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 Fall Sailing in New England
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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4596 Posts

Initially Posted - 10/08/2020 :  10:07:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So it’s that time of year again, when you put on your hoodie and sailing slicker, shorten sail and head out in a blow. Last week we had early morning temperatures in the 40°s and tomorrow they’re promising 30°s. Afternoons have been mild here in Connecticut with 60s and 70s and low humidity.

Last week we had winds blowing out of NW following a cold front at 10-15 with gusts to 20. Very challenging, but exhilarating!

Yesterday we had an approaching front whip up SWerlies with 35kt gusts. I watched from shore as windsurfers and kite surfers plied the steep chop. Fun to watch but I’m glad I was not trying to manage Passage through all that.

This weekend we’re expecting warmer temperatures in the 70°s and 60°s Saturday and Sunday so I’m planning a short day sail.

What are sailing conditions like where you are?

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT

keats
Navigator

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169 Posts

Response Posted - 10/08/2020 :  13:14:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Expecting a high of 81° on Saturday in Northern California, winds 9-12 kts and, hopefully, no smoke and ash.

I'll be out.

Might get our first rain in 6 months but it won't be much and will clean the air if it does.

Tim Keating
1985 C-25 TR/FK #4940
Midsummer
Lake Don Pedro, CA
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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4596 Posts

Response Posted - 10/08/2020 :  17:20:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I love the fall, but I secretly still want highs in the low 80s. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll get 77° on Saturday inland, but sea temps at down in the mid-60°s. I’ll take whatever I can get

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT
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redeye
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3403 Posts

Response Posted - 10/09/2020 :  11:10:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Lake Hartwell.. not my shot ... one of our local boardsailing folks.

We have had great sailing weather, picture perfect, followed by the storms rolling through, remnants of hurricanes. It has been very dramatic. 84 degrees Wednesday.



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One day 2 weeks ago on Lake Lanier

Ray in Atlanta, Ga.
"Lee Key" '84 Catalina 25 SR/FK

Edited by - redeye on 10/09/2020 12:17:31
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sethp001
Mainsheet C-25 Tech Editor

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811 Posts

Response Posted - 10/09/2020 :  20:03:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The worst part of becoming a sailor is whenever the wind blows right, the rain is away, and the temperature is nice, you look out your window and regret not sailing. We've had excellent sailing weather all week. I missed all of it but somebody has to work for this family. Of course it's predicted to rain all weekend.



Seth
"Outlier" 1987 Catalina 25 SR/SK/Traditional Interior #5541
"Zoo" 1977 Morgan Out Island 30
"Nomad" 1980 Prindle 16
"Lost" 1988 Catalina Capri 14.2 (sold - yay!)
"Marine Tex 1" Unknown Origin POS 8' Fiberglass Dinghy
https://whichsailboat.com/2014/07/27/catalina-25-review/
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Voyager
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4596 Posts

Response Posted - 10/10/2020 :  10:02:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree with you there. This upcoming week in CT we’re supposed to have 70°s and fair winds on Wednesday and Thursday... don’t cha know that’s precisely when we’re doing customer presentations. I’m sure I’ll be a little distracted during the sessions.

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT
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glivs
Admiral

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751 Posts

Response Posted - 10/10/2020 :  21:02:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My season is over and am on the hard and buttoned up as of today. Saw little boat time this summer but took advantage of the fall winds for a couple of exhilarating days.

Mid-September - I had two wonderful days sailing in 10-15 kn winds. The second day I left my mooring mid-afternoon headed towards an anchorage 11 miles away, Valcour Island. A front was passing through quickly and the waves had not had time to build so I was able to comfortably sail 2/3 of the distance above 5 kn on a close haul with a full headsail and reefed main. Arrived at the anchorage about an hour before sunset. Winds began to die later in the evening and by morning were essentially calm. A few pics...

Crossing Malletts Bay...the bike path (19th century railroad track bed) separating the bay and the lake is in the foreground; the Adirondacks are in the distance.


Approaching the cut through the railroad track bed. The waters look calm but I nearly rounded up just moments before this photo.



My anchorage the following morning. Note how crowded it is.



Typical shoreline along the eastern side of the island. Crab Island in distance.



One of the interesting joys of fall anchorages is the morning fog which on this day moved in shortly after day break, rose to about tree top height and then began to burn off by about 9:30.

