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Old 10-01-2023, 10:45 PM   #1
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Late season Maine Migration advice

To those of you familiar with cruising in the NE, I need a bit of advice.

The boat (75 MY) is currently laying in Portland, Maine. Unfortunately, life reared its ugly head and is making it difficult for me to begin a southern migration. Should be able to clear all issues by late October and be available to resume cruising full time November 1st.

Conceptually, I would like to chug from Maine, through the Cape Cod Canal, Long Island Sound to NYC. From NYC to Norfolk via the Chesapeake. After Norfolk Iím not worried. Going northbound in late July was easypeasyÖ

Is a November departure from Maine pushing my luck relative to weather?

Alternatively, I can hire captain and have delivered to upper Chesapeake or Norfolk and join boat there on November 1st.

If I start early November in Maine, I was looking forward to dallying around from Maine to NYC and checking out a few places (Falmouth, Newport, possibly areas of Cape). Alternatively, I could do a death march and get to Chesapeake ASAP. Opinions on both options?

Iím a NE virgin so zero experience with respect to local weather patterns.


OPTIONS:
1) Hire captain to relocate boat now (early Oct.)?
2) Depart on November 1st and dally my way to NYC, then hustle to Chesapeake?
3) Depart November 1st and death march to upper Chesapeake and or Norfolk?

Thanks for any input.

Brett
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Old 10-01-2023, 10:52 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard. Any way you do it you wonít have time to dawdle around. Maybe just push to get far enough south to enjoy the cruise.
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Old 10-02-2023, 05:48 AM   #3
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I would do it myself and enjoy the cruise. You will likely have to wait for weather more often, but unless you are on a schedule, use that time to see some places.


The biggest issue you will need to plan around is that water starts getting turned off on docks around Nov 1st. And some marinas might be closing. Pumpout will likely be closing too, but you can always go out to pump out. All this will vary a lot from place to place, but adds a new dimension to planning. If you have a watermaker, and are OK anchoring rather than docking, then it should have little impact.
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Old 10-02-2023, 05:53 AM   #4
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It's not impossible that time of year but weather windows for open water are fewer and not as calm.

At 75ft., if you have stabilization and good heat I think its very doable, especially if you can cruise at 10 knots to keep longer passages, like off the coast of Jersey doable in one day.

Another biggie is crew and whether you can do an over night run here and there.

Lastly, fuel is no problem but fresh water can be an issue at all but the big marinas. There even tanking up at the fuel dock is sometimes necessary.

Personally, if money was not an issue and I didn't want the concern of waiting..... and you really don't need to be aboard, I would have a captain take the boat to the Norfolk area. Or hire/get a crew and take the straightest shot for as long as your range allows from the Cape Cod canal to Norfolk skipping the inside...but onlt if I was stabilized.
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Old 10-02-2023, 07:27 AM   #5
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I would do it myself. Weather will be a factor, and I wouldn't want my boat (with hired captain) to take a beating on bad days to meet a schedule or pay a crew to sit for a week.

I arrived 2 weeks ago in Brick, NJ to visit friends. It blew 13 days straight out of the NE between a tropical storm and weather patterns. That's 13 days of small craft to gale warnings! I'm finally underway today in 3 to 5' swells and a small craft advisory. Barnegat inlet was not for the faint of heart this morning. So you're going to loose some days to weather.

As far as sightseeing between Maine and the Chesapeake, I would travel on the days that are nice and sightsee on the days when its not pleasant to cruise.

Ted
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Old 10-02-2023, 07:43 AM   #6
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Is a November departure from Maine pushing my luck relative to weather?

Don't know about your initial northeast segment, but...

We're not leaving Annapolis until 1 Dec this year, not worried about it.

One year we left even later, left the boat in Myrtle Beach for Christmas/New Years, resumed in mid January... no issues (although we did have to partially winterize our freshwater lines in case of a cold snap while we were gone).

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Old 10-02-2023, 01:31 PM   #7
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It's certainly doable. I've left Maine twice in mid-November to head for Florida. First time was in a 40' sailboat and was OK but too cold. We missed maybe three days to weather, and had snow on deck in Newport. Didn't warm up until SC. The second time was in my current PH trawler, and was quite pleasant, though I felt under some pressure to keep moving until I got to Norfolk. The only weather delay I encountered was waiting a day or two to get around NJ. Think I got lucky.

Marinas in the NE may be closed or offering reduced services. I anchor overnight routinely, and the best spots are always open that time of year. And winter storms that require hunkering down for a few days are possible.

