Ajax

Post-covid Cruising?

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I hate to start another virus related thread but I have a specific question. I'll direct this specifically to @Kris Cringle and @Cruisin Loser:

Small towns are rightly distrustful of outsiders right now. Some are turning people away, outright.  Let's say for a moment that my summer cruising dream comes true and I take 6 weeks off from work. July/August is months away, it could happen.

It would seem that super-busy tourist destinations like Block Island and Cuttyhunk maybe should be avoided due to the crush of people. So let's say I go straight for Maine.

What kind of reception am I likely to get?  Go Away? or Welcome, spend your tourist dollars!

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1 hour ago, Ajax said:

I hate to start another virus related thread but I have a specific question. I'll direct this specifically to @Kris Cringle and @Cruisin Loser:

Hey Buddy - it’s a public forum, so I’m gonna barge right in on your thread and tell you this: show us your tits; and, pics or it didn’t happen.

:-)

But, seriously, I live in a small island community close to a good size city, and a place many like to get away to.  The general vibe (reinforced by official signage) is, stay away.  That said, local biz is hurting for sure, and summer tourist money season is coming - and I’m sure these businesses know it.  We’d been planning to sail north up our coast, to Haida Gwaii, but that’s very likely not gonna happen (small remote Native communities that are Covid-free and lacking large-scale medical facilities most likely still won’t want visitors, understandably).  We plan to go out for 4 weeks and lay low, anchoring only, not visiting towns, etc. 

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I'm in the same situation but different coast.  

My thoughts are that it'll 100% depend on the course the virus takes & the ability of our institutions to mitigate.  

- If the risk is low and/or mitigation (testing mostly) is widespread, it could be fine by the summer.

- If new cases & deaths are continuing to rise, there's still not much testing, and people are still afraid, it could still be okay to cruise domestically but with limited provisioning options, no restaurants, parks closed, etc.  

- There is a chance that the lockdown continues, or that emergency & rescue services are fully diverted & cruisers are 100% on their own.  

Just some thoughts - I don't know that anyone is really qualified to speculate on the likelihood of each scenario at this point.  

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I think that you are dreaming, even if they manage to contain the virus, it won't go away suddenly. Best case scenario, IMO, you will be able to provision in some major ports and then anchor in remote places. It will take a long time before it is business as usual.

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Socialrider is right. Currently, none of us knows. In the US, lots will depend on state vs. federal politics, I think, so you may take into account if you go to a  'hard' state or a 'soft' state.

In Europe, I predict that all other Scandinavians will try to carve out Sweden for their lacklustre response, this is certainly a centerpiece for everything baltic.

UK will be closed for external non-commercial arrivals, I think.

NL: will be interesting to see what they do with all the German-flagged boats on tje Ijsselmeer, apparently it is currently ok, there is cross-border travel, but it is discouraged and will be tightened, if the situation worsens.

Germany: Anybody knows how tight border control is currently enforced on Lake Constance? In the north, states are closed for tourism, e.g. tourists are banned on Sylt and Fehmarn and will be prosecuted if they breach, that has already applied to boat owners. I guess, this will remain so, as all large public gatherings are banned until end of August. That will probably also apply to beaches and thus by extension to cities with larger marinas.

You may also need to document, where you've been. Possibly expect to be quarantined if you cannot provide evidence and, say, have stayed the night at anchor who-knows-where.

On the other hand, I cannot see marinas and their social-undistancing facilities to be open, these would be a virus' paradise.

Also take into account if people will be truly willing to share the food that is in store in August with a foreigner, when you need to provision. As I see it, the effects on our food supply chains are among the most underestimated risks of this mess.

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2 hours ago, Ajax said:

I hate to start another virus related thread but I have a specific question. I'll direct this specifically to @Kris Cringle and @Cruisin Loser:

Small towns are rightly distrustful of outsiders right now. Some are turning people away, outright.  Let's say for a moment that my summer cruising dream comes true and I take 6 weeks off from work. July/August is months away, it could happen.

It would seem that super-busy tourist destinations like Block Island and Cuttyhunk maybe should be avoided due to the crush of people. So let's say I go straight for Maine.

What kind of reception am I likely to get?  Go Away? or Welcome, spend your tourist dollars!

Nobody knows for sure, but I'll take a guess.

Maine is hopeful at this point, that distancing may be 'bending the curve'. This news is based on the typical #'s everyone is using. But we have a real lack of testing so it's anybody guess to win. We could easily go into a serious epidemic tomorrow. 

But say the above opinion is more or less accurate, I think you'd be welcome most anywhere. We don't have enough marina's to mention, it will be more municipal harbors, boat yards and anchorages you'll be going ashore from. With the above predictions people will still be following some easy rules but I would think you'd be welcomed as a customer about anywhere along this coast. You'll be able to get fuel and provisions most anywhere. 

We've had a steady influx of people 'from away' over the last month+. They are supposed to self quarantine but that's pretty lax around here; go out to walk or get groceries, etc. Except for the island incident where locals dropped a tree across the driveway of somebody from Jersey, there's been no problems. :)

Right now, nothing is going on boat wise. My boatyard is closed except for a crew of 3 that are working and launching docks. They furloughed 50 full time employees so no boats are being spring prepped to launch. That alone will means a weird season and schedule even if the optimistic predictions hold. I expect to be a month behind, at best. I can work on my boat but have decided not to risk it because all facilities will be a month behind. I asked the guy who heads the launching,

"Charlie, will we have a season 2020?", his response was two palms up. You could have a coast of Maine like it was a 100 years ago. 

1569700672_TheNeckanchorage.thumb.jpg.aa513b9f3fed74b6ec66cd94b96006c4.jpg

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1 hour ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

....  We plan to go out for 4 weeks and lay low, anchoring only, not visiting towns, etc. 

+++ On that. Real cruising. If you want to financially help the locals: mail it in.

