Student_Driver

Sailing to Maine. Outside Route

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Am planning to take a two week sail from LIS to Maine leaving in ten days.  Have never sailed north of the Cape and Nantucket.  

Am looking for advice on the route and destinations.   With only a week in Maine, where are the top destinations?   Where do I need to reserve a slip or mooring and where are the best anchorages?

My crew want to hit Nantucket.  If we take the outside route, how challenging is it? Am assuming that we take the Cape Cod canal for one leg and go outside Cape Cod on the other leg.  I understand that the shoals and the fishing fleets make it a challenge. 

Lastly, would welcome any recommendations for guides, navigation or other resources etc.  

 

Thanks

 

S_D

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Too little time, but go for it! We've done the opposite, Maine to Buzzards Bay in two weeks several times. Your plan is even more challenging so: 

Head right to Penobscot Bay. No stops, if you're going on the outside. The whole coast is a bowl so the distance doesn't change much as you point your bow more East. 

Penobscot Bay as your destination will put you in the middle of the best cruising ground on the coast of Maine. Once there, you can head off in any direction, under sail, even if conditions are dicey outside. 

If your adamant on your schedule, keep in mind the old Downeast adage: One day sailing east takes 2 days to return. Having said that, we've had some of our best sails across the Gulf of Maine heading south.

Maybe you'll be lucky. Good luck! 

Gulf_of_Maine_2.thumb.PNG.9de7f62caf7e3e7d0d5425b0b716c7a2.PNG

 

 

 

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What Kris said, although there's much to be said for the mid coast peninsulas, which are typically flyover country to most folks bee lining it downeast. On your limited sched, Penobscot Bay should be ground zero with plenty of options for replenishing and crew comforts but wonderful cruising and gunkholing.

You don't mention what you're sailing and how many crew. If you don't have an autopilot or reliable overnight watchstanders  you'd be well advised to hug the coast and just sail during daylight hours. That said, the southern coast harbors are typically chocko with local yachties and fishermen, so in typical years finding a mooring inside can be dicey. This year is anything but normal, though.

Isles of Shoals is a lovely overnighter with supplies  available nearby in Portsmouth or more easily in York. The trouble with Casco Bay is Portland. It's such a cool town you may not want to leave and the day sailing is legendary.

The good news is there are relatively few traps in the water this year, so snagging potwarp is less concerning than usual.

Taft's Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast is the bible. There's also a cruising guide to New England that's not nearly as detailed or enjoyable to read. If you need a hurricane hole in Penobscot Bay, Seal Bay in Vinalhaven is wonderful.

Our one trip up to Mystic took four 12 hour days of motoring (anchoring/mooring overnight each day) upwind.

Have fun! The usually crowded spots should be wide open!

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1 hour ago, Kris Cringle said:

Too little time, but go for it! We've done the opposite, Maine to Buzzards Bay in two weeks several times. Your plan is even more challenging so: 

Head right to Penobscot Bay. No stops, if you're going on the outside. The whole coast is a bowl so the distance doesn't change much as you point your bow more East. 

Penobscot Bay as your destination will put you in the middle of the best cruising ground on the coast of Maine. Once there, you can head off in any direction, under sail, even if conditions are dicey outside. 

If your adamant on your schedule, keep in mind the old Downeast adage: One day sailing east takes 2 days to return. Having said that, we've had some of our best sails across the Gulf of Maine heading south.

Maybe you'll be lucky. Good luck! 

Gulf_of_Maine_2.thumb.PNG.9de7f62caf7e3e7d0d5425b0b716c7a2.PNG

 

 

 

I was having a good planning conversation with @Elegua yesterday. This is what he was trying to explain to me.  It all makes sense, now.

 

Out of curiosity, what do you consider to be "too late" in the season to cruise Maine and return to the Chesapeake?

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11 minutes ago, Ajax said:

I was having a good planning conversation with @Elegua yesterday. This is what he was trying to explain to me.  It all makes sense, now.

 

Out of curiosity, what do you consider to be "too late" in the season to cruise Maine and return to the Chesapeake?

I'd stretch it late into fall, but we're New Englanders and like the cool weather. I would like to be heading toward the Chesapeake in early to mid October, along the coast. The first time we sailed in the Chesapeake decades ago, from Vermont, was November. It was downright balmy for us, we were in the Caribbean from there on. :)

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25 minutes ago, Ajax said:

I was having a good planning conversation with @Elegua yesterday. This is what he was trying to explain to me.  It all makes sense, now.

 

Out of curiosity, what do you consider to be "too late" in the season to cruise Maine and return to the Chesapeake?

I would say right after Labor Day is probably Maine Heaven in a usual year with all the summer crowds cleared out and not cold yet.

* I was on Block Island Labor Day Monday and the afternoon crowds at the ferry dock were like people escaping Paris out of one end while the Germans rolled in the other end. We unwisely took our time eating an afternoon snack and the ice cream shop owner locked up and left FOR THE YEAR without us paying our check and with my bag with the keys to the airplane still inside :angry: I had to climb a tree and wedge a second story window open to get it back.

I imagine Maine is similar, probably a mass exodus of summer people.

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44 minutes ago, Kris Cringle said:

I'd stretch it late into fall, but we're New Englanders and like the cool weather. I would like to be heading toward the Chesapeake in early to mid October, along the coast. The first time we sailed in the Chesapeake decades ago, from Vermont, was November. It was downright balmy for us, we were in the Caribbean from there on. :)

Ok, good to know.  I wasn't looking to wait that long.  We want to visit in July/August to get a break from the worst of the Chesapeake heat.

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7 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Ok, good to know.  I wasn't looking to wait that long.  We want to visit in July/August to get a break from the worst of the Chesapeake heat.

We have only ever been in Maine from late July to mid-August. It is *so fun* to have a coffee and read the morning paper wearing a sweater while seeing news about a heat wave back home :D

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2 hours ago, Willin' said:

Isles of Shoals is a lovely overnighter with supplies  available nearby in Portsmouth or more easily in York. The trouble with Casco Bay is Portland. It's such a cool town you may not want to leave and the day sailing is legendary.

