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Just as the title says. I wanted to gauge interest in doing a circumnavigation trip around the delmarva peninsula. I'd prefer to do it in my own boat and wanted to look for crew crazy enough to do it with me, or crew for a larger boat. Worst case would be for me to get a fleet of boats together for the trip which would greatly increase the safety factor. It takes about a week, allow 2 weeks for weather, rest, and a chance to visit areas along the bay. I've never done an offshore trip before. That seems to have me thinking twice about it, but I don't believe that its an unreachable goal. Most people I've talked to say that a spartan 25' boat has no business cruising the coast. If I'm crazy, please feel free to let me know, as I appreciate all advice and opinions. Merits have done trips to HI from CA and sailed back (single handed mind you) without incident.

If looking to crew for me, I'd be more than happy to explain the provisions (or lack there of) of the boat and my experience. Seems that the most difficult part of the trip would be from ocean city to the mouth of the bay. Its about 140 miles of coastal cruising and around 440 miles total.

Thanks for reading.
 

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If the timing is right we'll join you on our boat for the Annapolis to either the Sassafras/Delaware Canal area or Norfolk leg, can't see taking two weeks off next summer.
 

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I have been thinking the same. I have a friend in the next berth that is also going and we were planing to follow each other. maybe this will lead to a flotilla of sorts. Maybe at the start or end of next years raft up. keep it going!!
 

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zz:

Is this your boat? SPARTAN 25 (BUCHANAN)

My home port is at Indian River, DE and have also contemplated the circumnavigation in my Helms 25. From what I've read, you can go through the bays and channels inside to Cape Charles. You would have to research using local knowledge for water depth and some bridge heights. If you Google "Delmarva Circumnavigation" you can see some good reading. Here is an example http://cblights.com/cruising/DelmarvaCircumnavigation.pdf
I have done the circumnavigation of Rehoboth Bay, Lewes/Rehoboth Bay Canal, Delaware Bay, Atlantic Ocean, Indian River Inlet, Indian River Bay loop. Its a full dawn to dusk trip in the spring for the longest daylight.
Feel free to PM me after you read some of the articles and books on the Delmarva Circumnavigation. I have a swing keel and would be very interested in taking the Chincoteague Bay route from Ocean City to Cape Charles.
 

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You are not 'crazy' although many will tell you that you are. People have done this in smaller boats. You are crazy if you stick to dates and timetables instead of waiting for whether windows though.
There is a really funny book about a guy, his boy and a cat sailing down the east coast in a boat smaller then yours in the early 1900's. Amazon.com: The Boy, Me, and the Cat: Henry Plummer: Books
He sailed from MA to FL and back without losing his son, just the cat.
It is funny from the historical perspective. You might enjoy it as I did.
Good luck on you circumnavigation plans in '09.
 

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I hear it's all near impossible to get a sail boat into ocean city with the current and power boats. The people I have talked to that have done this make a straight run from cape May to Norfolk 30-40 hours, But i am still looking forward to it.
 

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ZZ4gta,

I have wanted to make this trip for many years. I tried many times before I sold my boat to get crew with no luck. It seemed no one could take the time off.

With that said If you need crew or any of the others that make the trip do, let me know. I generally take June and July off and would be available in that time frame. I live and have sailed the Chesapeake for years. but never made that trip. There is also a route plan in Shellenburgers, "Cruising The Chesapeake, a gunkholers guide.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well I'm glad I'm not going to be committed to an asylum. Wayne25, I just finished reading that PDF, great info and detailed write up. The link you show isn't my boat, I have a Merit 25, more racer than cruiser.

Everyone, looks like we need to start posting up probably dates to take off, b/c my job (I'm sure is like yours) doesn't like losing an employee for 2 weeks w/o notice. Any suggestions on favorable weather?

Badsanta: A suggestion, if you and your friend want to start it off, I'll meet you in the potomac and start heading north.

Chuck: we can meet up with you as you proposed.

