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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to pick up my S2 8.0A near Annapolis and bring her home to Washington NC. Taking a friend that sails with me. He has not sailed the Chesapeake bay south to Washington before and this will be my first time sailing.

I could use some pointers. Amount of time it will take, Best places to stop at on the way for food stops, gas, supplies, a shower and a little sleep. Good beer stops also! I do not drink and drive (Sail).

I'm making a list of the must have safety items.

Look forward to your feekback.
 

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Asleep at the wheel
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Check out ActiveCaptain.com. Assume 5 MPH average or about 50 miles a day. If at all possible, time the trip so you're moving WITH any tidal current (I think the Potomac is still tidal even up through Dumfries, etc.). Active Captain will also have reviews of different anchorages and marinas along your path.

There was a thread here not that long ago (2-3 months?) where someone was doing a similar trip. I think they were headed from the Solomons area to Occoquan or Woodbridge (which are both unusual enough that you should be able to find it quickly). That thread had some very good information in it.

The S2's are nice boats. I've seen a few with issues, but in general they were well made. Goog luck with yours, and with the trip!

BTW, if you haven't figured this out yet, we NEED pictures!
 

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Congrats on the new boat, and have fun on the trip!
 

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But if not...
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Congrats on the purchase. Second the recommendation to look at stops on ActiveCaptain. If you have the time, I'd linger in the Chesapeake some. Some great places to stop on the way down to the ICW.

Enjoy the trip!
 

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Our favorite ports for this route are: Solomons- anchor on the north side of Zanhisers near the Maritime Museum with dinghy access at the Holiday Inn; Tangier Island- with a cheap dock at Milton Park's marina and his tour of the island; Deltaville - on the south side (Jackson Creek) and anchored off the Deltaville Marina; Portsmouth- tied to the dock at the ferry landing at the end of High Street with the evening meal at the Colonial Theater up the street (if the current is unfavorable up the Elizabeth River anchor at Fort Monroe just west of the former army marina); Dismal Swamp route with free stops at Elizabeth's Dock, La Familia Mexican Restaurant, just south of the bridge at deep creek (grocery store), the NC/Va welcome center dock; Elizabeth City- free town dock (unless SE winds are unfavorable); Anchor ca Bear Point just beyond the Alligator River; Dowrey Creek Marina, Mary offers a cuortesy car for groceries & lunch in Belhaven (or many good anchorage spots down the Pungo and up the Pamlico to Little Washington. Have a great trip!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for all the feedback. I'm planning on flying up on the 27th and start out early morning of the 28th. I need to reach Little Washington by the 3rd of July. Is this a do able time span? Is it best to come down the Dismal swamp or the ICW?
 

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Given that you have never sailed before and your friend has never been in the southern Bay, you really should find some experienced help, either a delivery captain or someone familiar with this route.

Put a Crew Wanted ad up in the subforum on Sailnet...you should be able to find some one experienced to help you out.
 

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5 knots is a very fast average for that boat, especially if they are sailing. I would think that even 4 knots is a pretty fast average for a boat like the S2 30. Given a typical day's 10-12 hour run, I would think that it would be hard to coordinate with the tide cycles if you are going to come close to keeping your schdeule since you could experience at least two tide cycles on each days time underway.

You may need to allow time for an engine oil change, and given your tight schedule you should plan also carry enough fuel for the length of the Bay to avoid putting in for fuel. If you don't do that you will need to add precious time to go further up Rivers to places with fuel docks.

If I had to make that trip from Annapolis I would probably do something like this:

First day,
-If I had a late start I would head down to Galesville on the West River. Its only 14 miles and it gives you a chance for a shake down the boat and end up at a town with a good set of marine services.

-If I had a very early start, I would try to make it to Hudson Creek on the Little Choptank, and anchor. (no facilities) (This would be my second day stop if I got a late start on the first day)

Next day:
I would try to make it to Reedville or Mill Creek off of the Great Wicomico River and anchor as well.

Next day:
You should be able to make it to Mile One of the intercoastal.

I'm planning on flying up on the 27th and start out early morning of the 28th. I need to reach Little Washington by the 3rd of July. Is this a do able time span? Is it best to come down the Dismal swamp or the ICW?
That seems like a nearly impossible time frame, especially if you plan to sail at all.

Jeff
 
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I am with Jeff and take some time to shake the boat down the first few days where you can get to a marinia should you find something wrong. Also make sure you get BoatUS unlimited Towing.

As James said having someone who has sailed and knows the southern Bay would be helpful and also increase your safety margin.

How far down the intercoastal do you have to go? How many bridges?

