Planning The Journey North

I have been planning the trip north for several weeks now. The boat is all set to go and so am I. I’ve assembled lots of digital and paper charts of the route, cruising guides and have also learned many details from other boaters who have taken this trip before and been kind enough to share their experience with me.

The table below shows an estimate of the distances and travel times between major milestone locations. Several boaters who I have talked to and chatted with on the internet advise that if I am travelling at 6.5 knots then I should plan on averaging about 50 nautical miles (NM) a day and make further allowances for rest days, sightseeing, delays because of poor weather, etc. If I was going “flat out”, pushing hard each day and not stopping for rest days I might be able to make the journey in 30 days or less – but what fun would there be in that?

Click anywhere on the table above to enlarge it

There are a lot of interesting places to see and visit along the way so I don’t want to rush by because I may never travel (by water) this way again. Also, I have several friends who live in Georgia and the Carolinas, so I’m trying to plan my rest days to coincide with some visits and sight-seeing. As a result I have planned on taking between 35 and 40 days to get to Albany, NY. It will be interesting to see how my time/progress estimates work out.

I have only calculated the time and distance from Jacksonville, FL to Albany, NY because I am not yet certain where I will go from Albany. North of Albany the New York Canal System divides into two directions. I can take the route to Buffalo on Lake Erie or follow another canal to Oswego on Lake Ontario. If there is enough of the summer left I would like to go Lake Ontario, cross over to Kingston, ON and then up the Rideau River to Ottawa. If I decide not to go to Ottawa then my destination will probably be Port Stanley, ON.

I’m anxious to get underway. Weather permitting, I will leave Jacksonville early next Friday morning (June 30) and will stop for the night at a marina in St. Mary’s, GA. It’s only a 6 – 8 hour trip to St. Mary’s – a nice distance for the very first day of a long journey ahead. My good buddy Chris Cavanaugh is going to join me for the first couple of weeks and then Catherine will come on board for a week or two while Chris flies home for some summer sailing on his boat “Twocan”.

Each day of the journey I will be making a blog entry about our adventures for that particular day. I will also include the latitude and longitude my starting point in the morning and my end point for that day so you can see where I am on Google Maps.