Isle of Shoals is great, but not open this year due to the virus. I'm guessing there are places in Portsmouth though.

Here's a nice webcam - https://www.sondroyo.com/pages/sml/

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Have done the trip a bunch. Going around the outside of the Cape (assuming the weather is okay) is totally fine and makes for a simpler, easier trip. You tend to get stronger winds from a better angle as well. Monomy shoals is nowhere near as difficult to navigate as you would think, but be sure to hit it at the right tide. Suggest you plan for the hop to take 24-28 hours. Best to just fuel up do it in one go because the extra time in Downeast Maine is worth it. 

In my opinion, Marthas Vineyard is better than Nantucket. If you want to start in Nantucket and go around the outside, then just set your course for the East side of Monhegan Island. From there you can land in either Rockland or Camden. I prefer Camden. From either you can cruise Penobscot Bay really easily. Castine, Bucks Harbor, Brooklin/WoodenBoat/Blue Hill, Stonington, Isle Au Haut or Islesboro, then back to Camden to provision and hop back to the Canal and thence on to LIS. 

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The amount of motoring related from everyone's common experiences is a bit distressing. I want to sail at least part of it!

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Do not despair! I've sailed to MV and back (from Marblehead) a couple times and it was a great sail. We went through the canal but still, the sailing conditions were good.

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50 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

We have only ever been in Maine from late July to mid-August. It is *so fun* to have a coffee and read the morning paper wearing a sweater while seeing news about a heat wave back home :D

YES!  and then the sunset is like 10pm or something.. and actually getting under covers in your bunk to stay warm, good sleeping.

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59 minutes ago, Ajax said:

The amount of motoring related from everyone's common experiences is a bit distressing. I want to sail at least part of it!

 

With more than a dozen crossings of the Gulf of Maine: The easiest legs - on me and crew - were all under sail. They were also the longest, in miles, and usually the fastest in time. Don't be afraid to fall off the rhumb line and let the boat run fast and smooth, even (especially) to windward.

 

One of our fastest legs was straight into a South breeze that started at 5 to 10 and ended at 15+ at the mouth of the canal. My boat doesn't point as high as newer, but it likes to crack off into a comfortable gallop. 

 

Unfortunately, the majority of the crossings were done mostly under power. Short, noisy, boring, more stressful, amazingly long in time. 

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We did the outside route Hyannis -> PTown through Pollock Rip over the 4th with a strong following breeze, bit of fog to contend with and no dramas.
Just honor reds 14, 12 and 10 if you draw >5ft. 

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2 hours ago, Ajax said:

The amount of motoring related from everyone's common experiences is a bit distressing. I want to sail at least part of it!

Motoring: It just depends if you are in a rush / on a schedule and how far you plan to go in a given day.  The I usually will plan a couple alternatives,(and there are plenty), so that we can finish breakfast, sail off the anchor and arrive at out destination by around 4-5pm to leave time for play/hiking/whatever.  A couple weekends ago it was 6-10kts out of the SW with some left over swell outside.  I had a lovely day sailing, but everyone I saw was motoring.   

Kennebec, Sheepscott, Damariscotta, St George and Muscongus Bay are great cruising areas. Sheepscott, St George and Muscongus are easy peasy, Kennebec and Damriscotta less so. 

In the past headed South to WLIS we skipped the CCC and went outside. 

How late? Second half of Sept can get sketchy depending upon the year, but has some great sailing days. Due to my son's work schedule, that's when we'll take our annual cruise this year. 

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6 hours ago, Willin' said:

The good news is there are relatively few traps in the water this year, so snagging potwarp is less concerning than usual.

Have fun! The usually crowded spots should be wide open!

Ha!  Where are you?  Could just about walk across Mussel Ridge on lobster buoys these days, and all the other usual crowded spots seem to be running around normal.  I’ve pulled gear from my props three times in the past two weeks, which is a higher than normal rate.  My usual stomping ground is Rockland-Vinalhaven-Matinicus and Rockland-Monhegan, which I traverse several times a week.  I don’t see much else of the bay, however.  It did seem that all the lobsterpeople dumped their traps pretty much all at the same time, about two weeks ago.

Its been pretty quiet boat-wise during the week.  Weekends are a different story... All hullabaloo broke out two Sundays ago, which was one of the first warm weekend days we’d had this season.
 

I can’t speak for other marinas, but Journeys End in Rockland weren’t expecting a lot of overnighters this year and thus rented out a lot of their dock space normally reserved for transients.  It might be worth a call if you think about visiting during peak time, although the transient spots next to me have seen a few boats but haven’t been filled to capacity yet this year.

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Outside route makes sense usually going to and from Nantucket depending on wind.  Obviously, if you skip ACK, the canal will be quicker.  I agree with Kris and Eluga, being a native of the same waters (though currently marooned on ACK) that your best bet is to head straight to Penobscot bay and start poking around from there.  As mentioned, the Taft&Taft guide is the Bible for the >3000 miles of coast line. (It has information on most spots, but there are plenty that aren’t included that you will find on your own) I feel bad giving this advice to some extent, because Casco Bay, Boothbay region and Muscungous bay are all excellent, varied and you could easily spend a couple of summers making your way through them before even considering Penobscot bay.   That said, Penobscot bay and East towards Mt Desert Island is simply spectacular, and there are so many spots that will take your breath away when you encounter them for the first time.  
 

Most first time visitors and many powerboaters stick to the milk run of harbors from Tenants Harbor or  Boothbay up to Acadia.  Basically a lot of folks go from Boothbay to Tenants Harbor on to Camden (maybe stopping in Rockland before then), across to Pulpit Harbor, maybe Perry’s Creek, Castine,  Bucks Harbor and then Northeast Harbor.  Nothing wrong with this,  it you will be leaving quite a lot unexplored.  
 

some great spots:

Holbrook Island (Castine)

Smiths cove (Castine)

Seal Bay (Vinalhaven)

Horseshoe Cove

Pond Island 

Butter Island

Somesville 

Sorrento   

Duck Harbor

 

There is just so much to see!

