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Old 16-09-2011, 06:19   #1
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Heading South Down the ICW - Inside or Outside ?

We are anchored in Norfolk. The Cold front came through yesterday. Todays forecast calls for 20 knot winds. We wanted to go outside for our trip to florida. but northeast winds against the gulfd
stream does not sound good. Let us hear your recommendations, We are on a Lagoon 380 Cat with four crew.
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Old 16-09-2011, 06:37   #2
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Wait it out or head through the ICW. What is the forecast for the seas?
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Old 16-09-2011, 06:41   #3
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Re: Heading South down the ICW inside or outside??

6 to 8 ft seas from our port side 8 or 9 seconds.
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Old 16-09-2011, 06:44   #4
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Re: Heading South down the ICW inside or outside??

I am not familiar that far north with the stream. We would leave the St. Johns River in front of a northern storm, and get Miami in less than 2 days from there. The ICW is interesting the first time, but after that I want to get going be it north, or south. We would hig the coat going south, and take advantage of the stream returning every year........i2f
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Old 16-09-2011, 06:46   #5
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Re: Heading South down the ICW inside or outside??

If your stick is not over 65 ft go to Beaufort NC and leave from there. You can be inside the stream all the way to FL and more.
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Old 16-09-2011, 07:22   #6
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Re: Heading South down the ICW inside or outside??

I agree with going inside to Beaufort, Moorehead City or any place with a Class A inlet. Just keep moving until weather permits. If you end up using the ICW for a while, there are some areas with great scenery. You can also pop inside and outside all the way down, depending on weather. The only problem (besides some shallow spots), is that travelling inside will take lots of time. The other potential problem is your mast height. If you are close to 65 feet, make sure you consider the bits and pieces on top of your mast, but even then if you time the bridges for low tide you shouldn't have a problem. If you are interested in learning more, follow the Cruising Quest link below, where I have written three articles covering the trip to Miami.
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Old 16-09-2011, 07:26   #7
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Re: Heading South down the ICW inside or outside??

S/V Antares is right on. Going around Hatteras usually sucks! Beaufort is one of the best stops on the east coast and a great jumping off spot. Forget Fla and head right to the Bahamas!
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Old 16-09-2011, 07:41   #8
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Re: Heading South down the ICW inside or outside??

Had the same experience several years back, the system hung around for days though.....we kept moving south inside..until we evenually got out at the cape fear river..took a straight shot for the St John's River from there.
Even then we had 20 + knots and 6 to 8' occasional 10' ..behind us..but we were well west of the stream..and it was very manageable..I think it took 36 hours..river to river.

Did not do the great swamp thing..stayed in the Abermarle..then the Pamlico stopped in Ocracoke..nice stop..
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Old 16-09-2011, 08:38   #9
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Re: Heading South down the ICW inside or outside??

Thanks everyone for your replies, we are going inside, keep the recommendations coming .... we are going for deep creek lock and then anchoring just past, maybe at deep creek, we need to get some fuses, ( since our windlass decided to stop working this morning when we where pulling up anchor). I just bought the boat in annapolis so it does not have many tools aboard. we already had to replace some cam cleats on the traveler yesterday when we stopped at deltaville Va.
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Old 16-09-2011, 08:59   #10
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Re: Heading South down the ICW inside or outside??

I would definitely recommend going inside until you get the boat sorted out.
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Old 16-09-2011, 10:43   #11
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Re: Heading South down the ICW inside or outside??

I go outside. Four days from Little Creek to Abaco. The Gulf Stream doesn't kick up so badly up North, and is running more NEly than anything else. On your boat it should be easy. Quick look at the synoptics -- I would leave now and go. By the time you could get to Beaufort on the inside you would be in Marsh Harbour.
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Old 16-09-2011, 13:43   #12
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Re: Heading South Down the ICW - Inside or Outside ?

I have done that trip several times, you can stay west of the stream all the way down. Going south you want to stay out of the northerly current anyway. Your best bet is to stay inside to Beaufort, Moorehead City and then jump outside if the weather permits, there are enough places to hide inside if it kicks up. Once you pass Cape Canaveral hug the coast to catch the counter current. Check you SOG because you can be sailing but getting nowhere fast. If south Florida is your destination watch your choice of inlets. If you are headed to the Bahamas leave from St. Mary's, Fernandina Beach but don't cross the stream when the wind has any northern component. Been there done that and it's not worth it, I'm running out of friends. Even my wife says " you get the boat there and I'll fly down."
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Old 16-09-2011, 18:32   #13
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Re: Heading South Down the ICW - Inside or Outside ?

I think St. Mary's inlet is too far north for a crossing. Even in the best conditions, it's a difficult angle against the stream. Furthest north I'd recommend is Lake Worth to cross to West End.
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Old 16-09-2011, 21:54   #14
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Re: Heading South down the ICW inside or outside??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellis McKinley View Post
I would definitely recommend going inside until you get the boat sorted out.
I second this....make sure you are ready for off shore sailing!
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Old 18-09-2011, 08:20   #15
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Re: Heading South Down the ICW - Inside or Outside ?

Spend some time on the Barrier Islands if you don't know them, Sapelo and Cumberland are easy to get to.
Florida is where old people go to die, it's not dangerous, but after a while there you want to die.
We're in Guatemala, highly recommended.
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