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Departure Wx- Chesapeake to Maine


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“Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.” - Yoda

I'm using Predict Wind and Sailflow.  Of course it's too early to trust a forecast but I'm ever watchful.

The forecast yesterday indicated that departing on Friday would give me the smoothest trip (even if it means motoring) down the Delaware Bay. Now it appears that a Saturday departure (my original plan) will be better. It could change a dozen more times between now and then.

The bottom line is: It's about 65-70 miles from Chesapeake City to Cape May, NJ.  I need to depart Chesapeake City at slack flood for a west-to-east transit of the canal. That's around 11am on Saturday or 12:42 pm on Sunday.  I'm looking at 10-12 hours of transit time to Cape May.

There is a low pressure system passing to the south on Fri/Sat/Sun that is causing lots of dynamism.

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Take a look at the tides for Delaware bay rather than the canal. You really want to start down the bay punching the tail end of an incoming tide which will gradually turn fair and help pull you down the bay. Could take hours off your travel time.

 

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37 minutes ago, TryGuy said:

Take a look at the tides for Delaware bay rather than the canal. You really want to start down the bay punching the tail end of an incoming tide which will gradually turn fair and help pull you down the bay. Could take hours off your travel time.

 

So basically, depart earlier?  I'd prefer that, actually. Waiting until nearly noon to get underway for a 12 hour leg does not excite me.

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2 hours ago, TryGuy said:

Take a look at the tides for Delaware bay rather than the canal. You really want to start down the bay punching the tail end of an incoming tide which will gradually turn fair and help pull you down the bay. Could take hours off your travel time.

 

That's an invaluable take.  Thanks for posting up.  Heading that way in August... 

 

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I built a route in Expedition running 66.5 NM from Chesapeake City to the Delaware Bay Entrance. Assumptions: motor continuously at 6 knots through the water, no affects of wind, Delaware Bay currents applied, and route is along main channel.

I ran about 20 optimization runs and found that the minimum time to run south from C City corresponds with departing at C City at LOW tide at Chesapeake City. The maximum time corresponds with departing C City at HIGH tide (opposite of what is said in the Waterway Guide). Runs starting before or after high and low tides have run times that fall in between the two runs starting at high/low tide.

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Min and max results

Depart High tide Route 66.6 NM Time 11h 47m 50s Avg Speed 5.64kt Finish
Depart Low tide Route 66.6 NM Time 10h 06m 07s Avg Speed 6.59kt Finish

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If you are using predict wind, compare the GFS and ECWMF models. Are they in agreement? If so then you can start believing the forecast. 

Keep watching the forecasted period as it gets closer, about 2x/day. Are predicted conditions changing much? i.e. are the models not really reflecting reality because the input conditions keep drifting. 

 

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The GFS and Euro have relevence once you are outside Cape May and in the Ocean.  I would not put too much stock in it for Bay conditions. Too many land affects that don’t get picked up on the Global models.    They are good at picking up large scale weather but pretty bad and localized wind on the Chesapeake and Delaware.  For this route I would look at the 3km NAM model or the HRRR.  These too can be a bit flawed in exaggerating land effects but generally are much more accurate.  I like the NAM 3k over the HRRR but they both have very similar outputs.  I would also look to the OFS models for both wind and current.  These are good but only run out about 48 hours.  

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16 hours ago, Zonker said:

If you are using predict wind, compare the GFS and ECWMF models. Are they in agreement? If so then you can start believing the forecast. 

Keep watching the forecasted period as it gets closer, about 2x/day. Are predicted conditions changing much? i.e. are the models not really reflecting reality because the input conditions keep drifting. 

 

They are largely in agreement this morning.  I don't think the GFS is horrible at predicting bay conditions.

If I depart home on Friday, I'll have a sleigh ride down the Delaware bay on Saturday. If I depart home on Saturday, I will merely have "meh" conditions of light and variable breezes from mostly favorable directions on Sunday.  It's still far too early, but Mon/Tues look for a much nicer ride up the coast than Sun/Mon.

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If I were making the call right now, I would depart the Rhode on Friday transiting the canal on Sat, late morning.  Looks to be the best conditions for both the Chesapeake and Delaware parts of the trip. Maybe spend two nights in Cape May as Monday looks like the better departure for the Ocean leg.  High pressure looks to be locked in for M-F so you should have pretty decent conditions.  

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14 minutes ago, T sailor said:

If I were making the call right now, I would depart the Rhode on Friday transiting the canal on Sat, late morning.  Looks to be the best conditions for both the Chesapeake and Delaware parts of the trip. Maybe spend two nights in Cape May as Monday looks like the better departure for the Ocean leg.  High pressure looks to be locked in for M-F so you should have pretty decent conditions.  

I agree that Friday looks "better" for getting to Cape May but it's still "OK" on Saturday.  I agree with Monday departure for the Ocean leg.

If I work on Friday, I'll earn an entire extra day of vacation. My boss thinks I've taken Friday off, so I do have the flexibility. Let's give the forecast one more day to firm up.