I'm a fan of shoulder season cruising, so take my advice accordingly. I'm currently in Michigan Upper Pennisula, and the weather is beautiful. But as my waitress reminded me yesterday, it could start snowing next week, and once it starts it doesn't stop [emoji3]
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Old 10-02-2023, 03:08 PM   #8
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We left Old Saybrook, CT mid-November for Florida. However, I knew the area and had two solid (fellow ocean sailors) crew members with us who knew navigation and weather as good, if not better, than I did. And we had LOTS of weather to dodge. They focused on that whilst I focused on running, our new to us, boat. We did a straight shot through East River thence Delaware Bay to Hampton Roads. Doable but you need resources. And I would not dawdle as well. Get to Virginia.
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Old 10-03-2023, 03:07 PM   #9
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First of all, I want to say thank you for all the advice and insights.

For a number of reasons, have decided to make the run beginning Nov 1st. The one advantage I have is being able to get up and cruise at 23kts as a "Plan B". If weather windows get extremely compressed and chugging just doesn't work; my plan is to let the puppies breathe and run during short weather windows.

My run like hell scenario;
- Run from Portland to Newbedford (fuel)
- Chug from New Bedford to Block Island (prep for EARLY morning departure).
- Run from Block Island to Cape May (fuel)
- Run from Cape May to Norfolk
Not much fun, but it is quick.

I doubt that I'll be able to do the calculus until near departure time. Even then, will re-calculate at every stop re running vs chugging.

Will report back with a blow by blow...
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Old 10-03-2023, 06:37 PM   #10
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Not much fun, but it is quick.
13 hour watches? Hope you're going with an experienced mate.
Weather is one factor, sea state is another. Pounding into 5 footers will slow you down.
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Old 10-03-2023, 06:59 PM   #11
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Old 10-04-2023, 07:49 AM   #12
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- Run from Cape May to Norfolk

Up Delaware Bay and then down the Chesapeake could add as little as 2 days. Still weather dependent, but lots of places to bail once you reach the C&D Canal.

-Chris
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Old 10-04-2023, 03:27 PM   #13
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Up Delaware Bay and then down the Chesapeake could add as little as 2 days. Still weather dependent, but lots of places to bail once you reach the C&D Canal.



-Chris
Agreed. That's a fork I'd choose based on expected conditions. Watch out for current against wind going up the Delaware. The waves can kick up.
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Old 10-06-2023, 05:09 PM   #14
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As noted above, November weather can be very mixed, but I would have no hesitation in leaving Maine in early November. There are open ocean runs in Maine, Rhode Island, and New Jersey, but they each have one or more usable harbors. We started our circumnav the week before Thanksgiving, Boston to Annapolis, and while we were cold on deck, were were perfectly comfortable.


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Old 10-07-2023, 08:18 AM   #15
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Commercial fished from Penobscot bay to Cape Cod all winter in a 38 ft boat for years, use your head and you won’t have a problem.
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Old 10-07-2023, 12:04 PM   #16
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The OP said he has the ability to run at 23 knots.

With the Oct/Nov cold fronts and their northwesterly winds, sometimes the coast is a better run hugging it than slogging up the Delaware and Chesapeake.

With Cape May, Ocean City and Chincoteague (following locals or assistance tower/USCG escorts) as duck ins with a 23 knot boat... that's not a big gamble run.
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Old 11-05-2023, 11:14 AM   #17
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Returned to Portland on Wednesday with intentions of a Friday departure. Friday afternoon winds were forecasted 15+ building 20+ by Saturday. Decided to stay put a little longer.

Departed Portland 0500 this morning headed for a quick overnight in Sandwich, chugging along (9.5 Kts) under blue skis and a long 2 foot swell. Exercising watermarked for a few hours. So Far, everything running well…

Plan on Newport Monday night and possibly wait out next front…
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Old 11-05-2023, 01:01 PM   #18
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Red face late start

just finished my return from New Bedford to Morehead City NC

Earlier than you, but had a few nasty Northeastern fronts blowing

Prior comments are right on the money
Like to add the use of a weather routing service
Always use my own judgment/experience, but this time decided to add another layer of safety/comfort.
Service used Parker.
Cost nominal.
Peace of mind. Priceless
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Old 11-05-2023, 01:46 PM   #19
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I just (Friday, 3 November) finished bringing a trawler (at 7 knots) from Stonington, CT, to Kilmarnock, VA (Northern Neck). Went Long Island Sound, East River, Jersey Shore, Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay. Took 7 days to include two weather days, one at Manasquan and the second at Cape May. Run from Cape May up Delware and down Chesapeake Bays was non-stop.

My largest issue was declining hours of daylight. I'm not a fan of entering new harbors in the dark. Marinas are begniing to shut down some of their facilities, although all had docks and electric power.

Messages above all have good advice. I would not sight-see or dawdle.
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Old 11-05-2023, 02:56 PM   #20
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+1 on Chris Parker.
Agree with others faster to go entirely outside to max miles while weather is benign. Would call ahead (even before leaving) to determine open fuel stops. Once you know your choices you can vary your speed for each leg to allow a safe reserve.
Just left Va and it was cold at night. Plan accordingly. If you cook with propane start with full tanks so you don’t need car rentals to resupply. Uber/Lyft won’t carry them in some places (know from experience).
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