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Old 11-10-2017, 10:02 PM   #1
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30 days off to cruise! How to start Planning?

It's a little ways off, but it will be here before I know it

Spring 2019. I was thinking sometime around April/May/June?

I'm planning to circumnavigate the Chesapeake Bay. I'll be leaving out of Norfolk, Va and heading up the coast of Virginia, cross the bay around Elkton?, then back down Delaware, the Eastern Shore, then home.

I...I don't know where to even begin. My boating up to this point has been day trips and dock parties. I managed a couple over nights in my sailboat. This short season with my new boat has been day stuff and fixing/upgrading. Next year will see more weekend trips.

Tips, advice...anyone who has done similar...I'd love to hear from you!

thanks
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Old 11-10-2017, 10:09 PM   #2
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First step: ensure you will have enough wine aboard, nothing worse than realizing you are going short of wine

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Old 11-10-2017, 10:38 PM   #3
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Cool Beans: Spring 2019?!! Cmon! You gotta make that happen in 2018.

April is still a little early for the mid Atlantic. May and June sounds good though.

What type of rig do you have?
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Old 11-11-2017, 06:00 AM   #4
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We got some good suggestions here, especially regarding the magazine:

Chesapeake Summer 2018

As for the booze comment. We started off strong on an islands trip earlier this year, but had to restrengthen multiple times during the trip!
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Old 11-11-2017, 06:05 AM   #5
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Spring 2019. I was thinking sometime around April/May/June?

I'm planning to circumnavigate the Chesapeake Bay. I'll be leaving out of Norfolk, Va and heading up the coast of Virginia, cross the bay around Elkton?, then back down Delaware, the Eastern Shore, then home.

Tips, advice...anyone who has done similar...I'd love to hear from you!

It's easy to cruise the Chesapeake; any ol' cruising guide will point out the highlights, and you can pick and choose easily.

If you're thinking to anchor a lot, you might want to get a copy of Cruising the Chesapeake, A Gunkholer's Guide, by Bill Shellenberger. Boatloads of decent coves and creeks to explore.

Otherwise, a typical circular route up here can get you into several nice towns easily enough... and you can look at the guides to see how long you might want to stay in each. I think I posted a bunch of towns in a Chesapeake thread Menzies started not too long ago...

April can be chilly, May starts to get nice, June is usually very decent. July and August are usually both hot and humid.

-Chris
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Old 11-11-2017, 07:39 AM   #6
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If you already boat on the Bay, you know about nettles. If your plans include getting in the water, you'll want to keep the seasonal progression of the nettle population in mind. The further north you go, the later in the season the water remains nettle-free. Similarly the longer tributaries (think Chester River) stay nettle-free longer into the season. You won't see it all, we were weekend boaters on the Bay for 30 yrs, did a lot of traveling, but still lots we never experienced. So many terrific spots to visit, the Bay has so much to offer, you'll have a great time.
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Old 11-11-2017, 09:26 AM   #7
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By circumnavigation do you mean you are going out along the Atlantic coast or just staying in the CB? I would stay in the Bay. Plenty to see there.
Pickup "Guide to Cruising Chesapeake Bay" by Chesapeake Bay Magazine.
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Old 11-11-2017, 05:50 PM   #8
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If you already boat on the Bay, you know about nettles.
OK, for us uninformed left coasters, what are the nettles you mentioned. I googled them and all I could find was a plant? What's the connection between the plant and boating? What am I missing here?

Oh, and as far as trip planning, check out Active Captain. I'm planning a trip that will be about 3-4 months long and have used Google Earth and AC extensively.
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Old 11-11-2017, 07:07 PM   #9
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Nettles, aka jelly fish.
Can sting
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:15 PM   #10
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Our planning method is always the same. Look at the entire route and all possible stops. Then rank the stops using your own scale of what you enjoy and would enjoy and how many days you'd like to spend in each. At that point, you'll have far more than is possible in one three month trip, so then you'll make the hard choices of which to delay for another year. Don't rush yourself with too many locations and not enough time.

So many decisions. Do you go on up the Chesapeake and explore Baltimore and beyond? Do you cruise the Potomac and spend time in Washington? Do you go up the Delaware to Philadelphia?

As your first long trip, balance it in terms of where you stop and what you do. Marinas vs. anchoring to simplify provisioning and laundry. Tourist areas vs quiet locations with nothing to see but nature.

Selection of stops should be a joint effort. Use cruising guides, local travel sites, trip advisor. Tailor it to yourselves.
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Old 11-11-2017, 09:51 PM   #11
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Nettles, aka jelly fish.
Can sting
Got it. Thanks. I knew jelly fish can sting but I'd never heard them called Nettles. Hmmm, learned something new today.
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Old 11-12-2017, 05:48 PM   #12
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Got it. Thanks. I knew jelly fish can sting but I'd never heard them called Nettles. Hmmm, learned something new today.
Well, technically they're sea nettles. Locally, just nettles. The bane of the Chesapeake, there are areas where the population gets so dense that strainer blockage becomes a problem. They migrate northward as the salinity and temperatures change, migration can vary annually.
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Old 11-12-2017, 06:09 PM   #13
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The Waterway Guide is useful as is Active Captain.
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Old 11-13-2017, 03:40 PM   #14
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Our planning method is always the same. Look at the entire route and all possible stops. Then rank the stops using your own scale of what you enjoy and would enjoy and how many days you'd like to spend in each. At that point, you'll have far more than is possible in one three month trip, so then you'll make the hard choices of which to delay for another year. Don't rush yourself with too many locations and not enough time.
This is how we do it as well. We have no intention of stopping Everywhere. Our motto is "You need to leave something to come back for".

