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Port. Wash. town moorings are available free for 1st 48 hours...they are the yellow
ones lining the channel...always one available. Manhasset Bay very protected
good depth, plenty of room to anchor with good holding. Louies very good seafood,
$ can add up also other restaurants very short walk from dock. When provisioning,
dinghy into sheets Creek (nice little landing there) north from Louies and town dock
and you will be literally across the street from a large Stop n Shop plus other stores
a 3 minute walk to a West marine and some goood brick oven pizza at Salvadors.
Will post more when time allows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 · (Edited)
Thanks SailNetters, all great info...I cant tell you how much I appreciate it!

I am honing in on where to go with all this great input, at the same time we'll play it by ear (and the currents/tides) for a lot of it.

At this stage I am planning the trip around Block and Marthas Vineyard perhaps Newport/Mystic and save NYC and the East River another year, we'll pass through but not spend much time in any one place.

MV is important to us to visit as we have a friend who has a wonderful Diner there called Artcliff. She is the person who set my wife and I up on our first date, we haven't seen her in a while and have never made it to her diner. Therefore the strong desire to get to MV.

My Eldridge book is on board and will pick it up this weekend and start more precise planning through the C&D and Delaware and post it for input. Being a Chesapeake sailor mostly...I honestly never pay much attention to the currents and tides except in a few areas, and even then they're still only 1-3 knots max. Knowing and reading the tides I think will be the thing I am most "concerned" about, well the rocks too...I'm used to mud and silt :)
 

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Chef, If you would consider leaving boat in western most LI Sound
(Like xort says close to LIRR and LaGuardia airport)
I can put you in touch with a good friend, our dockmaster, thinking
he would set you up with a mooring for a few weeks at extremely reasonable
$. or at a very protected slip in Manhasset Bay for more $, but still reasonable.
Hugo
 

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Chef, IF the Vineyard is going to remain your main objective, ( which seems to be the case ) IF the weather cooperates and IF the crew? is up for it ? you could try to bite the bullet and sail directly there from Cape May. I think this is a big sail for your 1st trip out of the Chesapeake, with only 2 ? at the helm. You both have to be able to get sleep. Getting into a regular rest routine is toughest the 1st 36 hours, but you really have to commit to sleep/rest times to remain fresh.

You'll also need a decent 40 + hour forecast to accomplish this. You will know after the 1st 24 hours from Cape May how you are doing. You can always decide to divert a few degrees west and head for Block Island once you're out there. IF you're able to get to MV 1st, then you can visit with your friend and head for Block. ( this cuts out the double trip from Block to MV and MV back to block or cuttyhunk). Once on Block, (56 miles from MV) you can decide if you want to attempt the return trip outside or take the inside trip home. Again, you'll need to ascertain the weather for the trip outside, which is generally against the prevailing winds and seas. You'll want to time your landfalls in daylight, so I would let my desired arrival time determine the departure time from Cape May or points beyond.

I was scheduled to do this trip last year and the weather was not very cooperative outside, with one low after the other marching straight up the coast held near shore by a stationary high offshore producing 9 ft seas at times. You're really going to have to be flexible and take what the weather gods give you. You could literally get to Cape May or somewhere..and be stuck for a few days.or have to divert, and make a new plan. It happens.

Eldridge really is your bible for these waters (and a good weather window). Despite our best plans, Wind, Weather, Current, is really going to dictate how far you get and which route is best. I hope you do get a favorable window. Remember it's a Vacation.
 

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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?
Hmmm, I'm not sure the Labrador Current has much effect on that route :) I've never noticed it, at any rate...

Tidal currents at the Chesapeake and Delaware Entrances, and across the New York Bight, are gonna be far more influential... If you want to try to plan the trip around catching favorable currents, the big one occurs as you approach Montauk and Block, the amount of flow in and out of Rhode Island Sound and into LI Sound is impressive... If you happen to hit the ebb as you approach Montauk, it can make for some VERY slow going over those last few miles, and the effects can be felt surprisingly far out... (Also, the waters around Montauk can get VERY messy in any wind vs. tide situation, that area can become a real washing machine. I'm always clipped on in that area, many of those guys fishing out of Montauk are shark hunters, after all :)) Whenever I'm coming across from the Jersey coast, if by the time I'm abeam of around Shinnecock I realize I'm gonna be hitting it wrong, I'll heave to and get some rest, and wait to catch it right...

