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Old 11-06-2018, 12:06 AM   #1
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Advice on heading down the NJ coast

I was planning on taking a run from NYC down the NJ coast and up to the Chesapeake in the next few days but it looks like it is going to get pretty nasty on Friday.
Plan was to stop in AC and in Cape May.

Never having done this before, can somebody help me out with the weather window? It looks like it cools off but calms down on Sunday?

Boat is a pretty run of the mill 40 ft flybridge cruiser luckily with twin steering stations. Experience level - novice.
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Old 11-06-2018, 05:38 AM   #2
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Winds on the NJ Coast
Friday East 20-25 is a no go
Saturday West 20-25 is a no go
Sunday looks good.
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Old 11-06-2018, 05:53 AM   #3
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Not so quick on the west winds.

Once along the Jersey coast, you can hug the beach in a gale and have a nice ride to Cape May.

2 things though....you have to get to the leeway of the coast and you don't want too much swell that may be leftover from the easterlies.

Looks like tomorrow afternoon as things calm down, a run as far as you can get....even Manasquan. Then the rest can be done Thurs, up the bay on Friday.....tides willing and depending on your speed.

This Fall has been bad for cruising with a steady diet of winds greater than 10 knots...so getting a better weather window than tomorrow through Friday is going to be tough.

It's NOT going to be a fun run...but not dangerous either for a well found boat.

If truly a novice, best to find a pretty savy captain and hire him/her for the 2 days to Cape May.... Ask around if there would be any buddy boats or at least sit down with somebody that knows the waters and weather. Most cruisers don't "get" the New Jersey run and give prettty single minded advice.

If you REALLY need to move the boat and can get a weather window to Manasquan, the inside run can be done with an experienced skipper.
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Old 11-06-2018, 06:27 AM   #4
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This the forecast discussion from Mt Holly.
When cruising in the USA, while I use Windy for planning, I always read the forecast discussion becuase it talks of the certainty of the forecast. In this case, there is a lot of stuff happening, which will make the seas pretty unsettled.

000
FXUS61 KPHI 061011
AFDPHI

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Mount Holly NJ
511 AM EST Tue Nov 6 2018

.LONG TERM /WEDNESDAY THROUGH MONDAY/...
Wednesday through Thursday...a relatively quiet period weatherwise
as high pressure builds in from the west. The high will start to
shift to the east and cross to the north of our area late Thursday.
This will continue to keep more of a west to northwesterly flow
across the region for the midweek period. The northwest flow really
starts to develop more by Thursday so expect some cooler air to drop
down from the north as the high starts to move eastward.

Friday through early Saturday...A double barreled low develops and
impact the northeast late in the week. One low develops across the
Ohio Valley Friday and moves up into the Great Lakes while the
second low develops along the southeast coast on Friday and then
moves up the coast through Friday night, before moving into New
England on Saturday. The secondary low along the coast looks to be
the main driver of weather across our area for the end of the week.
As the lows both push to the north, an area of rain will move into
the Mid-Atlantic, with some showers possible starting as early late
Thursday night into Friday morning. Majority of the rain is expected
to fall during the day on Friday and then tapering off Friday night
into early Saturday. Models show that a good deal of moisture will
be available so expect that the rain could be moderate at times.
Temperatures at the onset of precipitation may be cold enough across
the higher elevations for some snow to mix in on Friday.
Additionally, on the backside of the low there may be enough cold
air that mixes down to allow for some snow showers to occur.

Saturday through Sunday...high pressure will build across the region
through the weekend, moving across our forecast area on Sunday and
then offshore Sunday night. Dry but cool weather across the region
for the weekend with highs mainly staying in the 40s, with some
upper 30s across the north and some temperatures around 50 along the
coast and across southern Delaware.

Monday...A low pressure system will cross the Great Lakes region and
its attendant cold front will drop down into our area on Monday.

.MARINE...
Seas remain above small Craft Advisory levels, and winds will
increase to 25-30 knots today. Occasional gale force gusts may be
possible for southern waters and Delaware Bay, but an inversion
above the surface may keep the strong winds aloft from mixing down
to the surface, so we have not issued a Gale Warning. Showers will
increase today and there is a chance of thunderstorms during the
afternoon which have a greater chance of mixing down the strong
winds.

Small Craft Advisory conditions likely to continue into the
overnight hours with gusty winds around 25 knots and seas around 5
feet.

Outlook...

