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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
 

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Gotta agree with Dave on this one... Given your time frame, I'd suggest setting your sights on Block I and Newport as being about as far as you're gonna get, comfortably... And even then, you'll be pushing it, and have to keep moving. Unless you take additional crew for the trip up, and basically sail straight thru from the Chesapeake to Montauk or Block, seems to me going any further than Newport is gonna be pushing it, and allowing little time to explore the spots you're actually at...

One could easily hang out between Block and Newport for several days, without getting bored... Don't rule out Montauk, few sailors bother to go in there, but Lake Montauk is quite similar to Great Salt Pond, though chances are you'll have it largely to yourself... Watch Hill is another gem, another place a lot of people passing thru seem to give a miss... And, I second JimsCAL's recommendation of Stonington, a delightful stop... There are so many places along the way where one could easily hang out for awhile, 'doing nothing'... Fire Island, Watch Hill, the Sand Hole, Norwalk or Thimble Islands, Horseshoe Cove at Sandy Hook, and Barnegat Light are just a few that come to mind...

My taste in food and restaurants is likely pretty pedestrian compared to yours, but I'll venture a couple of recommendations re casual spots... Lucky Bones is right across the street from Utsch's in Cape May, and the Dog Watch Cafe at Dodson's in Stonington is one of my favorite harbor haunts anywhere...

Good luck, you'll have a great trip no matter where you go...
Dam Jon...first time I have agreed with eveything you have posted.

I agree about Montauk. We went there on our last trip up and stayed two days. Tied up on the bulkhead of the mantaul fishing center for 2.50 a foot and were treated to Great Whites and Marlin hanging next to our boat every afternoon.

The town is great also witha nice tour of the lighthouse

Dotsons is great in Stoinington as is the Honor system scallop market in town
 

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I have considered from the beginning of this keeping the boat up there and coming back a few weeks later with some friends. Any suggestions on some decent transient marinas/moorings etc that are reasonable. I would consider two to three weeks if need be.
Marinas at 3 dollars or more per foot make it cost prohibitive in most nice places. Moorings are abundant though in many towns close to the RR. Northport or Port Jefferson are two safe great places with moorings.

Also remember to plan for a hurricane escape hole too, like the Conn River. Most likely won't happen, but two of our years we were up there there were tropical storms headed up the Atlantic a Coast we had to watch and delay our trip home.

You will need 4-5 days to get here home.
 

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Great comments on this thread - I have been planning the same trip and just need a 2 week window to open up in my schedule. My trip is now scaled back to Block Island, Mystic and Greenport.

Don't worry about needing to run your engine 2 hrs. a day, if it is anything like the conditions off the Delmarva coast in July, August and September, you will be motoring 50 -75% of the time in conditions when you can't make sufficient speed. If there is not enough wind to sail 4 kts. consistently, I motor. The last thing I want is to be stuck out there waiting for more wind to complete the passage.

Cape May is a great place to stay, lots of things to do.

My advice is to bring plenty of fuel so you can motor nearly the whole way, if necessary (I am carrying 31 gallons this time). I carry a PLB and tow an inflatable.

To Rich A. - I have lost VHF reception and regular radio reception at times on my Delmarva trips, just sailing 10-12 miles off the shoreline. I can pick up Baltimore and Norfolk anywhere on the Bay, but I lose reception much closer than 30 miles out. Must have something to do with the weather...
Good comments. You'll love Greenport, stay at Mitchel Town Marina. Great carousel for your son. Great BBQ place too close by. If time permits go to Montaulk also. Mystic a good two day stopover.

If you need some recommendations on moorings, restaurants etc. let me know, I can tell you what we experienced.

Our loose itinerary this year is at 21 days
Reedy Island,
Cape May,
Barnegat,
Atlantic Highlands, love the ride up the East river
Port Washington - new for us
Milford- new for us
Mystic or Stonington- 2 days
Newport- 2 days
Block- 2 days
Montaulk
Northport,
Atlantic Highlands or Liberty Marina in Jersey City
Atlantic City
Cape May
Home
+ 2 weather days
 

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A couple of comments on Port Washington and Milford which you indicate are new for you. Would have to confirm for this season, but Port Washington has been offering free mooring for transients. Check with the harbormaster. The water taxi will take you to the waterfront park where its a short walk to Louie's for upscale seafood or up the hill to Main Street for lots of other choices. In Milford I would suggest Milford Landing which is the last facility on the left up the river. It's run by the town and 100% transient. It's right in town with lots of eating choices. Wife and I love the Stonebridge Restaurant which has a fantastic earlybird special - two complete meals for under $30.
Thanks Jim, you hit the nail on the head. We like the free moorings idea with the good food store near the dock in Port Washington as a potential place to pro ion some fresh produce and bagels (got to have them).