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, NaClH20 said:

Ha!  Where are you?

Down here in the Burg the traps were all stacked in the yards until a few weeks ago and right now there's prolly half or fewer traps wet than normal. The bugs were already inside by then so the open water to the south is relatively trap free so far this year.

Dock prices are ridiculously low and bait prices are high with almost no herring available at all. Most folks I know are buying frozen redfish heads at $22/ case. I can't catch lobster as cheaply as I can buy it right now so my traps are still under the porch.

Sorry if I spread bad dope, I'm not getting down your way as much as I used to. I'm guessing then that Jericho Bay must be it's usual mess o traps and toggles.

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18 minutes ago, Willin' said:

Down here in the Burg the traps were all stacked in the yards until a few weeks ago and right now there's prolly half or fewer traps wet than normal. The bugs were already inside by then so the open water to the south is relatively trap free so far this year.

Dock prices are ridiculously low and bait prices are high with almost no herring available at all. Most folks I know are buying frozen redfish heads at $22/ case. I can't catch lobster as cheaply as I can buy it right now so my traps are still under the porch.

Sorry if I spread bad dope, I'm not getting down your way as much as I used to. I'm guessing then that Jericho Bay must be it's usual mess o traps and toggles.

For Jericho Bay... it’s basically empty, at least it was about a month ago when I was through there. Pretty amazing actually. 

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No traps here, upper Blue Hill Bay, not even mine. Herring fishery is in growing trouble according to today’s news so bait is scarce and expensive. One still needs a plan for dealing with a wrapped pot warp.

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Unless you want to walk off the boat into towns I would recommend planning on anchoring most of the time.   Then you are not stuck to a schedule.  Further East your go the less dock space.  Although it's there if you try hard enough.  This year I would recommend calling anywhere you want to go directly.  So much is in flux. 

As the story goes. A guy in his 80s who had sailed Pen Bay his whole life was asked why he never went anywhere else.  He said" He hadn't see it all yet." 

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11 hours ago, Ajax said:

I was having a good planning conversation with @Elegua yesterday. This is what he was trying to explain to me.  It all makes sense, now.

 

Out of curiosity, what do you consider to be "too late" in the season to cruise Maine and return to the Chesapeake?

We left Harpswell ME at noon on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend one year.  Wind came up a few hours later off Portland and we arrived back in Southport CT on Monday morning.  Mostly under just a reefed main and without setting a spinnaker. 

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50 minutes ago, cyclone said:

No traps here, upper Blue Hill Bay, not even mine. Herring fishery is in growing trouble according to today’s news so bait is scarce and expensive. One still needs a plan for dealing with a wrapped pot warp.

My plan was always bring along at least one guy in his early twenties to jump in the water.

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14 hours ago, Student_Driver said:

Am planning to take a two week sail from LIS to Maine leaving in ten days.  Have never sailed north of the Cape and Nantucket.  

Am looking for advice on the route and destinations.   With only a week in Maine, where are the top destinations?   Where do I need to reserve a slip or mooring and where are the best anchorages?

My crew want to hit Nantucket.  If we take the outside route, how challenging is it? Am assuming that we take the Cape Cod canal for one leg and go outside Cape Cod on the other leg.  I understand that the shoals and the fishing fleets make it a challenge. 

Lastly, would welcome any recommendations for guides, navigation or other resources etc.  

 

Thanks

 

S_D

That's a really ambitious itinerary for two weeks if you want to take in Nantucket. It's way out of the way for that trip. I've never sailed around the cape. Also way the hell out of the way and can be rough. But you might see whales.

We took two weeks coming from Rhode Island our fist time to Maine and it was still too short.

Honestly, with two weeks and Maine a must-see, I'd take the Cape Cod Canal, skip Nantucket, but stop in Provincetown. It's a lovely place.

Mt. Dessert Island is fantastic, Portland is a cool little town. There are a ton of places there that we loved.

I've got twenty-one articles where I mention our trips to Maine over  the years. So I'll drop a link to that rather than scouring them and re-writing it again.

We do miss cruising Maine, I'd love to get back there some day.

http://sailevenstar.com/category/maine/

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12 hours ago, Ajax said:

I was having a good planning conversation with @Elegua yesterday. This is what he was trying to explain to me.  It all makes sense, now.

 

Out of curiosity, what do you consider to be "too late" in the season to cruise Maine and return to the Chesapeake?

It starts getting chilly there in September.

When were there last in 2012 we left after Labor Day and were in Annapolis before the boat show. But we stopped for a couple of weeks in RI along the way.

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Skip Nantucket.  Agreed. Will read you blogs also.  Thanks BJ

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4 hours ago, Student_Driver said:

Skip Nantucket.  Agreed. Will read you blogs also.  Thanks BJ

BTW your odds are very good to see whales on the way north. The Stellwagon bank lays square across the line coming from Cape Cod Bay to Maine, even if you stop at P-Town you'll go through it. Very popular spot with Humpbacks. If you're really lucky you might see a right whale, but they're really endangered and very rare. We've never seen one.

Those depths are in fathoms on this chart, but apparent the upwelling to the relative shallows of the bank (80-200ft) is the perfect depth for the humpbacks feeding on sand eels.

image.png.ebd4500926427c440228908d8b49d19c.png

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I took this picture of Jericho Bay two years ago. Sailed across it a couple of times earlier this week and the pots weren't nearly as bad. Remember though that this is toggle country, and the toggles can be 30 feet from the pot, invariably painted a different color (why one might ask?), and connected by a line a few feet below the surface. Fun.

IMG.thumb.jpeg.198deb57b750c1d5880377cfe4fd0523.jpeg

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Man,  that is epic.

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poor lobsters, how do you live in such a gauntlet?  Is there no regulation on the numbers of pots in one area?

