The NGA's pilot charts
are a good source of info when planning offshore
passages. Here's a link to the North Atlantic charts
Maritime Safety Information
You'll probably be heading south in the Fall, after the hurricanes are gone but before the really strong winter storms begin. Look at the October chart. You'll note that there's a prevailing current
to the south close in to shore. That would be my recommendation. As Camaraderie said, you can duck into certain of the inlets if things get too bad out there.
A lot of folks transit Long Island Sound
, go offshore to Cape May, NJ, then into the Delaware Bay, thru the C&D Canal and down the Chesapeake Bay
. From Hampton Roads
, if you pick your weather carefully, you can head
south along the coast and round Cape Hatteras inside the Gulf Stream. I've done that four times with no problems. The key is to have a very good weather forecast
, or a weather routing service
, to make certain the weather will be suitable. It's usually favorable after a front has passed through and the winds go light to the southeast.
In November, you'll probably experience gale conditions at some point after rounding Hatteras, so you need to decide whether you want to be near the coast or east of the Stream, heading for the Abacos or beyond. If you go east, you want to be well away from the Gulf Stream by the time the next front overtakes you.