Wednesday...Small Craft Advisory conditions may continue into early
Wednesday morning with a few gusts around 25 knots, mainly across
the northern waters. Seas will subside through Wednesday falling to
2 to 4 feet early.

Thursday...Sub-advisory conditions are expected on the area waters.
Seas around 2 to 4 feet with north to northwest winds around 10 to
15 knots.

Friday...East winds around 15 to 20 knots with gusts up to 30 knots
possible from mid morning through the afternoon. Seas will build to
5 to 8 feet. A Small Craft Advisory will likely be needed.

Saturday...Small Craft Advisory conditions will continue. West to
northwest winds 15 to 25 knots with gusts up to 30 knots. Gale force
gusts are possible. Seas will gradually subside through Saturday,
falling below 5 feet Saturday night.
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Old 11-06-2018, 07:38 AM   #5
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Thanks folks.

Unfortunately my start time is being dictated by plumber that started a few weeks later than planned.

Assuming I can leave on Thursday, would you suggest I make a straight 120-130 mile run to Cape May at 20 knots +/- ? And then what - wait in Cape May until Sunday? What do I need to watch out for regarding conditions travelling up the Delaware Bay?

Assuming the plumber can't finish and our first available time to go is Friday, should wee wait it out until Sunday and then just go with my original plan with stops in AC and Cape May?

Just to repeat from my original post, novice boaters, novice crew. I'm sure the boat can handle it though keeping myself, my wife and (adult) son safe and reasonably comfortable is a priority.

Our overall plan is to get the boat to Maryland, head back to NY for a couple weeks while the boat gets some general maintenance done. We'll return to the boat in a few weeks to head south towards Florida.
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:52 AM   #6
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Why the push? With respect, allowing a plumber’s schedule to influence a go/no-go decision strikes me as one of the worst ways to plan a run down the coast or up Delaware Bay. Is this boat new to you? Do you know how to change fuel filters if yours get clogged by sediment in your tanks that might get churned up in snotty weather?

Your boat, your call, but I would never recommend a novice captain and crew running offshore when when the best conditions in the forecast are 2-4 ft. And SCAs are predicted or possible.
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:11 AM   #7
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Thanks Angus.
Maybe my writing didn't exactly translate as to my intentions.

There is no rush. If best advice is to wait for a weather window after Thanksgiving, that is perfectly fine with me. Since Thursday is supposed to be very nice, I was wondering about traveling that day.

We just changed out the racor filters and haven't used the boat since. I am capable of changing them if necessary but of course would not like to do it in a rolling sea.
We've had the boat for 5 years but have used it pitifully little and this is going to be our first trip over a few hours.
I genuinely appreciate everybody's help in keeping us safe and reasonably comfortable.
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyp View Post
Boat is a pretty run of the mill 40 ft flybridge cruiser luckily with twin steering stations. Experience level - novice.
Forget it this week the Ocean is pretty churned up--20knots speed down to Cape May. I doubt it. Look for better weather when the plumber is done. My 2 cents
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Old 11-06-2018, 11:25 AM   #9
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Agree with holding off. The weather pattern that we have experienced is just the opposite of what fall should be in the North East. A string of nice quite days and then a good storm is normal. We are getting 1 nice day and then 3 days of sh**. Not good boating weather.
Sunday and Monday look good now but that is a ways off. Let’s see if we can actually get 2 good days back to back.

Wait for the right window. No need to scare / torture yourself and especially your crew.
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Old 11-06-2018, 02:59 PM   #10
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My two cents, having done a similar run twice and also running down the Delaware Bay from the C&D to Lewes once...

On my two trips up to the Chesapeake, the worst leg was the DB. One trip we had 6 footers in a fog/mist with about 1/4 mile or less visibility. Not fun dodging the big ships in the fog.

My recommendation is to study the current tables and try to time your trip up the bay on an outgoing tidal current so the tidal flow and the river flow are in the same direction. If the tidal current is in opposition to the flow, i.e. upstream, it can give you a rough ride.

Others here who ply the coast are giving good advice regarding that leg of the trip.
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Old 11-06-2018, 04:21 PM   #11
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Having run Delbay and worked it commercially for 14 years as an assistance tower/commercial captain..

I have to disagree with the tidal flow, river flow theory. I have been out there when it has been glassy on an incoming tide. Winds above 10 knots are what make it snotty when the current flow is up around 2 knots.

