{Stus-List} Best Way to Get from Lake Ontario to NYC

Colin Kilgour charliekilo552 at gmail.com
Thu Sep 1 10:29:36 EDT 2011


I've had Bojangles on those docks in Schenectady a couple of times... I feel
badly for the club.

For your trip first and foremost.... don't let a couple of busted locks
de-rail your cruise....

If it looks like the Erie canal will re-open - it might be worth waiting a
little bit.  You can probably leave as late as mid-October from Kingston and
still get to Norfolk by early November - although you'd have to move at some
pace.  (We left TO on September 10, 2009 and had a real leisurely cruise
down your exact planned route and still left from the Cheapeake by Nov 2.
If you move more quickly, you could leave from home much later)

You could also truck the boat to Albany - not ideal, but it saves the

As for the Catskill marinas, if they are out of commission, that's bad news
(especially for them), but there are still places further down the river
where you can put the stick back up.  There's also Castleton if you're handy
with a gin pole.  If the mast is secure on deck, there's no reason you
couldn't motor all the way to NYC like that.

To go around Gaspe is certainly do-able - a cruising friend of ours did that
from Oakville (he's now in the South Pacific) - but it's gonna start getting
cold and you're going to have to cover a lot of miles if you want to get to
the Chesapeake.

If I was going to go that far east though, there's no way I'd want to come
back west to Norfolk just so I could head east again.  Take a look at the
map.  Tortola is due south of Halifax.  If you find youself out that far,
leave from Nova Scotia, sail to Bermuda, rest a little, and then keep
heading south to the BVI's.  The nastiest part of the trip will be getting
from North America to the Gulf Stream... but after a couple of days of cold
weather sailing, you should be in good shape.

So here's my $0.02...

1. Wait as long as you feel comfortable for the canal to open.  If it does,
go for it.  You may have to skip the Chesapeake and sail directly from NYC
to Norfolk, but that's certainly do-able and you can always catch the
Chesapeake on the way back north.

2. If the canal doesn't reopen, start booting it down the St. Lawrence and
get to Nova Scotia to stage the boat for offshore.  Once you've got an 'all
clear' on the hurricane front, start out for Bermuda then Tortola.  (If you
feel comfortable, skip Bermuda and just go straight through)

(FWIW, I plan a similar trip this fall, although I'll be leaving from Long
Island and I don't plan to stop in Bermuda unless there's a problem)


On Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 8:59 AM, Ken Heaton <kenheaton at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Jon,
> I did this trip with two friends from Toronto to Cape Breton Island last
> summer (during July) in a 40' sailboat (C&C 37/40XL).
> It took us about two weeks of fairly steady going to get to Cape Breton as
> you have to time your passages in the St. Lawrence to the tides from Trois
> Rivieres to Tadoussac (at the mouth of the Saguenay River) and so can not
> sail 24 hours a day over that stretch of river.  We also sailed only during
> the day through the bulk of the St. Lawrence Seaway from the Thousand
> Islands to Trois Rivere as the Seaway is narrow and busy.  We were also tied
> up at Montreal for three days due to the locks being closed due to an oil
> spill (the first in 52 years apparently).  We sailed 24 hours a day from
> Cap-à-l'Aigle to Summerside, PEI to make up for the time lost at Montreal.
> We didn't have radar or AIS and had no trouble with fog (you have less fog
> in the late summer and fall).  We regularly sail around here (Cape Breton
> Island) through to mid October so the run down the coast from Cape Breton to
> New York shouldn't be too bad in late September, early October.
> Do you have a furnace or other reliable heat source?  You are going to want
> one to be comfortable.
> This book was a very useful cruising guide for this trip:
> http://www.yachtpilot.ca/  They have a new updated edition of the "Down
> East Circle Route" guide, published this year.
> Ken Heaton & Anne Tobin
> S/V Salazar - Can 54955
> C&C 37/40 XL - Hull # 67
> Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
> On 1 September 2011 09:21, Jonathan Boocock <jonboocock at gmail.com> wrote:
>> We have been preparing this summer for a trip to the Caribbean starting
>> from Kingston on Lake Ontario, down the NY State canals (Oswego Canal, Erie
>> Canal) to the Hudson River, NJ coast, Delaware Canal, Chesapeake Bay and a
>> crossing from Norfolk VA to Tortola BVI in early November. Our planned
>> departure date is Sept 7.
>> Clearly we are trying to assess the options so that we don't have to give
>> up on our dream of taking the boat south.
>> As we have looked into the damage caused by Hurricane Irene it has become
>> clear that getting south expediently is going to be very difficult.
>> Upstate New York was hit very hard by Hurricane Irene and the Erie Canal
>> has been heavily damaged with no clear time to reopen.
>> http://www.canals.ny.gov/news/notices/index.shtml
>> http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Canals-reopening-uncertain-after-millions-in-2148008.php
>> The marina we were planning to use is on Catskill Creek in Catskill NY.
>> http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/videos-show-upstate-york-vermont-irene-flooding-153510538.html
>> The Champlain Canal from Sorel Quebec down to Lake Champlain has also been
>> flooded but it appears to be less damaged and is expected to reopen, but
>> again with no clear time lune.
>> http://www.waterwayguide.com/navupdate.php?area=10#1963
>> In addition the Chambly Canal section is only suitable for boats with a
>> draught of 6', possibly 6'6". Our big wing keel draws at least 7' fully
>> loaded so it is not an option.
>> The only credible option appears to be to take the St. Lawrence River and
>> go around Eastern Canada and the Northeast US. This route adds considerable
>> distance and will be cold this time of year.
>> I am soliciting the input of listers in Eastern Canada or those with
>> experience in this region as to what to expect wrt weather conditions if we
>> were to leave Lake Ontario on Sept 7 and move at a reasonable pace up the St
>> Lawrence and around the outside.
>> Thanks, Jon
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