Going South

Going South??? For those that sail the Great Lakes' getting south is really three trips in one package. I won't start with the Great Lakes by now you have sailed them enough to have an understanding of what to expect. The first adventure is the locks to get out of the lakes " The Erie Barge Canal" The basic equipment for these canals is a good set of fenders the larger the better a strong fender board at least 2"X8"X10 feet long and two " lines cut to one and a half time your boat length. I've seen 8 foot boards swallowed by the holes in the lockwalls. Mark the lines so you know how tight you are pulling each end. This will help you to not pull yourself into the wall as the water pushes the boat around when the lock fills or empties. Once you get the hang of the lines you will feel like you are on a stage coach driving a team of mules. Your deck help will need a pole to fend off as the ends of the boat swing into the wall . Don't push>>> Just hold the boat off << if you start pushing you will end fighting each others efforts. I include the Hudson River as part of this canal trip. this year New is the traffic control efforts in New York Harbor since the September 11. Keep an ear to the radio for details on when and where you can move. Your first glimpse of the ocean is just that a glimpse. Should you chose to do it as an over night to Cape May or as a number of hops Manasquan, Atlantic City, Cape May. You will find it similar to sailing the Great Lakes except bigger water. What I mean is the waves are just bigger. From Cape May down the Delaware Bay through the C & D Canal and The Chesapeake Bay is trip 2. Now here a cruising ground you could get to like with lots of interesting place and adventures. If it wasn't for the winter, it gets cold here too. I would have been contented to cruise for a year or two. Nothing special needed here but you will get to test your anchoring skills and hardware. Your Dingy will now come into its own as a major means of transportation. Anchoring off cities like Baltimore Annapolis and Washington will show you an interesting contrast of old shipping cities and new industrial centers all welcoming you with their brand of hospitality. Don't miss towns like St Michaels, Smith Island or Salisbury they will provide you with a unique glimpse of history today. Read you charts carefully depths or overhead power line do block some channels. Trip 3 is the ICW or Inter Coastal Water way . A collection of cuts, lakes, sounds, rivers and other water passages devised by man and God to get you south. Endow with a variety of climate change over distance it affords you a rare opportunity to sample temperate to tropical environments on and off the water. From northern big city hustle to the warmth of southern hospitality the Intercostals Water way lays it on your door step. You are now south and what lies ahead is trip 4 "foreign lands" . For me to even attempt to describe is a like an ant looking at an elephant toe and trying to describe the whole beast an impossible task . When I have sailed more of this trip I will start the description right now I will leave it to season sailors.

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Email: ernie@stonecutter2.com