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Old 13-03-2012, 10:36   #1
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Northbound

from Tortola to the Chesapeake.
Please recommend a route for a fun rather than fast trip!
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Old 13-03-2012, 11:10   #2
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Re: Northbound

How long do you want to take and when do you want to do it?
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Old 13-03-2012, 13:57   #3
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Re: Northbound

Hi, Sandy.

We left St Thomas on May 1st a few years ago and sailed directly up to Marsh Harbour, Abacos (five days I think, without checking the log). It was a pleasant sail with winds mostly off the port quarter. Got to use the asym for a while. You get to ride the winds from the Bermuda High on that route.

We cleared in at Marsh Harbour Marina and found out that night was "steak night" at their restaurant. Had a great meal and fun listening to the band. We spent a week poking around the Abacos, slowly moving north. Nippers on Great Guana, and Bluff House and Jolly Roger on Green Turtle were enjoyable stops. The Gully Roosters were playing at the Jolly Roger.

After a week, we left the Bahamas and angled over to the Gulf Stream, picking it up at Cape Canaveral, then rode it up to Cape Hatteras. Saw SOGs of 9-10 knots on a regular basis (boat speed ~6.5 kts). We rounded Hatteras on the outside, as our weather forecast was OK, and sailed on up to the Bay. Ironically, the roughest weather of the trip was in the Bay.

It was a fun trip.
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Old 14-03-2012, 19:05   #4
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Re: Northbound

I would say Puerto Rico to DR to Exumas to Abacos to maybe Beaufort, SC or Beaufort, NC, to Chesapeake on the inside. Break it up, go when the weather reports are good and explore while waiting for weather. None of those hops are so long that you are likely to sail beyond your weather forecast. On the other hand, straight north to Bermuda from the BVIs is usually a nice reach, though you gradually work your way up to the latitudes where gales and northers are possible. We did the BVIs to Bermuda and Bermuda to Newport and had mostly a fantastic trip but the wind petered out south of Bermuda and we got in just hours before a massive gale hit that damaged some big boats caught offshore. We also just made it to Newport before the next front hit hard. If you haven't been to Bermuda it is well worth a visit.
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Old 14-03-2012, 21:54   #5
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Re: Northbound

My trip from St. Maarten to Marsh Harbour sounds exactly like Hud's and we did it pretty nearly at the same time of year. A really nice sail. You could easily stop in the Turks and Caicos or in some of the out islands in the Bahamas on the way if you had time. We also flew the assym for several days. We ducked in to Beaufort on the way to the Chesapeake and took the ICW to Norfolk. If I did it again I would wish really really hard for a good weather forecast to do Hatteras on the outside - the ICW is a bit monotonous and not relaxing because you have to actually steer the boat every bit of the way.
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Old 15-03-2012, 06:20   #6
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Re: Northbound

To each his own. I personally love the ICW, having done it more than 20 times. I find it extremely relaxing--no worries about weather, tons of wonderful anchorages around every corner, interesting towns to visit, wildlife to view, etc. I have talked to many people who thought they had a good forecast for rounding Hatteras only to discover why they call it the Graveyard of the Atlantic! The 205 miles between Beaufort, NC, and Norfolk are particularly appealing, with a wide variety of scenery and sailing characteristics. You can have some pretty good sailing conditions up the Neuse River, up the Pungo, up the Alligator, and across Albemarle Sound.
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Old 24-03-2012, 10:22   #7
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Re: Northbound

I thank all of you, and its nice to hear from Hud! I have a good crew, plenty of time, and a well prepared boat. We'll leave around April 20th with no due dates!
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