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I totally hear you on the vacation time thing!  I get crap vacation (taking a leave of absence for this trip) and am always trying to optimize the time off that I do get!  I can see if it is only marginally better to go Friday than save the day and go Sat.

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On 6/29/2021 at 1:52 PM, portofdc said:

I built a route in Expedition running 66.5 NM from Chesapeake City to the Delaware Bay Entrance. Assumptions: motor continuously at 6 knots through the water, no affects of wind, Delaware Bay currents applied, and route is along main channel.

I ran about 20 optimization runs and found that the minimum time to run south from C City corresponds with departing at C City at LOW tide at Chesapeake City. The maximum time corresponds with departing C City at HIGH tide (opposite of what is said in the Waterway Guide). Runs starting before or after high and low tides have run times that fall in between the two runs starting at high/low tide.

Cheeze and rice, this has me departing Chesapeake City at 1:13am on Sunday if I want the 10 hour transit to Cape May. (Or, depart at 1:57pm but that has me arriving Cape May at midnight. No thanks. I don't want to arrive in a strange place at night.)

The difference between your models (best/worst times) is about 2 hours. If I leave Chesapeake City at 5am, I'll arrive around 4 to 6pm, which is fine. I will have light winds from a favorable direction on Sunday the entire day.

Cape May to Block/Cuttyhunk/Buzzard's Bay, Depart Cape May at 6am:

GFS and Euro match in wind direction and pattern. GFS is slightly more intense for a period of time with winds briefly getting up in the mid 20's along Long Island. Euro says low to high teens and that if I stay closer to shore by making sort of a "dent" in my rhumline that I'll stay in more comfortable breeze. I'm rooting for the Euro.

Either way, I'm going to do much better than a paltry 5 knots up the coast, which is my worst case scenario. 6 - 6.5 knots is optimum because it has me arriving in the vicinity of Cuttyhunk/Buzzard's Bay at dawn.

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Wow. Just go. I've never done planning like that. Go when boat and crew are ready. Racers worry about tides. I'd much rather wait around for the tide to change out on the water, even going backwards, than sit in a marina running simulations. Weather forecasts are good for tropical storms and major frontal activity. They are but virtual docklines for keyboard sailors and jawboning on the morning VHF nets. Especially on what amounts to a shakedown cruise for you where any tiny thing might return you to moorings after just five minutes. (I'll let myself out.)

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11 minutes ago, Borracho said:

Wow. Just go. I've never done planning like that. Go when boat and crew are ready. Racers worry about tides. I'd much rather wait around for the tide to change out on the water, even going backwards, than sit in a marina running simulations. Weather forecasts are good for tropical storms and major frontal activity. They are but virtual docklines for keyboard sailors and jawboning on the morning VHF nets. Especially on what amounts to a shakedown cruise for you where any tiny thing might return you to moorings after just five minutes. (I'll let myself out.)

Now, now I've never aborted a race or a trip due to minor adversities.  I pay attention to the currents in the Delaware Bay because I'm not interested in running my engine to the ground in a foul current. Most people in this area do.  All will be well.

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One of my top 5 favorite movies.

Hey man, Saturday morning, I'm gone. That hasn't changed.

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Current starts to flow out of the bay around 7:00am Saturday down at the Western Entrance to the Cape May canal, so a few hours before it will affect the waters up by the C&D. If you were heading down bay by then you'd be catching the tail end of the foul tide. A few hours in you should be getting a lift and the forecast calls for NW winds Saturday and Sunday, so you won't be facing wind over tide.

you don't need to be running in the main channel, so run in shallower water and out of traffic while running against the current and move gradually out to deeper water as it turns with you. watch out for the jetty that's submerged at high tide on the Jersey side South of Salem nuke plant

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5 minutes ago, IStream said:

It's all good, Ajax! Go when and how it suits you, I'm jealous!

Yeah, it's your trip and you've planned long and hard. We are just vicariously along for the ride.

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2 hours ago, TryGuy said:

Current starts to flow out of the bay around 7:00am Saturday down at the Western Entrance to the Cape May canal, so a few hours before it will affect the waters up by the C&D. If you were heading down bay by then you'd be catching the tail end of the foul tide. A few hours in you should be getting a lift and the forecast calls for NW winds Saturday and Sunday, so you won't be facing wind over tide.

you don't need to be running in the main channel, so run in shallower water and out of traffic while running against the current and move gradually out to deeper water as it turns with you. watch out for the jetty that's submerged at high tide on the Jersey side South of Salem nuke plant

There's another off Augustine Beach. Delaware side.

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No worries about getting down the Delaware Bay.

The GFS and the Euro are differing somewhat on the coastal leg now but neither of them contain anything "bad." The Euro just has a period of more intense breeze, in the low 20's.  I may actually end up spending the morning motoring out of Cape May before the breeze fills in.  My desire is to cross the NYC shipping channels during daylight hours. 

Right now, things are looking good for me to arrive in Maine mid-day of the 7th day of travel, so July 10th. That would be sweet.

This afternoon, I'm going to move all of my perishables onto the boat. That's pretty much all that remains for me to do.

