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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
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...
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I am often very ambitious then reality begins to set in :)

I appreciate all the comments, I anticipate needing to run the engine about 2-4 hours a day if my usage is similar to what I have been recording over the past few weeks with the new refer installed, what I haven't considered (and cant) is how much power the auto pilot and plotter will use 24 hrs a day.

The radar works fine, and I'm pretty good at using it but by no means an expert.
 

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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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Watch Hill is another gem, another place a lot of people passing thru seem to give a miss.
I agree 100%. But I didn't mention it because its not really a good place to just hop in and out of like Stonington is.

I have literally spent dozens of nights anchored at Watch Hill over the last 30 years. Easily one of my top three destinations on the southern New England coast. Large anchorage with 6-10 foot depths, short dinghy ride in to one of the nicest beaches anywhere, and a short dinghy ride or walk over the dunes to a classic summer beach town with a 100+ year old carousel. What more could you ask for?
 

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Agree with the advice about backing off a little. Cape May to MV is an overreach IMHO. You need to allow for bad weather and losing a few travel days. Hopefully you can be in an interesting harbor while you wait for better conditions.

In our local area, Mystic, Fishers Island (East and West Harbors), Stonington, Watch Hill (anchorage just outside the inner harbor called Napatree locally) are good stops. Fishers Island shoreside facilities are minimal (non-existent at East Harbor), but the others are reasonable for a visit or a layover. Further East are Block Island and Point Judith (Harbor of Refuge and salt pond) and even further east is Newport--a sailors' destination if ever there was one.

I have been sailing out of Mystic for over 40 years and I never venture out without checking with Eldridge's Tide and Pilot Book. You really want to time transits with the currents. Suggest you check page 85 of the 2014 Eldridges and familiarize yourself with the information on LIS (including Block Island) on pages 86-89. If you make it further east, there is a section on Buzzard's Bay and MV (pages 60-77). Eldridge's also has info on Sandy Hook, Delaware Bay, C&D canal, etc.

If you make it to Mystic, there is a small anchorage east of Mystic Shipyard (south of the RR bridge) that will just barely accommodate your draft (board up) and another immediately north of Mystic Seaport, just past the last channel buoy. There are dinghy docks by the Rt 1 drawbridge and at Holmes St (east side, just past Schooner Wharf). Both are in the middle of Mystic and an easy walk to Mystic Seaport, which may also accommodate your dinghy when you pay admission. Dockage at Mystic Seaport is expensive--on the order of $4.50/ft, but includes admission for all aboard, which otherwise would cost you $78 for 2 adults and 2 kids (6-17). The Seaport has restrooms/showers/laundromat/pumpout, etc. Check their website: Mystic Seaport Marina | Mystic Seaport.
 

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I have helped bring a couple of sailboats back from that area. In both cases ( one was my boss, another was a coworker ) they ran out of time and the weather was less than optimal the days they were coming back.

I suggest that you make a plan B to leave yourself open to the possibility of leaving your boat someplace nice - there are worse things - and then doing the return over a weekend or two. That way you can spend your vacation time exploring and having fun. :)
 

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I am often very ambitious then reality begins to set in :)

I appreciate all the comments, I anticipate needing to run the engine about 2-4 hours a day if my usage is similar to what I have been recording over the past few weeks with the new refer installed, what I haven't considered (and cant) is how much power the auto pilot and plotter will use 24 hrs a day.

The radar works fine, and I'm pretty good at using it but by no means an expert.
The auto pilot and plotter aren't the big draw, it's your radar. Since you have a radar, you are required to operate it and maintain a watch on it.

I can see having one in Maine, where there's lots of fog, but on the Chesapeake, I'd ditch that thing and install AIS to avoid the legal burden of being required to man a radar watch.
 

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I am often very ambitious then reality begins to set in :)

I appreciate all the comments, I anticipate needing to run the engine about 2-4 hours a day if my usage is similar to what I have been recording over the past few weeks with the new refer installed, what I haven't considered (and cant) is how much power the auto pilot and plotter will use 24 hrs a day.

