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Old 11-10-2018, 11:18 AM   #21
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To get the best "push" up the river from tidal current, leave the Caoe May area about 3 hours after low tide in Cape May harbor.

But if you run more than about 6 knots normally (which would be 7-8 with the current push), you outrun the assist and wont get as much for the whole distance.

If you are running at 10 knots or better, I wouldnt really worry about the tide unless as I posted before, you are running into a 15 knot or better NW wind with an incoming tide and thdn its the chop I wouldnt want to punch into fast.
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Old 11-11-2018, 06:55 PM   #22
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After a couple of pre boarding issues that caused us to leave around 730 instead of 630 we made it to Atlantic City with calm seas and no issues. Some ice on our dock in the morning and fairly cold but navigated from the toasty inside helm.

Heading for Delaware City tomorrow still deciding between the canal and outside. Hoping for a non event trip.

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Old 11-11-2018, 07:07 PM   #23
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The harbor/canal is easy, just stay close to the ferry docks, as farther than a length of a ferry is where it gets very shallow.
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Old 11-11-2018, 08:00 PM   #24
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The harbor/canal is easy, just stay close to the ferry docks, as farther than a length of a ferry is where it gets very shallow.

Yes it is. Just remember that the Reds/Greens reverse after the bridge at Canyon Club. When you get to the 2 red nun buoys westbound near the west end, keep them on your port side.
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Old 11-12-2018, 02:30 PM   #25
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Davidson Laboratory: Urban Ocean Observatory

link to the Steven Institute Davidson labs wave and currents forecasting for NJ coast and De. Bay. I've used it for all of my transits of the coast and the bay. it has proven very reliable for me.
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Old 11-12-2018, 04:09 PM   #26
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East Coast Run

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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.
Have done this run many times. Where in the Chesapeake are you headed? If you are thinking North/Mid-Bay (Baltimore, Annapolis, Solomon's Island, Potomac), think about coming up the Delaware Bay, through the C&D Canal and down the Chesapeake. Check the tides when heading out of Cape May. You want to be heading up the DB on the flood. Bucking tide and wind can beat you silly on the Delaware. I prefer staying close to but just outside the shipping channel. There is a lot of big traffic in the DB. Make sure your radio works and monitor 16. The C&D canal is easy and pretty as is the Northern Bay. Use paper charts as well as your chart plotter. They will give you more perspective as to where you are and where you are going. Hope you have a safe and fun passage!
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Old 11-15-2018, 08:50 AM   #27
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Thanks for all of the valuable advice.
We had smooth seas EVERYWHERE. With the forum's help and a little luck we had a great trip. We just missed out on the bad weather and got to Herrington Harbour North in Traceys Landing MD yesterday afternoon with only light breezes and 1 to 2 feet on the Chesapeake.

Only hiccup was our generator fuel pump giving up mid Delaware Bay which we had taken care of at the Delaware City Marina.

We are staying at HHN for some basic maintenance and returning to the boat after Thanksgiving to continue south.

Of course we woke up to snow on the dock this morning:
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Old 11-15-2018, 08:57 AM   #28
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Of course we woke up to snow on the dock this morning
It never feels right to see snow on the dock when you're still boating! Well-done and congratulations. Curious if you ended up going through or around Cape May.
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Old 11-15-2018, 11:36 PM   #29
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With our beginner cruiser credentials we all felt safer being able to see land on both sides of the boat.
Canal views were kind of brown but must be pretty nice in season.
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Old 11-16-2018, 08:24 AM   #30
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Congrats on getting that trip under your belt. That it was a smooth one for the 1st time is a great confidence builder and encourages you to do more. Sometimes it can be really difficult to get past a crappy ride on a run like that, especially a 1st time experience. So now you know it can be pleasant and you've got a good foundation on which to build cruising experience.
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Old 11-16-2018, 08:40 AM   #31
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I cannot imagine making a weather decision based on a plumber.
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Old 11-16-2018, 08:49 AM   #32
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I cannot imagine making a weather decision based on a plumber.
Paul, as I wrote earlier I did not make a weather decision based upon my plumber. The plumber finishing up his job was my earliest date to leave but I was willing to wait for any good weather window afterwards. As it turned out, with the help of the forum, I waited an extra 3 days for what turned out to be near perfect weather. Safety and comfort were our priorities and there was no way and no need to rush the trip and in my opinion we did not.
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Old 12-08-2018, 07:52 PM   #33
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Due to some parts issues with a steering pump we are still at Herrington Harbour North but we plan on having everything done and getting back to the boat sometime mid or late this coming week.

Trying to make it to Daytona for Christmas.

I think our next leg from Herring Bay to Portsmouth doesn't give us too many options. (1) We do 20+ knots and head straight to Portsmouth or (2) take it easy and make a stop halfway.

So, do we do one stop or two?

If we stop halfway, it looks like Smith Point Marina would be around the halfway point to get fuel and spend the night. Good place or any other suggestions?

After getting to Portsmouth we have another 850+ miles to Daytona. Do we do the Virginia Cut or the Dismal Swamp? I see on the guides that there are a couple of low bridges on the Virginia Cut? Do we just wait for them? Also a couple of locks with 2 on the DS and 1 on the VC. How much are they going to delay us? I'm starting to try to plan the next stop.

Question about etiquette: We've never gone through a lock. Are there guys to throw lines to? If there are, do we tip them like a dock hand?

