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Old 19-08-2007, 22:34   #1
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Annapolis to Miami

Truth is, we've never sailed out of site of land but are considering this trip in the next couple months and then to the Bahamas for a week.
Any words of encouragement?
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Old 20-08-2007, 19:26   #2
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You can do it!!
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Old 20-08-2007, 19:30   #3
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I suppose you can do it, but you might want to read your insurance policy before you sail into the hurricane belt this time of year.

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Old 20-08-2007, 21:11   #4
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No insurance, never had it and never will. I've saved so much over the years I can take a total loss and still be way ahead.
My main concern about the trip was the gulfstream that time of year with northerly winds making for a rough ride. I'm quite sure I could find a hiding hole if need be since toward Miami we would not be far offshore.
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Old 20-08-2007, 22:21   #5
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Hi there,

If you want to go in the next few weeks, go inside at norfolk. till you get past hatteras. Its a pretty run, and hatteras is where a lot of dreams die. Plus you are in the middle of hurricane season. Inside there are plenty of nooks and crannies to jam into.

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Old 20-08-2007, 22:34   #6
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Are you saying, worldkiss, that you intend to go outside at Norfolk and stay outside all the way to Miami? If so, is there a reason you're planning to do that - meeting someone there, bored by the ICW, even just for the hell of it, perhaps?

If you do make it to the Bahamas, are you equally confident that you could find a hurricane hole there? I read a sailor's account once of being at Chubb Cay when Andrew blew over on the way to Florida, and though his vessel was one of the lesser damaged ones, many others were total losses. They survived by holing up in the nearby rock-walled church, but the area was devastated.

And, if you are having a good time in the northern Bahamas, will you stay for more than the week you mentioned - even head further south? I'm just picturing how you might get sucked in to extending your time there, then getting trapped in a bad spot with a hurricane bearing down.

If you can delay heading offshore to the Bahamas, or even venturing south of Hatteras until after October, at least, you can avoid the problem almost entirely. And, if I were you, I'd try to read some firsthand accounts from others who've been in the 'stream when the wind had a northerly component. None, I'll wager would want to repeat the experience.

