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First Time NE Coastal Run this Weekend

Old 05-13-2019, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by knightmare1 View Post
Navionics is showing high tide at 6:40 AM, so falling until 12:40, is it really worth waiting for low to hit the canal?

Maybe I'll get a later start on the morning and get to South canal entrance around noon. Out of the canal at 1 PM, that would put me in Gloucester around 4pm I suppose.

Other then the loss of speed, is the canal dangerous or hard to navigate on a 4 knt tide?

It's not so much the canal, as Buzzards Bay to the entrance to the canal. When the tide comes rushing out of the canal into the bay and you have any wind against it, you get very steep, short period waves that build in height. It can make for ugly conditions very quickly. Not much fun when they are breaking over your hardtop.
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by knightmare1 View Post
OK, so assuming your chart is correct, what time should I shoot for being at the western/southern entrance? The more I read about the canal it seems a bit of a complex thing to figure out the flow given the tide condition. Sorry if this is a stupid question, I fish out of Port Canaveral and the Keys typically, not strong tide environments as far as navigation is concerned.
9am would give you plenty of time. Think of CC bay as a giant pond and the canal a breachway. There is a delay between the time that the pond is full or empty on one side of the cape versus buzzards bay on the other. That is why slack in the canal is a couple hours later than the top or bottom tides in the southern (or western ) bay. With the exception of the effects of wind against current, there is nothing particularly dangerous in your boat traveling against the current, just not economical and slower. Also not that the tide height difference between buzzards bay and cape cod bay is rather extreme yet only separated by 7 miles at the canal. 4’ + on the buzzards bay side versus 9’+ on the cc bay side.
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by NorthShore44 View Post
It's not so much the canal, as Buzzards Bay to the entrance to the canal. When the tide comes rushing out of the canal into the bay and you have any wind against it, you get very steep, short period waves that build in height. It can make for ugly conditions very quickly. Not much fun when they are breaking over your hardtop.
Understood, will try to clear woods hole by 9 then.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by knightmare1 View Post
Understood, will try to clear woods hole by 9 then.
Understand we are giving you the ugly scenarios. If it is a beautiful day with no wind (Uncommon in the afternoons, you could be fine in the morning) you might just wind up fighting current and decent chop but it is best to avoid if possible.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:54 AM
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For whatever it's worth, the full moon falls on the 18th this month.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:23 AM
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Pick the time through the canal the current is with you, going against is tough, and like someone said some go above the speed limit, there are patrols. we went from Ptown to Gloucester, nice trip, will need bridge opening once there. We stayed in Cape Ann Marina a few times, good spot for getting out and up the next canal. Plan some reduced speed after that due to fog.
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:14 AM
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https://tides.mobilegeographics.com/locations/1181.html
This might help. Ebb tide is current running from Cape cod bay towards buzzards bay. Flood tide is the current running from Buzzards bay towards Cape cod bay.
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by knightmare1 View Post
OK, so assuming your chart is correct, what time should I shoot for being at the western/southern entrance? The more I read about the canal it seems a bit of a complex thing to figure out the flow given the tide condition. Sorry if this is a stupid question, I fish out of Port Canaveral and the Keys typically, not strong tide environments as far as navigation is concerned.
Ignore tide in the canal and look at the current charts.

https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/no...hresholdvalue=
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Last edited by likwid; 05-14-2019 at 06:13 AM.
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:19 AM
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My two cents.

I would try to time the entrance to the canal so that you are not fighting the current for a quicker and more enjoyable ride. On Saturday the current starts running against you at about 10am, if you arrive at the entrance to the canal at 9am you will be out the other side in 45 minutes.
It will take you about an hour to get from Woods Hole to the Canal so you need to exit Woods Hole around 8am. You'll need to leave Osterville at 7am or a little before.

The current in Woods Hole is going your direction from 4:30am to 10:30am on Saturday so you don't need to worry about that.

Woods Hole is much easier to navigate now than it was 30 years ago, the buoys for the main channels are much larger and easier to see. However, you need to make sure you know exactly where you are and which buoy you are headed for and the bearing to the next mark. There are a lot of buoys in the area and it is easy to become confused with which buoys are marking the channel you are in versus the other channels and ledges in the area. I like to have paper charts out even though I primarily use the electronic charts.

If you stay in Gloucester you can save your self some time in the morning by going through the Annisquam river and exiting on the north side of Cape Ann. The current starts heading your about 6am on Sunday.
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:02 AM
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I don't know what chartplotter you use, but Garmin will show you the currents and direction at various points. This is for today at around 10:00 am. If yours has a similar feature, watch it the day before and it will give you an idea of what to expect for a specific time at specific locations.


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Old 05-14-2019, 09:12 PM
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Run the canal to maine quite often. Timing the canal perfectly with the current has never happened for me! I always intend to get it right but usually find fish running up buzzards which makes my plans go to hell. As mentioned before, I would grab some food at Cape Ann and run straight up to Harpswell. If you are looking for a break in Portsmouth, I would go to the Wentworth. Salt is reasonably priced and fairly quick. If the wind is NE, it can get pretty sloppy rounding Rockport. Other than that, it is a pretty ride.
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:20 AM
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Here's the way to go through Woods Hole after you round Nobska light. Just remember the entrance channel splits. Coming from the east, the area between the split is all rocks (Red Ledge). You don't want to go there!
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:43 AM
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Pick up an Eldridge Tide and Pilot book. It has current charts for the canal and current diagrams for Woods Hole. Well worth the $15.95 list price. Also has canal regulations, one of which is a 10 mph (8.7 kt) speed limit
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:46 PM
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Congrads neighbor, Cundty's Harbor here. I don't know about cell service, south of Casco bay, but Casco bay is spotty at base. Nothing on the ledges. It's hit or miss once I pass east brown cow. I do have a raft on board now and suits. Tight lines and enjoy your trip home. Lets see some pics.
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by capecodguy View Post

Here's the way to go through Woods Hole after you round Nobska light. Just remember the entrance channel splits. Coming from the east, the area between the split is all rocks (Red Ledge). You don't want to go there!
The way I run it.
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:00 PM
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too bad the owner can't drop the boat in the other side in cape cod bay....you would save a tremendous amount of time and aggravation of buzzards....
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Old 05-15-2019, 05:07 PM
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if you want to borrow 3 suits for the trip I'll loan them to you. pick up in Dennis, MA and you could drop them off to me near 495 exit 17 in MA.
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Old 05-23-2019, 04:41 PM
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I want a trip report!
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Old 05-23-2019, 05:05 PM
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A local hauler could pick it up and drop it in cape cod bay for less than the cost of fuel to and through the canal, plus the added benefit of avoiding those areas. Im all for a boat ride, but given the choice of a new to the area boater heading through or skipping that part my vote will always be skip.
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Old 05-28-2019, 03:01 PM
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Thanks for everyone's advice, trip went well considering the weather. For those interested, see below for the rundown:


Landed in Boston Friday about 4PM, met FIL in terminal after his delayed flight arrived. Rush hour traffic had us in Osterville around 7:45.


First look at the boat in person shown above.



I installed the new Simrad, spent an hour going through checklist and cleaning up some suspect wiring behind the console. Running low on light we called it a night, had beers and food at Chart House, quite good, and hit the hotel.


FIL n MIL excited to be new boat owners.





Saturday AM fired up the Perkins, warmed it up for a couple mins and left the marina just after 7.
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