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Old 20-09-2014, 06:33   #1
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Bermuda Jump Off/Back Point

I may be heading out next year and don't have any plan/schedule other than head south to warmer weather (starting from NE USA). But I do want to go to Bermuda along the way. But I also really want to cruise more of the SE US instead of going to Bermuda and then just heading south to the islands.

So what would be a good jumping off place that would also be a good spot to return to in order to continue the US part of the cruise?

Or would it really be better to just sail south all the way to Key West and then backtrack "up" to Bermuda and then head south after toward the islands?
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Old 20-09-2014, 06:51   #2
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Re: Bermuda jump off/back point

We sailed to Bermuda and back from Hampton Roads, Virginia. That has the advantage of allowing you to get across the Gulf Stream within a day and a half after departure, and the Stream is usually at it's narrowest just SE of Hatteras, so you can limit your actual exposure to about 10 hours or so in the Stream.

Coming from New England, you get to experience the entire length of the Chesapeake Bay on your way to Hampton Roads--really great cruising in the Spring, early Summer, and Fall. And there are several convenient and nice marinas in the southern Bay where you can provision while you wait for a weather window for departing.

Coming back from Bermuda, you could head back to Norfolk and pick up the ICW as far south as you like.
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Old 20-09-2014, 07:22   #3
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Re: Bermuda jump off/back point

I'm interested in the same question.

Hud or others, would you mind letting us know what your est/avg travel time is each way? I am guessing around 6 days in a 40ish footer.

It looks like April or May would be an ideal time to make the trip, but any thoughts about the fall? I'm wondering the feasibility to head out from Hampton, stay in Bermuda a few days then return in, say, November. Just for the sake of adding some miles to the boat.

Thanks!
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Old 20-09-2014, 07:28   #4
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Re: Bermuda jump off/back point

It was about 670 nm, and we did in in four and a half days, each way.

We went in late June-early July, and it turned out to be one of the roughest passages I've experienced. A front stalled across our path and produced a lot of squalls, some with 50+ knot winds and very confused seas.

I think any time from late May through June would be fine, as well as early November, but as we found out, the weather can be a crap shoot.
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Old 20-09-2014, 08:01   #5
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pirate Re: Bermuda jump off/back point

Personally I don't see any logic to your plan..
Do the Chesapeake.. run down the ICW to Beaufort, NC then jump across the stream and head for Bermuda.. then down to Antigua and Sth... fast run back N via any islands you missed going down then do the hops from St Martin all the way to the Keys then head N...
Why zig-zag S-N-S...??
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Old 20-09-2014, 10:54   #6
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Re: Bermuda jump off/back point

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I may be heading out next year and don't have any plan/schedule other than head south to warmer weather (starting from NE USA). But I do want to go to Bermuda along the way. But I also really want to cruise more of the SE US instead of going to Bermuda and then just heading south to the islands.

So what would be a good jumping off place that would also be a good spot to return to in order to continue the US part of the cruise?

Or would it really be better to just sail south all the way to Key West and then backtrack "up" to Bermuda and then head south after toward the islands?
Actually a very good pattern would be to sail south as you discuss, then explore the Bahamas. And then pick up Bermuda on the way back, possibly by sailing from Abacos. While the distance from Abacos to Bermuda is greater than jumping off from VA or NC, you can basically ride the gulf stream most of the trip. Pick up several knots of speed.
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Old 20-09-2014, 18:23   #7
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Re: Bermuda Jump Off/Back Point

There are places to visit south of Beufort


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Old 20-09-2014, 18:47   #8
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Re: Bermuda Jump Off/Back Point

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There are places to visit south of Beufort


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So coastal down, visiting all the places you wish. To Key West. Then from South Florida to the Bahamas. And back to Bermuda from the Bahamas, Abacos specifically.
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Old 20-09-2014, 19:28   #9
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pirate Re: Bermuda Jump Off/Back Point

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
There are places to visit south of Beufort


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Guess you missed the bit where I said when you get to the Keys turn North.. got the whole ICW to go home up...
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Old 27-09-2014, 18:30   #10
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Re: Bermuda jump off/back point

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Personally I don't see any logic to your plan..
Do the Chesapeake.. run down the ICW to Beaufort, NC then jump across the stream and head for Bermuda.. then down to Antigua and Sth... fast run back N via any islands you missed going down then do the hops from St Martin all the way to the Keys then head N...
Why zig-zag S-N-S...??
Yep. It's a whole lot easier to get south from Bermuda than it is from Key West or the Bahamas. Why beat yourself and your boat up? They'll still be there on the way back.
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Old 07-10-2014, 13:40   #11
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Re: Bermuda Jump Off/Back Point

I'm back to looking at this and am now starting to think of it as a 2 year trip. Head south to somewhere around VA. There over to Bermuda and then south to the "islands" then back north working to VA where I started or wherever.

I came to realize that I don't really care if I see "everything" as long as I can keep going to/seeing new places.

I've also changed my approach with my wife from cruising till we cannot anymore, to we will cruise a year or so and then get new jobs for a while ("Welcome to Walmart" - I'm practicing). But I don't want these new jobs to involve that frozen white stuff on the ground.
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Old 13-01-2015, 08:36   #12
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Re: Bermuda jump off/back point

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Personally I don't see any logic to your plan..
Do the Chesapeake.. run down the ICW to Beaufort, NC then jump across the stream and head for Bermuda.. then down to Antigua and Sth... fast run back N via any islands you missed going down then do the hops from St Martin all the way to the Keys then head N...
Why zig-zag S-N-S...??
What about leaving from Ocracoke Island? Is that a better or worse jumping off place compared to Beaufort?
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Old 13-01-2015, 15:53   #13
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Re: Bermuda jump off/back point

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What about leaving from Ocracoke Island? Is that a better or worse jumping off place compared to Beaufort?
Good question... As always, "It depends..." :-)

Primarily upon the status of the inlet at the time, and your familiarity/comfort zone with running such inlets... You would really want to get the latest in Local Knowledge from the charter captains in Ocracoke, then scope out the inlet beforehand in settled conditions yourself... One problem at Ocracoke since the CG pulled out of there years ago, is that the buoyage in the inlet is not updated as frequently as it was when they were on station there...

I really like the idea of leaving from Ocracoke, except for Hatteras (a poorer inlet for sailing yachts, IMHO), no other departure point will get you across the Stream as quickly, and you don't have to mess with working your way out around Cape Lookout Shoals... In addition, a departure from Ocracoke will likely ensure your decision on when to leave will be entirely your own - as it always should be - and not subject to the sort of paralysis of Group Think that can sometimes occur when waiting for a window in Beaufort in company with other boats, and everyone standing around asking "I don't know, what do YOU think...?" :-))

Only real downside to Ocracoke compared to Beaufort/Morehead is that you'd really need to be already well-provisioned and equipped by the time you arrive there, as supplies are somewhat limited... If you need any of the sort of last-minute gear from a chandler or hardware that is so often the case prior to jumping offshore, Morehead City is obviously a much better place to be... And, Beaufort Inlet is certainly do-able at night or in sportier conditions, whereas running out of Ocracoke is gonna be dicey in anything other than good light, and rather benign conditions...

I've always loved Ocracoke, one of my favorite spots anywhere along the East coast... I really like the idea of beginning an offshore passage from such an 'atypical' point of departure... :-)

It's a pity Oregon Inlet is no longer in the cards for sailors, either - for years that has served as a great 'shortcut' when running south, but I've given up running thru there anymore, that place now seems too subject to dramatic changes which can occur, literally, overnight...
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