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Old 20-08-2007, 22:56   #7
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I have no problems admitting to my limitations. That's why i'm posting, to get info. I have no death wish, or even a wish for uncomfortable situations. There is no machismo in my life and I would prefer to extend my stay here.
From the little I have read, much will be motoring as opposed to sailing.
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Old 21-08-2007, 04:08   #8
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We've made the trip several times. Annapolis to Norfolk, 2 to 3 days and have done it straight thru as well. From Norfolk take ICW south. One night in Coinjock, next in Belhaven and then Oriental. Next to Beaufort.
Outside to Charleston (30 +/- hours). Next outside to St. Augustine (30 +/- hours). Then on to Miami/Lauderdale. Not a bad trip if you watch the weather (and I mean "watch the weather").
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Old 21-08-2007, 04:32   #9
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My 2 cents: the western edge of the Gulfstream is not stagnant or straight. Make sure you are close enough inshore to avoid its northbound current, which can be significant even at the edge. Also, some of the inlets are tricky and some require local knowledge. Do not assume that if the weather starts to deteriorate, you can just "duck in" at the closest cut.
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Old 21-08-2007, 05:13   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worldkiss
No insurance, never had it and never will. I've saved so much over the years I can take a total loss and still be way ahead.
My main concern about the trip was the gulfstream that time of year with northerly winds making for a rough ride. I'm quite sure I could find a hiding hole if need be since toward Miami we would not be far offshore.
Just curious. When you talk about self insuring and saving enough for a total loss do you mean you have taken what you might have spent in premiums and set that aside so if you do have a loss you have a large lump sum sitting ready or does this mean you have used the premiums on other things and there isn't a large lump sum sitting. The former makes sense to me as you need to replace an expensive assest. The latter would have you in a bad spot.
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Old 21-08-2007, 05:44   #11
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Just did it twice in the last 10 months. First, if you go inside from Norfolk to Beaufort check your mast height!!! Ours was 62' off the water, charts call bridges at 65' but i would not want to go much higher than 62'. We went offshore from Norfolk to Virgins last November, 11 days. We crossed the stream in a north easterly and it was rough and windy. Coming back we sailed from Bahamas to Beafort NC, 5 days, then up the inside to Norfolk because of a huge storm where 3 boats were lost or abandoned. Email us if you would like any detailed info.
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Old 21-08-2007, 14:05   #12
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Can't help much with how you get there because I'm a Florida guy - probably, but not necessarily, the ICW. However, except maybe for Florida guys who can cross back and forth frequently, nobody sails to the Bahamas for a week. If you are not a frequent visitor, there is no good reason to go there at all unless you are going to cruise those islands slowly and leisurely. You won't regret it.
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Old 21-08-2007, 22:20   #13
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i'm with slomo here, once you pay your $300 to the Bahamian government, you will want to take in all you can and a week just won't get it. you will rationalize that it was a long way to get there, and you don't know when you will do it again, so.... there are over 700 islands in the Bahamian chain, many isolated and special in their own right. what is it, a thousand mi. to Nassau from where you are presently? that's a long way to go in a boat for just a week's stay in the "Jewel Of The Caribbean"!
your entry fee includes a cruising and i think fishing permit that is good for a long time. use it, unless you absolutely have to get back home in a certain amount of time. then, i would suggest you plan your trip for when you can have that flexibility to stay as long as needed to get sick of all the azure blue/green crystal clear waters and fluffy white sand and impecable fishing, diving, hammocking...
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Old 26-08-2007, 06:29   #14
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Simular trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by bottleinamessage
We've made the trip several times. Annapolis to Norfolk, 2 to 3 days and have done it straight thru as well. From Norfolk take ICW south. One night in Coinjock, next in Belhaven and then Oriental. Next to Beaufort.
Outside to Charleston (30 +/- hours). Next outside to St. Augustine (30 +/- hours). Then on to Miami/Lauderdale. Not a bad trip if you watch the weather (and I mean "watch the weather").
We are about to make this trip for the first time. Actually, the first time for anything close to this long. I looked at the charts and it seems like you've made some long legs on the ICW. We will be starting from Baltimore and ending up at home in Jacksonville, FL. Any advise would be welcome. We've only been able to do a couple of short shake down cruises with this "new to us" boat and that is a concern as well. We have mostly been racing a smaller (25ft) sport boat. We are not looking forward to long days oF motoring on the ICW.
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Old 26-08-2007, 08:55   #15
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Now for the fourth time...

We did the Annapolis to Miami trip 3 times in the past 13 months and will be heading south to do it one more time after the Annapolis boat show. This wasn't part of our cruising plan at all but it made sense.

We purchased our boat in May 2006. It was too late to leisurely head south to the Caribbean given the hurricane season. It was suggested to us to take the boat up the ICW and do short hops on the outside. This way we could get familiar with our new boat during the shakedown cruise.

What a shakedown it was! Although the boat had an excellent survey, she wasn't used to doing miles and miles every day. Wires and parts that were fine at dock, gradually worked themselves loose.

We are so grateful so those wise people who suggested an alternate idea

Some thoughts to consider:
- long days motoring or motor sailing on the ICW don't seem so long if you view it as exploring--an adventure--rather than a process to be endured to get through the miles

- you will meet amazing people, both locals and other cruisers, when you slow down and enjoy the pace

- the book "Managing the Waterway" is a must have resource on our boat.

- parts and help (both paid and from other non-professionals) is widely available

- Towboat US unlimited towing has saved us HUGE amounts of money. A bargain at the price.

- as someone else said, many inlets aren't suitable due to weather or the need for local knowledge. We called Towboat US to get that local knowledge when we weren't sure if an inlet would be suitable given our guidebook' advice and other cruisers statements.

Bottom line - go for it and be safe. It's a wonderful coast to explore!
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