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image.png.b2c45a435b7abebf7a1aababa4fd7968.png

 It seems possible that "non-essential travel" might remain taboo for some time. However, I think states will soon begin to issue guidance for resuming business/activities that don't involve crowding, general use of masks & etc. in public.   They have no plan to feed and house people indefinitely in "lockdown." Something's gotta give.

Waiting around for magical testing capacity to appear will not work in the USA - they'll have to give up on it sooner or later. Probably in a week or two.  Nobody is really ramping up sufficient supply chain for widespread PCR testing. It's quite possible that antibody/ ELISA tests will never be specific enough to distinguish COVID19 from other garden-variety coronaviruses.  The same for antigen testing.  It's all wishful thinking at this point.  Speaking of which, there is no plan to pay for it.

Low-key, draw-no-attention, self-sufficient "remote" anchorage cruising seems to be the ticket this year. Probably no international border crossings.   

I find myself wondering if lock and bridge operators would even open for recreational vessels right now.  The RR bridge guys were snooty enough about it before... I have to get past one of each to escape from here. :unsure:

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7 minutes ago, toddster said:

Low-key, draw-no-attention, self-sufficient "remote" anchorage cruising seems to be the ticket this year. Probably no international border crossings.

You've got some of that in Maine, but not many other places on the eastern seaboard.

I suspect once things "open" again a lot of the common destinations will be also open for boat visitors. The question is, when?

Does a place like Cuttyhunk - with only a handful of year round residents and thousands of off islanders that keep the place solvent - stay closed all summer? The taxes and mortgages may kill what few businesses are on the island in a season. Block Island has way more permanent residents, but still the economic impact of never opening would be devastating without relief from debt and taxes.

Coastal destinations, be it Rockland, Castine, or Boothbay will suffer, but not as badly as the Cape & islands.

Once the US starts moving - and it probably will start sooner than it should on a "risks-be-damned" basis since the advisory panels on re-opening are all business people and billionaires, not doctors - tourist destinations will also probably open as well.  You're still talking about people moving about within the country, not foreigners coming in.

Now, as to whether going on a vacation is wise or not, I think that's a different question.

The issues will be very different for international cruisers though, as we have entire countries that need to be reopened to outsiders. And we're also anticipating stupid rules when it does happen, e.g. "XYZ Country is open to travelers from the following places:" with the USA either not making the list, or requiring some sort of quarantine procedure. I fully anticipate bureaucratic stupidity around what your passport is rather than where you rode out the pandemic.

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Well, since my boat is also in Maine, I'll tell you what I know so far.

So far Maine seems to have avoided the worst - fingers crossed. My yard is fully at work, luckily don't have any cases yet, and are working split shifts with full decontamination . I was asked last week if I could launch two weeks early since there is a bit of congestion at the start of June. All the mooring in the harbor are still going in, though some people are hedging.  The Summer population of coastal Maine tends to double, (give or take and order of magnitude where you are), so actually identifying full time residents if you are not one, may be harder than you might think. 

Maybe some of the private island might get a bit more private no longer allow you to land. But I think there will be enough anchorages where you can avoid people and enough anchorages where you will be welcomed. 

If it were me, I'd be checking back in at the end of May.  All that said, I have no idea if I will still be able to get there at the beginning of June to get my boat!

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The yard off of boothbay harbor just sent out an email asking/telling customers to stay away during working hours. Folks can get to their boats nights and weekend if the boats are outside.  No access to buildings. Fuel dock is open for non-cash customers. A few other details. All this is until June 1. 
 

I’d say it’s still too early to tell about cruising options, but remain optimistic. 
 

my favorite was the summer folks wanting the water turned on early and the water district thinking about turning it on later to keep people away. 

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Ajax, put a lot of food on your boat. If they don't want you ashore, don't go ashore. Anchor and row around. 

I suspect it's not going to be a big issue. There are so many empty coves and empty beaches  if you stay away from tourist spots like Camden (outer harbor is rolly anyways) and southwest harbor ( poor protection, the lobstermen make a game of passing within a couple feet of your boat in the morning to wake you up/spill your coffee), 

McGlathery is uninhabited. So is Mistake. Amazing spots.

I'm doing Camden Classic in late July, Eggemoggin Reack in early August. If you bring your own boat to sleep on, you're welcome to race on Restive. Unfortunately, all of the bunks are already filled with crew from past years. These should be bucket list events for every sailor.

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Ok, so the general vibe is "too early to know, check back later."

I get that I can do "remote, self-sufficient" cruising in Maine, but I wanted to know the likelyhood of being hassled by the local water cops and what hostility I might get from the local folks. Hell, I can do remote, self-sufficient cruising on the Chesapeke. If I did it right now, I'd be issued a $250 fine and have my boat towed in.  The water cops don't care if you're isolating on your boat, away from towns. I don't want that to happen in Maine.

I'm not looking to sail to Maine so I can go ashore and hit the local Westfield shopping mall or Costco. Obviously, I'm looking to live in the wilderness most of the time and perhaps sample some of the small, maritime villages when I re-provision.

I'll check back here in 30 days and ask the question again, and see how things stand.

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I am thinking about the same thing and all I can say is NO ONE HAS A CLUE. Obviously the "I am fishing to feed my family" deal is not going to work with a Maryland fishing license while in some other state, no one is going to believe you sailed 200 miles to catch a fish and bring it back :rolleyes:

Once Maryland and Virginia get going there more isolated places you can go on the lower Shore than you can count, you certainly can spend weeks down there and not see a soul. Once you get past that, my biggest fear is everything is back to normal, you sail far away, and then another outbreak happens. Now you are 100/500/1000 miles from home, the locals suddenly hate you for eating "their" food, and you can't get home. Also I am not sure I would even want to go all the way to Maine to just sit on the boat in a cove eating my huge stash of canned food. YMMV on that point. You can also just sail straight east out in the Atlantic and turn around again after a week and come home. Well maybe a bit south of east to account for the Gulf Stream ;)

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16 minutes ago, monsoon said:

Ajax, this might help: https://mita.org/

There are many small islands open to the public.