Thanks for the tip on Louie's and Stonebridge.

We were going to stay at Milford Landing as one of the few marinas on our trip to do laundry and put a good long overnight charge into our 760 ah battery bank. The active captain reviews give it good props.
 

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This is a family trip right? We think your kids are great but we haven't sailed with them. Passages, even short ones, are an issue if kids need maintenance.

If you time the currents right, Annapolis to Cape Henlopen is 24 hours. Take a break behind the inner breakwater and it's 1-1/2 days to Point Judith. A lot depends on how your girls will do going straight through.

In my opinion Atlantic City and Manasquan are straightforward inlets. If you head from the Delaware to RI on a good weather forecast your bailout is your destination.

Eldridge is fine but the NOAA current tables ( 2014 Tidal Current Predictions - NOAA Tides & Currents ) are your best data source.

If it where me, I'd depart on the favorable current and go straight through to MV. That may not work for you. I'd do LIS in a straight shot to City Island and stage for the East River current - the East River is an experience. Stage again at Sandy Hook for Atlantic City and then Cape Henlopen (I don't fit through Cape May) for the currents up the Delaware Bay. What works for me may not work for you. If the girls can look after themselves and your wife can stand a watch on her own you'll be set. Otherwise you need to hop your way along.
Dave is correct about Atlantic a City and Manesquan. Manesquan has no where to anchor. Atlantic City had two anchorage areas. One beside the CG Station before the Brigantine Bridge. Good holding and 4+ current and 6-8 foot tide change. There was an anchorage across from the Clam Creek on the other side back in the marshes, but last year was blocked by a dredge and also this area was hard hit by Sandy so not sure if it is as I remember.

We stop at Barnegat most years without issue, but I do have local knowledge and for most this can be a dangerous inlet.
 

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I carry a spare mainsail (2 mainsails, 3 jibs, 3 spinnakers). It surprises me how many sailors have multiple jibs, but only one main. I would also bring some sail tape for repairs underway.

Ask Chris and Melanie from the Cal 35 "Vacilando" - they got caught in a microburst on an Atlantic coastal hop and completely blew out the mainsail. As I understand it, it rendered sailing in normal mid-Atlantic conditions virtually impossible. With typical light to moderate, mid-Atlantic summer, Bermuda high conditions, you won't be sailing anywhere fast without a mainsail.

Even if it means picking up a $200-300 used mainsail on eBay, I recommend you carry a spare mainsail for any kind of distance trip. It is difficult to find a replacement once you start.
Take your Sailrite machine like we do. It's compact and can be used without electricity. It's briefcase size is smaller and lighter than an extra main. Also take a sail repair kit for temporary fixes.
 

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Funny the things one starts to think about when they preparing a boat...The PO of our boat sailed it to Bermuda several times, from Maine to the Gulf...and there are no padeyes?

I put one near the companion way and another at the helm, center and low...I'm thinking I should have put it a little higher for my ankles sake...where in a T shaped cockpit do you like to place padeyes?

Do Jerry cans of diesel have to be carried on deck? Can they be put in a locker, I like the idea of putting one in a cockpit locker in a heavy plastic bag strapped in. No combustion issue right?

The dingy fuel tank will go on deck under the dingy...Once in LIS the dingy on the davit should be fine correct? Just thinking out loud a little...
We put they dinghy in the davits once in the Sound. Actually have kept it in the davits when we went up the coast as the forecast that year hat us motor dye to flat seas.

Our GJerry can is in the lazzarette, no issues. Really overkill I think as we have a 25 gallon tank and we take 1 can. We burn 3/4 an hour at 3000 rpm.

I saw the CP was affixed when we got back to the club today. Is it operational?
Did you call Utchs?
 

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My situation is definitely different from many of yours.

I consider sails to be relatively light, somewhat bulky items, but I have plenty of room in the v-berth and cockpit lockers to carry them. Lightweight, bulky items are ideally suited for extra storage space at the ends of the boat, where I don't want to carry heavy items. The P28 does not have the aft head and cabin or even a quarterberth, so it does have a tremendous amount of storage space under the cockpit seats, which is mostly unused. I always carry a spare mainsail in my portside cockpit locker.