Dave
 

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3 days down the Chesapeake to Norfolk/Portsmouth.
2 days down to the Pamlico
3 or likely 4 days to Washington NC

These times expect 5 knots minimum.
Use an ap on your smartphone for current flows called "currents".
Search around for bridge opening schedules in Norfolk, there are strict limits and rush hour closures.

No allowance for surprises like engine trouble, bad weather, fouled crab traps.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
This is very helpful, looks to be more like a 7 day trip if I added right, that being if all goes with good weather and no repairs needed on the way .
 

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Wandering Aimlessly
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Is your goal to simply get to Washington, or to enjoy yourself along the way? Do either of you have any experience in anchoring? Do either of you have any experience get on and off a dock? Have either of you gone through a lock before? Do you have a time frame?

If all you're interested in is getting there, aren't planning on going ashore, and aren't worried about how much you sail vs motor, then it's going to take a minimum (best case) 6 days. Plan on 9. A handheld VHF is easier for hailing bridges and locks.

Annapolis to Solomons
Solomons to Deltaville (I anchor in Fishing Bay)
Deltaville to Norfolk - refuel (you should take along at least a 5 gal jug of fuel)
Norfolk to Coinjock (one lock) or Norfolk to Elizabeth City (two locks)
From either to Marker 49 at the end of the wide part of the Alligator River (pay close attention to the channel markers on entering the Alligator from the Sound)
Alligator to Washington. (Pay close attention to the channel markers from 49 until you're in the canal, particularly once you turn to port)

Do buy an unlimited tow package. One call will pay for a few years worth. And with an unknown boat, it's just commonsense.

Other than the Alligator, you have a choice of dock or anchor.
 

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Follow the advice above. Get rid of your calendar. Trying to stay on a strict schedule is a bad idea. If you absolutely must be in NC by a specific date hire a delivery captain to deliver it for you and learn to sail in your home waters when you have the time to make mistakes and take it slow.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Main goal is to get back to Wash NC.

I'm new to sailing, but not to boating
He sails, but not Chesapeake.

I have expr with power boats
I'm good with docking, would be first time with sailboat

I have no expr with locks, but he does.

6 days plan on 9
I have VHF handheld

actual start is Stevensville MD, lower east side
what is the best we could hope for with a sunrise departure on first day distance wise?

Would Dismal swamp be less traffic and faster?
I'll have a total of three 6 gal portable plastic gas tanks.
outboard is a 9.9 merc four stroke

I have the BoatsUS tow package on all my boats and insurance coverage

I do thank all of you for all your input.
The info will help greatly

Tim
 

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Context: I'm a delivery skipper.

Assumption: engine and other systems are in good shape and nothing major breaks.

I think you're looking at six days if you treat this as a delivery. Maybe 5. I'm pretty sure I could do it in 5. The usual time for most cruisers would be more like 8 or 9. It's all about preparation and attitude.

Give real thought to provisioning. You want breakfast that you can eat underway (one person can be on watch while the other cooks). Lunch underway. Late dinner after anchor down and prep meals for the next day. You're going to want snacks - make them easily accessible. I keep a big snack bag under the companionway.

Stopping for fuel is a time killer. Take as many jugs as you can manage and make topping up the tanks part of your evening routine. This is a good time of year - early sunrise and late sunset, so lots of light.

Leave Stevensville as soon as you can. Head down the Bay and run straight through to Norfolk, 4 on 4 off with two aboard and 4 on 8 off with three aboard. This will likely take 24 to 28 hours on your boat. Sail as much as you can. Keep boat speed up. When you hit Norfolk there is a marina near Hospital Point - it's right on the river and fast for topping up fuel.

Most of the ICW isn't appropriate for non-professionals to run at night. There are sections you can run (like the Alligator-Pungo canal). Stretch your days as much as possible.

Be conservative - nothing kills a schedule like running aground and waiting for TowBoat/US to show up.

Plan on anchoring so you can stretch the days as much as possible.

Let me know if I can help.
 

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I wouldn't plan on more than 50 miles per 12 hrs. You may do more, but it's better to under than over estimate.

If during the week, traffic shouldn't be a concern on either route. It's been my experience that powerboats prefer the Virginia Cut and sailboats the Dismal Swamp. They are both about the same amount of transit time in a sailboat.

While it's nice knowing where you're going from experience, that's what charts are for, just like maps on the highway. Be aware, each morning, of alternate stops short of your day's goal, in cause of weather or mechanical problems. And don't set your day's goal in stone.

I don't know how far you can go on a tank of gas for your Merc. If nothing else, bring an empty 5 gal can that you can use if necessary. South from Norfolk will be all motoring, as will the Alligator and through the canal. (If you're under 45' mast height, you can go west side of Roanoke Island if you know a place to anchor or dock around Swan Quarter, instead of the Alligator.)
 
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