Dooooooooooooooooood...this is awesome!  I was about to ask about islands. Thanks!

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12 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

I am thinking about the same thing and all I can say is NO ONE HAS A CLUE. Obviously the "I am fishing to feed my family" deal is not going to work with a Maryland fishing license while in some other state, no one is going to believe you sailed 200 miles to catch a fish and bring it back :rolleyes:

Once Maryland and Virginia get going there more isolated places you can go on the lower Shore than you can count, you certainly can spend weeks down there and not see a soul. Once you get past that, my biggest fear is everything is back to normal, you sail far away, and then another outbreak happens. Now you are 100/500/1000 miles from home, the locals suddenly hate you for eating "their" food, and you can't get home. Also I am not sure I would even want to go all the way to Maine to just sit on the boat in a cove eating my huge stash of canned food. YMMV on that point. You can also just sail straight east out in the Atlantic and turn around again after a week and come home. Well maybe a bit south of east to account for the Gulf Stream ;)

I would happily sit in a cove in Maine, eating my stash of canned food.  Jesus man, have you not seen the scenery? Surrounded by rocks, islands, pine with osprey and all sorts of life around.  It's paradisaical.

Living on a boat you can't exactly hoard huge amounts of food and bog roll so you're not going to attract too much negative attention at the Piggly Wiggly but yeah, I'm not into stirring up any local angst.

Sure, I can isolate-cruise all over the Chesapeake but I've been wanting a change of scenery.

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We're being told that social distancing will be required until a vaccine is widely available.  We know that's unlikely to be this year.

We're not sure what social distancing is going to look like in the future with tracking apps and contact tracing.

Countries who haven't played nicely might not get to play at all, Sweden mentioned above is a good example.   Interesting what would happen with the US if they opened up now, generally considered over here that it's much too soon for you.  I don't think our government would ban Americans to avoid upsetting the big Trumper, but it will be interesting to see.

Germany seems to be coming out of this best over here at the moment.

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1 hour ago, Ajax said:

and perhaps sample some of the small, maritime villages 

Doesn’t matter when you go or what you do - no matter what, you’re going to encounter gun-totin’ Maine rednecks warning you to “go back to where ya come from.” :-) :-)

The guy at 00:52: 

Or you could go local and join in the mud-wrestlin’ and they might have you for a spell.

(Safer to go to NB/NS, just over the border.)

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43 minutes ago, Ajax said:

I would happily sit in a cove in Maine, eating my stash of canned food.  Jesus man, have you not seen the scenery? Surrounded by rocks, islands, pine with osprey and all sorts of life around.  It's paradisaical.

Living on a boat you can't exactly hoard huge amounts of food and bog roll so you're not going to attract too much negative attention at the Piggly Wiggly but yeah, I'm not into stirring up any local angst.

Sure, I can isolate-cruise all over the Chesapeake but I've been wanting a change of scenery.

We go to Maine about every other summer - love the place!  That is one reason why I would - for one example - be annoyed to be anchored at X town and not ever go ashore and see all the stuff I know is there. A word of caution/advice - there is tourist/yachtie Maine and then there is the rest. Way "down east" we hardly ever saw anything that looked like a yacht. "Pleasure boats" were lobster boats on their day off taking the wife and kids out for a picnic. Even pre-virus you are dealing with a different world than Annapolis or Bar Harbor or Camden. It was different looking at a mooring field and seeing about 90% of it be boats that worked for a living.

Local we saw during our last trip:

mainewhale.jpg

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@kent_island_sailor  I'm not looking for the Annapolis-of-Maine.  I'm fine with visiting working ports as long as I can buy a little ice, diesel and food if necessary.

I think with the time I have allotted, Penobscot Bay would be the absolute furthest north I could go. My longest trip was a solo Delmarva loop. I don't really have a clear understanding of how quickly I can sail from Annapolis to Maine.  I think the biggest pain in the ass would be just getting out of the Chesapeake Bay. I'm right in the middle so it's either sail north, through the canal and down the Delaware or sail south and back up the Chesapeake Atlantic coast.

Some cocktail napkin calcuations seems to indicate a solid 10 days just to make Isle Au Haut, not including rest breaks.

130 miles down the bay- 36 hours

150 miles to Lewes- 48 hours

150 miles to Sandy Hook- 48 hours

200 miles to Cape Cod Canal- 48 hours

200 miles to Isle Au Haut- 48 hours

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Going south is the long way FYI.

C&D is one day and Cape May is one day where "day" means anchored by dinner if you get up early enough.

You can also stop at Atlantic City to break up the leg to Sandy Hook.

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12 minutes ago, Ajax said:

@kent_island_sailor  I'm not looking for the Annapolis-of-Maine.  I'm fine with visiting working ports as long as I can buy a little ice, diesel and food if necessary.

I think with the time I have allotted, Penobscot Bay would be the absolute furthest north I could go. My longest trip was a solo Delmarva loop. I don't really have a clear understanding of how quickly I can sail from Annapolis to Maine.  I think the biggest pain in the ass would be just getting out of the Chesapeake Bay. I'm right in the middle so it's either sail north, through the canal and down the Delaware or sail south and back up the Chesapeake Atlantic coast.

Some cocktail napkin calcuations seems to indicate a solid 10 days just to make Isle Au Haut, not including rest breaks.

130 miles down the bay- 36 hours

150 miles to Lewes- 48 hours

150 miles to Sandy Hook- 48 hours

200 miles to Cape Cod Canal- 48 hours

200 miles to Isle Au Haut- 48 hours

FWIW, I'd head first for Cape May (just over 100nm from Annapolis via the canal), then jump straight to Block (200nm), Cutty (225nm), or Marion / the Canal (250nm).  Heading straight to Block leaves one exposed for only another 12-18hrs versus Sandy Hook, and it's often a straightforward hop with a good summer weather window.  You also avoid NY Harbor traffic and LIS, and of course save a fair amount of distance by taking the hypotenuse. 

