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Old 01-20-2013, 01:29 PM   #1
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Maiden Voyage

Recently purchased our "new to us" 37' Newburyport trawler in Annapolis. Planning on cruising her home to Lake Ontario this spring. Looking for advice on cruising Delaware Bay, NJ ICW vs. outside passage to NY harbor. Suggested anchorages, dockage would be helpful. Anyone who has done this cruise and give us any input would be appreciated. Looks like we will need to find dockage on the upper Hudson for the month of April while awaiting the opening of the Erie Canal. Suggestions on dockage? Looking at the Hyde Park Marina, good rates for a month, anyone familiar with it?
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:47 PM   #2
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We anchor in Bohemia River, just before C&D Canal, then one day run to Cape May and anchor off Coast Guard station, then one day run to Atlantic City and anchor in river mouth just before bridge, then one day run to Sandy Hook to anchor. Have to do each section in good weather and have been held up at times for up to 3 days waiting for good weather. Then up the Hudson. Each day we would leave at 7 a.m. And anchor around 4 p.m. We travel at 7.5 knots.
As far as I am aware NJ ICW is not reliable for passage.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:18 PM   #3
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Great info, exactly what we're looking for. Should we figure 2 days up the Hudson to Poughkeepsie area?
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:37 PM   #4
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Two days would make for a very leisurely trip. If the tide is with you it can increase your speed by up to 2 knots and you could make it in one day. This fall on our trip down we made it from Saugerties to the Statue of Liberty in 11 hours when we hit the tide just right. We don't recommend doing that as we had to anchor behind the statue in the dark and it is not much fun anchoring there as it is very rolly.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:37 PM   #5
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Greetings from Georgian Bay: I have made the trip a number of times.
First off, do not depart Annapolis before mid to end April unless you have great on board heat. As well you want the freshet of the Hudson to be somewhat over given the potential current issues.
Secondly, once leaving Annapolis, heading to the C&D canal you are without any place to anchor safely over night. You will have to use available marina's.
Third, departing Annapolis your timing to Cape May is critical. Given your best speed of approx 9 kts, you should attempt to connect with the Delaware Bay at the time of an ebbing tide. There is no slack water on the Delaware and the current could be as around 1/2 to 2 kts or more. Therefore over the bottom would be reduced accordingly.
Four, taking three into account, you should depart Annapolis at a time to put you into a marina on the C&D which would enable you to catch the appropriate daytime ebb tide. You must remember that Delaware is a major shipping route and you will share the water with big ships.
Five, weather, should you be faced with a wind from the east the Delaware can be a "bitch". On the other hand as you approach the enterance to the bay any strong winds from South through NE can cause seas at the mouth. Cape May is on the north shore but getting over there can be tricky. Crossing on the ferry I watch a Gulgstar 42 literally stand on her stern and bury the bow with green water trying to get into the Cape.
Six, once reaching the Cape weather is again the key as well as tide. The tidal current runs north/south along the shore. You must get out well beyond the surf line, usually 3 to 5 off shore. There is a fairway buoy line to help.
Seven, now, where to entre safe harbours becomes a problem due to the issues with running inlets. From the Cape you must be outside all the way to Sandy Hook where you entre the Hudson river. Given you speed and conditions your next stop will likely be Atlantic City or Barganet Inlet. Both provide cover but depending on weather and sea conditions a challenge. As well all sites along the Jersey shore have been damaged by Sandy and local knowledge as to condition should be sought. Manasquan Inlet, Point Pleasant is your next harbour of safety. But once again this area was really beaten up by Sandy. Local knowledge a must.
Eight, leaving any of the Jersey shore inlets, save Cape May, you will round Sandy Hook and be in the Hudson. The best marina in my books, given that it is still open after Sandy with "Liberty" almost right under the Lady. Looks out at the city, only Trade Centre site. Once here you have no weather worries until dear old Lake Ontario.
Nine travelling up the Hudson is wonderful, however given spring runoff, current can be an issue, but just set the throttle at the sweet point and carry on. DO NO USE AN AUTO PILOT as the river may be full of debris carried by the run off, logs, and other things. Stopping on the Hudson, Kingston NY was five days running from Oswego, or one days running from Liberty Marina, a great marina site even with the dirty river. Nice town good food and a major mall for shopping.
Ten, as Lake Ontario boaters you no doubt have been through locks. However the NY system has some issues. First off like the Trent should there be high water it may not open on the date advertised. Also it may close during your trip. The other aspect is the locks themselves. They have been improved considerably, have good fenders and perhaps at Albany pick up a fender board or two. You can leave them in Oswego. Another aspect of the system is that you may still be faced with some commercial traffic. If so stay well back as the tugs pull "crap" off the bottom. It cost me two shafts, struts, props and rudders after we ingested a waterlogged log pulled up by a tug pushing a fuel barge that was ahead of us.
Once you clear the lock into Onida Lake you could have some weather but this is short run to Brewerton. There are a number of marinas here but be sure to read the quide. You now have the last leg to Oswego. Be prepared to spend at least one night just to get yourselves ready for Lake Ontario, or days here should the weather dictate.
Well it is a Sunday, weather on Georgian Bay gusting to 90k plus, snow squalls everywhere. April/May Lake Ontario can be the same. On a 42 Oceana trawler I suffered through 40 degree rolls fighting from Tibbits point to Oswego. Once took the safest crossing going to Alex Bay by crossing directly to Kingston Ontario then down the old Canadian Channel. On that occassion five boat under delivery left Oswego got into a sea where they just kept steerage for twelve hours before making any real headway.
Should you want more info or have other questions more info is available.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:52 PM   #6
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Why sit in the Hudson waiting for the Canal to open. Why not enjoy the Chesapeake and shakedown the new to you boat? It sure will beat sitting at a dock. After last years storm season, the inside from Cape May might not be a good idea. Chuck
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:47 PM   #7
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Thanks Cyclone. All good info to keep us on our toes. We have a 2 week window and are hoping to make it to the lower Hudson in that time frame. Of course, Mother Nature may have other plans for us. We realize that time of year we will be at the mercy of the weather. Patience will be a must. Have you anchored in Bohemia River as was suggested by Scotfree?
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:53 PM   #8
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Thanks Chuck. Might not be a bad idea if the weather does not cooperate. Should this be the case what marina in the northern Chesapeake would you suggest I look into for a month+ layover? Have heard that some cruisers have experienced price gouging as they hold the cards in these circumstances.
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:56 PM   #9
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Sounds like a fun trip.

