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Old 06-01-2009, 05:36   #1
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Heading South from NC

Hello all,
I am a soldier currently serving in Afghanistan. I am planning a trip this summer. I will be home around the first of June and will take the next two months off and cruise to points south. I have been sailing on and off since I was 17 ( I am now 49). I left Aberdeen, Maryland last March where I had a 23' O'Day and sailed extensively on the Chesapeake Bay. I bought a 30' Hunter when I was home this past September. It sits all alone at the Pecan Grove Marina in Oriental, NC.

Can anyone point me to the best place to plan this trip? I have been in the "Ditch" on many occasions, including sailing a 28' O'Day from Holden beach back up to Aberdeen. Great trip. My questions range from "where to find the listing of inlets that I can go outside and back in" to "can I plan the passage from Oriental, NC to Key West including distances and inlets (I know weather is my first concern as that will dictate time) and where to find an easy way to plot this"?
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:31   #2
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Neozonny,

First I would like to thank you for your service in the forces. I am not an American but our troops are there with you and we wish you all a safe return home.

Second I have been looking for some information on this as well and the best advice I have been getting is to talk to fellow sailors that make the trip annually. The cruising guilds are great information but I have found that talking to other sailors over a pint provides more information then any guide can. Some times it pays to follow other sailors that are going that way, I am sure you wont be the only boat going south and I know people love to help out any way they can.

Cheers,

Todd
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:42   #3
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Todd,
I hoped that this forum would suffice for "talking to other sailors" but, I believe you are right. Unfortunately, other sailors are hard to find over here as is a pint to talk it over with. I want to pre-plan as much of the trip as possible with much respect to the cruisers lifestyle of taking the trip as it comes. I just want a general direction to weave in and out of the ICW on the way down. I will head back when my time runs low, wherever I am. I just want to relax and see the sights but keep a steady pace southward too. Maybe, having my cake and eating it to is not the right way to approach this trip.
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:48   #4
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Neozonny,

I just found this online, maybe worth a veiw.


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Old 06-01-2009, 09:44   #5
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Try
lists.samurai.com Mailing Lists

for those interested in trawlers and the great-loop. Expect many there will help you.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:04   #6
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Location: Cruising NC, FL, Bahamas, TCI & VIs
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My wife and I departed from the New River last year and spent 8 months cruising (Bahamas to FL). You might like to take a look at our trip here;

Journey of s/v Faith

Hands down the best website for planning purposes is Salty Southeast Cruisers net. Take a look at ti to find current bridge opening schedules, anchorages, and local info for your route. Good luck! It is a wonderful trip if you take your time and don't pass up the things that look interesting to you.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:14   #7
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Neo...
For Inlets....the Dodge Guide to SE US Inlets covers every navigable inlet from Norfolk to Miami and provides chartlets based on soundings Dodge actually took, photos of the approaches to each inlet and waypoints.
http://www.landfallnavigation.com/bes109.html
For the trip south as well as latest updates on shoaling issues etc. in the ICW proper I suggest Clairborne Young's site which has state by state updates and info. http://www.cruisersnet.net/
For anchoring info...get a copy of Skipper Bob;s Guide: Skipper Bob

You can buy numerous map guides but you can also print your own booklet charts or download electronic charts for free from NOAA and use the free SeaClearII software to do your planning on the PC.
Obtain Charting Products
NOAA BookletCharts
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