Also the Cape Cod Canal to Tenants Harbor at the bottom of Penobscot Bay is only about 150nm - usually a straightforward 30-36hr overnight.  From there you're a day sail to IAH. 

Overall, it's just over 500nm of sailing.

 

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I'd go north, especially if you're single-handing it.

West River > Still Pond anchorage.  40nm, 6.5hrs  (Leave mid AM and overnight there. Time your departure for the C&D canal/delaware tides)

Still Pond > Cape May. 85nm, 14-16hrs.  Stay overnight, fix whatever broke on the way down, and provision for offshore.

Cape May > Cape Cod Canal. 260nm, 40-50 hrs.  Long offshore passage, but you can always stay in Cape May for a few days waiting for a nice wx window.

From there, take your time getting to Maine. The wx will be cooler north of the cape, and there's stuff to see on the way.

 

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49 minutes ago, Starboard!! said:

I'd go north, especially if you're single-handing it.

West River > Still Pond anchorage.  40nm, 6.5hrs  (Leave mid AM and overnight there. Time your departure for the C&D canal/delaware tides)

Still Pond > Cape May. 85nm, 14-16hrs.  Stay overnight, fix whatever broke on the way down, and provision for offshore.

Cape May > Cape Cod Canal. 260nm, 40-50 hrs.  Long offshore passage, but you can always stay in Cape May for a few days waiting for a nice wx window.

From there, take your time getting to Maine. The wx will be cooler north of the cape, and there's stuff to see on the way.

 

I like it.

I can't use the Cape May canal though. My air draft is too high for that one bridge. I'll have to sail outside and back in.

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Back a million years ago we would do the C&D, Cape May and then make a decision to go up LIS or outside depending upon the WX. We rarely stopped at Block but would usually stop somewhere in Buzzards Bay to time the CCC. CCC to Maine was usually a straight shot. Sometimes early in the season the GOM could be a bit boisterous, but my memory was that the worst times were always off of New Jersey and LI. 

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19 minutes ago, Ajax said:

I can't use the Cape May canal though. My air draft is too high for that one bridge. I'll have to sail outside and back in.

Really? The bridge is 55' clearance, and there's a decent tidal range too.

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13 minutes ago, Starboard!! said:

Really? The bridge is 55' clearance, and there's a decent tidal range too.

I have hit that bridge with the tip of my antenna before.

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5 minutes ago, Starboard!! said:

Really? The bridge is 55' clearance, and there's a decent tidal range too.

I'm around 53' not including my VHF antenna. It's enough to make me squirm. I'd go around.

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LOL... sure guys...it's not YOUR mast!  Mainly, I'm worried about arriving at the wrong point in the tide and getting swept into it or something.

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22 minutes ago, Ajax said:

LOL... sure guys...it's not YOUR mast!  Mainly, I'm worried about arriving at the wrong point in the tide and getting swept into it or something.

You want to ride the tide down and arrive there at low tide anyway. Besides for that, there is no "sweeping into it", it crosses a straight channel at 90 degrees.

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The bridge that I have to beg to open is 39 feet.  My mast is 41, without antenna, windex, etc.  One time the operator wanted me to "just try it" before he'd open.  He couldn't understand why I wouldn't.  :angry:

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On 1/28/2019 at 3:59 PM, JL92S said:
1 hour ago, Ajax said:

I'm around 53' not including my VHF antenna. It's enough to make me squirm. I'd go around.

Yes-I would not even consider the canal-just not worth it.  I have made the trip a few times-including last June and (if I stop) I usually stop in Lewes-plenty of places to eat and you can dock at the municipal dock-call ahead.   If you just want to stay for free you can anchor off the swimming beach inside the ice breakers.  If your crew/weather situation allows, just keep going right down the bay and out into the ocean straight up to CCC.  Be wary of the uncharted shoals that constantly shift each winter nearer the Cape May side of the exit DE Bay.

 

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20 hours ago, mgs said:

my favorite was the summer folks wanting the water turned on early and the water district thinking about turning it on later to keep people away. 

Here in NZ, the locals on Great Barrier Island apparently turned the water off at the docks. This was interpreted as a big welcome to leave by most the yachties that were planning to weather the shutdown out there. There were a few boats that came back to Whangarei after that.

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4 hours ago, jewingiv said:

FWIW, I'd head first for Cape May (just over 100nm from Annapolis via the canal), then jump straight to Block (200nm), Cutty (225nm), or Marion / the Canal (250nm).  Heading straight to Block leaves one exposed for only another 12-18hrs versus Sandy Hook, and it's often a straightforward hop with a good summer weather window.  You also avoid NY Harbor traffic and LIS, and of course save a fair amount of distance by taking the hypotenuse. 

Also the Cape Cod Canal to Tenants Harbor at the bottom of Penobscot Bay is only about 150nm - usually a straightforward 30-36hr overnight.  From there you're a day sail to IAH. 

Overall, it's just over 500nm of sailing.

 

Agreed, I wouldn't try to cut in towards NY/Sandy Hook at all. It adds a LOT of extra distance the the AIS is lit up like a Christmas tree with contacts as you get closer in. Cuttyhunk is a great stop on the way, and close enough to time the canal, though Onset is easiest for that.

When we came down we sailed from Block Island straight down. I don't think we fit in at Cape May, so we kept going and went through the canal at night and dropped the hook at the first spot outside the canal we saw.

Make sure you get a copy of Eldridge's if you're heading through southern New England and the Cape & Islands. Timing the canal wrong is a bad thing.

Also you can sail from the Canal to Provincetown, which is a fun and quirky place, then do P-town to Maine on an overnight.

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6 minutes ago, MR.CLEAN said:

that watermaker sure looks good right now

Indeed. Water wouldn't have chased us out of there. Though feeling unwanted by the locals probably would have. We wouldn't have noticed the water being shut off there, though in Opua you would since it's too murky to make it there.

