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Old 08-10-2012, 12:21   #31
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Re: ICW Norfolk to Florida in November

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I seem to find more information about clearing in Bimini, and then crossing the banks from there. Should a noob like myself consider the West End instead? I've read that you don't want to go North of Grand Bahama for anything, but there's a little more protection, and shorter legs starting off from up there on the South side of the island. Frankly, it sounds less interesting to me than points South, but it could be my own ignorance.
Don't know why anyone would say not to go north of Grand Bahama. Not much to see there until you reach the Abaco Island chain but it is arguably the easiest route to the eastern side of the Bahamas.

Clear in at West End, enter the banks and you have a +/- 60 mile hop across the banks to Sale Cay. Good overnight anchorage and from there a short hop to reach the north end of the Abacos where you can then do short day sails from island to island.

One potentially tricky spot in that trip, Whale Cay Passage. The traditional channel goes outside the banks to deep water bypass a shallow area on the banks side. The channels there can be dangerous if there are strong easterly winds or storms out in the Atlantic generating big swells. I have heard that there is a route on the inside that you can take now but haven't been through there for years so would recommend further research before going that way.

Once you get south of Whale Cay there are lots of interesting places to visit: Marsh Harbor, Hopetown, Man of War. If you don't want to go that far still plenty of islands and stops north of Whale.
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Old 13-10-2012, 10:28   #32
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Re: ICW Norfolk to Florida in November

Yes this is our first time down so. Usualy cruise NH and So Maine. We are going to just poke slowly southward till we get to where we want to stop so you mught actually pass us
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Old 13-10-2012, 21:08   #33
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Re: ICW Norfolk to Florida in November

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Depending when in Nov you leave Norfolk it might get a little cool on some days....
UNDERSTATEMENT ALERT. BRRRrrrrr. We were in Norfolk in mid-November, and we froze our butts off, pretty much all the way down to Beaufort, SC.

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It's a great trip and you will love it.
Huh. Dubious. Sorry. We were miserable. We loved our first offshore passage, from Beaufort to Treasure Cay, Abaco. There, WARM.
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Old 13-10-2012, 21:15   #34
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Re: ICW Norfolk to Florida in November

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If you haven't run aground in the ICW you haven't been in the ICW.
Damn straight.
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Old 13-10-2012, 22:58   #35
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Re: ICW Norfolk to Florida in November

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Other than picturesque anchorages, my Favorite mooring was St Augustine Muni Marina. Historic city to explore with fun Xmas boat parade usually second week of December. They have slips as well. Walkable city, great restaurants, west marine, and good bus transport too. A good place to reprovision , do laundry, etc.
Agreed. The municipal marina is better than most of the commercial ones I've been to, with the exception of the wi-fi; that's a very slow connection. But the staff is top notch and they have a ton of bi-lingual workers there so cruisers from Quebec for instance will have no trouble.
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Old 13-10-2012, 23:04   #36
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Re: ICW Norfolk to Florida in November

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Lots of talk about towing insurance for the ICW trip. You guys must run aground a lot.
If you haven't run aground in the ICW you haven't been in the ICW.
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If you haven't run aground in the ICW you haven't been in the ICW.
To the point where its a running joke. I remember saying I would make breakfast and my friend could run us aground. Before the water was boiling he managed to get us both stuck and unstuck. That's why I say be ready to slow down.
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Old 14-10-2012, 01:09   #37
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Re: ICW Norfolk to Florida in November

I was in myrtle beach 3 years ago in mid november and had ice on my deck
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Old 14-10-2012, 07:55   #38
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Re: ICW Norfolk to Florida in November

We did it in December - cold all the way to FL!! Ice on the decks in FL one morning.
Georgetown, SC - really nice, free day dock but use a trip line on your anchor - we snagged something really, really heavy but got it loose.
Beaufort, SC - the only place we dragged an anchor - or course in the middle of the night. The free day dock was great.
Fuel gets more costly as you head south for some reason.
Georga - intersting the first time, boring the second. Use Sipper Bob's anchorages - well worth the $11
Loved St. Mary's!!
Whale Cay inside passage - piece a cake in the middle of the day - we had at least 4 feet even at the 2 thinnest spots ( we draw 3' loaded)
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Old 19-10-2012, 08:20   #39
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Re: ICW Norfolk to Florida in November

Hi

I would recommend taking the waterway as far as Palm Beac and then head over to Lucaya in the Bahamas. Very easy to check in there nd then have options on how to work your way South to the Exumas (the ony place to spend the winter) IMHO. I did the trip 8 times and found doing hops outside helpful when the weather was right.

My only comment is that Nov is pretty late to leave the temperatures will be really cold before you getfar enough South. I found leaving Annapolis about boat show time worked best.
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Old 20-10-2012, 05:11   #40
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Hi

I would recommend taking the waterway as far as Palm Beac and then head over to Lucaya in the Bahamas. Very easy to check in there nd then have options on how to work your way South to the Exumas (the ony place to spend the winter) IMHO. I did the trip 8 times and found doing hops outside helpful when the weather was right.

My only comment is that Nov is pretty late to leave the temperatures will be really cold before you getfar enough South. I found leaving Annapolis about boat show time worked best.
Lucaya? There is no place to anchor, and it can get expensive sitting in a marina waiting for weather.
Tom
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