If you are into history, Battle of Valcour Is., Oct. 1776 and Crab Is. is the resting ground of British and American soldiers and sailors killed in the Battle of Plattsburgh, Sep 1814.

[edited to repair link]

Gerry & Leslie; Malletts Bay, VT
"Great Escape" 1989 C-25 SR/WK #5972

Edited by - glivs on 10/10/2020 21:13:48
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Voyager
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Response Posted - 10/16/2020 :  13:31:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Gerry, the last time I visited Lake Champlain and the Burlington, VT area I was a sophomore in college. My then wife to be was visiting friends in Vergennes and a buddy and I were heading to Montreal for a visit with his Canadian cousins. We stopped in Vergennes and met her crewe, then later we drove up along the lake into Burlington where we crossed the lake via Grande Isle then onto Rouses Point. I got a good view of the lake as we drove. It is a massive lake, maybe not as great as the Great Lakes, but way bigger than anything here in CT!

Looking at Google Maps, your voyage seems like you went a long way from your marina in Mallett Bay, through the cut in old RR bed, across the main body of the lake and out to Valcour Island. I wondered about the depths around the RR bed, was that originally a shallow stretch of the lake or did they fill with 20 ft of stone? Were the cuts originally bridged or were they dug out after the track was abandoned and converted for recreational use? Rail-to-Trails is a keen interest of mine, as I bicycle across several in CT.

Soon we’ll see ice crystals begin to form on the puddles. It’s remarkable how quickly winter moves in up north. The warm and waning days of October turn to the chill of November’s north winds. You can go from sailing to skiing within 45 days.

It’s beautiful country up your way, you’re very fortunate to be there.

I’m looking forward to a few more sunny 60° days coming this week and want to play hooky to get in another daysail. I’m likely to sail Passage to her winter quarters next Saturday providing that the weather’s nice. To do that I must go out into Long Island Sound about 3 miles from Milford to Stratford at the mouth of the Housatonic River, then seven miles upstream to Shelton. There’s a busy RR drawbridge that’s approximately 150 years old and river depths nearby of less than 4 ft at low tide, so there’s a wee bit of negotiation and reconnoitering each time I make the trip. High tide is at 7:00AM, so I’m asking for a bridge opening at 8:00AM. The bridge requires 4 crew members to open it — it scares the hell out of me each time they open it. It creaks and groans during the opening like a fossilized tyrannosaurus gaping its jaws open. One of these times I figure a giant railroad tie or steel girder will come crashing down into the water beside the boat. The autumn leaves along the banks are usually very scenic.I always get a little choked up when I turn the bend under the highway bridge and see the marina in the distance. The home stretch for the end of sailing season.
But, as they say in Chicago,”Well, there’s always next year!”

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT
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glivs
Admiral

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USA
751 Posts

Response Posted - 10/16/2020 :  19:46:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bruce, Haul out is an anxious time for many reasons, including efforts to schedule around the seasonal frontal systems as they pass through here in the NE, but your journey from Milford to Shelton adds markedly to the adventure. Fair winds and sun this week. Share a few pics.

As to your question about depths here between Outer Malletts Bay and the broad lake, I can only speculate. The waters must have been shallow enough across the mouth of the Bay that the railroad engineers planned and oversaw the building of the causeway ca. 1899. To my understanding there were (and remain) two cuts in the causeway in its original design. The small cut has a fixed span bridge with a 3-4 ft clearance; the second cut was spanned by a steel swing-bridge to allow for commercial boat traffic as it existed at that time. The bridge is long gone and today a small barge ferries walkers and bikers across the cut. That said, the Lamoille River empties into the outer bay and over time sediment carried by the river has created shallow bars, particularly on the outside of the cut, that must be carefully navigated. Irene (2011) then added a great deal of new sediment.

Lucky? Of course everyone enjoys their own sailing venue but I am very much aware of what's before me. Les and I did not volunteer to be port captains on this forum as life these past 9-10 yrs was, at best, unpredictable and change again is in the winds for next year. None-the-less, if anyone finds themselves near Burlington, contact me and I'll try to host a day of sailing.

Gerry & Leslie; Malletts Bay, VT
"Great Escape" 1989 C-25 SR/WK #5972
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