I do use older sails and I do like to sail fast and push the boat within certain limits. I don't go on these trips to gunkhole, linger over breakfast, sip wine and eat cheese at anchor watching the sunset, or to motor leasurely from one port to another enjoying the scenery. These trips are my only chances to really sail the boat the way I want to sail: fly the spinnaker, dip the rail, beat into the chop with a reef in the main, etc. My family meets me in port, so I want to put miles under the keel quickly and efficiently. The fact is, you never know when you could be hit by conditions that might blow out a mainsail, just as you never know when you could be hit by lightening. The same conditions that might blow out your mainsail might also blow out your jib, particularly if you rely on roller furling, which has proven to be less than 100% reliable.

A good mainsail for the Chesapeake Bay region would not a strong bullet-proof sail. You need lightweight sails that will fill and shape easily. We have predominantly light winds most of the year, particularly in the summer cruising season. If your regular mainsail is a strong, heavy-weight, full-batten sail an ocean cruiser might employ for longevity, you will be glued to the water most of the time, moving at a snail's pace. That is simply reality in the mid-Atlantic summer season.

I don't want to wait a day or two for a sail to be fixed or mailed to me, be at the mercy of someone I don't know, or to spend time at a sewing machine underway, which would render me seasick. Having your mainsail blow out in the middle of Buzzards Bay may be no big deal, but having your mainsail blow out halfway between Norfolk and B.I. would be a big deal, particularly if your engine becomes inoperable. Having no mainsail or using a small trysail when you are 100 miles from the nearest port and your engine is disabled means an extra day or two, or more, in the ocean during Hurricane season.

A spare cheap mainsail still makes perfect sense to me is relatively cheap insurance to make port quickly in any conditions.

It surprises me that those of you who are willing to jump on these idiots who set sail without flashlights or storm sails, think nothing of doing an extended coastal hop without a spare MAINsail. You are essentially relying exclusively on your engine working.
Nope...just relying on the sailrite machine. Can fix a sail very quickly
 
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Yes, Block Island is a special place. Been there many times over the last 30 years and hope to go back many more. Two of my favorite things to do there:

1. Take the dinghy into "Zodiac Beach" and walk over the dunes to Crescent Beach for some great swimming.

2. Lunch on the porch of the Harborside Inn watching the ferries come and go and the crowds walking up and down Water Street.
Zodiac beach...swimming with the sharks
 

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BTW, Scotch Beach is the ocean beach a short walk from Dinghy Beach, which is on the salt pond.
Two years ago we stayed in Mauntauk...pretty close to Block....we tied set the bulkhead of the Mauntauk fishing center for two days. The first day after sightseeing in town and along the lighthouse and beach we came back to Haleakula and low and behold hanging right next to her were 3 great whites, one over 8 ft, a mako, a 10 foot tiger as well as a few white marlin and swordfish. The fisherman who caught the biggest white was trolling 300 yards off the beach.

You don't know they are there......till they let you know, so not visually sighting them doesn't mean they aren't close by.
 

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Glad you had a great time on your first trip north and in the Ocean. Was fun following your excursion on FB and through your AIS signature. Now you know why Donna and I go north every summer. It's a great experience and balance with our home grounds of the Chesapeake. Two weeks is barely enough time to scratch the surface.

We too had to get Martha's Vineyard out of our system too, even more importantly to you as you have friends with a restaurant there. We love so many of the towns/ anchorages and sights on the trip up and back as each port has its own flavor and positive aspects. Glad the kids and Your wife had a good time and enjoyed the memories you'll have for a lifetime. It's something you'll always have to look back and share together. The shark video was the best

Thanks for the thoughtful gift you got us from Block. We have a place picked out for it next to our Memonentos of time there. Can't wait to share your stories and pictures soon and with all your girls

This year we return to Block after a 6 year hiatus. Looking forward to their lobster rolls and Aldo's spectacular Gelatos. We hope we get the spectacular weather and sailing you did . 25 days to go before we cast off for the LI Sound but who is counting.
 

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I've met those kids. Some of the nicest, best behaved children I have ever known.
Totally agree.Weve known them since they were 3 and 5 and were like the Wallendas. They are inqusitive, mannerly and fun to be with. They also try many different types of food and cusisines. Obviously they take after their mom:laugher:laugher:laugher

YOu guys do a great job as parents.
 
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