Here's the trip I did with my girlfriend in July/Aug. 2009 - in a nutshell: Webmaster Note: nutshell? Nutshell!! This may be Halsey's Maine sense of humor - Dolphin's are 'small' but not nutshells; it might not be a stretch to describe a Dolphin as shell in which nuts sail?
Day 1: After all the final provisions and supplies and other preparations complete we decided get going and departed Kingston, NY about 1900 under motor with the tail end of the ebb tide. Tided up at Poughkeepsie, NY municipal dock to wait for the next ebb.
Day 2: Depart Poughkeepsie about 0345 under motor. About noon time we anchored off Piermount, NY (Tappanzee Bridge) to wait out the flood current. Weighed anchor about 1500 under sail with fair tide. Had a romp of a sail, wind built to about 20kts on the quarter. Tied up along side tugboat I knew the captain of on the west side of Manhattan before dark.
Day 3: Depart Manhattan 0800, headed to Liberty Landing, NJ across the river to top up fuel (Cruiser's Note: there is a 24hr card-op fuel pump there.) Headed up the East River with a fair tide and hit the Gate at max current. Got the dolphin to do 9 kts over ground! We made the Throg's Neck Bridge and sailed for Bridgeport, CT anchored outside the harbor. Encountered a sever thunderstorm that night, lightning striking the water VERY near to the boat!
Day 4: Weighed anchor about 0730 under sail, had good wind until about noon, continued on motor-sailing. Dropped anchor behind the breakwater at Duck Island Rhodes (Clinton, CT)
Day 5: Weighed anchor about 730 under sail, then the wind laid down again around noon when it got hot. Hit the Race with a fair current. Then a thick fog rolled in by the afternoon. We cautiously proceeded under motor only, reached Point Judith, RI 'Harbor of Refuge' well after dark. Dropped anchor inside the break water and almost immediately the fog lifted, but only after "threading the needle" getting through the opening in the breakwater.
Day 6: Weighed anchor about 0730, took on more fuel, departed the harbor under sail. Stiff breeze on the port quarter as we headed for Buzzards Bay. Seas about 5ft but quartering; the dolphin rode very well! We made Woods Hole, MA before dark and picked up an empty mooring . We had plans to meet up with some friends who worked at the Research Center there, but we were too exhausted to row ashore.
Day 7: Weighed anchor about 0800, motored through the Cape Cod Canal with a fair tide. Once through we sailed in light air. I had planned to make Gloucester, MA but that started to seem too ambitious. So we changed plans and made Provincetown, MA before sundown. We grabbed an empty mooring ball and improvised a pennant. Rowed ashore and stashed the dinghy on the beach. Ate some fried fish and had a cold beer. After being on the tiny boat for a solid week with only my g/f, the town can get a little overwhelming so we called it an early night. (Cruiser's Note: P-town is one of the BEST natural anchorages on the east coast!)
Day 8: Sailed from Provincetown with a pretty good down wind run with the spinnaker, making Gloucester, MA that evening. Dropped anchor in the 'Inner Harbor.' Rowed ashore tied up to a dinghy dock, took on more provisions at the local Walgreen's (with in walking distance) and refilled out water jugs from a spigot near the dinghy dock.
Day 9: No wind. Motored all the way to Portsmouth/ Kittery anchored on the Kittery side.
Day 10: Fair wind in the morning, turned to rain and fog. Put into Portland, After multiple unsuccessful attempts at anchoring near a mooring field due to the deep water/ not enough rode and lacking knowledge of any other good anchorages I broke down and got a tie-up at Portland Yacht Services for about $40. The rain had stopped and we wrung out and treated our selves to a nice dinner after a soggy day.
Day 11: Topped up fuel and got underway about 0800. Once out of the harbor we had a nice breeze and even got the spinnaker up for a good part of the day. We had not yet made a plan for stopping that night. By early evening off Metinic Island the wind laid down and I realized we could actually make it to our destination that night! So we cranked up the RPMs and really burned some fuel and put into Rockland Harbor about 2300. We anchored in the southern part of the mooring field and rowed into the Public Landing dinghy dock the next morning.
My g/f had to get back to work, so myself and 2 friends sailed it back to NY a few days later. The trip back took about the same amount of time some different port stops but pretty similar weather wise. Only now do I realize how lucky we were with wind direction both ways! But the way back was definitely a bachelor's trip. Having 3 people on the boat wasn't as crowded as I thought it would be, but then again I slept in a quarter berth while my friends shared the v-berth since the other quarter berth was being used for storage.
We did have some slow progress at first due to poor weather but later we really pushed some long days to make up some time. Return stops/anchorages: 1)Tenants Harbor, ME; 2) some where in Casco Bay; 3) near Biddeford, ME; 4) Kittery, ME; 5) Gloucester, MA; 5) Onset, MA; 6) Point Judith, RI; 7) New Haven, CT; 8) Mamaroneck, NY; 9)Beacon, NY; Kingston, NY. (I think I am forgetting a stop somewhere in there)
Some after thoughts: I would hesitate to do a similar trip with out some sort of sun shade/ bimini. Also more night sailing and sleeping during the heat of the day. We had no reefer or ice box and with good galley planning it was fine, I don't feel the need to upgrade there. Though new cushions for the entire boat are on the upgrade list! All in all it was a pretty smooth trip.
Feel free to pass this info along to Graham. Let me know if you all have any other questions about the trip.