 

an ignorant west coaster

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Actually, it’s much more like farming. The diet of lobsters is now largely bait: they feed on bait in traps — in and out after a quick lunch — until one day they’re too big to get out. Explains the concentration of traps in particular areas.

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3 hours ago, Sweare Deep said:

I took this picture of Jericho Bay two years ago. Sailed across it a couple of times earlier this week and the pots weren't nearly as bad. Remember though that this is toggle country, and the toggles can be 30 feet from the pot, invariably painted a different color (why one might ask?), and connected by a line a few feet below the surface. Fun.

IMG.thumb.jpeg.198deb57b750c1d5880377cfe4fd0523.jpeg

I fucking hate the toggles.

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Lobster pots and fog, baby. Bring it on!

IMG_1214.thumb.JPG.0bd91a6c7d342c7d92b3b2a62375edaf.JPG

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1 hour ago, Sweare Deep said:

Actually, it’s much more like farming. The diet of lobsters is now largely bait: they feed on bait in traps — in and out after a quick lunch — until one day they’re too big to get out. Explains the concentration of traps in particular areas.

You said the exact same thing I would have.  In some bays the concentration of is extra high due to the feeding.  There are videos of lobsters going in and out till they get too big.

 

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2 hours ago, seaker said:

You said the exact same thing I would have.  In some bays the concentration of is extra high due to the feeding.  There are videos of lobsters going in and out till they get too big.

 

What they said. The lobsters basically are trained to go in the traps until one day :o

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Supposedly by the time it's gotten to your table, the average lobster has gotten 6-7 rides to the surface. 

The toggles are usually the ones lying down - mostly.  You don't see them much until you get East of Penobscot.  

 

ACtC-3f8lNqLDJofsusm_ZtpxLSwm7Y7HG-VowAY

No toggles here...

I used to avoid lobster pots, but I don't bother anymore as long as they are not going under the boat between the rudder and the prop. 

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According to Navionics, the difference in distance from my origin to Penobscot Bay entrance is less than 10% (256 vs 283NM) between transiting the Cape Cod Canal or sailing to ACK and then outside the Cape around Monomy Shoals.  We want to sail offshore distance to practice for longer voyages and to get to know the boat better.  She’s 52’ and 48k lbs.  We have a liferaft and appropriate saftey and survival gear.  Not too worried about 1-2M swells but need to better understand what people mean by “rougher” and also need more of info regarding the other hazards (e.g. shoals, rocks etc.).  Thots? Suggested reading?

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Would you recommend fishing around Monomoy Shoals on an outside sail?   What might be biting and any rig recommendations?

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I have traversed to Maine via the CCC dozens of times.  And once outside from ACK.   It was wonderful and different.  Popped the chute outside Pollocks and Bobs Your Uncle!   So pretty and quiet.  Of everbody, save the odd fisherman..  Choose your weather obviously, but I highly recommend trying it at least once.

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I’ve made the trip from down East direct to ACK and vice versa dozens of times doing deliveries, and I prefer outside unless the weather makes sense to go inside.  Pollack Rip is a really cool spot, and the chances of seeing a great white shark this time of year are quite good, which makes it pretty exciting.  If you do end up coming through ACK send me a PM and I will drop by when you’re in the harbor. 

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12 hours ago, Ajax said:

Man,  that is epic.

Yes that is a great shot. If you use a long lens you can compress the buoys. Conversely, with a short lens they spread apart. The reality is somewhere in the middle. 

 

Jericho Bay is the worst in density, toggles start in Eastern Penobscot Bay. Relief for me is to sail. Once the prop stops spinning, I can relax. 

 

This was last season in Jericho Bay. I'll steer around most but a few, slide along the length of the hull. You hear them scraping and thumping below. They pop out of the wake with a loud "whoosh", instantly followed by a sharp "thud" as they hit the dinghy bow transom. 

 

Sail, sail, sail. Best defense for lobster buoys. 

1954633910_JerichoBaylobsterbuoys.thumb.jpg.48c6f50919b6ed6a707608f7e532c526.jpg

 

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3 hours ago, Kris Cringle said:

Yes that is a great shot. If you use a long lens you can compress the buoys. Conversely, with a short lens they spread apart. The reality is somewhere in the middle. 

 

Jericho Bay is the worst in density, toggles start in Eastern Penobscot Bay. Relief for me is to sail. Once the prop stops spinning, I can relax. 

 

This was last season in Jericho Bay. I'll steer around most but a few, slide along the length of the hull. You hear them scraping and thumping below. They pop out of the wake with a loud "whoosh", instantly followed by a sharp "thud" as they hit the dinghy bow transom. 

 

Sail, sail, sail. Best defense for lobster buoys. 

1954633910_JerichoBaylobsterbuoys.thumb.jpg.48c6f50919b6ed6a707608f7e532c526.jpg

 

My best ‘dream boat’ for cruising the Maine coast has a full keel / attached rudder and no engine, then I can sail amongst the pots with impunity...

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11 hours ago, Student_Driver said:

It doesn't strike me as something I'd do without a good reason. You won't die or anything, but it just seems to be adding more difficulty than you need, and really rushes an already short itinerary for many great cruising grounds.

Nantucket is a week's vacation, you won't want to leave there after a day or two.

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9 hours ago, Kris Cringle said:

Yes that is a great shot. If you use a long lens you can compress the buoys. Conversely, with a short lens they spread apart. The reality is somewhere in the middle. 

 

Jericho Bay is the worst in density, toggles start in Eastern Penobscot Bay. Relief for me is to sail. Once the prop stops spinning, I can relax. 

 

This was last season in Jericho Bay. I'll steer around most but a few, slide along the length of the hull. You hear them scraping and thumping below. They pop out of the wake with a loud "whoosh", instantly followed by a sharp "thud" as they hit the dinghy bow transom. 

 

Sail, sail, sail. Best defense for lobster buoys. 

1954633910_JerichoBaylobsterbuoys.thumb.jpg.48c6f50919b6ed6a707608f7e532c526.jpg

 

Also, through some trick of the eye, time or space, they never seem as dense when you lool behind you as they do in front.

