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Old 03-09-2015, 13:23   #16
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Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

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Originally Posted by Dulcesuenos View Post
Passageweather dot com

Pick that area then click gulfstream then animate
The answer is that it changes depending on the weather.

Sent from my LG-LS980 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app

After checking passageweather as Dulcesuenos suggested, looks like anywhere between 60 miles offshore to however close to shore you feel safe going.
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Old 03-09-2015, 13:23   #17
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pirate Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

Quote:
Originally Posted by pete33458 View Post
Is there a way to remove a post?

This was a simple question. 5 answers, only one of them relevant. I post things when I have something useful to add. When I have nothing useful to add, I keep my mouth shut.

Really, this is absurd.
Ahh.. my apologies..
I missed the last bit about the 15 miles offshore..
So said what I would do.. say from Beaufort NC.. cross the stream then head S then cut across to F Pierce as I closed the N Banks..
Dislike inshore work..
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Old 03-09-2015, 13:47   #18
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Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

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Originally Posted by pete33458 View Post
OK, let's simplify the question. It's a new world. You have no thermometer, no internet, no GPS, no electronics whatsoever, just the experience of having sailed this route many times. How far from shore are you? thanks
Simple answer:

It Depends...

West wall of the Stream might be 75 NM E of Charleston, 45 NM E of Ponce Inlet, 10 NM E of St Lucie Inlet... If you pass outside of the Frying Pan Tower, you'll probably encounter a slight bit of current flowing NE... Pass thru the Frying Pan Slue a bit further inshore, you'll probably see nothing...

The approximate location of the West wall of the Stream is typically given during the course of every NOAA marine forecast south of Hatteras...

If you don't have a VHF, the approximate position of the axis, and inner and outer limits of the Stream are indicated on NOAA chart 1109, Cape Hatteras to Florida Straits... If you don't have the relevant charts for the passage, well, then you're on your own...

;-)


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Old 03-09-2015, 14:19   #19
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Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

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Originally Posted by pete33458 View Post
OK, let's simplify the question. It's a new world. You have no thermometer, no internet, no GPS, no electronics whatsoever, just the experience of having sailed this route many times. How far from shore are you? thanks
For me far enough to not have a dangerous Lee shore, again depending on weather. Sometimes the wind helps you over come the effects sometimes it makes it worse

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Old 03-09-2015, 14:35   #20
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Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

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Originally Posted by pete33458 View Post
Hello all: if you had to give a distance from shore, on average, to avoid fighting the current while at the same time not adding too much distance to your route by hugging the shore (not to mention all the obstacles that brings), what would your number be? For the sake of simplicity, let's restrict it to the region where the stream is close to land without being too close, roughly Diamond Shoals to to Ft. Pierce. Please, I really don't want this to turn into a long discussion of eddies or counter-currents or the difference between Florida and South Carolina or the seasons, just a general rule-of-thumb, what would it be? My number is 15 miles, but I would like to hear what others think.

Thank you! Pete
If you don't want to take into account those things that affect the current, you should probably just stay on land.
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Old 03-09-2015, 14:38   #21
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Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

What Jon says. VHF WX broadcasts the axis of the Gulf Stream at many points along the US East Coast, many times a day.

Stay away from the axis.
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Old 03-09-2015, 15:56   #22
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Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

EDIT:
I just saw (after I posted my answer here) that Pete has unsubscribed from his own thread...so he's not likely to see these direct answers, but thought some others might get something from it, so I'll not delete it..


Pete,
The short answer is:
--- It is not the same number of miles off shore, from Hatteras to Ft. Pierce...it varies...

I fully understand that you did not want that answer, so if you read the long answer, you might get a better answer...


So, to sail south along the US SE Coast, staying out of the Stream, here's the long answer:

For a quite detailed look at the route south from SC to S. FL, have a look here:
Outside route from Hilton Head to Florida


In brief...
--- It is not the same number of miles off shore, from Hatteras to Ft. Pierce...it varies...

--- "Generally" the western wall of the Stream will follow the contour of continental shelf (until you get to about 27.5*N, and down to Fowey Rocks, where in gets closer!!), and as long as you stay along the 10-fathom line (which is of course on the shore-side / west of the continental shelf), you will be out of the main stream, and may find little, to no current at all..
(I generally say to head south in depths of about 50'...as this keeps you out of the Stream and typically away from most "obstructions"...)

