook/Alt.Highlands by early evening.
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Old 01-16-2011
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For the east river and hell gate, read this post. The timing mentioned here is pretty much exactly what we did last year and it worked out just perfect.

Sailing through Hell Gate NY
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Old 01-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HUGOSALT View Post
SVAuspicious...quote
"Harbor hopping Southbound I like to anchor off City Island between City and Hart the second night and leave around slack water to make Hell Gate on rising current."

SVAuspicious are you sure you want to advise going
Southbound, down East River (Hell Gate) into a opposing rising northbound current!
You are right. My apologies for the vocabulary trap. I was focusing on the difference between state of tide and state of current and didn't get the directions right.

My point, which I stand by, is that the good data from NOAA about current is much better than the old rules of thumb about hours before or after a particular state of tide. The NOAA current tables show the compass direction of the current. THAT is what you want to look at.

I leave City Island on(ish) slack water before favorable current and have had a boost all the way through the East River, New York Harbor, and into Sandy Hook. It makes for a very fast but easy ride.

Again, my apologies for the vocabulary snafu.
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Old 01-16-2011
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Steve, buy the Eldridge (orange cover) book for 2011 when it is available, sold at just about every chandlery. That's the bible for most of this route, and will include sailing directions, bearings, VHF and phone contacts en route, tide and current details.

Be aware that the channel entrances along the NJ shore can be outright dangerous, and shoals extend out further than many people realize, causing rougher waters on a lee shore as well as rough inlets. (There are times when the USCG and NJSP won't run the inlets due to weather.)

You can enjoy some fine and relatively sheltered sailing west in LI Sound, which usually turns to motoring from the area of City Island down to NYC harbor, and then decide based on the weather and crew if you're going to stay in the ICW or head outside. Staying in the ICW can mean "driving the bus" not sailing. Heading outside and ducking in evey night can mean timing the inlets, so you might want to get a chartbook or electronic charting on your computer, and start taking a general look at timing and distance issues.

Even if the boat is brand new and the survey perfect, I'd expect to need a 24-hour seatrial to find out what's really reliable, i.e. diesels can have issues that don't show up until the boat has been in rough water for a day to stir things up. You might very well leave RI and then stop in Stamford to deal with issues, unless you've taken care of them in RI first, or had the luck to get a very clean boat.
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Old 01-16-2011
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SVAuspicious...no apologies needed...NOAA current tables certainly the last word. As I grew up on the
shores of the East River/Hell Gate and still live and sail on western LISound less than 2 miles from Throgs Neck bridge feel I should chime in when can add something.
As you state, leaving City Is. area at/around high slack
water with current giving boost down river is the way to go, lost count of number of trips down river years ago but still treat river with upmost caution and respect.
And my mom won't let us swim in it any more!!!
Will look you up for local knowledge when down
in chesapeake. Hugo
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