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36 minutes ago, Ajax said:

This afternoon, I'm going to move all of my perishables onto the boat. That's pretty much all that remains for me to do.

Fair winds and an enjoyable passage then, Ajax.

FKT

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Have a safe trip, Ajax. We'll keep the lights on for you along the coast of Maine.

Cold and raining here today, but should be much better by the time you get here.

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50 minutes ago, accnick said:

Have a safe trip, Ajax. We'll keep the lights on for you along the coast of Maine.

Cold and raining here today, but should be much better by the time you get here.

As I've packed wool sweaters, socks and fleeces into my boat (along with normal summer wear) while sweltering in 95F degree temps this week, I wondered if I had gone mad. Then I checked the 10 day forecast for Maine:

 

image.thumb.png.938c02aa3a14c74dde048acca584e8e3.png

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With no women or clergy on board, you should be fine. :D

Top 20 Sailing Superstitions from NZ Maritime Museum: 

20. Re-naming a boat
It is bad luck to change the name of the boat. If you do, you must have a de-naming ceremony and officially christen the boat again.

19.  Tattoos
When tattooing became popular at sea a rooster and a pig were often tattooed onto sailors’ feet. It was believed these animals would prevent the sailors from drowning by showing them the way to shore.

18.  Blood
It is unlucky to set off at the start of the fishing season without having first shed some blood in a fight or in an accident.

17.  Fishing nets
When setting fishing nets it is good luck to use an odd number 

16.  Caul
Having the caul of a new-born child on board a ship was meant to prevent anyone from drowning. This meant that cauls were often purchased by sailors before a voyage. (A caul is a harmless membrane that covers the face and head of a newborn baby. It is very rare).

15.  Hat overboard
Losing a hat overboard was an omen that the trip would be a long one.

14.  Egg shells
Egg shells had to be broken into tiny pieces once an egg was cracked open. This was meant to stop witches coming to the ship to sail in the pieces of shell.

13.  Personal grooming
Anyone aboard who trimmed their nails cut their hair or shaved their beard brought bad luck to the ship.

12. Feet
Flat-footed people were unlucky on board a ship and were also avoided by sailors before they boarded.

11. Women
Women were bad luck on board because they distracted the crew, which would anger the sea, causing treacherous conditions as revenge. However, conveniently for the male crew, naked women calmed the sea, which is why so many figureheads were women with bare breasts. 

10. Non-sailing days
It was bad luck to sail on Thursdays (God of Storms, Thor’s day) or Fridays (the day Jesus was executed), the first Monday in April (the day Cain killed Abel), the second Monday in August (the day Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed), and 31 December (the day on which Judas Iscariot hanged himself).

9. Watch your mouth
Some words and sayings brought about bad luck on board, including "drowned", "goodbye” and "good luck". Things to do with the land were believed to be bad luck if mentioned, such as the church,  pigs, foxes, cats, and rabbits.

8. No whistling 
Whistling or singing into the wind was forbidden as it would "whistle up a storm"

7.  No farewell
It was bad luck for seafaring men’s wives to call out to them or wave goodbye once they stepped out the door to leave for a voyage.

6. Stirring tea
Stirring tea with a knife or fork would invite bad luck

5. Turning a loaf of bread upside down
Turning a loaf of bread upside down once it had been cut brings bad luck too.
These two seem to be superstitions that existed on land as well as at sea!

4. Red-heads
Like flat-footed people, red-heads were believed to bring bad luck to a ship. If you met one before boarding, the only way to mitigate the bad luck was to speak to them before they could speak to you.

3. Salt
It was bad luck for one crewman to pass the salt pot to another directly. Presumably one could put it down and the other could pick it up.

2. Fishy
In order to encourage fish to be caught, Scottish fishermen would begin their fishing session by throwing one of the crew members overboard and then hauling him back on 

1. Bananas
No bananas on board. They were believed to be so unlucky they would cause the ship to be lost. Whole cargoes of bananas were especially frightening for sailors.

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5 minutes ago, Bull City said:

11. Women
Women were bad luck on board because they distracted the crew, which would anger the sea, causing treacherous conditions as revenge. However, conveniently for the male crew, naked women calmed the sea, which is why so many figureheads were women with bare breasts. 

Some women - I think more than we give credit for - didn't follow those rules. One of my ancestors went with her husband on their whaling ship. Another ancestor that did tea trade with China also took his wife. 

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On 6/29/2021 at 10:31 PM, Ajax said:

departing on Friday

say WHAT . :o

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Given all the buildup, I think at the very least there should be an Ajax app with:

  • location, heading, speed, heel angle, plus boom and rudder angle
  • wind and sea state and temperatures
  • live video feeds from stern rail, masthead and main bulkhead
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I made Chesapeake City right on time.  The wind was fluky, several small cells drenched me but no real squalls. 

I ran smack into the current just short of C-city so the last bit was a power slog.

Tomorrow will be "meh" wind but at least it'll be warmer.  

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Currents say that I need to be moving around 2 or 3 am.  I should make Cape May before the wind gets in my face in the afternoon. 

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7 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Currents say that I need to be moving around 2 or 3 am.  I should make Cape May before the wind gets in my face in the afternoon. 

