SailNet Community banner
1 - 20 of 166 Posts

·
Registered
Tartan 37
Joined
·
5,436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are planning on venturing out of the Chesapeake (for the first time) with the intent to head north, hopefully to Marthas Vineyard, then stop a few places in between on the way back.

We don't have a long time, 16/17 days total leaving July 4th and returning to Rock Creek/Patapsco River by July 19th or 20th.

I am finishing up a few last projects and should be ready to cast off in time.

Any thoughts and suggestions on places to stay(like should I make reservations asap), must see, things to know, etc...

I need/want to get an EPIRB, should I rent a liferaft? The furthest from shore we'll be looks about 50 miles or so during our straight shot from Cape May to the Vineyard...otherwise the rest will be inside LIS or along the Jersey coast on the way back.

Thanks...I look forward to hearing what you experienced folks have to say.
 

·
old guy :)
Joined
·
1,061 Posts
Shawn

Sounds like fun. If this helps any, this is our blog of part of our trip. It was the first time for us in these waters. We bought our Irwin 34 in Edgewater MD and sailed her home to Canada. The blog for the part of the journey you are talking about starts here.

As to equipment - you need to get what makes you comfortable. For us, an EPIRB and a life raft were not on our "need to have list", but each is responsible for their own safety.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,865 Posts
Nice plan. My advice is mostly about my neighborhood. I've done the trip back you've described on a delivery, but we didn't stop.

For the trip up I agree an EPIRB and raft cannot hurt. Hopefully the weather gods will cooperate and deliver the SW wind you're supposed to get with the short time window. If not, I'd wait for it. Weather has been weird this year, lots of persistent easterlies, hopefully that will end before you leave!

Our favorite local haunts include Cuttyhunk, Tarplin Cove, Menemsha, Hadleys, and Lake Tashmoo (requires shallow draft which I think you have board up). The area is busy in the summer, but these places tend to be relatively quiet(er). Places like Tarplin are not all weather, either are the and outside moorings at Menemsha, but are good in prevailing SWers.

For a little more noise go to Vineyard Haven. To rub elbows with the rich and infamous, go to Edgartown (ego town). To experience the disneyland like atmosphere of cobblestones and tons of tourists, go the the Nantucket. And if you need to party, go to Oak Bluffs, expect to raft on a mooring if they have space.

On the cape side, Hyannis or Falmouth might be a good place to provision, etc. If you come to Falmouth, call the harbormaster in advance, they may be able to put you on a dock, and groceries are within walking distance, but it's busy so call and try to reserve space.

On your way back, we like Block Island. Other netters can give you much more data on Newport, Long Island, CT, NY, etc. I remember doing the East River at night, pretty spectacular with the city light of NYC.

Mind the currents in Vineyard/Nantucket sound. They run 2-3kts, if you time them right your trips between these places will be much quicker. Careful in Woods Hole, it's a money maker for the local marina's, at least one boat on the rocks per week peak season...time the tides there too if you can.

Sounds like a great trip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,600 Posts
We've done the trip up the jersey shore 4 times. Hardest part is the timing down the Delaware bay out to Cape May. if you can get under the bridges in the Cape May canal it will be much easier. If not, Cape Henlopen is a good alternative with plenty of room to anchor.
Going N from Cape May you can bail out into Atlantic City pretty easily. If you anchor there, know the current runs very strong so make sure you are set well.
We dont carry a raft but do have a spot tracker.

The run down the East River is fantastic. We do Northport to Sandy Hook in an easy day with the current pushing us up to 11 knots.

We should be leaving the Upper Ches around the same time...
 

·
Chastened
Joined
·
4,861 Posts
I'll be doing a DelMarVa circumnavigation in August.

My plans for communications are:
VHF with DSC, tied to GPS.
SPOT tracker with SAR service.
Cell phone when close enough to shore.

This link: Rescue 21 Distress System Coverage

...was recently provided to me. It states (and shows with a map) that USCG VHF range, is engineered to project at least 30 miles offshore, and often goes much further than that.

These projections factor in a boat's VHF antenna only 2 meters off the water, not even masthead mounted antenna.

I'm not trying to dissuade you from an EPIRB, just trying to provide some useful information. Do whatever makes you comfortable.

I'm not going with a liferaft either.
I will have good jacklines, harnesses, etc.

Something oft overlooked is a securing mechanism and tethers for your hatchboards. If a hatchboard washes overboard, you now have a huge hole in your boat.