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16 minutes ago, B.J. Porter said:

Make sure you get a copy of Eldridge's if you're heading through southern New England and the Cape & Islands. Timing the canal wrong is a bad thing.

 

There are offline apps for that now.  I use AyeTides on IOS.  Last time I bought an Eldridge was probably 4 years ago.    Tides and currents for the entire world although I only have used it for  Caribean to Maine.  (Uruguay is in my recents because as I was writing this I was curious if they had tides for other areas and just picked that area to check.  It did.)

IMG_3462.thumb.png.6bf8f08c4e93873c6006c82bd93f6584.png

 

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3 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

I have hit that bridge with the tip of my antenna before.

The Douglas Bridge going into Juneau, Alaska *looks* really low.  I remember approaching it slightly worried despite the chart telling me we had lots of clearance.  (Just checked - Wikipedia says it’s “66 ft high”.) I generally never sail near urban areas, and never near bridges, so the height can be hard to judge from a distance, especially as you approach...

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4 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

the height can be hard to judge from a distance, especially as you approach...

It's impossible, actually.  Standard trick with noobs on board.  Point up at the last minute and say in a worried tone, "... are we going to make it?"  

 

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10 hours ago, Ajax said:

Jesus man, have you not seen the scenery? Surrounded by rocks, islands, pine with osprey and all sorts of life around.  It's paradisiacal.

Maine, NB/NS/NFLND on my to-cruise list, for sure.

If you love wilderness, you’re gonna love it if you ever make it out west (i.e., NW).  I grew up near the Chesapeake and couldn’t go back to the flatlands.  The BC Coast is spectacular - and then as you approach Alaska, the coastal mountains do get much taller.  10,000-14,000 feet literally straight out of the water up near Juneau.  

And then keep going north and west (although it’s much, much easier to approach from the west, i.e., Japan) and the Aleutians are staggeringly rugged...some reading for ya (RCCPF cruising guide):  http://80af75c8b1a6023efc9f-6aaa42fda065edd38c8fa3814d416772.r78.cf3.rackcdn.com/172_8054_Aleuts Ver 19.1a.pdf

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I'd like to do the Hawaii to Kodiak route, before I get too much older, and spend the rest of the year slowly working back south.  And if things seem good, go around again. But not this year.

In fact, isn't that what the RAN YouTubers did last year? Only IIRC, they sold their boat before they completed a circuit.  

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1 hour ago, toddster said:

I'd like to do the Hawaii to Kodiak route, before I get too much older, and spend the rest of the year slowly working back south.  And if things seem good, go around again. But not this year.

In fact, isn't that what the RAN YouTubers did last year? Only IIRC, they sold their boat before they completed a circuit.  

I’ve got a date with Japan - lived there in the early 1990s, later did a multi-month mountain bike and climbing trip through Hokkaido, the northernmost island, and I’d love to see it under sail this time.  But crossing the N Pacific back to N. America sounds a bit gut-tightening...

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7 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

The Douglas Bridge going into Juneau, Alaska *looks* really low.  I remember approaching it slightly worried despite the chart telling me we had lots of clearance.  (Just checked - Wikipedia says it’s “66 ft high”.) I generally never sail near urban areas, and never near bridges, so the height can be hard to judge from a distance, especially as you approach...

With 77' of airdraft, I hate bridges.

We briefly considered going through eggemoggin reach until we realized we'd have to hit the center of the bridge at low tide to keep it from being a pant-shitting affair.

Wires hung 150' over the water look like they're going to hit you until you're under them.

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Japan is on my wife's bucket list in a big way.  Having spent 20 years working in the Bering and Aluetians I have no desire to go their, but....it could be pretty cool in the right boat.  We met a German couple who were in the HaHa with us and they had cruised Japan extensively.  They were run over by a Japanese fishing boat and dismasted, and still raved about it being one of their favorite cruising destinations.  Sounded like alot of work and alot of planning but well worth the effort.  One of their stories was them on the hook and having a bunch of local fisherman show up and tie up to their boat unannounced and make them pull anchor, all in a translation black hole, then get moved into a inner harbor super secure berth because of some local weather phenomenon.  They wanted to make sure they were safe.

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9 hours ago, SASSAFRASS said:

Japan is on my wife's bucket list in a big way.  Having spent 20 years working in the Bering and Aluetians I have no desire to go their, but....it could be pretty cool in the right boat.  We met a German couple who were in the HaHa with us and they had cruised Japan extensively.  They were run over by a Japanese fishing boat and dismasted, and still raved about it being one of their favorite cruising destinations.  Sounded like alot of work and alot of planning but well worth the effort.  One of their stories was them on the hook and having a bunch of local fisherman show up and tie up to their boat unannounced and make them pull anchor, all in a translation black hole, then get moved into a inner harbor super secure berth because of some local weather phenomenon.  They wanted to make sure they were safe.

That’s a great story - the beauty of travel and being open to new people and experiences.  Here’s my “companion” Japan story.  I was trudging up a hill on my heavy gear-loaded mountain bike outside a very small town in Hokkaido.  My rear derailleur started having problems.  I pulled over to the side of the road to start tinkering with it.  Eventually a middle-aged man came over and offered to help. (I was lucky that my Japanese was good.)  I was brought to his nearby house, introduced to his wife and teenage son, invited to stay a few days while I sorted out the derailleur, and directed to set up my sleeping pad and bag on his roll-up practice putting green in his tiny garage!  (No space in the small house for me, and I was very used to daily camping anyway.)  One of the days I was there, he took me down to the town hall, where he worked, and introduced me to his colleagues, who had some local knowledge on nearby mountains I was planning to ascend.  I even was introduced to the mayor!  One of many such stories.  Japan is awesome, and the countryside (especially up north) quite beautiful.

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Saw this out on Facebook from a friend up in the area. I'm not sure where he shared it from but he's a responsible guy.