That's not very civilized. We don't leave anywhere before 11, if at all.

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17 hours ago, Ajax said:

Currents say that I need to be moving around 2 or 3 am.  I should make Cape May before the wind gets in my face in the afternoon. 

My last transit with a similar plan and expected SOG 5 kts found u/w from Ches City at 0445 and Cape May Canal entry at 1515 so about 10.5 h.  Max SOG in the bay 7.3 kts. Seas do pick up in the South Bay with a southerly, but you may be able to cut the corner past Cross Ledge. I did, but 2.5 ft draft. 

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M'kay, transit down the Delaware Bay went as expected. I actually departed at 4am, not 3am.

At one point, I was making 8kts...must have been a hell of a current. I was going to take the canal but I chickened out. I'm seeing reports of the bridge height not being accurate and I'm very close to the max. I went around the outside, which added over an hour. I motored the entire way due to a dearth of wind. Well, I motor-sailed at times, which did help.  I saw many dolphins in the Delaware Bay, which is always a morale booster.

Today is July 4th and Cape May is an absolute madhouse. Entire fleets of para-sailing power boats, offshore fishing boats, enormous dolphin/whale watching ferry-type boats blasting at full speed, enough Sea-Doos to film "Waterworld."  The inlet was just insane.

The forecast for the coastal leg has been remarkably consistent for the last several days. Monday seems good the for the entire 24 hours. On Tuesday, the wind is supposed to build into the 20's. Gusts could be higher. I think I'm going to sail to Sandy Hook on Tuesday morning and resume travel on Wednesday morning.

The other option is to sail inside LIS where it's sheltered. 

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24 minutes ago, Ajax said:

 

The other option is to sail inside LIS where it's sheltered. 

LIS is not really as sheltered as you might think, and it means motoring up the East River to get there. 

If you go that route, it is imperative that you go through the river on a fair tide, or you literally will be unable to make headway.

My 420 hp 34-footer--you saw the prop--is capable of of 18 kt, but at normal cruising rpm where we typically run at 9 kt, we were making 4 kt over the bottom against the tide at times in the East River when we brought the boat up to New England a few years ago. 

The view going up the river is spectacular, but as a singlehander you will not have much time to enjoy the scenery.

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45 minutes ago, Ajax said:

The other option is to sail inside LIS where it's sheltered. 

LIS has some nice stops: Manhasset , Oyster Bay, Port Jeff...etc...but may result in excessive motoring and barge traffic may be experienced.  East River is fair tide or nothing for most boats. 

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Bleh. I don't think I'll go inside the sound.  I've had enough motoring. 

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55 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Bleh. I don't think I'll go inside the sound.  I've had enough motoring. 

Keep an eye on tropical storm Elsa. That may come into play for you late this coming week.

 

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19 minutes ago, accnick said:

Keep an eye on tropical storm Elsa. That may come into play for you late this coming week.

 

Yeah,  I'm stopping inside Sandy Hook.  I might be stuck there for a few days. 

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40 minutes ago, accnick said:

Keep an eye on tropical storm Elsa. That may come into play for you late this coming week.

Only if he dawdles, and even then, Windy shows it moving well offshore.  It's ~235 NM from Cape May to Cuttyhunk, which is only two days at 5 knots?

https://www.windy.com/?2021-07-09-18,40.518,-68.434,7

windy_2021Jul4a.thumb.jpg.4946a105f946a90195f711c44dad52bc.jpg

 

https://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/atlantic/2021/tropical-storm-elsa

windy_2021Jul4b.png.2179ed123448d2395d4757241fe37da0.png

 

https://www.windy.com/distance/38.94,-74.86;41.42,-70.92?2021-07-06-18,39.832,-71.598,8

windy_2021Jul4c.thumb.jpg.5aabea276e37abacced6147b015a686f.jpg

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26 minutes ago, ProaSailor said:

Only if he dawdles, and even then, Windy shows it moving well offshore.  It's ~235 NM from Cape May to Cuttyhunk, which is only two days at 5 knots?

https://www.windy.com/?2021-07-09-18,40.518,-68.434,7

windy_2021Jul4a.thumb.jpg.4946a105f946a90195f711c44dad52bc.jpg

 

https://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/atlantic/2021/tropical-storm-elsa

windy_2021Jul4b.png.2179ed123448d2395d4757241fe37da0.png

 

https://www.windy.com/distance/38.94,-74.86;41.42,-70.92?2021-07-06-18,39.832,-71.598,8

windy_2021Jul4c.thumb.jpg.5aabea276e37abacced6147b015a686f.jpg

What you say is all true, but remember he is a singlehander on a small boat. Trying to both second-guess and beat a tropical storm is tricky at best, as lousy sea conditions frequently extend hundreds of miles from the storm's actual track, and unforeseen boat problems can destroy the most careful planning.

We gambled and almost lost to a hurricane that had a mind of its own when it came to unpredicted track changes a couple of decades ago. We ended up almost directly in its path after it did a buttonhook turn on us when I thought we could squeak by. I no longer say "if everything tracks as predicted, we're going to be just fine on this one."