Sometimes two adjacent destinations are simply too close together. Whichever we pick, we'll hit the other one next time.

We mix stops in developed (dinghy dock, fuel, restaurants, bars, shopping) and undeveloped (Natural) locations. We try to alternate. We try to anchor wherever we go. Mooring if we can't anchor and marina if we absolutely have to. Honestly, if a marina is our only option, that destination goes way down on the priority list.
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:02 PM   #15
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1. Subscribe to Chesapeake Bay magazine - great local knowledge resource
2. Visit DC
3. Visit Annapolis - If you can make docking reservations early - go for EGO ALLEY
4. Visit Rock Hall (Osprey Point or Haven Harbor)
5. Visit River Marsh Marina- up the Choptank River -

Get off the Bay mid to later PM to avoid the T Storms and start the adult beverages early!!!!!!

If you are going down the Delaware - Cape May is the only choice

Best off no to hurry - so much to see and enjoy. Can you make it 60 days!!!!!

Good luck in your planning
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:54 PM   #16
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Hehehe, I'm going to try and squeeze an extra week or two out of this after I set a date. I initially asked for 90 days off and everyone collectively soiled themselves...this is apparently the first time this kind of request has been asked. They asked me to give them a years notice, and since I wanted to go in the spring, the earliest is spring 2019. It gives me next season to get used to the boat more and make some weekend cruises. Not a total loss, and gives me something to look forward too

Chesapeake Bay Cruise Guide, Check!

I'll check through some of the local events calendars and see what the small coastal towns have planned. I don't mind spending the extra coin to dock if needed. This is a big first so I'll pay to play. I'm not planning on being an anchoring purist. I like the idea of mixing nice anchorages and getting into town to check things out.

I'm thinking then a late May into June trip. I'll be sticking to the inside shores. Jelly fish weren't bad this year. But there have been some years where they were so think you couldn't go fishing!

How do you provision for food? I can barely meal shop for 3 days in a row

Thanks!
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:41 AM   #17
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How do you provision for food? I can barely meal shop for 3 days in a row
Do the best you can... but every time you make port, you'll be within relatively easy distance of decent restaurants and usually various grocery stores. A bicycle might help, though... for heavier items... like beer.

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Old 11-14-2017, 06:04 AM   #18
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How do you provision for food? I can barely meal shop for 3 days in a row

Thanks!
Cruising in the States will be EZPZ. Here are some suggestions from my senior crew member of the subject.

Preparing For The Exumas – Part 1 | AtAnchor.com

Provisioning – How Is It Going? | AtAnchor.com
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Old 11-14-2017, 06:28 AM   #19
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We purposfully include a marina every 3 or 4 days for resupply, laundry, a meal out etc.....

Those stops are based a bit on trying new places, but also the convenience of doing those chores. If its groceries, we try to find stops where the grocery is within walking distance, say a mile ir so. Not always possible so we either go a few days longer or find a marina with a loaner car. We have not yet needed pay transpirtation going on 6 round trips to Florida and back so it is possible. And the crew is always looking for fresh veggies for salads more so than relying on frozen, canned or dried.

The last half of May, early June can still be a bit cool some days and nights, and the water is still cold for most people to swim in. But it offsets the need for A/C if the day is summy and hot. You also mayvget fog this timevof year, more prevalent near the ocean water as it is still cool, but the bay can getvit too.
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:46 AM   #20
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How do you provision for food? I can barely meal shop for 3 days in a row

Thanks!
Meal plan.

When cruising domestically, we vacuum seal and freeze meats. 30 days of meat not as much as you might think. Don't overlook that you will eat out some. Keep in mind that you're not going to the ends of the earth so you can always supplement with purchases. Move than the issue of having enough, one also has to be wary of having too much. The goal is to use everything so to have an empty freezer at the end. So, on a trip like you're planning we're fine if we see ourselves likely to run out and make a grocery run one week from the end.

Canned or frozen items are the same way as the meats. Water is a huge item for us and while we would like to carry all we need from the start (water or any other beverages), that can be difficult.

We leave the grocery runs for fresh fruits, salads and vegetables and filling in. So a grocery run of mostly light items once a week or so isn't a big deal. That keeps you with fresh items to mix with frozen and canned.

Oddly, we've never found storage an issue on a boat, but storage of refrigerated and frozen always is a challenge. For a trip like you have planned, not a huge issue, but if cruising a lot off shore, adding freezer space is the best thing one can do. If you find yourself short refrigerator space on a trip like this then don't ignore the possibility of just a plain ice chest/cooler, that you can fill at your stops and then use what is in it first, turning 7 days of refrigeration capacity into 9.
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