Because the tidal flow can be 2 knots or slightly more some days, unless you are running a bove 10 knots, that 4 knot Delta can have a significant impact on your days run.

Pick the weather window based on winds and
an incoming tide if your boat speed is sorely effected...best with a southerly or southeasterly winds...but any less than 10 is good, more than 15 out of the Northwest can be miserable...but I have made it safely with a 2 knot incoming and a 20G30 NW wind...burying the anchor much o a the time but that 2 knot current pushes you upriver pretty fast.
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Old 11-06-2018, 04:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Having run Delbay and worked it commercially for 14 years as an assistance tower/commercial captain..

I have to disagree with the tidal flow, river flow theory. I have been out there when it has been glassy on an incoming tide. Winds above 10 knots are what make it snotty when the current flow is up around 2 knots.

Because the tidal flow can be 2 knots or slightly more some days, unless you are running a bove 10 knots, that 4 knot Delta can have a significant impact on your days run.

Pick the weather window based on winds and
an incoming tide if your boat speed is sorely effected...best with a southerly or southeasterly winds...but any less than 10 is good, more than 15 out of the Northwest can be miserable...but I have made it safely with a 2 knot incoming and a 20G30 NW wind...burying the anchor much o a the time but that 2 knot current pushes you upriver pretty fast.
If you are going to listen to one guy here on this subject, this guy is the one. Me, I'd lay low.
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:12 PM   #13
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My 3 cents -

Ocean is pretty crappy this week -
I have ran from Great Egg to NYC and back more than a few times..... Can be a PIA if you have a head sea. Whatever day - leave early and once in Cape May check the wind and tides and move accordingly. DB can be worse that the ocean.
Barnegat is also not too bad - but follow the buoys.
As a side note, stay off shore of Little Egg Inlet (south of Long Beach Island) shoaling is way off shore and the USCG removed the LE buoy a few years ago.
AC Inlet a safe bet if you have to tuck in. South of AC, GE Inlet is doable and most likely an on the hook night since no commercial marinas and nothing else until Cape May
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:46 PM   #14
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Great advice everybody.
Laying low, looking at leaving on Sunday at the earliest right now.
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Old 11-06-2018, 10:01 PM   #15
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SwellInfo is a nice app as it tells you the expected swells close to shore. Winds from the west to northwest as stated are your friend here. Delaware bay is best when the wind and tide are the same direction. The tolerable wind speed really depends as a following sea at 20 knts. is quite different than 20 knts. on the nose.
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:27 AM   #16
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I run from Long Island (Jones) to Cape May straight shot all the time, at 20 knots its like 7 hours. AC is also a good stop over location.
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:45 AM   #17
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We were thinking last night that if conditions are good we might head straight to Cape May too. Waiting until better Sunday/Monday forecasts are available on Saturday.

Thanks for the heads up on SwellInfo, now loaded on my phone. Every bit of additional information is going to help the decision process.
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:39 PM   #18
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Watch the coast for a Tuesday/Weds Nor'easter
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Old 11-10-2018, 08:05 AM   #19
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OK. It looks like tomorrow (Sunday) is the day.

Our plan is to make a dawn start from NYC to Atlantic City and spend the night there.

Monday we plan to go to Delaware City and spend the night. Weather for Tues and Wed don't look very good so we'll probably stay in Delaware City for those nights too.

Thursday, we'll head down to the Annapolis area to park the boat for 2 weeks or so while some general maintenance is performed.

We plan to take it easy but boat can do 25+ knots loaded if necessary.

Decent plan?
Can someone help with the timing of the run up Delaware Bay?
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Old 11-10-2018, 10:49 AM   #20
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Decent plan?
Can someone help with the timing of the run up Delaware Bay?
Monday is definitely looking like the best day ahead and should be good for your run up Delaware Bay - but obviously continue to watch for changes in the forecast.

It is approximately 90 nm from the Absecon Inlet entrance to Delaware City with a negligible penalty for going around Cape May rather than through it. But if the calm forecast holds for Monday, going around makes sense as you can maintain speed and not deal with negotiating an unfamiliar harbor. Cape May is a wonderful place to be "stuck" if the forecast shifts or you're in need of services. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the inlet and local chart while you're stationary so it's not entirely unfamiliar to you should you need to make it your Plan 'B' (always a good idea IMO for any route new to you - I will often pre-plot multiple options for the just-in-case scenarios).

Safe travels!
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