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Down East Circle Route,

28 May 2024 5:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Most of us have dreams about the Great Loop, but Cruising World has a great article on the Down East Loop.  Its a great read!!! 

The Down East Circle Route, also known as the Down East Loop, is a fascinating 2,400-mile nautical journey that loops around New England and the Canadian Maritimes. Here are some key details about this captivating route:

  1. Route Description:

    • The Down East Circle Route starts in New York City and continues northward.
    • It encompasses various waterways, including the Hudson RiverLake ChamplainRichelieu RiverSt. Lawrence River, the east coast of New BrunswickNova Scotia, and New England, as well as Long Island Sound.
    • The loop takes you through picturesque landscapes, historic towns, and charming coastal regions.
  2. Navigational Considerations:

    • While the term “Down East” often evokes thoughts of bluewater cruising, the Down East Circle Route is not a bluewater trip.
    • Land is always in sight, and you’re never more than a half day away from the nearest port or anchorage.
    • The route reaches its northernmost point, the Gaspé Peninsula (located at nearly 50 degrees latitude), before looping back.
    • Despite its reach into higher latitudes, the loop is quite manageable during a single summer season.
  3. Challenges and Highlights:

    • The Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine can be challenging cruising grounds due to big tides and cold, foggy conditions.
    • Plan to be on Nova Scotia’s Atlantic coast by mid to late August and cross the Gulf of Maine in late September when foggy days are reduced.
    • Marine facilities are readily available along the route, and infrastructure allows family and friends to join at various points.
    • The entire route is well-charted and easy to navigate, although some remote anchorages on Nova Scotia’s eastern shore require extra vigilance.
  4. Recommended Direction:

    • The clockwise direction is recommended for tackling the loop.
    • This means having the prevailing westerly breeze at your back and favorable current in much of the St. Lawrence River.
    • Dealing with the countercurrent can be challenging on the lower part of the river, so downstream of Old Québec City, the tide’s influence becomes significant.
  5. Scenic Delights:

    • Along the way, you’ll encounter sandy shores, red bluffs, rolling hills, and picturesque landscapes.
    • Nova Scotia’s eastern shore offers stunning beauty and opportunities for exploration.

Whether you’re an experienced cruiser or embarking on your first long voyage, the Down East Circle Route promises a memorable adventure filled with rich culture, historic charms, and dramatic scenery1234. ⛵

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