Being a "coastal cruiser" does seem to simplify things a bit, vs. being a "blue water cruiser".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,252 Posts
LOTS of choices. Instead of heading to the Vineyard from Cape May, consider heading towards Montauk Point (its closer) and your first stop can be Block Island. From there you east to Cuttyhunk and the Vineyard, north to Newport and Narragansett Bay or west to Long Island Sound.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,644 Posts
You'll probably want to make a reservation in Cape May if you want a slip for the night.
I believe Utsche's marina has the best price @ 2.00/ft. South Jersey Marina is a dollar more ($2.95) But double check. Don't wander out of the channel on the east side exiting the canal. The currents can run pretty good around the channels and marinas

If the current is favorable, I've left the C&D canal in the wee hours of the morning ( 2 a.m. once) headed for Cape May in order to beat the heat and green head flys that can terrorize you on the bay.

Options for stops are endless once out toward MV and Block. Block has become a real PIA in the summer, but if you haven't done it, it's an experience. I feel most comfortable on a town mooring,(green balls) or, a private mooring obtained through calling the harbormaster on VHF by 3 p.m. The anchorage can get very crowded, the slips @ Champlin's are expensive and you are rafted up at the dock sometimes 4 across.

On the LI sound coming back..Lots of stops...I tend to like the Connecticut River area..Old Saybrook, north cove, or Essex then I cross over to Port Jefferson. Some like to stay on the Connecticut side. From PJ you can head straight for NY or the highlands in a long day..or stop at Port Washington or City Island. and try to catch a morning ride down the east river. Diesel fuel, if needed, is easier to obtain in Manhasset bay than on City Island. Have a great Trip.. keep us posted.
 

·
Registered
Tartan 37
Joined
·
5,436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks folks, this is great info...

I primarily want to get to MV, Block, and NYC and if time allows, Mystic or Newport.

What line from Cape May to MV is best, straight shot or go a little more east, hitting block first is a good idea as well, but would you suggest that from Cape May or go inside LIS first?

I will make a reservation in Cape May soon, probably Utsche's marina
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,644 Posts
Shawn, if the prevailing southwest wind is in place the sail to block gets you up there faster...from Cape May.

That same SW wind makes coming home offshore potentially a close hauled trip back.

Coming back inside the LIS gives you some nice places to stop on the way home like NYC ( on your list) being one. The downside to inside is you'll probably end end up motor sailing a fair bit of the way. My experience in the summers coming home on the sound..is that the winds typically don't pick up until afternoon, not unlike the Bay. So leaving port at 7 am..on the next leg will usually have you motoring sailing until noon or so. My strategy is to catch fish..and jump in for a swim..once in awhile. You could hang around town in the mornings, and leave when the wind picks up...and arrive at your next stop later. There's often an evening thunderstorm to dodge in July.

I tend to get up and go..and make coffee underway.
 

·
Registered
Tartan 37
Joined
·
5,436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Shawn

Sounds like fun. If this helps any, this is our blog of part of our trip. It was the first time for us in these waters. We bought our Irwin 34 in Edgewater MD and sailed her home to Canada. The blog for the part of the journey you are talking about starts here.

As to equipment - you need to get what makes you comfortable. For us, an EPIRB and a life raft were not on our "need to have list", but each is responsible for their own safety.
Great blog, thanks for sharing, I will be reading this thoroughly :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
434 Posts
Chef
Sounds like a great trip, but might be a little rushed...just my opinion.
As far as route -( at 6kts) cape may to MV is approx 1d 18hr 250nm, cape may to block approx 1d 9hr 208nm. Atlantic city to MV 1d 8hr and Atlantic city to block 23hr.
My choice would be to head for Block Island first and then make your way to MV.
Must see's: Block, Cutty Hunk, MV, woods Hole, NewPort($$$$) Ida Lewis YC very nice place to stay while in Newport, Mystic sea port( you can stay right at the seaport, make reserv's NOW) West harbor Fishers Island, CT river and Essex is very nice Make reserv's,
or Duck Island Roads anchorage Westbrook or pilot point marina Westbrook, Port Jeff on Long Island, Manhassett harbor has free moorings, that will get you down to the east river. I would not suggest doing E. river and NYC harbor at night very busy and light pollution is very difficult to navigate.
Have a fantastic trip.
Petere
 

·
Registered
Tartan 37
Joined
·
5,436 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I agree its a little rushed, I wouldn't have an issue with spending most of the time MV and Block :) With several suggestions so far I am leaning towards going to Block Island first then MV...after that we'll see what we feel up to. I do want to relax, at the same time I want to take advantage of the opportunity to get up there and see as much as we can comfortably. NYC is slowly moving to the bottom of the list, maybe on another trip. I have been there often by land, and frankly afraid if I step onto Manhattan I will end up spending to much $$$ at restaurants, I was already thinking about dinner one night at Per Se or Daniel! LOL
 