I do not know why this is so.

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3 minutes ago, B.J. Porter said:
11 hours ago, Student_Driver said:

It doesn't strike me as something I'd do without a good reason. You won't die or anything, but it just seems to be adding more difficulty than you need, and really rushes an already short itinerary for many great cruising grounds.

Nantucket is a week's vacation, you won't want to leave there after a day or two.

I would cautiously suggest that planning your first two week trip across hundreds of miles of water with overnight sails is a challenge in and of itself. I do not think it will be necessary to pile extra ones on yourself. Just go and have fun - the shitty conditions will find you eventually.

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On 7/24/2020 at 7:24 PM, B dock said:

poor lobsters, how do you live in such a gauntlet?  Is there no regulation on the numbers of pots in one area?

 

an ignorant west coaster

I realized you question wasn't really answered.  The Maine lobster industry is considered to be very progressive in it's conservation.   Lobster men are licensed and there is a limit on the total number and even on apprentices. The state  is split up in zones and there is a limit in each zone.  They can't move around between zones.  Max number of traps they can fish is 800 and each on has a numbered tag. There is a slot on size so the small and large (good breeders) cannot be kept.  Females cannot be kept.  If they have eggs the tail is notched and notched lobster cannot be kept.  Due to the strong lobby no diving for lobsters.   Is it perfect?  Likely not but it's pretty good.  And there is good tracking to know if the numbers are going up or down.  A big concern

is the water in the Gulf is warming and lobsters need it colder. 

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If you only have 2 weeks, I would recommend:

1. Skip Nantucket

2. Go straight from WLIS to NE Harbor.  

guessing from the mileage you’re showing, you’re around Westbrook?

90nm to canal, get fuel in Sandwich, if needed. 180nm to NE Harbor.  Guessing that would be 40-45 hours for you.

You are as far East as you need to go and have some of the nicest places in Maine to see and you are there with the most time available to you to enjoy. 

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9 hours ago, SailAR said:

If you only have 2 weeks, I would recommend:

1. Skip Nantucket

2. Go straight from WLIS to NE Harbor.  

guessing from the mileage you’re showing, you’re around Westbrook?

90nm to canal, get fuel in Sandwich, if needed. 180nm to NE Harbor.  Guessing that would be 40-45 hours for you.

You are as far East as you need to go and have some of the nicest places in Maine to see and you are there with the most time available to you to enjoy. 

You’re skipping an awful lot just heading to NE Harbor.  With the prevailing SW, exploring on the way back wouldn’t really be too attractive either as you would either be beating or looking for a favorable breeze to head south in.  NE Harbor is definitely pretty and the whole area is pretty special, however I try to avoid staying there as the lobster boats coming and going early in the morning make it a shitty place to enjoy your sleep...despite it being a hurricane hole.  

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1 hour ago, eliboat said:

You’re skipping an awful lot just heading to NE Harbor.  With the prevailing SW, exploring on the way back wouldn’t really be too attractive either as you would either be beating or looking for a favorable breeze to head south in.  NE Harbor is definitely pretty and the whole area is pretty special, however I try to avoid staying there as the lobster boats coming and going early in the morning make it a shitty place to enjoy your sleep...despite it being a hurricane hole.  

Wasn’t suggesting he just go to NE. My experience is go directly to that area, basically as far East as you want to be given the limited time.   Then work your way West through Penobscot Bay back towards Boothbay/Portland and then slog home. 

For example (and there a lot of other great places)

direct to NE/SW

Somes Sound

Burnt Coat

Seal Bay/Winter Harbor

Brooklyn Or Vinalhaven

Castine

Pulpit Or Dark Harbor

Vinalhaven

Camden/Rockport

Port Clyde

Pemaquid

Boothbay

head home
 

the idea is to not waste days stopping along the way up. 2 weeks = 16 days.  You can spend 4 days getting there and back, or you can spend more doing day trips on the way up and back.  I’d much rather have 12 days Downeast than 8 or 9. 

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2 hours ago, SailAR said:

Wasn’t suggesting he just go to NE. My experience is go directly to that area, basically as far East as you want to be given the limited time.   Then work your way West through Penobscot Bay back towards Boothbay/Portland and then slog home. 

For example (and there a lot of other great places)

direct to NE/SW

Somes Sound

Burnt Coat

Seal Bay/Winter Harbor

Brooklyn Or Vinalhaven

Castine

Pulpit Or Dark Harbor

Vinalhaven

Camden/Rockport

Port Clyde

Pemaquid

Boothbay

head home
 

the idea is to not waste days stopping along the way up. 2 weeks = 16 days.  You can spend 4 days getting there and back, or you can spend more doing day trips on the way up and back.  I’d much rather have 12 days Downeast than 8 or 9. 

I agree with going up to Maine in one big push.  Pick your landfall based on the part of Maine you want to see the most, and then make short hops from there.

After your first week up there, I might suggest monitoring forecasts for any cold fronts in that second week.  Fronts usually move through about once per week in late summer.  I would then take advantage of the northerly (or often in summer, simply absence of a southwesterly) after the front to make the overnight hop straight back to the Cape,  From there I would use any days left in my cruise to explore Nantucket and the Cape before heading back to WLIS.  It's a bummer to lose the days in Maine, but taking advantage of the weather is important, and it's not like there's nothing to do in southern New England.

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My daughter is finishing GWU this fall ,and wants to sail with me to the Caribbean this winter.  She’s done some blue water sailing but needs more experience as do I .   There will be the same four on this trip as the delivery.  I want us all to get more offshore me together and this presents a chance to sail 300NM non stop and test the crew while being able to bail at most points except outside the cape.  before we leave we’ll do mob drills, learn sea clock locations etc.  
 

Am now wondering if I should sail past block out East and then just turn north? This let’s us test the crew and boat with many options to bail out before getting to Nantucket Shoals.  If I have any doubts at all, we bail and wait  

i can leave Sun, Mon, Thue and am thinking about an evening departure.   All tide and WX dependent.  Speaking of which.  Forecast looks good for winds but the lightning storms over several days worries me.  What are ur thoughts?   Should I pay for weather guidance?  If so who?  
 

