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Old 30-05-2013, 20:38   #1
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November Sail from The Cape to USVIs??

Wanting to head from Mass on The Cape down to the USVIs in mid november. Is this a wise idea? Is the time of year bad to sail this. Going to be doing it on an Ericson 38', with a crew of 4. Does anyone have a suggested course and time frame?
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Old 02-06-2013, 15:14   #2
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Re: November Sail from The Cape to USVIs??

fwiw my 2c..

Given your vessel is ICW friendly my suggestion would be to set off in early/mid october from cape>block Island>Norfolk, then ICW to Morehead city NC. Stage in NC for a window then off from there... the gulf stream is relatively close, and relatively narrow from there..take advantage of the SW winds to go ESE/SE until you start to pick the trades..then kinda due south to the USVI

This has sizeable merits vs a direct offshore run...
a) you chase the warm weather south before the winter weather cycles start..
b) you are always within striking distance of somewhere reasonably safe in the event of a late season storm..
c) you are tackling the stream only needing a solid 24hr window/forecast
d) its the shortest leg of long passage.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:18   #3
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Re: November Sail from The Cape to USVIs??

Another approach would be to wait for a weather window between the last of Oct. and the first part of Dec. then head directly to Bermuda.
Then from Bermuda to St. Thomas.
Both routes have their merits and detractions.
Ultimately your decision, many have gone both ways before you.
I prefer offshore because I think it is safer. Being caught in a storm off the New Jersy coast is not like "just pull in" the next harbor and wait it out.
Wishing you fair winds and great adventure.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:53   #4
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Re: November Sail from The Cape to USVIs??

Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeonboard View Post
Wanting to head from Mass on The Cape down to the USVIs in mid november. Is this a wise idea? Is the time of year bad to sail this. Going to be doing it on an Ericson 38', with a crew of 4. Does anyone have a suggested course and time frame?
Read the Don Street Article, it is a good primer for heading south.
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:51   #5
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Re: November Sail from The Cape to USVIs??

While I would concur that offshore is typically safer, I would make a strong exception for a New England>Bermuda in December.

A BI>Norfolk>Morehead City route is safer and has a significantly shorter long offshore leg in statistically better and definitely warmer, weather.

I do agree that sailing the NJ coast is a risky proposition and while many do, I haven't and I wouldn't due to the lack of suitable inlets, however going BI>Norfolk is a 2.5 day leg that keeps you significantly off the NJ coast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caradow View Post
Another approach would be to wait for a weather window between the last of Oct. and the first part of Dec. then head directly to Bermuda.
Then from Bermuda to St. Thomas.
Both routes have their merits and detractions.
Ultimately your decision, many have gone both ways before you.
I prefer offshore because I think it is safer. Being caught in a storm off the New Jersy coast is not like "just pull in" the next harbor and wait it out.
Wishing you fair winds and great adventure.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:13   #6
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Re: November Sail from The Cape to USVIs??

Bring plenty of winter clothing and hot drinks! That first leg will be cold.
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