The start of trip up the northern end of the Chesapeake has plenty of good spots to anchor. Rock Hall, Fairlee Creek, Still Pond, etc,etc.
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:56 PM   #10
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Our method of doing that cruise has been. Leave Annapolis to make Chesapeake City on a flooding tide. Depart next morning one hour before the high tide at Reedy Point. This gives you a 3+ knot current out the C&D and then a current all the way down the Delaware to Cape May. Anchor off the Coast Guard station and leave the following am about 4-5 this will get you to Sandy Hook about 7pm just before sunset. Anchor by Atlantic Highlands. Time your transit for NY harbor by leaving SH right at low tide around sunrise. You will probably be in Hyde Park that evening.
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Vahevala View Post
Thanks Cyclone. All good info to keep us on our toes. We have a 2 week window and are hoping to make it to the lower Hudson in that time frame. Of course, Mother Nature may have other plans for us. We realize that time of year we will be at the mercy of the weather. Patience will be a must. Have you anchored in Bohemia River as was suggested by Scotfree?
The Sassafras River is very nice and fresh water.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:19 PM   #12
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Vahevala: No, did not anchor. The Bohemia is a great location relative to the C&D. I would check out the guide as to it relevance as well as seeking local knowlege from boaters in your marina. We found that given that the voyage was simply moving the boat from NY to Cheasapeke offered no sites of interest other than Atlantic city, if you were so inclinded. Donald Trump has a marina right at the gambling palace. On the other hand marina's offer a wash down and believe me that is necessary every night or the salt build up makes life aboard uncomfortable.
If you are not a salty, you will soon learn the issues of dealing with it and a nightly wash really is important. Bill.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:44 PM   #13
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I suggest you get your hands on one or more of the published criusing guides. These books cover the questions you've asked here and ones you didn't ask in great detail. They have warnings about special circumstances, distance tables, and anchorage and marina listings.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:27 PM   #14
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The are plenty of anchorages in the Northern Chesapeake.
There is a great free dock In Chesapeake City on the C&D canal (electric and water a few bucks if you need them)..and the town is nice to walk.....also can anchor there...there are 2 marinas and Summit North a bit further east on the canal.

The Delaware has few anchorages so it's good to time tide and weather when going down to Cape May. It a HUGELY easy navigation exercise...just stay to the north/northeast of the shipping channel...plenty of water but some crab buoys. No traffic there other than a few fishing boats and rec boats.

The ferries are easy to navigate around once you get to the Cape May canal...stay close to their sterns when passing the terminal as it's very shallow a few hundred feet off their sterns.

The anchorage in front of the USCG base can be annoying and dangerous...there's a good one about 3 miles up the ICW called Sunset lake behind Wildwood.

The Jersey ICW is bad in some areas for depth...but certainly passable with a 37 footer (just did it in Dec in my 40)...just travel the last 3 hours of the rising tide and stop by the 3rd hour of the falling (plus have assistance towing...). The next good inlet above Cape May is 15 miles North at Townsends Inlet, Great Egg is OK in good weather and Atlantic City is real good.

There's no appreciable current along the coast except right near the inlet mouths. Running south to north...running arounfd a mile off the beach is fine...particularly if you need to because of a strong northwesterly wind....most sand bars are on the north side of the inlets and the south side juts out...just be careful and jog to the sea buoy if in doubt.

I'd give you the rest of the Jersey ICW but after Hurricane Sandy...not sure how much has changes and how good the nav aids are....I"d probably skip it unless you get a goods report on it.

There are good anchorages along the Jersey ICW and there are nice little towns to walk/visit...though off season...weekdays would be slow and a lot of places may not be open yet (local assistance towing captains can give good recommendations for shoaling, marinas, restaurants, etc)

The marina in Atlantic City that Trump used to manage for the state is now managed by another Casino that bought Trump's casino and supposedly it's expensive but a great stop as marina transients get to use a lot of the casinos facilities.

When you get closer to leaving and firmed up a few ideas....shoot me a private message and I can address specifics a bit better.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:58 PM   #15
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The Sassafras River is very nice and fresh water.
There's a few marinas located up the river. Also the Chester River runs up to Chestertown, a historical spot, where there's a few marinas.
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