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Old 22-10-2008, 07:46   #1
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Beaufort NC to Bahamas

I am looking at using a block of free time, i.e. when my free lance work does its annual disappearance for the holidays/ new year, to extend my usual cruising. I am looking for advice, experiences from anyone who has made the jump from Beaufort, NC to the Bahamas offshore. I find lots of info re. Florida to Bahamas but just references to Beaufort as a jump off. I am looking to go offshore at least one direction to maximize my time in the islands. Am I looking at going down I65 or is there a more western route or is it far better to go south down the coast, cross over and come back north off shore. Looking for a weather window after right after Christmas with about a month to play. Thanks.
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Old 22-10-2008, 07:53   #2
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There used to be a cruisers rally offshore to the Bahamas. As I recall...they left Beaufort to Charleston...then made the jump across in about 3 days direct to the Abacos from there. I think the less time you need to plan for a weather window at that time of year the better.
Note that you will need to insure that the passages into the sea of Abaco are not in a rage before you attemt landfall. Usually when one "side" of tha Abacos is closed...the other is open.
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Old 22-10-2008, 07:57   #3
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Here is the problem as I see it. In December you may wait a month for any offshore weather window. So you may not make it anywhere. Depending on weather you can run down the coast, recommended in case the weather window slams shut, which it probably will, or cross the stream and then head south, where is depending on where the stream is. If you just want to head out and have some fun run south on the ICW until you are warm and enjoy the hospitality along the way. Not so weather dependent.
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Old 22-10-2008, 08:03   #4
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Probably best that time of year to run the coast as far South as possible and then cros the stream when you have a good weather window. This will allow you to duck inside should a Northeaster approach. Going South as far as West Palm before crossing would probably be best and allow a 50-60 mile crossing. Going back - riding the stream to as far as Charleston would be best as long as the weather allows.
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Old 22-10-2008, 08:09   #5
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I can only advise from Jacksonville, and south of that. I always leave just before a northern wind comes along. You can be looking at 25- 35 knots of wind. I also hug the shoreline, and make great time to Miami. Along the coast there are a half a dozen inlets for you to jump inside if you wish.

The ICW is fun once IMHO, because it is slow. Although there is lots of sightseeing along the way. What ever you choose. Be safe, and BEST WISHES along the way....i2f
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Old 22-10-2008, 08:33   #6
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Wow. Thanks for the quick and helpful replies. I'm just starting my research but will look more closely at a more coastal route south then over. The ICW has little appeal, it is a sailboat after all. The voyage is my destination this time particularly.
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Old 22-10-2008, 08:34   #7
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There's usually a few boats in Beaufort in November waiting for a window to the Abacos or the Virgins. If you get on the vhf you might be able to hook up with one going to the Abacos.
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:34   #8
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Offshore to Bahamas

A couple of years ago we went offshore from Cape Fear River to the Abacos in early December. We were planning to jump off from Beaufort, but the weather wasn't right. It took about two and half days. We had a total mix of weather, everything from dead calm to a near gale.

It was a good experience, but one of the biggest concerns is where to come on to the bank if the weather is creating rages from the north. My fail safe was to head towards Florida and hook around the bank to come in from the west. We lucked out having dead calm to motor in an the inlet between Morrain (spelling?) and Alans-Pensacola Cays.

Jimmy Cornell recommends coming on to the banks down at San Salvidor.

It's way more fun and faster than driving down the ICW.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:20   #9
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Have ready access to good weather and gulf stream reports & forecasts, then do what makes sense at the time. I've made the trip from Chesapeake Bay 5 times with intent of jumping across the stream at Hatteras and heading for Whale Cay, but have only had the weather to actually do that twice. Ended up hugging the coast and crossing off of Widyah Bay once, Cape Canaveral another time. One of the two offshore trips we ended up in a gale and all the Abacos passes were raging, so had to continue down to Royal Island and wait 2 days to come back up.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:38   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastfilm View Post
from Beaufort, NC to the Bahamas offshore. I find lots of info re. Florida to Bahamas but just references to Beaufort as a jump off. I am looking to go offshore at least one direction to maximize my time in the islands.
Sounds like April 2010 is a bit later that you are planning.........

The Scoot...???

But maybe the folks can point you in the right direction (pun intended )
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Old 25-05-2010, 09:26   #11
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We left St. Simons headed southeast for about 80 miles and turned more south to Abaco. It took about four days. We left at night. Had to motor sail for about 30 hours in total. Great trip. Coming back was a breeze in the gulf stream. No bad weather. Headed for Jacksonville and corrected to SSI about 20 miles off shore.
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