Cape May to Block Island advice needed - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 48 Old 3 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Cape May to Block Island advice needed

howdy
plan to leave this weekend, concerns me having to sail across the main shipping lanes going in and out of New York harbor.
Suggestions?
better to be as far offshore as possible?
Have Vesper and radar nevertheless seems challenging no to be run over by a cargo ship.
I have considered going into Long Island and use the inside route but even then will be stuck with having to cross those lanes coming from the south.
thanks
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Re: Cape May to Block Island advice needed

Two ways to do this trip. Up the east river and then LI sound or straight shot. Have done both ways. Without a doubt straight shot is much faster and much lower stress.
We typically will stay 25-50m off the NJ coast. This keeps you out of virtually all traffic except the occasional ship. But recreational traffic and fish boats arenít much of a concern. Ideally you pick up the Gulf Stream countercurrent so get a bit of a lift. Prevailings allow for beam or broad reaching so speed is good. The sound can be light air for days with need to power. Also no concerns about tides or races if you go outside.
You need to get pretty far out off the NJ coast to have any real depth. Itís worth it as you get swell not waves or chop. So if weather permits going outside makes great sense. However once in your life you should go inside. Thereís nothing like sailing by Manhattan.
In terms of your question you should pass by NY harbor far enough out that shipping is well divided. They do follow two major lanes. If you have AIS not that difficult at all. Just like the approaches to the Chesapeake the closer you are to the mouth the more densely packed shipping is and more difficult to dodge.
Given, like the NJ coast, staying well off the LI coast makes for better sailing would stay at least 10m off the Verrazano bridge or depending upon winds/sea state 25m. Much of this trips decisions depends on prevailings. If youíre depending on land and sea breezes you want to be very close (1/2-2m). If you have a good system following you up just stay off shore donít stress and enjoy the ride.
Btw the NJ shore is one of my least favorite places to sail. If itís snotty the waves break. No easy places to ditch. Boring coast line. As bad as going up the Delaware to the C & D. Either too much or too little wind. But Block is fun as are the Elizabethians
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Re: Cape May to Block Island advice needed

I appreciate and thank you for taking the time.
will go outside, you are correct on the level of stress, found that a major issue when single-handed, too many things to deal with, tides, winds, traffic, electronics, night approaches to anchor or docking, etc
Outside it is.
David
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Re: Cape May to Block Island advice needed

Just sail your course line. I believe Cape May to Montauk "R-2" is 047 deg M. 197 miles. Head east a little out of Cape May about 2-1/2 to 3 miles before heading NE. Your furthest point from land will be around 34 miles. The Shipping- traffic separation lanes should be charted. you'll be outside the outer edge of the approach to NY

Looks like you have NW winds until Sunday night, then shifting W, and then SW and S. until Wed. Obviously the W, SW, and S are your friend.

You may see some shipping. More as you leave the jersey coast, and then as you approach L.I. But they could be anywhere.
You'll Certainly see commercial and recreational fishing boats. It's Summer. Just keep watch. You'll be fine.

P.S. Set a Preventer if you need to.

You might want to try to plan your arrival at block in Daylight, if you've never been there. It's a somewhat narrow entrance that takes you close to the beach. Then of course finding a suitable anchorage or a mooring ball is challenging this time of year. if you get there early a.m. you might catch someone leaving a mooring. Good Luck, Safe Passage.

Last edited by tempest; 3 Weeks Ago at 03:59 PM.
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Re: Cape May to Block Island advice needed

We done both ways. Straight from Cape May to Block (39 miles ) or up the NJ coast and out the Sound. If itís a [email protected] I say do the coast. There are a few nice stopovers, Atlantic City, Barnegat Light, Atlantic Highlands. And as Outbound said you MUST do the East River once in your life at least. Also there are many neat towns on the LI Sound.

The inside route takes you next to the main shipping channels, no worries except the Staten Island Ferry which takes no prisoners. On the outside route crossing the three separation zones is no big deal. Especial with the Vesper.

We just came back to the Chesapeake 10 days ago after spending 20 days in that area. The only bad part of the trip..the Delaware Bay and River, home of the infamous square wave and the New Jersey State Bird., .Tabanus nigrovittatus......the biting Greenhead Fly
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Re: Cape May to Block Island advice needed

Chef, I'm sure 39 miles to block, was a typo :-) Or, I'd be there every week. ;-) As far as the Staten Island Ferry goes, If you keep to Brooklyn side of the river, and duck behind Governors Island, and use Buttermilk channel, the S.I. ferry is not a concern. There's plenty of other ferry traffic, in lower Manhattan though, but the big yellow bus isn't a problem, unless of course, you need to get up close and personal with the Statue of Liberty.
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Re: Cape May to Block Island advice needed

Believe at this point easiest way to jump up and down the Eastern US coast is.
Bar Harbor
P-town to rest until CC canal is going your way. Going north hole up in onset.
Newport or Block
Cape May
Norfolk
Ft. Lauderdale
Points south

Avoid Georgia, avoid NJ except Cape May, avoid nyc, avoid LI sound unless you have lots of time.
If weather is iffy then use LI sound and ICW from Norfolk to Oriental and C & D canal to have a few days off the ocean.

Biggest jump is just a few days which should allow you to restock fuel, food, water as needed. We can do it without that need as far as Norfolk easily( or the whole thing) but this rough plan should work for just about anyone. Getting in/out of Georgian harbors is a long way. Getting in/out of NJ harbors other than CM can be scary and difficult in strong easterlies. Florida is crowded and expensive with much of it draft restricted. New England is easy/peesy with deep water harbors every few miles but also crowded so itís increasingly hard to anchor without local knowledge.

Know Iím ragging on peopleís home waters. Iím sure theyíre lovely. But without local knowledge or experience of your waters the above seems the lowest stress way to get across the eastern seaboard. Wonder what others do.

s/v Hippocampus
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Re: Cape May to Block Island advice needed

Will apologize further. The above misses great cruising. You can spend a lifetime cruising New England, L.I. Sound, Chesapeake, the keys etc. Would also note many would add Jacksonville or another harbor near Georgia/Florida border. Would finally note Iím bias by a 6-7í draft and a 64í air draft as well as being a total chicken when coastal.
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Re: Cape May to Block Island advice needed

Understood! ;-) Do you skip the Abacos and the Bahamas too? Just a plug for my home waters. The Atlantic Highlands in New Jersey is a boater friendly stop, frequented by many transients. Easy in and out without local knowledge. In the Spring and Fall, there are more Canadian Flagged vessels than geese in port.
No inlet to worry about and the outer harbor is plenty deep. Cruiser friendly town, with everything you need within walking distance. You can get launch service at anchor now for $25/day, or dinghy in. Moorings are $55.00/night. Seastreak, to NYC is right there.
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Re: Cape May to Block Island advice needed

Going through the east river with the current is no big deal and the ferries etc aren't any worst that any harbor on the weekend full of weekender boats. I wouldn't ever consider going around LI instead unless that was where I was heading.

BTw- of all the places you could aim for, BI isn't it
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