I've done the trip between the Abacos (Green Turtle or Marsh Harbour) and either Beaufort
NC or Norfolk VA a large number of times, both on my own boat and on delivery
. As it happens there are enough people frustrated with FL that owner-aboard offshore deliveries to the Abacos are a growing part of my business. A number of owners have concluded they spend less money
paying me to take them offshore than to motor
down the ICW
while avoiding the various local unpleasantness.
There are some beautiful places on the ICW
and it is worth a trip at some point if you haven't done it before but most of it is droning along hour after hour for days and weeks on end under power. I avoid it. YMMV.
Beaufort to Marsh Harbour is about three days on my boat. Your Centaur will be slower. Your five or six day guesstimate is reasonable.
Ocean currents are very stable. The currents change significantly only over a period of months. Local conditions in the those currents change more quickly due to surface effects from wind
. You should have plenty of time in a good window to get across the Southbound near-shore current and the Gulf Stream. I've not had a problem staying out of the worst of the Equatorial current.
Note that the Gulf Stream tips over pretty Easterly where you are and a good passage
plan will take advantage of that boost. I can knock a plan together for you and send you a graphic if you like. PM me an e-mail address.
Originally Posted by Waterwayguy
There were several boats in the Caribbean 1500
that ran into serious problems because the organizers were set on a schedule. So that might not be good advise.
Chuck, if you are referring to last year's events
then I think it isn't necessarily a generalizable data point. When the Carib 1500 was planning to leave Tomas was wandering around the Caribbean
with no clear indication of where he was heading. There was a huge (HUGE) Nor'wester off Nova Scotia
and three substantial Lows with associated gales spaced down the US East Coast
. I was leaving Annapolis
the same day the Carib 1500 was to leave Norfolk. I sat in Little Creek while the Carib 1500 sat in Norfolk. Ultimately I went home and they launched. My take on the weather was more conservative than theirs and it didn't look like a good idea to go. I haven't ever had that kind of problem in September, October, November, December, or February before. I've not gone in January so can't speak to that. *grin*
If schedule hadn't been an issue for us we would have anchored off Cape Charles or Mobjack Bay and hung out, but Janet's vacation
clock was ticking so we took a car trip instead. As it happens a one week delay would have given us a story-book trip to Tortola.
The Centaur is a great boat, very sturdy. I wouldn't hesitate to take one in good shape offshore and the Beaufort - Abacos run is great fun and pretty predictable.