Fortunately, we were on a big aluminum ocean racer with an experienced crew.

Remember also that Cuttyhunk is a tiny harbor packed with both boats and moorings. If you get there and the inn is full, you could be screwed.

If everything goes right, you'll be fine.

Living in Florida now, I've learned how much difference very small changes in track can make.

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30 minutes ago, accnick said:

What you say is all true, but remember he is a singlehander on a small boat.

Yeah, I'm well aware of that.  This isn't a hurricane, there's plenty of time and places to bail out along the south shore of Long Island, Block Island, Newport, etc.

I'm not a fan of singlehanding.  One night at sea sandwiched between two days of sailing would easily get him into Shinnecock Inlet by Tuesday evening (~31 NM west of Montauk Point), then after resting well, another 24 hours would get him to the Cape Cod Canal by Thursday.  According to Windy.com, T.S. Elsa will be at Cape Hatteras Thursday evening.

On 7/2/2021 at 3:45 AM, Ajax said:

Right now, things are looking good for me to arrive in Maine mid-day of the 7th day of travel, so July 10th. That would be sweet.

Tropical Storm Elsa
8 PM EDT Sun Jul 4 2021
Position 20.2 N 78.7 W
Maximum Winds 50 mph Gusts 60 mph
Movement NW at 13 mph
Minimum Pressure 1005 mb

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I'm taking it day by day. I won't be pushed into anything. Hell, I may not even make it to Maine at all.

Right now, I'm making preps for the Atlantic Highlands. I'll stay there Tuesday and let those 20-30's pass. Wednesday looks good so I'll try to make it to Onset. From there, Elsa has a say, so we'll have to see. Even without Elsa, the forecast for the GOM seems very unsettled on Thursday/Friday.

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A few notes-

I was feeling sort of demoralized after yesterday's long motor and very lumpy trip around Cape May. Then, a family in an O'Day 35 loaded with gear pulled in next to me, also from Annapolis. They are really nice and the skipper does this trip every year (sails to NYC) he was full of good information. There's nothing special about them. If they can do it, I can do it.

We compared forecasts and I told him my plans. He agreed that stopping in Sandy Hook is prudent.

I've just finished checking out the engine after its long run yesterday. Everything is in spec. Time for a civilized breakfast and I'm out of here.

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Hmmmmm. Will evaluate in the a.m.

Leisurely sailing today,  best so far. I celebrated the 3nm line by pumping my holding tank overboard. 

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On 7/3/2021 at 10:18 AM, TwoLegged said:

Given all the buildup, I think at the very least there should be an Ajax app with:

  • live video feeds from main bulkhead

I’m sure Ajax is a stellar guy, would like to meet him when we ever make it to the east coast, but I do not want to see him sweating in his underwear in the cabin :-) :-)

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

I’m sure Ajax is a stellar guy, would like to meet him when we ever make it to the east coast, but I do not want to see him sweating in his underwear in the cabin :-) :-)

Some people pay good money for that sort of thing ;) 

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Windy.com shows T.S. Elsa moving rapidly on Friday (July 9th), from Virginia Beach late Thursday night (midnight) to east of Nantucket by 4:00 pm Friday.  That's ~400 NM in 16 hours, or 25 knots!  More than double its current pace of ~10 knots.  Not a good day to be sailing unless you are through the Cape Cod Canal by then.

53 knots gusting to 82 knots in the worst places!  That leaves three good days this week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) to choose a safe harbor.  It's gone by midnight Friday, except for residual swell.  This Friday forecast has been consistent since Saturday, July 3rd.

https://www.windy.com/-Wind-gusts-gust?gust,2021-07-10-00,41.023,-70.313,8,m:eMsaeec

windy_2021Jul5b.thumb.jpg.a6464b2d18c6930c8571315b83884c48.jpg

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6 hours ago, Ajax said:

Hmmmmm. Will evaluate in the a.m.

Leisurely sailing today,  best so far. I celebrated the 3nm line by pumping my holding tank overboard. 

It's liberating, isn't it?

windy_2021Jul5b.jpg

Get the spinnaker ready. Nantucket Sleighride?

 

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36 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

Get the spinnaker ready. Nantucket Sleighride?

 

Technically, don't you need a harpoon for that?  Did he pack one?  

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13 minutes ago, toddster said:

Technically, don't you need a harpoon for that?  Did he pack one?  

He's got a Mantus, he'll be fine.

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14 hours ago, Ajax said:

Hmmmmm. Will evaluate in the a.m.

Leisurely sailing today,  best so far. I celebrated the 3nm line by pumping my holding tank overboard. 

Awesome job. Don’t forget to have fun. Stop and smell the roses (now that the tank has been pumped out).

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16 hours ago, Ajax said:

I celebrated the 3nm line by pumping my holding tank overboard. 

TMI.  Its not like there ain't pump-out facilities along the way.  Like virtually everywhere.