From the Chesapeake Entrance, I think it's a tossup whether to stay inshore, or go direct, and the weather at the time would dictate my choice. I don't think there's necessarily a real advantage of one over the other, though the straight shot will likely keep you a bit more clear of much of the inshore fishing and recreational boat traffic between Ocean City and Cape May/Atlantic City - but you can still find plenty of those guys well offshore fishing the canyons, as well... Sometimes you might find more fog along the coast then further out, other times it will be the opposite - so the call can really be a crapshoot, depending on the local weather at any given time.

Perhaps the most important consideration - certainly so for a singlehander - is the fatigue factor. You're crossing about 6 different approach lanes going into Delaware Bay and NY Harbor, you really don't want to be too fatigued by the time you get towards the end of the trip, and the Nantucket-Ambrose approaches... So, all else being equal, I'd probably be more inclined to perhaps make a stop in Cape May, and start again refreshed, and with a better chance of maybe hitting the tide right both leaving the Delaware Entrance, and on catching the flood for the final approach to Montauk...
 

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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.
 

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Chef, IF the Vineyard is going to remain your main objective, ( which seems to be the case ) IF the weather cooperates and IF the crew? is up for it ? you could try to bite the bullet and sail directly there from Cape May. I think this is a big sail for your 1st trip out of the Chesapeake, with only 2 ? at the helm. You both have to be able to get sleep. Getting into a regular rest routine is toughest the 1st 36 hours, but you really have to commit to sleep/rest times to remain fresh.

You'll also need a decent 40 + hour forecast to accomplish this. You will know after the 1st 24 hours from Cape May how you are doing. You can always decide to divert a few degrees west and head for Block Island once you're out there.
Tempest has some good advice, but you'll need to plan on a 3 day transit from Cape May to Vineyard Haven, if conditions allow. Block Island could be a 2-day passage: you wouldn't save much time to divert to Lake Montauk over continuing to Block. You'll be crossing the New York shipping lanes and will need to deal with crossing paths at night with larger vessels. With only 2 watch standers that are new at this, you might find yourselves sleep-deprived by the second day.

You also want to consider this an ocean passage with the distinct possibility of sea sickness for all aboard.

However you get to MV, you might consider anchoring in Lake Tashmoo (there also may be moorings available from a small marina there, but not sure.) Lake Tashmoo has a town dock with water and trash pickup and is a 1.25 mile walk into Vineyard Haven. You'll need to mind the chart entering, but you will sleep better here than in Vineyard Haven, which has a lot of boat traffic (wakes) and is more open--especially when the weather turns foul.
 

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FYI, T37: On my delivery trip from Clearwater, FL to Mystic in 1996, we stopped in Annapolis and continued via the C&D and Cape May canals. Conditions were such that we motored almost all of this segment, with the sails up for only 5 hours. So, if you find yourself motoring, here are some numbers for my 35' sloop for your consideration.

Annapolis YC to 2nd bend,Cohansey River (SW NJ): 81 nm, 14:45 hours--motoring at 2200 rpm.

Cohansey River, past Montauk, to East Harbor, Fishers Island, NY. (This is comparable to sailing to the salt pond at Block Island): 235 nm, 42 hours--motoring the whole way, with only a slight boost from motor sailing for a 5 hr period--2200 rpm. (N.B. our fuel stop at Utsch's in Cape May only took a half hour.) With this amount of motoring, we transferred 6 gal of diesel from a jerry jug at sea under calm conditions. You want to have a healthy fuel reserve, just in case.

Note our rather conservative engine speed. We were in a sweet spot for fuel consumption, averaging >10 nm/g in relative calm conditions (for the open ocean.) If you have to motor into seas/wind, or need to increase your speed over ground, you can expect dramatically worse mpg figures. We were motoring at just under hull speed and were not towing a dinghy.
 

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Hi Guys,

I come to this discussion late, having been working many hours getting my new boat ready to launch (which is another story).

Anyway, If do you plan on coming north, as others suggested, I would go no further north than Block Island. Maybe go to Mystic, maybe not. I would suggest Block and then explore Peconic Bay (Montauk, Greenport, Shelter Island, Sag Harbor, etc.). There is a great site, a little dated, but still relevent, that does an excellent job of describing Peconic Bay.
The Boater's Cruising Guide for Eastern Long Island, NY

Peconic bay is great if you have young kids because there are many places to see that are a short distance away, the water is protected from N, S, and W, and there are lots of anchorages and marinas.