·
Old enough to know better
Joined
·
4,345 Posts
I agree its a little rushed, I wouldn't have an issue with spending most of the time MV and Block :) With several suggestions so far I am leaning towards going to Block Island first then MV...after that we'll see what we feel up to. I do want to relax, at the same time I want to take advantage of the opportunity to get up there and see as much as we can comfortably. NYC is slowly moving to the bottom of the list, maybe on another trip. I have been there often by land, and frankly afraid if I step onto Manhattan I will end up spending to much $$$ at restaurants, I was already thinking about dinner one night at Per Se or Daniel! LOL
Naw, hit up Momofuku noodle bar! Awesome food, only slightly more expensive than McDonald's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,600 Posts
The ride down the East River is the best part. Just keep going and save your money!

You have choices...Head out of Cape May and if its not good the divert to Atlantic City is easy. If conditions are good arc northeast and get going. If you make good time you can run all the way to MV, if not drop into Block. Be aware the current up Vineyard Sound runs about 2.5 knots so watch your timing thru there.

Have you checked rates for moorings and dockage up that way? $$$$
We don't spend a dime on mooring or dockage as there are places to anchor if you don't mind a longer dink ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,689 Posts
Shawn, no reason to venture 50 miles offshore - I would stay within 10 miles of the coast, easy trip, and if the weather gets nasty, easy ride into the inlets. Mystic Seaport is a neat place, and I've been there several times in powerboats and by land. When I was an freelance outdoor writer, one of the magazines I wrote for home ported out of Mystic and I had to go there frequently for conferences.

You'll love it,

Gary :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,252 Posts
One suggestion when heading west towards Long Island Sound after exploring points east, take the Watch Hill Passage vs the Race or Plum Gut and stop at Stonington. Shorter hop and currents are less in case you don't time them just right. And Stonington is a great town to explore. You can anchor in the outer harbor or get a mooring at Dodson's.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
12,357 Posts
Shawn, no reason to venture 50 miles offshore - I would stay within 10 miles of the coast, easy trip, and if the weather gets nasty, easy ride into the inlets. Mystic Seaport is a neat place, and I've been there several times in powerboats and by land. When I was an freelance outdoor writer, one of the magazines I wrote for home ported out of Mystic and I had to go there frequently for conferences.

You'll love it,

Gary :cool:
Gary,

Having made this same trip many dozen times, I am curious which inlets you speak of. I my opinion the only safe ones on the Jersey coast are Cape May, Atlantic City, Barnegat (graveyard of NJ) and Manesquan. All especially Barnegat are not easy ones. You should be prepared to travel at night if conditions are not good to transit the inlets.

Shawn, we have talked a lot about this and not to throw negatively on it i think this is to much to bite of as a first trip north. It's not about your experience but about the experience.

I will be heading north in mid August as we do every year. We have 19 days. IMHO and experience barely enough time to visit MV and not much else. MV is certainly doable, but you will be on a tight schedule pushing it even if you go straight through to Block from Cape May. I think this is to aggressive. Not the trip I would take as a first timer offshore and with two young children. Give yourself some time to gain some experience .

We gave done this expedition every year for 13 years and find its much more enjoyable to relax and spend time in one area sail between the interesting towns. The next year go back up and explore another area. This way your family will greater enjoy the area and see things which interest them instead of doing 60 to 130 miles of sailing only every day or every other day. Remember you also have to come back against prevailing S winds and put a couple of days in for weather. It would be different if you could get a few friends to help you get the boat up there quickly.

Logically one day to the Delaware. One to Cape May....36 hours or 2 days to Block. I day to the Vineyard.in best conditions. That's 5 days. Non stop sailing. 5 or six days back. That's 10-11 days just transiting. Not much time for seeing much else. To me not a very relaxing vacation.

Since it is your first time to do this I would dial back a little and enjoy this trip. That way maybe you will have a great experience. And your brood will want to do this every year. I would do Block -2 days Greenport-2 days Mystic- 2 days then back down the Sound to Northport or Port Jefferson . Down the East river to Atlantic Highlands. Spend 2 days on the return in Cape May.

In addition you don't have the battery power to be out this long without being at a dock a few tines. In addition is your radar working? The fogs a ***** when it comes in up there for a few days.

Either way you choose I be glad to help you with anchorages, restaurants and routes for your trip.

Dave
 
  • Like
Reactions: jameswilson29
1 - 20 of 166 Posts
Top