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Old 29-12-2017, 16:40   #1
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Chesapeake to Jax backwards ?

I need to take my 27 down to Jacksonville/Mayport in the opposite time slot as usual, i.e. down in April, not up in April.

Anyone have any advice/experience you can share about prevailing wind/weather on that course in Spring ?

Thank you for your attention and advice.
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Old 29-12-2017, 17:30   #2
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Re: Chesapeake to Jax backwards ?

Are you planning coastal, offshore, or ICW?
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Old 29-12-2017, 18:06   #3
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Re: Chesapeake to Jax backwards ?

I was figuring on just a combination of ICW through VA, then out coastal from somewhere like Morehead City or wherever you suggest. I originally wanted to go outside around Hatteras too, but everybody's telling me not to.

I've got plenty of single-handed and night experience on the Chesapeake, but none outside, but figured outside coastal on that last leg would probably be fairly tame ?

At this point, an inexperienced, non-sailing friend wants to go along for the Chesapeake/ICW leg, but is afraid to stay on-board when I come outside at NC/SC line, so that leg is probably going to be single-handed to Mayport.

Thanks for any help.

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Old 29-12-2017, 18:09   #4
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Re: Chesapeake to Jax backwards ?

P.S. my main question is whether there's any common prevailing wind patterns at that time of year (April) on that last leg outside, or just random weather ?
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Old 29-12-2017, 18:22   #5
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Re: Chesapeake to Jax backwards ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stenn View Post
P.S. my main question is whether there's any common prevailing wind patterns at that time of year (April) on that last leg outside, or just random weather ?
Look at the Atlantic Pilot Charts--- they are online in sections
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Old 29-12-2017, 18:54   #6
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Re: Chesapeake to Jax backwards ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stenn View Post
P.S. my main question is whether there's any common prevailing wind patterns at that time of year (April) on that last leg outside, or just random weather ?
April is a very changeable month, the cusp of the changes from the winter patterns to the summer ones, so predicting with averages is pretty much not to be relied on.

A Newport 27 is not a boat you want to have offshore if it turns seriously snotty, most of the inlets are not at all "friendly" in rough conditions, especially on an ebb tide.

If I was you, I'd not be scared of the coastal passage, but carefully watch the weather and either wait it out or go down the ICW if you have ANY worries. Always have the charts and planning to jump into a nearby harbor if things look like they might change for the worse.
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Old 31-12-2017, 05:36   #7
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Re: Chesapeake to Jax backwards ?

I would add my conservative voice to others. 27', single handed, limited sailing experience? Go ICW young man! You just are not equipped to deal with rough weather as well as the issue of no watch relief. Weather in April is especially variable. On the ICW you can easily anchor next to the channel for rest stops and cat naps at the helm are never safe.
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Old 31-12-2017, 08:11   #8
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Re: Chesapeake to Jax backwards ?

I'd recommend staying the ICW all the way to Charleston SC. The ICW is fun, it is to be traveled during daylight. From personal experience meeting a tug at night in a narrow channel is no thrill I want to repeat. Get some good chart books and guides and make the trip enjoyable, there is lots to see and great food along the way. After Charlestown there are some doable long day and overnight trips between inlets if your still feeling up for it.
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Old 31-12-2017, 09:26   #9
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Re: Chesapeake to Jax backwards ?

As others have pointed out, weather in the early spring is really variable on the SE coast. So looking at climatological data is not going to be much help. Just head down the AICW and check for a decent 24 - 36 hour weather window at each major inlet (Beaufort, Cape Fear, Winyah Bay, and Charleston) to see if you want to attempt an outside leg. These legs will be 24 hours or longer in a 27' boat, and if single-handed you will have to stay awake most (if not all) of that 24 hours. If I have no traffic in the area I will set an alarm to allow me to doze for 20-30 mins.
As long as your boat is in good condition (think the engine), it is very doable - actually my preference when single-handing.
I've done the trip single-handed several times (in the late fall of course). I find the AICW very tedious when single handed. I was often trapped in the cockpit even when under autopilot.
You aren't going to save much time going outside between Beaufort and Charleston, as you will likely spend several days at anchor waiting for that 24 hour window to get to the next inlet. South of Charleston the AICW meanders a lot and you can save a lot of time taking a straight shot from Charleston to Mayport, with Brunswick, GA and Fernandina as possible stops if the window starts to close.

Good luck
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Old 31-12-2017, 09:51   #10
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Re: Chesapeake to Jax backwards ?

Plan on skipping the ICW between Winyah Bay and Charleston, there is ridiculous shoaling there. Trying to time tides and the opening of the Ben Sawyer bridge can turn that into a two day trip spent mostly waiting on tides.

Taking the ICW as the default route to Winyah Bay and popping between inlets when the weather works is the approach that works best for us and our 5.6' draught. The Waterway Guide has a very good section on inlets. Its worth buying the print edition, but a used copy along with Active Captain and the online Waterway Guide work pretty well.

Check out Bob423's routes around shallow spots on the ICW. Note, he has a shoal draft vessel. Cruising Down the ICW 2017: GPX Routes

Cheers, RickG
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Old 07-01-2018, 07:12   #11
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Re: Chesapeake to Jax backwards ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stenn View Post
P.S. my main question is whether there's any common prevailing wind patterns at that time of year (April) on that last leg outside, or just random weather ?
Pilot charts won't help you. They are statistical over longish periods. The weather on the US East Coast is dominated by cold fronts so you'll want to get good at interpreting synoptic charts. See AuspiciousWorks - Communications / Yacht Management / Deliveries Worldwide .

You'll spend a lot of time getting in and out of inlets doing coastal hops. Longer hops are pretty rough singlehanded. I don't recommend it. BTDT (seven days). You can do pretty long days on the ICW and make progress. I run straight through with the right crew. Finding that crew even assuming you can do it your self is hard, and a Newport 27 is going to be tight quarters.

I think that any more than the conventional cruisers' progress of 35 - 50 sm / day is going to lead to disappointment. Your boat is small enough that you might consider trucking. If the journey is part of the adventure than definitely take your time and enjoy the ICW.
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