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The timing hasn't changed but this morning's ECMWF forecast has T.S. Elsa passing over Montauk Point, much closer to land than before (and to what GFS still predicts now).  By the way, all the time references in my posts have been Pacific time, where I am, not local time.

https://www.windy.com/?2021-07-09-18,40.674,-70.236,8

windy_2021Jul6a.thumb.jpg.42cf6a6b95650a41d97b0d7fb9bf2272.jpg

 

https://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/atlantic/2021/tropical-storm-elsa

Tropical Storm Elsa
8 AM EDT Tue Jul 6 2021
Position 24.5 N 82.6 W  [74 NM west of Key West]
Maximum Winds 50 mph Gusts 60 mph
Movement NNW at 10 mph
Minimum Pressure 1007 mb

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1 hour ago, Wess said:

TMI.  Its not like there ain't pump-out facilities along the way.  Like virtually everywhere.

Buzz off back to your anti-vaxxing nonsense. We're enjoying a fellow's sailing trip over here.

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Ok, I'm in Atlantic Highlands/Sandy Hook after waking up from desperately needed sleep. Thanks to @Expatriated for guiding me into the anchorage.

The breeze last night was light. The forecast increase never arrived (not complaining!)  The following swell was very lumpy though.

I failed to manage my body properly. I baked out in the sun, hand steering (because I enjoy it). The sun was wicked intense and by the end of the day I was burnt and had a headache. This led to improper feeding and watering which led to me puking my guts over the rail at night in the swell.

Remember my fancy "polyphasic sleep?" Yeah, turns out you only get to use that when the nighttime marine traffic is at an acceptable level. It's like I-95 out there, especially on a holiday weekend. So many lost boats, boats out of fuel, etc. No sleep for me.

I also learned that even though I roasted my ass off during the day, 69F with a constant breeze will chill you right quick. I spent the night in full foulies with a wool blanket in my lap (partially because of the fatigue, I'm sure).

The good news: I sailed 99% of the way which beats motoring 110% down the Delaware Bay. The boat is finally stowed well. Nothing breaks lose in spite of all the crap I've crammed into her. Repeating the Zeus plotter onto my tablet so I can check the AIS alarms while fetal on the cockpit floor after puking is a life saver. Also, power supplies are abundant. I run all the systems I like and don't come close to running out of power, even overnight.

Thanks to Elsa, I need to move tomorrow or stay here until it passes.  Block Island looks like the closest thing but I might get shut out. Thoughts? Tomorrow's weather looks OK to move.

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22 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Ok, I'm in Atlantic Highlands/Sandy Hook after waking up from desperately needed sleep. Thanks to @Expatriated for guiding me into the anchorage.

The breeze last night was light. The forecast increase never arrived (not complaining!)  The following swell was very lumpy though.

I failed to manage my body properly. I baked out in the sun, hand steering (because I enjoy it). The sun was wicked intense and by the end of the day I was burnt and had a headache. This led to improper feeding and watering which led to me puking my guts over the rail at night in the swell.

Remember my fancy "polyphasic sleep?" Yeah, turns out you only get to use that when the nighttime marine traffic is at an acceptable level. It's like I-95 out there, especially on a holiday weekend. So many lost boats, boats out of fuel, etc. No sleep for me.

I also learned that even though I roasted my ass off during the day, 69F with a constant breeze will chill you right quick. I spent the night in full foulies with a wool blanket in my lap (partially because of the fatigue, I'm sure).

The good news: I sailed 99% of the way which beats motoring 110% down the Delaware Bay. The boat is finally stowed well. Nothing breaks lose in spite of all the crap I've crammed into her. Repeating the Zeus plotter onto my tablet so I can check the AIS alarms while fetal on the cockpit floor after puking is a life saver. Also, power supplies are abundant. I run all the systems I like and don't come close to running out of power, even overnight.

Thanks to Elsa, I need to move tomorrow or stay here until it passes.  Block Island looks like the closest thing but I might get shut out. Thoughts? Tomorrow's weather looks OK to move.

Block is a large harbor with limited highlands, particularly to the east.  If you can get on a dock (they tuck up into the eastern corner of the harbor), perhaps.  Do not anchor; the holding is horrible in a blow. Even if you hold, the boat to windward of you might not.

If you choose to press east, I would instead turn north at Montauk and make a bee-line for the Mystic River.  It's all of 5nm more distance than Block, though you should try to enter Watch Hill Passage on a favorable tide.  Any marina up the river would be good, but bonus points if you can get a slip at Mystic Seaport.  My wife, then toddler daughter, and I rode out the stalled Jose for many days there.  It's totally protected, with high ground on all sides (particularly the east, which is the direction the winds are expected to blow from).  It's "night at the museum," but instead of a sleeping bag you have your boat.  They have showers and restrooms ashore, and if you don't feel like cooking on your boat, there are plenty of restaurants within a 10min walk (though skip Mystic Pizza, it sucks). 

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29 minutes ago, jewingiv said:

Block is a large harbor with limited highlands, particularly to the east.  If you can get on a dock (they tuck up into the eastern corner of the harbor), perhaps.  Do not anchor; the holding is horrible in a blow. Even if you hold, the boat to windward of you might not.