 

image.png.f9d284a10be5a15b84c8cd58c4a94bad.png

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On April 17, 2020 at 7:51 AM, Ajax said:

Ok, so the general vibe is "too early to know, check back later."

I get that I can do "remote, self-sufficient" cruising in Maine, but I wanted to know the likelyhood of being hassled by the local water cops and what hostility I might get from the local folks. Hell, I can do remote, self-sufficient cruising on the Chesapeke. If I did it right now, I'd be issued a $250 fine and have my boat towed in.  The water cops don't care if you're isolating on your boat, away from towns. I don't want that to happen in Maine.

I'm not looking to sail to Maine so I can go ashore and hit the local Westfield shopping mall or Costco. Obviously, I'm looking to live in the wilderness most of the time and perhaps sample some of the small, maritime villages when I re-provision.

I'll check back here in 30 days and ask the question again, and see how things stand.

The list of high quality, reasonably priced, broad selection, coastal grocery stores in Maine which you can reasonably access on foot from an anchorage is short. B)

Northeast Harbor has an ok store, but it's a mooring field only. If they close the dinghy dock, that's a pretty strong hint.

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On April 17, 2020 at 2:36 PM, B.J. Porter said:


 

Also you can sail from the Canal to Provincetown, which is a fun and quirky place, then do P-town to Maine on an overnight.

Only anchor near town in a north/ nor'east. In the prevailing sou'wester anchor across off the uninhabited national seashore. One of the most beautiful spots on earth.

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22 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I’ve got a date with Japan - lived there in the early 1990s, later did a multi-month mountain bike and climbing trip through Hokkaido, the northernmost island, and I’d love to see it under sail this time.  But crossing the N Pacific back to N. America sounds a bit gut-tightening...

A couple of my best friends are in Japan ATM, they were doing a walking tour/pilgrimage of the temples. Second time they've done this. Their boat is in Sydney, the plan was to sail up when the cyclone season/typhoon season permitted, spend a year cruising Japanese waters then cross the Strait to Alaska and head south.

They're flying out in a few days back to Sydney where they face 2 weeks quarantine before they can move back on their boat. At which point they're heading home to Tasmania and my place - I've got space for them and their boat. Might have to rearrange the current fleet of visitors on my moorings but - shrug - that's do-able.

Point being I wouldn't be planning on going to Japan in the next 12 months or so. I expect they'll have another crack at it in a couple years if things settle. Really not a good time to be a cruiser away from your home country. We're not kicking people out, nor obviously is NZ, but we're not welcoming new arrivals either.

FKT

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One thing is for sure, islands up and down the east coast are not welcoming harbors - right now. The question is, when will this change? Will it even be this season? 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/19/nyregion/coronavirus-nyc-islands-protection.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&fbclid=IwAR1ysHITVZRpCym6OwXB7keETlmgpQevB2sOaCjIFRsg1w0-rY8Yql3OfIs

 

And on the other extreme, riots are heating up to rip your masks off and throw the welcome mat out. This was in Denver.

 

It's one thing to off yourself(to be avoided always), quite another to take 47 people with you. 

 

1436149153_NYTsopenUSA.png.381fdc2a361acac43a2cd44cc864335d.png

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Ack...damn pay-wall.  Well, if islands decide to remain isolated this summer that's ok. I'll just find new isolated gunkholes on the Chesapeake.

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15 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Ack...damn pay-wall.  Well, if islands decide to remain isolated this summer that's ok. I'll just find new isolated gunkholes on the Chesapeake.

On your thoughts of how you'd be welcomed in Maine:  It occurs to me we're all the same, there.

 

Even Mainers from the next harbor in a sailboat, are 'from away', in a new harbor or nearby island. Sailboats in general are viewed as 'yachts' from local non-sailors. 

 

Time will tell, don't give you your plans, yet. 

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16 minutes ago, Kris Cringle said:

On your thoughts of how you'd be welcomed in Maine:  It occurs to me we're all the same, there.

 

Even Mainers from the next harbor in a sailboat, are 'from away', in a new harbor or nearby island. Sailboats in general are viewed as 'yachts' from local non-sailors. 

 

Time will tell, don't give you your plans, yet. 

We have the same adversarial relationship between sailors and watermen down here. Not caused by the pandemic but could be exacerbated by it, I guess.  I'm not giving up just yet. I'm still racking up vacation days since I'm working.

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My feeling about the watermen/women is that for them at best you’re in the way and and worst you’re cutting their trap (even if they put it in the middle of the channel).  You might be good for a laugh when you get waked at 5am.  On occasion you can get a wholesale lobster. 

If you’re not a retiree, a good portion of the ME you will be in contact with makes money from the people from away directly or indirectly. They for the most part will be cordial. The most clannish parts of Maine in my experience are those inhabited by Summer folk from say....Boston. 

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44 minutes ago, Elegua said:

My feeling about the watermen/women is that for them at best you’re in the way and and worst you’re cutting their trap (even if they put it in the middle of the channel).  You might be good for a laugh when you get waked at 5am. 

If you’re not a retiree, a good portion of the ME you will be in contact with makes money from the people from away directly or indirectly. They for the most part will be cordial. The most clannish parts of Maine in my experience are those inhabited by Summer folk from say....Boston. 

My fear with sailing to Maine wouldn't be so much nasty looks, but you get all the way there, the virus comes roaring back, and all of a sudden you either can't legally move at all or if you do it is going to be a non-stop trip home with no access to supplies.

Actually all the times I have been in Maine so far we have really not encountered any nasty people. The worst one was probably the gruff Boston Whaler rental guy who made a big show of counting and noting the nicks in the prop and issuing a dire warning I would be buying him a new prop if the boat came back with one more nick or dent. I couldn't really blame the guy, tourists + high tidal range + rocks must = lots of wrecked props :rolleyes:

* thread creep, but we had a comical encounter with a sailboat from Kent Island. We saw the hailing port and went over to talk to them. We said we were from Kent Island too. They looked at the Whaler and asked how long it took us to get to Maine. The Whaler had a really beat to shit engine that sounded like a bunch of bolts in a dryer but worse, NFW would I sit in it for 500 miles without earplugs! I said "We would be DEAF if we came form KI, we came from 10 miles over that way!" :lol:

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I've been under the impression that Mainers are hardy, independent, kind and generous.  Any nastiness is likely caused by stress and fear caused by the pandemic.