Trying to eventually make this trip south a reality. Thanks for all the help and encouragement so far.
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Old 12-08-2018, 09:02 PM   #34
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Advice on heading down the NJ coast

Good luck heading south. Donít be in such a hurry, there are better places to spend Christmas than Daytona and more are to the north of there than to the south.
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Old 12-08-2018, 09:27 PM   #35
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So, do we do one stop or two?
Depends on the WX. If you have headwinds and you're beating head seas down the bay, it can be a pretty miserable trip. You'd want a break. OTOH, if you have light N winds, it can be an easy run and you could leave at dawn and go til dark. There are 2 basins in Portsmouth that are free and you could spend the night there- no services, but close to restaurants. Fuel close by.



Dismal Swamp is scenic, slower.



No, you don't tip locktenders! The lock at Great Bridge is restricted opening coordinated with the bridge. It will be a stbd tie southbound and is fendered, you need bow & stern line, they'll take the lines if you can't reach the cleats. It's not a big deal, the lift/drop is barely perceptible. If you have Active Captain, it lists all the bridges, heights, restrictions (schedules), and phone #. If you don't have AC, get some way to access it, best source for current ICW info. You'll call the bridge on VHF 13 as you approach and request an opening.

There are bridges just south of Portsmouth that are listed in guide books that have been removed. The only lift between there and Great Bridge is Gilmerton, it's 35 ft closed. There are RR bridges, normally open, close with VHF security call by bridge number. Do you know your air draft to within 3"? Learn it. The bridges will have a board that tells you the height from the water to low steel. Sometimes 3 or 4 ft additional in the center, there's usually a sign that specifies. If you're close, the bridge tender may give you a hard time if you hedge on an opening request for questionable clearance. They'll quickly relent if you let them know your air draft to that detail.

It's a great trip, the 1st time can be fraught with tension, pay attention to the markers, review your route ahead of time and keep the guide books and Active Captain close at hand. Allow time to stop at a few places so you can really enjoy the trip! Safe travels!
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Old 12-08-2018, 09:41 PM   #36
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Greetings,
Mr. bp. Good advice so far but may I add, bring very warm clothing. IF, perish the thought, you break down you could readily freeze in the wrong circumstances.
NC is currently under a severe weather warning with the potential for sleet, snow and freezing rain. This is NOT July and emergency aid/tow may not be readily at hand. Be safe please.
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Old 12-08-2018, 10:11 PM   #37
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You might benefit from the ICW Waterway Guide. It has the needed bridge information. Also you might want to visit fleetwing.blogspot.com the blog by Bob Sherer, otherwise known as Bob423. He has links to his book 2018 ICW Cruising Guide. at ten dollars for the kindle edition you canít go wrong. If you have an iPad, you can get a free version of Aquamap, a navigation program. It has the Active Captain notes on it as well as the Waterway Guide notes. You can also download Bob423ís routes through the shoaled areas of the ICW.

There is also some Facebook ICW pages, one that is devoted to free docks on the ICW, and a new one this year started by Bob Sherer, ICW Cruising Guide by Bob423.

I think you may be able to pick up a Waterway Guide in Coinjock.

Safe travels.
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Old 12-08-2018, 11:39 PM   #38
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cafesport - Parents are in Daytona so would like to get there. If conditions don't warrant it I guess we can stop somewhere along the way and rent a car.

maerin - Hoping for good weather to Portsmouth though we'll have to stop for fuel to get there, 145 miles from Herring Bay to Portsmouth and marina's fuel dock doesn't open until 9am. We'd like to get a relaxing dinner in Portsmouth.
- I have active captain on my phone. Thank you for the information on the lock, it is definitely going to help cut down the anxiety. Even though we are just newbies, our crew of 3 should be able to handle it.
- Air draft according to manufacturer is 14 feet with VHF antenna down. It looks like the Centerville Turnpike Swing Bridge @ 4 feet and the North Landing Swing Bridge @ 6 feet are not normally open. So if I am reading correctly I might have to hang around for up to a half hour max?

RTF - We had some cold weather on the way down from NYC so we are pretty well outfitted for the cold weather but hoping to find some consistent above freezing temperatures soon. We're driving from the inside helm and lifejackets and wireless headsets whenever somebody needs to go out on deck. The water is awfully cold and not taking any chances.

PMF1984 - Other than the facebook pages we've got everything covered. Bob423's routes are on Aquamap on our phones, we have the latest Waterway Guides covering us down to the Keys (actually even the Bahamas - we can dream, can't we?) I forgot about Bob423's book. Will definitely go to Amazon and grab it so we can run it on an old ipad. Otherwise we are running Polar Navy software with the latest charts on a Toughbook with an external gps as our main nav aid as our shipboard Raymarine stuff is outdated.
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Old 12-09-2018, 12:08 AM   #39
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As the creator of Active Captain has repeadily said “the most dangerous thing on a boat is a schedule.” It sounds to me like you are courting danger by rushing to get there by Chtstmas. It’s a trip you are not experienced with. You might consider driving or flying and holding the newbie boat trip for a season other than winter. Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:09 AM   #40
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As the creator of Active Captain has repeadily said ďthe most dangerous thing on a boat is a schedule.Ē It sounds to me like you are courting danger by rushing to get there by Chtstmas. Itís a trip you are not experienced with. You might consider driving or flying and holding the newbie boat trip for a season other than winter. Good luck with whatever you decide.
Thank you. That thought is always on my mind, though probably sometimes a little further back than it should be. Like I said in a previous post, if conditions mean we won't get there by boat by Christmas there are plenty of marinas to leave the boat for a couple of days or a week and we'll just rent a car and drive the rest of the way down and continue the trip a few days later.

You have convinced me that I should have a more formal Plan B. I'll spend some of my Sunday looking for 2 or 3 places along the route that I can leave the boat that also have good access to rental cars. Charleston, Hilton Head, anywhere else with a decent sized city or tourist center?
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