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Old 24-10-2015, 19:36   #1
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Heading from Beaufort, NC or Wrightsville to Miami offshore

Hi,
Weather permitting, I want to do an offshore from Beaufort,NC or Wrightsville Beach to Miami on or about November 10. (USMC Birthday) What charts would you experienced folks recommend? Also, some inlet info would be great if the weather becomes "unpleasant" and I need to run and hide. I have Dodge's Inlet Charts but their 3rd edition is now 10 years old and I'm positive a lot has changed.
My 44' Krogen is a 7 knot charger; sea worthy, comfortable, not fast, but I'm a former sailor so I'm used to these "speeds". Staying 20 or so miles off shore would put me 3 or so hours from an inlet if I'm right on it but likely a lot more.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks, Ray
(posted in General Sailing originally, this category might be more appropriate)
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Old 24-10-2015, 22:33   #2
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Re: Heading from Beaufort, NC or Wrightsville to Miami offshore

Stay out of the Stream and pay attention to the weather forecast.

Ocean Prediction Center - NCOM Model Ocean Currents in Gulf Stream Region
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Old 24-10-2015, 22:55   #3
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Re: Heading from Beaufort, NC or Wrightsville to Miami offshore

20 miles off shore puts you right in the middle of the gulf stream. Check its location from noaa and passage weather.

Have up to date electronic charts and something showing Active Captain.

Note that some nice towns are a long way inland... Charleston and Savanna for example.
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Old 24-10-2015, 23:40   #4
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Re: Heading from Beaufort, NC or Wrightsville to Miami offshore

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRNordstrom View Post
Hi,
Weather permitting, I want to do an offshore from Beaufort,NC or Wrightsville Beach to Miami on or about November 10. (USMC Birthday) What charts would you experienced folks recommend? Also, some inlet info would be great if the weather becomes "unpleasant" and I need to run and hide. I have Dodge's Inlet Charts but their 3rd edition is now 10 years old and I'm positive a lot has changed.
My 44' Krogen is a 7 knot charger; sea worthy, comfortable, not fast, but I'm a former sailor so I'm used to these "speeds". Staying 20 or so miles off shore would put me 3 or so hours from an inlet if I'm right on it but likely a lot more.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks, Ray
(posted in General Sailing originally, this category might be more appropriate)
===

You might be better off to hop along the coast going in at strategic locations and then back out again farther south as weather permits. From Beaufort we would typically go back in at Masonboro inlet where there is a good anchorage nearby. That way you avoid the nasty rips and adverse currents off of Cape Fear. Weather being suitable we'd then pop back out at Southport (mouth of the Cape Fear River), and run south to Charleston or thereabouts. At that point you are well inside the Gulf Stream and nicely positioned to hop in an out of the scenic inlets along the Georgia coast or run straight through to St Mary's inlet in northern Florida.

I'd recommend installing a chart plotter like OpenCPN on a laptop computer and then downloading all of the free NOAA charts. The only other thing you need is an inexpensive USB GPS and you'll be off and running with every chart you could ever need.
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Old 25-10-2015, 06:21   #5
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Re: Heading from Beaufort, NC or Wrightsville to Miami offshore

Is this a repeat thread? 20nm offshore will only put you in the Gulfstream starting around Canaveral. If one followed the entire coast only a few miles offshore, then one will add another day to their trip.

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Old 25-10-2015, 09:54   #6
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Re: Heading from Beaufort, NC or Wrightsville to Miami offshore

Did that trip a few years ago. The previous post is correct. You won't be in the stream until Florida at that distance. We did get caught in Tropical Storm Shawn however and put in at Savannah River so as was said earlier... watch the weather. You also have to get far enough off shore when leaving Beaufort to avoid a piece of land that juts way out.....Fowrey Rocks perhaps? not sure of name.
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Old 25-10-2015, 10:01   #7
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Re: Heading from Beaufort, NC or Wrightsville to Miami offshore

Frying pan shoals - Cape fear.

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Old 25-10-2015, 10:56   #8
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Re: Heading from Beaufort, NC or Wrightsville to Miami offshore

Just made the trip from AC NJ to marathon in the keys. Spent two night and a day around cape Hatterass cape look out and cape fear. Forecast was wrong, called for 10-15 NE with 4-6' seas, had 25-35 with 10-12' seas, rode it out to Charleston. Thru the slew at frying pan schoals at 3 am. Quite an adventure. Stopped next in St Augustine. 8 days total
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Old 25-10-2015, 12:10   #9
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Re: Heading from Beaufort, NC or Wrightsville to Miami offshore

I would spend a couple of hours updating your paper charts using the free online charts of ActiveCaptain (ActiveCaptain.com). There are ActiveCaptain comments on every inlet that are more current than any paper chart.

You can't rely on a every ActiveCaptain comment to be accurate but if several recent comments basically agree, I pay attention.

If you have an Ipad handy, consider downloading Garmin's BlueChart as an inexpensive backup to your paper charts. It's a great planning tool. We find a lot of cruisers using it as a 2nd tool to their chartplotter. The Garmin charts for the US, Canada, Bahamas and the Caribbean cost about $40 and are excellent. BlueChart will also download the current ActiveCaptain database onto the Ipad so you can use it without a live internet connection.

Are you traveling with an offshore experienced crew comfortable with a watch rotation? If not, a good compromise I've used with an inexperienced crew is to leave first thing in the morning if the 48 hour weather report is good, spend one night offshore doing catnaps instead of a proper watch, and then anchor/marina by sunset the 2nd day for a good night's sleep. These are 300 mile jumps. It's easy to arrange the trip you're planning to have a good inlet/anchorage on this schedule.
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Old 25-10-2015, 13:42   #10
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Re: Heading from Beaufort, NC or Wrightsville to Miami offshore

Have made the trip numerous times. Nice legs are Beaufort to Charleston, Charleston to either Fernandina or Port Canaveral. Next stop can be Lake Worth and lastly Miami.

Or go straight through stopping less or not at all. There is a reverse current on the edge of the Gulf Stream that can give you as much as a knot. So find it and use it. The Stream kisses Palm Beach so you'll be very close to land at that point.

Enjoy.
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Old 25-10-2015, 15:56   #11
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Re: Heading from Beaufort, NC or Wrightsville to Miami offshore

We like to stay inside on the ICW past Cape Fear, then go outside the rest of the way. From Southport you can sail the rhumb line to St Augustine and stay inside the Gulf Stream all the way. It's a nice 2-day trip. Then hug the coast to take advantage of the counter-current as you hop your way south to Miami.
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Old 25-10-2015, 19:11   #12
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Re: Heading from Beaufort, NC or Wrightsville to Miami offshore

My wife and I just did it this week from Solomons, MD to Cape Fear in 56 hours. Gulf stream at Diamond Shoals and the Frying Pan shoals were close enough to slow us down by 2 kts. We could have stopped in Masonboro but it was nice at the time. The Frying Pan Shoals had a SE swell and a NE fetch from 10-15 kts of wind. Took four hours to get around it and turn NW for a ride up the Cape Fear River. We have a nice enclosed bimini, some don't until their second trip.


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