If you choose to press east, I would instead turn north at Montauk and make a bee-line for the Mystic River.  It's all of 5nm more distance than Block, though you should try to enter Watch Hill Passage on a favorable tide.  Any marina up the river would be good, but bonus points if you can get a slip at Mystic Seaport.  My wife, then toddler daughter, and I rode out the stalled Jose for many days there.  It's totally protected, with high ground on all sides (particularly the east, which is the direction the winds are expected to blow from).  It's "night at the museum," but instead of a sleeping bag you have your boat.  They have showers and restrooms ashore, and if you don't feel like cooking on your boat, there are plenty of restaurants within a 10min walk (though skip Mystic Pizza, it sucks). 

I would second the Mystic river in a blow. If you can't get dock space, there is a nice anchorage right off Mystic Seaport Museum. About room for 4-5 boats, it's well protected and I'd bet the holding is good. Plus you can get right into the museum paying the fee (well worth it)  from their dinghy dock. 

 

I'd also go for the museum wharf space if you can get it. Tied up there for a couple nights, we too thought it was 'Night in the Museum'. You have the entire grounds to yourself after the gates are locked. Fun and weird. There are not that many spots down there to escape a blow.  

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1 hour ago, Ajax said:

Thoughts?

There is a super snug cove (hamburger cove) a short ways up the connecticut river (just past essex).  Has some buoy's in it but we used to always be able to find some place to anchor.

I would guess it is not going to get that bad in the sound - perhaps stronger as you get toward Block. Probably just bob around in any of the decent anchorages.

edit 41 22.35N 72 21.38W

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In my humble opinion it is a mistake to skip Long Island Sound.  The trip up the East River does require motoring, but it's worth it.  It's an experience you'll remember and once into the sound there is really great sailing and lots of great options to stop.

 

However you chose to sail, do not go to Block Island to hide from a storm.  There are lots of better options.

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2 hours ago, Ajax said:

Ok, I'm in Atlantic Highlands/Sandy Hook after waking up from desperately needed sleep. Thanks to @Expatriated for guiding me into the anchorage.

The breeze last night was light. The forecast increase never arrived (not complaining!)  The following swell was very lumpy though.

I failed to manage my body properly. I baked out in the sun, hand steering (because I enjoy it). The sun was wicked intense and by the end of the day I was burnt and had a headache. This led to improper feeding and watering which led to me puking my guts over the rail at night in the swell.

Remember my fancy "polyphasic sleep?" Yeah, turns out you only get to use that when the nighttime marine traffic is at an acceptable level. It's like I-95 out there, especially on a holiday weekend. So many lost boats, boats out of fuel, etc. No sleep for me.

I also learned that even though I roasted my ass off during the day, 69F with a constant breeze will chill you right quick. I spent the night in full foulies with a wool blanket in my lap (partially because of the fatigue, I'm sure).

The good news: I sailed 99% of the way which beats motoring 110% down the Delaware Bay. The boat is finally stowed well. Nothing breaks lose in spite of all the crap I've crammed into her. Repeating the Zeus plotter onto my tablet so I can check the AIS alarms while fetal on the cockpit floor after puking is a life saver. Also, power supplies are abundant. I run all the systems I like and don't come close to running out of power, even overnight.

Thanks to Elsa, I need to move tomorrow or stay here until it passes.  Block Island looks like the closest thing but I might get shut out. Thoughts? Tomorrow's weather looks OK to move.

All things considered I third or forth heading up the East River and LIS as opposed to outside straight to Block all things considered (weather and you). More options that way. Block ain’t where you want to be anchored in crap weather or arrive when wiped out with weather coming in.  Be safe Mon.

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3 hours ago, Ajax said:

Remember my fancy "polyphasic sleep?"

I'm not surprised, I certainly could not get by on 15 minute "naps".  Your experience confirms my belief that singlehanded sailing severely restricts itinerary options for the sake of safety.  Two or three people aboard could have easily made it to or through the Cape Cod Canal by Wednesday evening.

Windy has the "eye" of T.S. Elsa over Mystic, CT, on Friday at 4:00 pm EDT (20:00 Zulu), waves S 15 feet at 8 sec. at Block Island! (Wind S 42 knots gusting to 61 knots, ECMWF forecast.)

https://www.windy.com/?2021-07-09-21,41.225,-71.082,9,m:eNOaebR

windy_2021Jul6b.thumb.jpg.a246484ac229727701d3c1bd909616a8.jpg

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I'm glad I stopped today.  I was anchored for this,  instead of dealing with it out there

Screenshot_20210706-195215_Storm Shield.jpg

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If not doing day hops,  find inshore harder than offshore because of the traffic or fear of traffic, fishing gear and that land stuff.  If the first day is under power, I'm often not feeling that great.  

Having grown up in LIS, it does have great harbors, and some that are secure in bad weather with good holding like Oysterbay, Port Jeff..etc..  If the sailing conditions are good, it can be great. But lack of breeze in the Summer and traffic as a single-hander and the desire to spend more time at the destination would make me head outside despite the fact there really isn't anywhere to go on the South shore of long island for a keelboat, doublly so in bad weather.  Block has crap holding. Go elsewhere if it's bad. It's been a while, but Stonington is easy-in, easy-out and you can hide behind the breakwater.  Hamburg Cove is a bit out of the way, but if you need security, it's great. The worst part of Mystic is the long channel in.  