The radar works fine, and I'm pretty good at using it but by no means an expert.
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...
 

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For sure, atmospheric conditions can affect VHF propagation as well as HF. Sometimes "ducting" can cause VHF signals to go far over the horizon, and skip over their intended target.

"It depends". :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
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.
 

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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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Chef

If you decide to leave it someplace for a week or 2, suggest you don't in my neighborhood. Our summer mooring prices and dock prices are crazy high. Too much demand, they all fill up.

Example: Vineyard Haven Moorings at $45/night, dockage at $4.75ft/night.

Example: $3ft Falmouth Inner harbor/night - a relative bargain

And the winner: $6/ft in Nantucket boat basin.
 

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In the event you do not have it, get the Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book. Use the boston harbor tide for calculating vineyard sound tide.

For moorings: at Cuttyhunk are first come first serve, you will need to have your own pick up line, but you can anchor anywhere. Good anchoring is in the northeast corner of the harbor just behind the mooring field. No showers but a working head at the dingy dock. Bring all your provisions, its a dry town. Small store on the hill but limited supply. A cool place to walk around.

Block Island you need reservations via a marina, to shower (which you pay for using coins or tokens) you need to stay at a marina mooring or slip to use the showers. You can anchor pretty much anywhere but let out extra rode/scope to help hold in the eel grass. If you anchor no showers available, at least that's how it was...

Edgartown town moorings are blue moorings which work on a first come first serve. if you want reservations then go to the town of edgartown website and make reservations 48 hrs in advance, otherwise you stay on the blue moorings. You can anchor in the pond (far from town)and in the outer harbor. The outer harbor can be bumpy from boat wakes and anything with a north wind. Showers are at the harbormaster office.

Menemsha is cool place with nothing there except a small store which does not sell alcohol since the village is dry. moorings are in the outer harbor and always bumpy, inner harbor usually need reservations, then you raft up.

Taulpin cove anchor in close to shore on north side, can be bumpy on a south swell/wind chop. you cannot go up on shore and walk around, just the beach below high tide line.

If you make to Nantucket, Harbormaster has great free facilities for boaters. Expensive place but good food and all within walking distance of the dinghy dock. There are some good spots to anchor.

Have Fun-
 

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If you make to Nantucket, Harbormaster has great free facilities for boaters. Expensive place but good food and all within walking distance of the dinghy dock. There are some good spots to anchor.

Have Fun-
All good advice, but unless he somehow finds more time, I doubt he's making it to Nantucket :)

Which is a shame, because a Tartan 37 would be a perfect boat to take up to the Head of the Harbor, one of my favorite anchorages in all of New England...

 

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Here is a question for Jon, or anyone who has made the direct passage:

Does the Labrador current make the straight shot from Norfolk (or Cape May) to Block Island slower than a run up the coast, staying closer in, and out?

From Norfolk, is it better to go up to Cape May and then to Block Island, or direct course to Block Island?
 

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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
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.
 

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Couple of things. BLock Island is great and I spend time there, usually anchored out, just about every summer. Time your time there for midweek - the place fills up like you wouldn't believe on a weekend. Rent bikes and see they island. Finns for decent seafood and semi reasonable prices. If staying at a dock I recommend Payne's. Much lower key than Champlins and closer to town, beaches, etc. If anchored or moored listen for the call of Aldo's bakery boat in the morning, "andiamo!" and flag them over for fresh pastries. The kids will love it.

Greenport town docks are a great place to stay. We liked it so much last year we stayed for and extra day.

Yes to Watch Hill - my favorite anchorage.

Montauk is nice but is a stink potters haven. You won't find a lot of WAFIs there but will have plenty of room to anchor.

Coecles Harbor, Shelter Island is beautiful.

The passage through NY Harbor and East River is an experience you don't want to miss.

We used to stay at Mystic Seaport when I was a kid and it was awesome having the place to ourselves after the museum closed for the day and in the early morning before they opened.

Milford Landing is a great little spot right next to an ice cream parlor and plenty of good restaurants.

Have a great cruise!
 

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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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