--- From the Savannah and Charleston area, south to about 10 - 15 miles off the Daytona / Ponce inlet area (or even on down to about 3 - 4 miles off Cape Canaveral), you can sail the rhumb line, starting just a couple miles (2 - 3 miles) off Savannah....and this will place you well off shore along Georgia and N. Florida....and still in 40' - 50' of water....

--- From 10 - 15 miles east of the Daytona / Ponce inlet area, you can sail the rhumb line south to about 3 miles off Cape Canaveral...

--- From 3 miles off Cape Canaveral, sail the Rhumb line south to a point about 2 - 3 miles off Ft. Pierce...(You will start to get into water a bit shallower...as you get farther along this route, but by staying 2 - 3 miles off will keep you clear of shoals/shallow water...)

--- Once you get near the Ft. Pierce area, the Gulf Stream gets pretty close to the coast (typically 10 miles off Ft. Pierce), and as you get to Jupiter and Lake Worth Inlet, and Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), you'd need to hug the coast quite close (sometimes, about 1 - 2 miles off) in order to avoid adverse current...

Understand that these quite close distances are not an absolute necessity, but they WILL keep you out of the Stream...and, until south of Ft. Pierce / St. Lucie inlet / Jupiter, will also keep you out of shallow water and "obstructions"...

And, with today's up-to-date Gulf Stream position info, heading further south the answer is multi-fold:
a) quite close to shore, from Ft. Pierce down to the Keys...
b) it varies, depending on where the western wall of the steam is...
Quote:
Originally Posted by pete33458 View Post
Hello all: if you had to give a distance from shore, on average, to avoid fighting the current while at the same time not adding too much distance to your route by hugging the shore (not to mention all the obstacles that brings), what would your number be? For the sake of simplicity, let's restrict it to the region where the stream is close to land without being too close, roughly Diamond Shoals to to Ft. Pierce. Please, I really don't want this to turn into a long discussion of eddies or counter-currents or the difference between Florida and South Carolina or the seasons, just a general rule-of-thumb, what would it be? My number is 15 miles, but I would like to hear what others think.
No discussion of eddies or counter-currents ('cause in > 40 years, I've never seen/experienced them!)....
But, your number of 15 miles, depending on where you're at, would...
a) most likely put you either right in the main axis of the Stream (exactly where you do not want to be when heading south!!), or
b) a waste heading-in that close to shore...

It all depends where you are at!!!
It is not the same number of miles off the coast...as it varies, depending on where you are at!

You'll want to be a few miles west of the western wall of the Stream...

FYI, if you wish to see today's numbers for the Gulf Stream position....here 'ay go (and take note of the changes from just a couple days ago, and from months ago, etc.):

Quote:
THE APPROXIMATE LOCATION OF THE WEST WALL OF THE GULF STREAM BASED ON THE REAL TIME OCEAN FORECAST SYSTEM FROM FRIDAY AUG 28TH.

42 NAUTICAL MILES EAST OF PONCE INLET.
28 NAUTICAL MILES EAST OF PORT CANAVERAL.
23 NAUTICAL MILES EAST OF SEBASTIAN INLET.
16 NAUTICAL MILES EAST OF FORT PIERCE INLET.
10 NAUTICAL MILES EAST OF SAINT LUCIE INLET.

THE APPROXIMATE LOCATION OF THE WEST WALL OF THE GULF STREAM AS OF SEP 03, 2015 AT 1200 UTC...
19 NAUTICAL MILES EAST OF JUPITER INLET.
17 NAUTICAL MILES EAST OF LAKE WORTH.
18 NAUTICAL MILES EAST SOUTHEAST OF PORT EVERGLADES.
7 NAUTICAL MILES EAST SOUTHEAST OF FOWEY ROCKS.

THE APPROXIMATE SHOREWARD EDGE OF THE GULF STREAM AS OF SEPTEMBER 3...
2 NM EAST OF CARYSFORT REEF LIGHT...OFF OCEAN REEF
1 NM SOUTHEAST OF ALLIGATOR REEF LIGHT...OFF ISLAMORADA
1 NM SOUTHEAST OF MOLASSES REEF LIGHT...OFF KEY LARGO.
8 NM SOUTH OF SOMBRERO KEY LIGHT...OFF MARATHON.
12 NM SOUTH OF LOOE KEY...OFF BIG PINE KEY.
11 NM SOUTH OF SAND KEY LIGHT...OFF KEY WEST.
11 NM SOUTH OF COSGROVE SHOAL LIGHT...OFF THE MARQUESAS KEYS.
13 NM SOUTH OF DRY TORTUGAS LIGHT...ON LOGGERHEAD KEY.
Take note of how much closer the Stream is/was months ago...
Quote:
THE APPROXIMATE LOCATION OF THE WEST WALL OF THE GULF STREAM AS OF
JAN 07, 2015 AT 1200 UTC..