Yeah, getting stuck there or being forced to abandon the boat to rent a car and drive home would really suck.

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6 minutes ago, Ajax said:

I've been under the impression that Mainers are hardy, independent, kind and generous.  Any nastiness is likely caused by stress and fear caused by the pandemic.

Yeah, getting stuck there or being forced to abandon the boat to rent a car and drive home would really suck.

Tourist coastal Maine has a ton of people that ALSO are there for the summer running various businesses and even the year round residents in the tourist areas know who pays the bills. In normal times they are usually a fun bunch and not nasty at all*. These are not normal times and people who are frightened can act in ways they never would otherwise. Think of the mental strain, chasing away visitors is economic suicide and welcoming them could be literal suicide.

* assuming you aren't cutting their traps loose or anchoring on them or something like that.

 

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13 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Tourist coastal Maine has a ton of people that ALSO are there for the summer running various businesses and even the year round residents in the tourist areas know who pays the bills. In normal times they are usually a fun bunch and not nasty at all*. These are not normal times and people who are frightened can act in ways they never would otherwise. Think of the mental strain, chasing away visitors is economic suicide and welcoming them could be literal suicide.

* assuming you aren't cutting their traps loose or anchoring on them or something like that.

 

I think you and I are violently agreeing with each other. :)

Hey, I had a horrible thought last night- Can you imagine if an infected visitor landed at Smith or Tangier Island? It's like a working people's old folks' home. There would be carnage.

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6 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

My fear with sailing to Maine wouldn't be so much nasty looks, but you get all the way there, the virus comes roaring back, and all of a sudden you either can't legally move at all or if you do it is going to be a non-stop trip home with no access to supplies.

Actually all the times I have been in Maine so far we have really not encountered any nasty people. The worst one was probably the gruff Boston Whaler rental guy who made a big show of counting and noting the nicks in the prop and issuing a dire warning I would be buying him a new prop if the boat came back with one more nick or dent. I couldn't really blame the guy, tourists + high tidal range + rocks must = lots of wrecked props :rolleyes:

* thread creep, but we had a comical encounter with a sailboat from Kent Island. We saw the hailing port and went over to talk to them. We said we were from Kent Island too. They looked at the Whaler and asked how long it took us to get to Maine. The Whaler had a really beat to shit engine that sounded like a bunch of bolts in a dryer but worse, NFW would I sit in it for 500 miles without earplugs! I said "We would be DEAF if we came form KI, we came from 10 miles over that way!" :lol:

 

6 hours ago, Ajax said:

I've been under the impression that Mainers are hardy, independent, kind and generous.  Any nastiness is likely caused by stress and fear caused by the pandemic.

Yeah, getting stuck there or being forced to abandon the boat to rent a car and drive home would really suck.

We've done two trips to Maine and loved them both. Once for a two week vacation, and once for the first couple of months after we left cruising. We never had problems, but we did have people offer us rides to the laundromat in town and things like that.

It's still one of my favorite cruising grounds, and I've been to a few nice ones. I'd love to get back there some day.

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Ajax, if you don't already have one , get a copy of Duncan and Ware's A Cruising Guide to the New England Coast. It's probably in the 7003rd edition.  One of my favorite books ever (along with the Eldridge tide and Pilot Book) for thumbing through, plotting and planning.

I recently came across a second edition, circa 1946.  The world was certainly a different place for the cruising sailor.  For example, while gas docks were identified, there was no mention of diesel, because no one had a diesel engine!

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On 4/20/2020 at 9:09 AM, Kris Cringle said:

On your thoughts of how you'd be welcomed in Maine:  It occurs to me we're all the same, there.

 

Even Mainers from the next harbor in a sailboat, are 'from away', in a new harbor or nearby island. Sailboats in general are viewed as 'yachts' from local non-sailors. 

 

Time will tell, don't give you your plans, yet. 

Any idea when Governor Larry might let us sail again?

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He didn't relax restrictions today.  He indicated sometime in early May IF numbers are still not going up. 

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On 4/17/2020 at 9:27 AM, monsoon said:

Ajax, this might help: https://mita.org/

There are many small islands open to the public. 

Yes it's a good idea to become a member.  I volunteer for them.  At this point some sites are closed to overnight use due but no one knows how long that will last.  I also think it's still too soon to know how island communities feel toward anyone from off island.  Portland Press had and article today.  You should be able to read it.  https://www.pressherald.com/2020/04/24/docks-quiet-for-now-marinas-make-plans-to-stay-afloat/

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On 4/20/2020 at 5:17 PM, Nettles said:

Ajax, if you don't already have one , get a copy of Duncan and Ware's A Cruising Guide to the New England Coast. It's probably in the 7003rd edition.  One of my favorite books ever (along with the Eldridge tide and Pilot Book) for thumbing through, plotting and planning.

I recently came across a second edition, circa 1946.  The world was certainly a different place for the cruising sailor.  For example, while gas docks were identified, there was no mention of diesel, because no one had a diesel engine!

He has a copy of Taft & Rindlaub, the bible for Maine cruising. While he's had it for years, the rocks are all in the same places. I've never met Ajax, but I know some things through intuition. 

I routinely tie up at docks with lobstermen, and my boat is pretty impressive at a dock. The moment they realize I'm from Texas, not New York or Boston, and we start talking, I may as well be family. Had a really nice discussion about personal arsenals with a couple of guys in Buck's Harbor last summer. The working people of downeast Maine are Texas friendly. 

