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Old 08-12-2013, 10:58 PM   #1
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Starting trip south from Maine

We're in the final throws of getting ready for our journey south from Maine. It's all new and a bit daunting.
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:08 PM   #2
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Best of luck to you. Hope you can pictures and updates as you go.
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:33 PM   #3
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How far South?
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:24 AM   #4
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We're aiming for the Bahamas.
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:23 PM   #5
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Great. It is an awesom trip. Having made the trip south on several occassions, I offer the following advice.
  1. Prepare each segmment and each day. Read your charts and chart Guides before each departure.
  2. Have a back up plan for each day.
  3. Enjoy the trip, don't push so hard you miss the trip itself.
  4. When in doubt, don't be afraid to back off for a bit.
  5. Check your machinery each day.
  6. Be sure you keep your radio turned on and listen to the conversations.
  7. Locale knowledge is invaluable. Use it.
Keep us posted.

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Old 08-14-2013, 12:33 PM   #6
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Thanks!

There's a lot of information from Virginia on down, but not so much from Maine to the start of the ICW...we're trying to decide just when to leave.
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:37 PM   #7
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Thanks!

There's a lot of information from Virginia on down, but not so much from Maine to the start of the ICW...we're trying to decide just when to leave.
Many will tell you to skip the New Jersey intracoastal because it can be shallow and narrow. While true, for a 4 foot draft boat, travelling on the last three hours of a rising and first 3 of a falling tide make it pretty easy. There are decent inlets to jump in and out of every 15-30 miles so changing your mind is no big deal.

Some have even have gone as far as to say there is nothing to see or do...had to be from those who have never done the South Carolina and Georgia ICW...now those are some desolate stretches!

To make time after Jersey...heading straight down the Atlantic to Norfolk is the ticket...there's a couple nice stops but south of Chincoteague...you really need the legs and crew endurance to push into Norfolk unless you are willing to anchor out at the north end of the Bay Bridge Tunnel (Fisherman's Island).

The other way is great, especially if you really have a few weeks to kill and that is the Chesapeake route. The only bad leg is leaving Cape May, NJ because it's a long day even with the tide....wrong tide and you are screwed if you are a 6-7 knot boat, That's because there's no real places to stop along the Delaware unless you are willing to anchor, motor a ways off your track and up some river or are travelling in great weather, in season and everything clicks.

One to the C&D Canal..you are home free to great cruising...as long as you are travelling before the end of October when the weather really starts to shut down passage windows. I leave in mid-December and grit my teeth till I'm through to Norfolk...and even then I dead the Albemarle and Pamlico sounds and the Alligator & Neuse Rivers.

Bottom line from an experienced delivery Capt... be south of Norfolk by mid to late Oct. If you have a tough boat and don't mind it rough...then Nov/Dec is interesting (I never did it that late till last year) as you have the waterways and marinas to yourself for the most part (cept water is often shut off and waterfront restaurants are mostly closed). Whet we really enjoyed was pulling into all the places with Seasonal Decorations up and towns with seasonal spirits including waterfront parks with entertainment and beautiful decorations.
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:22 PM   #8
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Thanks!

There's a lot of information from Virginia on down, but not so much from Maine to the start of the ICW...we're trying to decide just when to leave.
We are leaving Southwest Harbor, ME in mid Oct. I would stay to see the leaves change if you have heat aboard. The winds will be switching to following in Sept so that would be the earliest I would leave.
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:30 PM   #9
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Many will tell you to skip the New Jersey intracoastal because it can be shallow and narrow. While true, for a 4 foot draft boat, travelling on the last three hours of a rising and first 3 of a falling tide make it pretty easy. There are decent inlets to jump in and out of every 15-30 miles so changing your mind is no big deal.

Some have even have gone as far as to say there is nothing to see or do...had to be from those who have never done the South Carolina and Georgia ICW...now those are some desolate stretches!

To make time after Jersey...heading straight down the Atlantic to Norfolk is the ticket...there's a couple nice stops but south of Chincoteague...you really need the legs and crew endurance to push into Norfolk unless you are willing to anchor out at the north end of the Bay Bridge Tunnel (Fisherman's Island).

The other way is great, especially if you really have a few weeks to kill and that is the Chesapeake route. The only bad leg is leaving Cape May, NJ because it's a long day even with the tide....wrong tide and you are screwed if you are a 6-7 knot boat, That's because there's no real places to stop along the Delaware unless you are willing to anchor, motor a ways off your track and up some river or are travelling in great weather, in season and everything clicks.

One to the C&D Canal..you are home free to great cruising...as long as you are travelling before the end of October when the weather really starts to shut down passage windows. I leave in mid-December and grit my teeth till I'm through to Norfolk...and even then I dead the Albemarle and Pamlico sounds and the Alligator & Neuse Rivers.