8 NAUTICAL MILES SOUTH SOUTHEAST OF JUPITER INLET
9 NAUTICAL MILES NORTH NORTHEAST OF LAKE WORTH
6 NAUTICAL MILES EAST OF PORT EVERGLADES.
1 NAUTICAL MILES EAST NORTHEAST OF FOWEY ROCKS.
I hope this helps....and that you don't mind the long explanation of why there isn't an exact number...

Fair winds...

John
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Old 03-09-2015, 20:07   #23
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Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

John, this was very interesting, thanks for posting it! Even if the original poster has left the thread (I have never understood why some people ask questions on a free forum and then berate the responders), your detailed explanation will surely be very useful to future travelers, including me!


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Old 04-09-2015, 08:39   #24
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Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

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Wrong direction, though...
Ummmmmm......... the position of the gulf stream does not change depending on which direction you are sailing!
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:56   #25
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Re: Avoiding Gulf Stream Current Headed S

The OP may have bolted but glad he asked the question. I'm planning a similar passage later this fall to sail [I]Sea Breeze [I], my Irwin 43, offshore from Beaufort, NC down to St Augustine.

Good info in this thread.
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Old 04-09-2015, 10:16   #26
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Re: Avoiding Gulf Stream Current Headed S

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. Seriously? The rolling eyes emoticon has me a little confused, and that seems close to shore to me (except down where you and I live, where it makes total sense).
The rolling eyes was on me.
Have not sailed up there in years, but further South the stream gets as close as 3 miles, more like 5+.
Satellite images shows the westward edge of the stream based on temperature, it is also being broadcast on the Marine Weather forecast around here, not sure if the same up North, but can"t hurt checking it out.
Lighten up Pete.
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Old 04-09-2015, 10:23   #27
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Re: Avoiding Gulf Stream Current Headed S

When going south from St. Augustine we make use of local counter currents. These are sometimes very close to the shore line. You can pick up a knot or so in the southern direction in places but you obviously don't want to get to close if the swell is up.
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Old 04-09-2015, 10:32   #28
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Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

Quote:
Originally Posted by pete33458 View Post
OK, let's simplify the question. It's a new world. You have no thermometer, no internet, no GPS, no electronics whatsoever, just the experience of having sailed this route many times. How far from shore are you? thanks
Your question is unclear. I have no idea if you are asking how CLOSE to shore to be or how FAR from shore to be. Which do you want to do? Hug the shore or go way out?

You already have the way out answer...As mentioned above, there is plenty of stream a long way out, you may need to be 100 miles out.


I can tell you from Hatteras down to south of Morehead City the Stream is very close to shore. The closest I felt comfortable was a mile off the beach and the current was very strong and the water very warm even there.
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Old 04-09-2015, 10:55   #29
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Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

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I'll try, Pete. The answer is not a mile figure.

Round Hatteras inside the old abandoned light tower, but outside the red buoy for Diamond Shoals. After that, make a bee line for about Jacksonville. This will be out of site of land, but well inside the stream. It will average out to about 50-60 nm offshore. Once E of JAX, turn S to Jupiter Inlet as a waypoint. If at any point you sense the stream, slide W.

Dave
Good info. after jupiter stay in about 300 ft depth. if you want to go further and around, at fowey rocks go to 700 feet till Malassis reef and stay in 300 feet till KW plenty of inlets to anchor for the night or longer along the way. You'll find that following the depth will give you a perfect line of travel. the stream really comes in to less than 400 ft the counter current is usually from 700 to 200 ft depth there is no bottom to worry about and the ship routes are a 1000 ft or more unless coming in at the major ports. leaves time to enjoy the sail and relax.
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Old 04-09-2015, 11:21   #30
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Re: Avoiding Gulf Stream Current Headed S

From Cape Fear you can lay St Augustine on the rhumb line and stay inside the Stream. That's the way to do it.
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