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Old 03-09-2015, 12:00   #1
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Avoiding Gulf Stream Current Headed S

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
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Old 03-09-2015, 12:38   #2
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Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

I'd say a lot more than 15 miles. The strongest current is close to shore, but sailing from Cape Canaveral to Bermuda a few years ago i used the gulf stream to give me boost. I passed South Carolina about 100 miles offshore and was getting at least a 2 knot current all the way, and more like 3 knots when i first left Florida.
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Old 03-09-2015, 12:40   #3
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Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

Wrong direction, though...
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Old 03-09-2015, 12:40   #4
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Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

A thermometer would be a good thing to have. If the temp shoots up suddenly, you're in the stream. My Raymarine Knotmeter/Log has a temp function probably for just that information.
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Old 03-09-2015, 12:48   #5
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Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

While I thank you for your response, this is not the question I was asking. I know how to find the stream, multiple ways, including temperature, drift speed, change in depth, and official ocean current predictions. I am not really interested in finding where the stream is, though. What I am interested in is other peoples' opinions on a rule-of-thumb distance from shore going from Cape Hatteras or thereabouts to Ft. Pierce or thereabouts, that is, from north to south, against the stream. thanks!
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Old 03-09-2015, 12:51   #6
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Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

I'd say 3 miles...
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Old 03-09-2015, 12:54   #7
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Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

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).
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Old 03-09-2015, 12:59   #8
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Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

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
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Old 03-09-2015, 12:59   #9
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pirate Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

Quote:
Originally Posted by pete33458 View Post
While I thank you for your response, this is not the question I was asking. I know how to find the stream, multiple ways, including temperature, drift speed, change in depth, and official ocean current predictions. I am not really interested in finding where the stream is, though. What I am interested in is other peoples' opinions on a rule-of-thumb distance from shore going from Cape Hatteras or thereabouts to Ft. Pierce or thereabouts, that is, from north to south, against the stream. thanks!
Then you should know how to find the counter currents just to its East.. there's no set distance as there's no set width to the stream..
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Old 03-09-2015, 13:03   #10
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Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

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.
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Old 03-09-2015, 13:05   #11
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Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

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
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Old 03-09-2015, 13:07   #12
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Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

I think the best way to answer it would be to go to the NOAA website and check the Gulfstream charts. The GS is constantly moving, and gets quite close in Florida, sometimes, and really is quite far off as you get further North.
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Old 03-09-2015, 13:09   #13
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Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

Never had to unsubscribe and ignore one of my own posts before, but I guess you never get too old to experience something new.
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Old 03-09-2015, 13:10   #14
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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
That's what happened to the 1615 Plate Fleet on it's way to Spain loaded with gold and silver; the Gulf Stream moved in and they went aground off the coast of Florida. That trip had been made a few times.
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Old 03-09-2015, 13:14   #15
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Re: avoiding Gulf Stream current headed S

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.

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