Take care,
Barry

PS - If you have problems in Peconic bay or the eastern Long Island sound (Long Island side) feel free to contact me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
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 will fill in Cape May (50 gallon tank on our boat using about .5 gallons an hour at 5.5 knots) plus at least two Jerry cans = 60 gallons total. Conservatively that 100+ hours of motoring if needed. Shouldn't that be sufficient?
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
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.
Thanks Dave...If time permits Saturday, I wouldn't mind going over a few things with you one on one.
 

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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 will fill in Cape May (50 gallon tank on our boat using about .5 gallons an hour at 5.5 knots) plus at least two Jerry cans = 60 gallons total. Conservatively that 100+ hours of motoring if needed. Shouldn't that be sufficient?
I'd leave the jerry cans behind, if I were you...

Very little good comes of carrying diesel fuel on deck, especially on a trip where it's not necessary to do so...

:)
 

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Here are two book recommendations for you, that have helped me with my preparations:

"The Coast of Summer" by Anthony Bailey; and,

"A Visual Cruising Guide to the Southern New England Coast" by James Bildner. Bildner is a sailor and a helicopter pilot who took beautiful photographs of the approaches to the various favored harbors, with overlaid markers to show the best routes, along with his descriptions. Is is a nice book, even if you never go, which unfortunately is beginning to seem to be the case with me each year, despite my preparations.
 

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Thanks Dave...If time permits Saturday, I wouldn't mind going over a few things with you one on one.
Sure.

I'd leave the jerry cans behind, if I were you...
Although I agree with Jon in principle I have also carried jerry cans. A benefit of center cockpits is the ability to secure jugs across the pushpit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Ok ok...so maybe scaling back a bit this time would be prudent. M.V. is out unless I choose to keep the boat up there and come back in early August to sail it home with some knuckleheads.

I think I said it already, I am often overly ambitious and probably selfish wanting to go straight, even to B.I. Its important that the family has fun and enjoy the trip or they wont want to ever go again. So we'll do the coast keeping about in aboout 60 feet or so and with in a few hours of the shore. I have to remind myself this is my wife and kids first trip in the ocean. None of us have ever been seasick before, but they have never been ocean sailing so who knows right.

I have done everything to the boat I can think of to prepare short of new sails. My biggest worry is the age of the sails. I have three head sails, (furling genoa, converted jib, and storm sail) the main has three reefs, never used the third. The spinnaker is going to stay home, pole is broken anyway ;)
 

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I'd leave the jerry cans behind, if I were you...

Very little good comes of carrying diesel fuel on deck, especially on a trip where it's not necessary to do so...

:)
Very little good? Like being able to refuel and keep going rather than sit out in the ocean waiting and waiting for wind?

We've done a half dozen coastal hops and had no wind most of the time. Carrying extra fuel on deck was very nice to have to keep going.

Now, long range offshore trips might be a different situation. But we're talking near shore runs.
 

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I will fill in Cape May (50 gallon tank on our boat using about .5 gallons an hour at 5.5 knots) plus at least two Jerry cans = 60 gallons total. Conservatively that 100+ hours of motoring if needed. Shouldn't that be sufficient?
Your 50 gallon tank is perfectly adequate for this trip, without extra jerry jugs, assuming you are starting from Cape May with a full tank. I motored from Cape May all the way to Fishers Island Sound (equivalent to motoring to Block Island) on less than 20 gallons under calm conditions. (Otherwise I would have been sailing--the 5 hours of motor sailing didn't provide a significant boost on that leg.)

I transferred about 5.5 gallons at sea to maintain a reserve, but the conditions were benign. I wouldn't want to transfer fuel when it gets nasty.

One of the lessons we confirmed on my 1500 nm delivery trip from Clearwater, FL, to Mystic was that the weather doesn't always accommodate your plans. We headed in when the weather looked adverse and motored when the sailing conditions were lame. We left the boat in Stuart, FL, for about 10 days, and took lay days in Beaufort, NC, and Annapolis for crew rest. BTW, we only used 50 gallons of diesel for the whole trip. If you can't make it from Cape May to MV on 50 gallons, you are doing something terribly wrong.
 
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