PS - I'm meeting potentially 2 others who are interested to talk about details, and timelines, but have a feeling they'll be looking for rides, and not supplying a boat.

Sailking1 - if you're not annoying, I'd be happy to pick you up coming in from the Atlantic. Or if you don't mind a drive, I sail out of the potomac about 6 miles from the bay. MD side.
 

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I've toyed with the idea of trying this trip next year, though I may have to do it more as either multi part trip, or a death march, cause I'm not getting 2 weeks off.

I was actually thinking of doing it as a single trip in 10 days or less, or moving the boat up north, close to the canal over a long weekend, then taking the 10 days to go from Chesapeake City down the Delaware, the Atlantic leg and back around to Deltaville with plenty of time to explore the lower bay on the way back up.
 

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zz4gta,
Interesting thought! I've been thinking about a Delmarva circumnavigation for several years. Where would you be starting from? I have a 36 foot Pearson in Rock Hall. My wife wouldn't be interested in coming and I'd be looking for crew if I were to join the flotilla. I could take a week off to do this so I'd want to be back in 9 days. This sounds like a great idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm telling my work I need 2 weeks off, but honestly don't expect (or hope) for it to take nearly that long. I figured if I allowed 2 weeks, 10 working days, then I would lessen the urgency of trying to get it done in short order. I'm meeting a few of the 'boys' tonight for drinks to discus dates. I'm thinking late May or June. Weather shouldn't be too bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
zz4gta,
Interesting thought! I've been thinking about a Delmarva circumnavigation for several years. Where would you be starting from? I have a 36 foot Pearson in Rock Hall. My wife wouldn't be interested in coming and I'd be looking for crew if I were to join the flotilla. I could take a week off to do this so I'd want to be back in 9 days. This sounds like a great idea.
The 2 guys I'm meeting tonight are looking for a boat, I will definitely let you know. Both of them have boats, but neither is comfortable taking them offshore. Both I believe are near the South river / Rhode river.

Edit: how about I answer all your questions! lol anyway, I'll be starting from mid-bay out of the Potomac, badsanta is also in that area. I plan to do a clockwise trip, weather and wind cooperating.
 

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A few years back (late '90s, maybe), a retired CG Captain did this trip in his Bayfield 25, solo. He recounted the trip, in serial format, in Messing About in Boats. It was a good read.

He was able to transit several of the many small inlets along the Atlantic coast of Delmarva, south of Ocean City. He emphasized that charts were unreliable in this area due to constantly shifting shoals. He made a point of contacting the local Coast Guard stations to get the very latest local knowledge before entering an inlet. In some cases, they came out and showed him the way in (possibly because of his CG connections).

One of the things that sticks in my memory from that account was the trouble he had with bugs/flies/mosquitoes. I think he set-off in mid-May to try to avoid the worst of them, but they were still pretty bad.

With adequate prep and precautions, I would think the improved sailing ability of your Merit would be an advantage, if not quite as comfortable as the Bayfield 25.
 

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If you google delmarva circumnavigation you'll find several good articles including one by the guy that did the Chesapeake lights website.
 

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ZZ

I've made this a goal for myself for next year as well... We may just get a bunch of us...!

I'm planning on taking a month or so off this summer too... Late May - June is so far kinda open for my schedule...

I think Cruising World (I KNOW you don't have a subscription to that non racing rag) had an article last year in a Delmarva C-Nav.

Craig
 

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I would be very interested in making this trip in my boat. Please keep me in mind for starting dates and a meeting or jump off place.

Thanks
 

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I think it's called Chinocotegue? An inlet south of Ocean City. It looks like there is good depth all the way in if you are careful to avoid the shoaling spots. Does this spot change to often to be usabale?
 

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ZZ, I thought you were at Dahlgren, if so you are above me in colonial beach and I am 40 miles to the Chesapeake. Cobb island is across the river from me. Keep me posted.
 

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Clockwise around I hope? Y'all can start down there in the boonies and head up to the Magothy to my place...!

:) :D
 
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