Have rigged a temp setup for Nav in the cockpit with a b&g Zeus 3 9” and vhf/AKS transponder combo to add to the existing Furuno 1835 radar.  bought 4 is mob devices.  We have all 6he offshore safety gear (raft, Epirus, ditch bag, hydraulic rig cutter, sea anchor etc. 

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On 7/25/2020 at 5:23 AM, Student_Driver said:

Would you recommend fishing around Monomoy Shoals on an outside sail?   What might be biting and any rig recommendations?

Based on the last time I went through there..... Great Whites will be all around

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1 hour ago, jackolantern said:

Based on the last time I went through there..... Great Whites will be all around

Haha.  Not going to try to land or release a shark larger than my dink.  

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3 hours ago, Student_Driver said:

Haha.  Not going to try to land or release a shark larger than my dink.  

And we had our first death from a great white yesterday.  Woman was swimming about 20 feet from shore when she got hit. 

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Incidentally, this is East Penobscot Bay this morning:305106AA-5D13-4C3E-8F62-16E80B1FBF39.thumb.jpeg.39914151759ba0ef3d96b8579fbda136.jpeg

Going into Merchants Row at one point had to stop, make a 90 degree right turn and dodge around a mass of buoys and togles so thick there was literally not enough space to get my boat through (power boat today, with props on struts.  Cutters are there but often leave bits that need later removal, and who wants to do that?)

And east entrance Fox Island Thoroughfare from the air4E066121-A3C8-44B5-9860-623042BAEC5B.thumb.jpeg.74952a6bc9233e535f5f261164d1e844.jpeg
 

All the white thingies ain’t moorings, and they’re  the ones that show up in a crappy phone photo...way more colored ones that didn’t come through. 

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53 minutes ago, seaker said:

And we had our first death from a great white yesterday.  Woman was swimming about 20 feet from shore when she got hit. 

Wow. That’s bad. I’m driving up to Maine tomorrow to pick up a boat for a client. I’ll make sure I don’t go swimming in the cold Atlantic. 
 

What’s to do or see for a day or two or 5 near Spruce Island besides watching people catch lobster pots and eating lobster? I don’t have any return date so I’m open to suggestions.

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1 hour ago, Sail4beer said:

Wow. That’s bad. I’m driving up to Maine tomorrow to pick up a boat for a client. I’ll make sure I don’t go swimming in the cold Atlantic. 
 

What’s to do or see for a day or two or 5 near Spruce Island besides watching people catch lobster pots and eating lobster? I don’t have any return date so I’m open to suggestions.

Classic yacht races this week. Castine-Camden on Thursday. Camden-Brooklin Friday. Saturday is the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta

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3 hours ago, Sail4beer said:

Wow. That’s bad. I’m driving up to Maine tomorrow to pick up a boat for a client. I’ll make sure I don’t go swimming in the cold Atlantic. 
 

What’s to do or see for a day or two or 5 near Spruce Island besides watching people catch lobster pots and eating lobster? I don’t have any return date so I’m open to suggestions.

Jumped off our dock in Blue Hill Bay, it wasn’t too cold. One could even call it warm. 
 

As another poster noted, some decent classic yacht racing this weekend. 

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Bringing Twinbro and a  sailing lady friend of ours now. Eggomogin this weekend? Anyone need crew? I didn’t launch my classic wood cutter due toCovid ...

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And feeling Restive;)

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22 hours ago, eliboat said:

You’re skipping an awful lot just heading to NE Harbor.  With the prevailing SW, exploring on the way back wouldn’t really be too attractive either as you would either be beating or looking for a favorable breeze to head south in.  NE Harbor is definitely pretty and the whole area is pretty special, however I try to avoid staying there as the lobster boats coming and going early in the morning make it a shitty place to enjoy your sleep...despite it being a hurricane hole.  

I agree you're skipping a ton this way. Southern NE, be it Block Island, Cuttyhunk, P-Town and other places has a lot to see if you've never cruised it.

We anchored out a lot between NE and SW harbor, over by that mill pond dam thing. Greening Island has cables, so you can't get behind it. We found we could take a planing dinghy ride to either harbor if we wanted to from there.

image.thumb.png.c9c393793fb93fa71cba302106f4cd41.png

 

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14 hours ago, seaker said:

And we had our first death from a great white yesterday.  Woman was swimming about 20 feet from shore when she got hit. 

It's the 20 feet from shore part that freaks me out. They really do hunt in shallow water.

Question-  I realize the water is pretty cool year around, that far north.  Do people swim off their boats during the summer to cool down?

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35 minutes ago, Ajax said:

It's the 20 feet from shore part that freaks me out. They really do hunt in shallow water.

Question-  I realize the water is pretty cool year around, that far north.  Do people swim off their boats during the summer to cool down?

For sure, once the water 'warms up'. That happens earlier in the the season these days as the Gulf of Maine warms up faster than 99% of the worlds oceans. Late afternoon yesterday, about a half a dozen people were jumping off the public docks. The air temp was still in the high 80's.

 

I have a pool thermometer on the boat as we do a lot more swimming off the boat these days than we did in the last couple of decades. I'm not one that likes cold water and don't go until I see the mercury hit 70. 

 

Usually, the water warms up in the backwaters of creeks and reaches off the bay. Plus, the state of the tide will effect the temps. during the day. Low tide here means the water had extra time to warm up. 

 

1927941717_SwimmingPerryCreek.thumb.jpg.54752c7369df4f9e41c7a44753f06fd9.jpg

 

But even in our harbor which is just a cleft in the rock rim of Penobscot Bay, the water has touched 70 in 2020, before August. Just this week I saw the buoy just off Portland read 70. 