I just talked to a friend who's been isolating alone on his boat for 50 days now. He's getting pretty lonely. The boat is a 67' Lyman-Morse, so it could be worse, but still...

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Typical hiking path on a Maine island, showing the normal crowd. Either IAH or Frenchboro, could be either, probably IAH. 

Plenty of places to anchor in Maine. Plenty of unpopulated places to go ashore. If you have something super lightweight for a dink, like a kayak or an Avon Redcrest, just carry it to well above the high tide mark, otherwise it may be a cold wade or even a swim if you land at low tide and try to leave at high. If it's a heavier dinghy, make sure the anchor is well up the "beach".

image.thumb.jpeg.43829ba273ebc72c54cd3356f0583f5a.jpeg

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20 hours ago, Cruisin Loser said:

He has a copy of Taft & Rindlaub, the bible for Maine cruising. While he's had it for years, the rocks are all in the same places. I've never met Ajax, but I know some things through intuition. 

I routinely tie up at docks with lobstermen, and my boat is pretty impressive at a dock. The moment they realize I'm from Texas, not New York or Boston, and we start talking, I may as well be family. Had a really nice discussion about personal arsenals with a couple of guys in Buck's Harbor last summer. The working people of downeast Maine are Texas friendly. 

I just talked to a friend who's been isolating alone on his boat for 50 days now. He's getting pretty lonely. The boat is a 67' Lyman-Morse, so it could be worse, but still...

Maybe that's why I have a good time in Maine?

Apparently New Yorkers and Bostonians really have made a (not good) name for themselves wherever they go :rolleyes:

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34 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Maybe that's why I have a good time in Maine?

Apparently New Yorkers and Bostonians really have made a (not good) name for themselves wherever they go :rolleyes:

 New Yorkers, wherever you meet them, seem to love giving advice to people who are happier than themselves.

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Anyone have a line on the situation in the PNW (US side) looking out to the summer?  Wild guesses?  

There are a couple of boats up there we're pretty interested in, and the idea of heading up in June/July and spending the summer cruising & getting her dialed in, then heading down the coast in September is pretty appealing if things have opened up by then.  

On the downside, the prospect of buying a boat that's 1300 miles away, then losing the summer to a lockdown & having her stuck up there for a full year is pretty dismal.  

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20 minutes ago, socalrider said:

Anyone have a line on the situation in the PNW (US side) looking out to the summer?  Wild guesses?  

Wild guess #1: The virus disappears from earth. Things begin to return to normal.

Wild guess #2: The virus mutates. Everybody is dead.

All other guesses are somewhere in between. Nobody knows. But I do know many of us are going to go nuts if stuck on a dock thru the summer. Good luck.

 

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2 hours ago, El Boracho said:

But I do know many of us are going to go nuts if stuck on a dock thru the summer. Good luck.

No kidding... I'm going a bit nuts already.  Can't even take the dinghy out for a sail in San Diego right now.  

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If the park stuff opens there is definitely things you could enjoy while staying away from others.  Having lived in the islands it's hard to say what they will do, tourism driven but a serious risk due to remoteness and lack of med facility.  If you can't go to BC I wouldn't make the effort, the San Juans and Was are really nice but BC is epic. Better to wait till you can explore all.

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I put my RIB in the water today. I looked both ways, didn't see any DNR cops, and made the one mile or so trip from the beach to my slip with no law enforcement action :D

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Ironically we were planning on being in the NE about now.  The kid and wife falling in love with Bocas slowed it all down. My friend has a mooring on Prudance island we could have used for a bit then up to Maine to "maybe" winter over.  It's still out there as a possibility especially if borders become a huge issue. Lots of MMA contacts, Camden seems pretty nice.  I never new Crealock taught there till Tad Roberts told me, also a Alumni.

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We had plans, we had cat/housesitters lined up. They were going to Europe for 2 months this fall. We were going to go somewhere for a few weeks. It's all off, but maybe I can sneak away for a few solo sessions in the near future. In the meantime, our garden is getting a serious makeover. We're very lucky here on the island, life is almost normal.

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Pretty much the same here in Tassie, except we are allowed to use our boats as long as we respect the maximum people rule (a household plus one), and can get back home within a day.

So we can anchor overnight, but it must be close to home.

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1 hour ago, olaf hart said:

Pretty much the same here in Tassie, except we are allowed to use our boats as long as we respect the maximum people rule (a household plus one), and can get back home within a day.

So we can anchor overnight, but it must be close to home.

Yes, it's OK really. We went off for a day-sail yesterday. As usual bugger-all wind but still good to get out. Could probably overnight on your own moorings and have a decent argument that you haven't really gone anywhere.

Job backlog is still a mile long.

FKT

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On 4/24/2020 at 10:35 PM, Cruisin Loser said:

...

I just talked to a friend who's been isolating alone on his boat for 50 days now. He's getting pretty lonely. The boat is a 67' Lyman-Morse, so it could be worse, but still...

That's a big boat. There could be other people on it he just hasn't yet met.

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4 hours ago, olaf hart said:

Pretty much the same here in Tassie, except we are allowed to use our boats as long as we respect the maximum people rule (a household plus one)

Genus. Who thought that up. Just in case the household wasn't ill before the trip...

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59 minutes ago, European Bloke said:

Genus. Who thought that up. Just in case the household wasn't ill before the trip...

That’s the social distancing rule across the whole state, a household plus one, and encouraging 1.5 meter separation when possible.

its working well..

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4 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Yes, it's OK really. We went off for a day-sail yesterday. As usual bugger-all wind but still good to get out. Could probably overnight on your own moorings and have a decent argument that you haven't really gone anywhere.

Job backlog is still a mile long.

FKT

I stuffed my back up using the brush cutter a couple of days ago, so having a break from jobs.

the play house is almost finished, and I have run out of boat jobs, thinking about building a new dinghy, a sort of sea ute, my Purdon 10 is a bit heavy to haul up the launch ramp to the front yard.

 

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