Bottom line from an experienced delivery Capt... be south of Norfolk by mid to late Oct. If you have a tough boat and don't mind it rough...then Nov/Dec is interesting (I never did it that late till last year) as you have the waterways and marinas to yourself for the most part (cept water is often shut off and waterfront restaurants are mostly closed). Whet we really enjoyed was pulling into all the places with Seasonal Decorations up and towns with seasonal spirits including waterfront parks with entertainment and beautiful decorations.
^All good advise. I would not dare to leave Cape May other then at low tide and no strong winds out of the NE. The Delaware day or night is a nice ride if you time things properly. Keep in mind a night ride is easy with the C&D very easy in the dark. The Cape May to Cape Charles route is only twenty or so miles shorter then the Chesapeake Route. With the tides in the upper and lower bay properly timed the extra speed surprisingly makes the bay the quicker route.
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:35 PM   #10
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Interesting to see someone else leaving VA in Dec. We leave Deltaville for our first trip down the ICW the first week of December. Gonna be chilly I imagine but that's the timing.

Dave
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:46 PM   #11
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145NM Cape May Buoy to Thimble Shoals (just outside Norfolk) -Atlantic Route
235NM Cape May Buoy to Thimble Shoals - Chesapeake Route

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Plus the extra days add even more miles departing the route to/from anchorages/marinas via the Chessie.

Timing the Delaware is tough unless you travel at night..never really works out too well Northbound due to the quicker tidal current change going down the Delaware River.

All my recommendations for the Delaware River are based on a 6-7 knot boat...faster boats are penalized less....
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:05 PM   #12
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IMO, based on my experience leaving from Ma., be south of Boston by the end of the first week of Oct. I am assuming you are traveling in a slow and steady trawler.

For the best results be south of NC, by Thanksgiving weekend. Make the time for the Cheasapeake, it is worth it. The later you leave the less flexibility you have.

If it were me, I would be underway from Maine by the middle of September.

John
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:19 PM   #13
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Interesting to see someone else leaving VA in Dec. We leave Deltaville for our first trip down the ICW the first week of December. Gonna be chilly I imagine but that's the timing.

Dave
Dave and all leaving in December for the trip South watch out for the Christmas lights. Christmas lights are red, green, and white. Oops those are the same colors of the ICW navigation aid lights. They will be on docks, in yards close to the water, boats will be decorated. It can be a zoo. The days are short, so darkness comes early. It can be very confusing. You can probably guess how I know.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:48 PM   #14
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145NM Cape May Buoy to Thimble Shoals (just outside Norfolk) -Atlantic Route
235NM Cape May Buoy to Thimble Shoals - Chesapeake Route

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Plus the extra days add even more miles departing the route to/from anchorages/marinas via the Chessie.

Timing the Delaware is tough unless you travel at night..never really works out too well Northbound due to the quicker tidal current change going down the Delaware River.

All my recommendations for the Delaware River are based on a 6-7 knot boat...faster boats are penalized less....
You have to plot it all the way back to Old Point Comfort. It is a hell of a ways from Thimble Shoals to the ICW. There is no real bailout south of Ocean City, MD. You do not want to go in the Chincoteague inlet especially if things are getting crappy outside. I compare every time and the plotted route to Deltaville is 20 miles or so (memory) longer inside.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:52 PM   #15
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You have to plot it all the way back to Old Point Comfort. It is a hell of a ways from Thimble Shoals to the ICW. There is no real bailout south of Ocean City, MD. You do not want to go in the Chincoteague inlet especially if things are getting crappy outside. I compare every time and the plotted route to Deltaville is 20 miles or so (memory) longer inside.
I agree that the offshore run isn't easy..but I rather run 36 hrs overnight/straight and be in Norfolk (when running late in the season...because often the weather windows are barely that long in December and late November) The Delaware is tough to plan unless running before/after dark. Running south the lower Chessie can kick your butt no matter which way the winds blow that time of year.

Thimble Shoal is the approach to Hampton Roads into Norfolk/ICW either way you take..it's less than 4 miles between Thimble Shoal and Old Pt Comfort....that's why I chose it to show the difference in distances fairly. I am talking Cape May to Norfolk...Deltaville is up in the bay so yes if you run offshore then back up INTO the Bay it's a closer call... I'm talking running south to the ICW beginning at mile 000 abeam downtown Norfolk..
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Old 08-15-2013, 04:34 PM   #16
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Hi,
We have done the trip several times in a GB36 Maine to Bahamas and return, just came back this June. If you have specific questions or would like to chat, drop me a line and we can set up a time to talk.
Roger
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:02 PM   #17
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sent reply via email....

Hello Roger,

We'd love to meet you and discuss our trip! Our boat is at Robinhood Marine Center, we live in Wiscasset....what would work best for you?

Cheers!

Peter and Laurie
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:13 PM   #18
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Hi,
We're in Brunswick, phone is 207 725 6830, give us a call and we can set something up.
Roger and Anne
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Old 08-17-2013, 05:37 PM   #19
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We'll give you a call tomorrow...any chance we could meet you at our boat at Robinhood Marine Center? Dinner at the Osprey would be on us!


Thanks,

Peter and Laurie
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:33 AM   #20
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Thank- you so much for meeting with us and sharing your experiences and advise!


Peter and Laurie
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