 

On the shark, they report is actually 20 yards, 60 feet,... But Maine coast, especially down around Bailey Island, is generally 'bold', meaning, you crush you bow pulpit before you run aground. Plus she was wearing a wetsuit which some think makes you look more like a seal. Go bare, it's safer. 

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To me, 70F degree water is chilly but would be a refreshing blast with air temps in the mid/high 80's.

Ah, 20 yards. That's a different matter. I agree on the wetsuit statement.  That photo cracks me up. Your little doggie exudes a lot of personality.  "Where'd mommy go?"

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17 minutes ago, Ajax said:

To me, 70F degree water is chilly but would be a refreshing blast with air temps in the mid/high 80's.

Ah, 20 yards. That's a different matter. I agree on the wetsuit statement.  That photo cracks me up. Your little doggie exudes a lot of personality.  "Where'd mommy go?"

 

I knew you would say that on the water temp, coming from the Ches. I've been launching some docks I built this week on a lake in my neighborhood. I won't swim in cold water so I've been in the water to cool off (it's been record heat here the last few days hitting 90 inland).

 

With sweat completely soaking my clothes (brutal heat and humidity for Maine), the water temperature in that lake is right on the threshold of losing its refreshing quality. 

Once I get those docks launched, we're headed out for 3 weeks on the boat. We can't wait.  

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21 hours ago, Student_Driver said:

My daughter is finishing GWU this fall ,and wants to sail with me to the Caribbean this winter.  She’s done some blue water sailing but needs more experience as do I .   There will be the same four on this trip as the delivery.  I want us all to get more offshore me together and this presents a chance to sail 300NM non stop and test the crew while being able to bail at most points except outside the cape.  before we leave we’ll do mob drills, learn sea clock locations etc.  
 

Am now wondering if I should sail past block out East and then just turn north? This let’s us test the crew and boat with many options to bail out before getting to Nantucket Shoals.  If I have any doubts at all, we bail and wait  

i can leave Sun, Mon, Thue and am thinking about an evening departure.   All tide and WX dependent.  Speaking of which.  Forecast looks good for winds but the lightning storms over several days worries me.  What are ur thoughts?   Should I pay for weather guidance?  If so who?  
 

Have rigged a temp setup for Nav in the cockpit with a b&g Zeus 3 9” and vhf/AKS transponder combo to add to the existing Furuno 1835 radar.  bought 4 is mob devices.  We have all 6he offshore safety gear (raft, Epirus, ditch bag, hydraulic rig cutter, sea anchor etc. 

I did a lot of offshore sailing when reliable forecasts or even a way to get them weren't really a thing yet, so my bias is from the weather is what it is and you deal with it.

That said, now we have better weather and better ways to get it I surely do make use of it, but even just sailing to Annapolis from the island you can't avoid EVERYTHING. If a chance of a thunderstorms deterred me from going out my boat would sit half the year. If you are sailing a lot you will get caught out in numerous thunderstorms. One memorable night we were a little late leaving the dinghy dock and Satan's own disco let loose with lighting cracking right overhead so often I could just about read by it except the 30 knot blowing rain would not be kind to a paperback. Our dog normally has to give some thought to climbing out of the dinghy, but as soon as we pulled up alongside she was up like a shot and wanted in the cabin right now :lol: Lightning hit the Statehouse while we were doing this and the lightning rod installed by Ben Franklin (yes that one) worked a treat and no damage was done.

I would not pay for weather routing for summer New England myself. The big danger is hurricanes and you REALLY need to screw up to be surprised by one that far north in 2020.

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4 hours ago, Ajax said:

It's the 20 feet from shore part that freaks me out. They really do hunt in shallow water.

Question-  I realize the water is pretty cool year around, that far north.  Do people swim off their boats during the summer to cool down?

Yes.  It's brisk but not the arctic.  We've been hitting 90+ on shore on the Blue Hill peninsula this week so the ocean feels mighty good.

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14 hours ago, Sail4beer said:

Bringing Twinbro and a  sailing lady friend of ours now. Eggomogin this weekend? Anyone need crew? I didn’t launch my classic wood cutter due toCovid ...

Good luck finding a spot!  The tricky part is that Wooden Boat, where the festivities are held, is closed to visitors this year.  So you need to find a boat that is willing to pick you up from either Brooklin Boat (assuming they'll allow it) or another yard/dock along the reach.  This assumes you don't have your own boat to get to the reach with.

Cheers,

SMC

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I’m on a road delivery but have all week to do it. One of the lions here reached out already...at least to say hi, and I will have an Ensign in tow.

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Just subscribed to the 'Pro" Predict Wind service and have been using the iPad app. It's very interesting. 

Now we are leaving Sat for Block. Spending the night (most likely) and then leaving Sunday at a time that puts us near Bar Harbor area in the morning and with reasonable tides etc. 

Looked at the dock rates in Nantucket. Not only are they all booked, the rates are $12.50/ft. Way too rich for me. Not happening. If I can't get a mooring ball, am assuming that it's out of the question to try to find room to anchor in the harbor? Where does one get an honest assessment of the viability of finding space in various anchorages in NE? Active Captain only gets u so far. IMHO. 

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The Perkins engine alarm went off when I was motoring the boat after a weekend cruise.   The water temp and oil pressure appeared to be ok so I shut off the ignition switch to stifle the alarm. The yard tells me that I might have created an problem for the alternator with no way to displace the energy with the switch off. Waiting to find out. Am hoping that there was a device on the regulator which saved my bacon. I did check when I arrived at the dock and ran the engine with the ignition and alarm both on. The Victron app on my iPhone showed that at least one of the two alternators is functioning. Fingers crossed. Should hear back soon.

The A/C or shore driven Grunnert system is working but we're still waiting to hear whether the engine driven holding plate system will hold the vacuum etc. There was a problem where the pressure controlled compressor switch is not activating, yet. I vaguely understand but need to become more saavy/edumicated on the details of the systems. Still like drinking from a firehose. 

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They dropped a sensor in the water and hull etc and found no evidence of electric current being released. Big relief. Glad to know that I don't own a very heavy battery. 