Just my view, anyway...

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10 hours ago, Elegua said:

If not doing day hops,  find inshore harder than offshore because of the traffic or fear of traffic, fishing gear and that land stuff.  If the first day is under power, I'm often not feeling that great.  

Having grown up in LIS, it does have great harbors, and some that are secure in bad weather with good holding like Oysterbay, Port Jeff..etc..  If the sailing conditions are good, it can be great. But lack of breeze in the Summer and traffic as a single-hander and the desire to spend more time at the destination would make me head outside despite the fact there really isn't anywhere to go on the South shore of long island for a keelboat, doublly so in bad weather.  Block has crap holding. Go elsewhere if it's bad. It's been a while, but Stonington is easy-in, easy-out and you can hide behind the breakwater.  Hamburg Cove is a bit out of the way, but if you need security, it's great. The worst part of Mystic is the long channel in.  

Just my view, anyway...

BI is way too open a harbor to serve as a secure port in severe weather, with a lot of fetch. There are now a lot of rental moorings, which I would pick up if I were there. It is deep in the middle, shallow and foul around the edges. If you anchor around the edges, and drag, you go all the way across the harbor before you fetch up. You often find a big clump of junk fouling your anchor when you pull it up.

The bottom has been ploughed to pieces by generations of boats. 

It was crowded on weekends when we started going there almost 50 years ago. It hasn't gotten any better. 

It is a certified shit show on a summer weekend when a squall goes through.

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1 hour ago, accnick said:

BI is way too open a harbor to serve as a secure port in severe weather, with a lot of fetch. There are now a lot of rental moorings, which I would pick up if I were there. It is deep in the middle, shallow and foul around the edges. If you anchor around the edges, and drag, you go all the way across the harbor before you fetch up. You often find a big clump of junk fouling your anchor when you pull it up.

The bottom has been ploughed to pieces by generations of boats. 

It was crowded on weekends when we started going there almost 50 years ago. It hasn't gotten any better. 

It is a certified shit show on a summer weekend when a squall goes through.

It's been a while, but my memory is of a shoaling entrance,  a crowded anchorage and dragging anchor - especially the yacht club cruise raft-up. 

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18 hours ago, Ajax said:

by the end of the day I was burnt and had a headache. This led to improper feeding and watering which led to me puking my guts over the rail at night in the swell.

The headache and puking are sure dehydration stress symptoms.  I'd get that all the time hiking in the mountains -- even drinking what seemed like absurd quantities of water on the trail (like, four liters in eight hours). Arrive in the cirque, drop pack, puke in bushes, lie on the moss with eyes closed until the headache fades. In some situations, it's impossible to drink enuf to keep up with losses. How soldiers & ultramarathoners manage, I do not know.

Nasty looking storm bands over the city. My family was at our lake cottage upstate, and they got hammered by some of those squall lines. Trees were dropping limbs, dock was knocked off its cinder blocks. Whoo! They spent most of the weekend indoors.

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NAM forecast now shows through Friday at 2:00 pm (local time).  Thursday still looks like an excellent sailing day, due to the location of T.S. Elsa east of the Chesapeake at midnight (EDT).  As noted before, it then accelerates northward movement rapidly on Friday. 

https://www.windy.com/?namConus,2021-07-09-18,41.720,-71.268,8,i:pressure

NAM:

windy_2021Jul7_NAM.thumb.jpg.d08db5138190256d717886b7e04256aa.jpg

GFS:

windy_2021Jul7_GFS.thumb.jpg.6d91c1881c1e3db1736a2da3e20a6a42.jpg

ECMWF:

windy_2021Jul7_ECMWF.thumb.jpg.4e7d01150b5c2dcb674ffdd11a7db5c1.jpg

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17 hours ago, Ajax said:

I'm glad I stopped today.  I was anchored for this,  instead of dealing with it out there

Screenshot_20210706-195215_Storm Shield.jpg

Here in Stamford, our Tuesday night race was cancelled. As was the Mets game. 

To give you a sense of scale, twice I sailed from Stamford to the Mystic River in about 12 hours in my friend's Tartan 33. In each case, the trip was time to take advantage of one of our periodic 15-20kt northerlies, i.e. perfect weather for the transit. And we had a full crew. More usually it's a two day trip. MId-point is somewhere about Clinton. 

 

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Looks like the eye will be over Montauk noon Friday, but it will be long gone by sunset.

Not sure where Ajax is, but if he took LIS he has some great weather.  Mystic Seaport is a favorite destination, but you have to deal with two bridges.

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Went outside.  Forecast was great... is great,  but pop up t-storms and lightning forced a deviation. 

A giant anvil head was forming right next to me and NOAA wx radio was going nuts so I ducked into Shinnecock.  Only a little scary. 

Conditions are favorable for departure at around 6am. (Current and wind)

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