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My daughter plans to put a go pro in the cockpit. We're never going to monetize our adventures but she may find it amusing to do a chronicle etc. 

On my way to REI to pick up an Inreach communicator. We have an EPIRB, LifeRaft and AIS PLBs but the InReach seems a good addition and will allow the wife to track us. 

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9 minutes ago, Student_Driver said:

The Perkins engine alarm went off when I was motoring the boat after a weekend cruise.   The water temp and oil pressure appeared to be ok so I shut off the ignition switch to stifle the alarm

Do you have guages on your panel, just buzzers as senders, or both?
Oil pressure & water temperature senders are a cheap part, easy fix - rather than fretting for days, wishing I just ordered new & replaced mine both. 
(Turns out it was a bad oil pressure switch, Universal XP25 but same principal)

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On 7/30/2020 at 12:58 AM, kent_island_sailor said:

I would not pay for weather routing for summer New England myself. The big danger is hurricanes and you REALLY need to screw up to be surprised by one that far north in 2020.

Truth. New England has so many readily available ports and shelters there are only a few places where you're more than a few hours from safety and rarely out of VHF range of anything. I had a cell signal in the middle of the Stellwagon Bank back in 2010.

 

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3 hours ago, Student_Driver said:

Just subscribed to the 'Pro" Predict Wind service and have been using the iPad app. It's very interesting. 

Now we are leaving Sat for Block. Spending the night (most likely) and then leaving Sunday at a time that puts us near Bar Harbor area in the morning and with reasonable tides etc. 

Looked at the dock rates in Nantucket. Not only are they all booked, the rates are $12.50/ft. Way too rich for me. Not happening. If I can't get a mooring ball, am assuming that it's out of the question to try to find room to anchor in the harbor? Where does one get an honest assessment of the viability of finding space in various anchorages in NE? Active Captain only gets u so far. IMHO. 

I've not anchored in Nantucket for close to a decade, so YMMV. Things mght have changed

But you *could* anchor there, and we generally did. That red circle on the chart, you could perch on the edge of the shallows and the channel. There were some strong currents, enough so sometimes the boat and with wind did not line up. But you could go there.

Some anchored in the yellow spot, but we never did as we generally found a spot in the red area.

Either one is a longish dinghy ride in. The launch service will pick you up at the Red, though you may have to coax them. Not sure about the yellow. The pumpout boat would also come out there.

Once or twice we called the number on some of the empty rental moorings to see if they were open. If you're there midweek there might be one, though odds are lower on the weekend.

The area listed as "General Anchorage" was entirely full of moorings the last time we were there.

 

image.thumb.png.d6ded58b603b394ffd58c8b0358a9911.png

 

 

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The public dinghy dock, harbormaster and showers are at the red circle.

It's not a long dinghy ride if you're planing, but most of the harbor is a no wake/slow zone, and you can't blast through the mooring field at warp 5. So it takes a lot of time...

 

image.thumb.png.b6dbf966a0faa16c09894cd7be996433.png

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3 hours ago, Student_Driver said:

They dropped a sensor in the water and hull etc and found no evidence of electric current being released. Big relief. Glad to know that I don't own a very heavy battery. 

I mean this in the kindest way - I think you might have bit off more than you can chew. The sentence above makes utterly no sense. I fear you may be vulnerable to a yard that will want to change the polarity of your muffler bearings or put radar grease on the flux capacitor. Asking a ton of questions here will help and I also strongly suggest you get these books, read them, and keep them aboard.

https://www.amazon.com/Boatowners-Mechanical-Electrical-Manual-4/dp/0071790330/ref=sr_1_1?crid=25Y8VUQ4Y2LV8&dchild=1&keywords=nigel+calder&qid=1596143644&sprefix=nigel+cal%2Caps%2C160&sr=8-1

https://www.amazon.com/Marine-Diesel-Engines-Maintenance-Troubleshooting/dp/0071475354/ref=sr_1_2?crid=25Y8VUQ4Y2LV8&dchild=1&keywords=nigel+calder&qid=1596143701&sprefix=nigel+cal%2Caps%2C160&sr=8-2

https://www.amazon.com/Marine-Diesel-Engines-Maintenance-Troubleshooting/dp/0071475354/ref=sr_1_2?crid=25Y8VUQ4Y2LV8&dchild=1&keywords=nigel+calder&qid=1596143701&sprefix=nigel+cal%2Caps%2C160&sr=8-2

https://www.amazon.com/Refrigeration-Pleasureboats-Installation-Maintenance-Repair/dp/0071579982/ref=sr_1_6?crid=25Y8VUQ4Y2LV8&dchild=1&keywords=nigel+calder&qid=1596143785&sprefix=nigel+cal%2Caps%2C160&sr=8-6

 

 

 

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Kent,

 

I oversimplified.  I do have a lot of reading and am sorting through all of the user manuals, memos to boat files, maintenance logs and similar. There are also some fabulous books onboard related to topics on maintenance, hull strength and one book on metal yachts etc. 
 

Am deep into reading.  I have months of work to do but feel comfortable doing coastal trips. 
 

BJ,

 

thanks for the chart.  Will look for the red area if when we go. I think I can find a spot somewhere. 

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Bjs Anchorage notation is still valid.  You should be able to get a mooring though.  

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It's been almost 10 years since, but we've anchored in the area BJ marked.  We dragged the anchor once when the wind piped up. The area was weedy. But we've also spent several good nights there. We always row and that is a good row but pleasant as there's lots to see. 

 

We've also anchored in one of the 'holes' up the channel. That was very protected, great swimming and access to an island beach (far from town).  

 

The best nights we've spent on Nantucket were all the way up the channel to the basin at Head of the Harbor. Amazing place! We spent a couple of nights, the only boat in the large pond. Last I knew it was off limits, but I'd probably go up there again. On a rising tide it was pretty easy navigation on the chart plotter. 

Xmas_Eve_Nantucket.thumb.jpg.08103c64466176aa5af3341a5d9d9616.jpg

 

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