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Old 06-05-2009, 14:24   #1
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Jacksonville to Marathon mid August alone

With the knowledge that no hurricanes are on the horizon I have some questions.
Time is not a problem, money is.
I am thinking that the prevailing winds will be south by south west but as yet am not sure.
1) Has anyone done this trip on the outside at that time of year? What did you do?
2) Where are good places to go in and anchor?
I want to sail not motor.
Thank you
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Old 06-05-2009, 14:37   #2
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Yes I have done it many times, but what vessel do you have , what draft water and air.cant give a list off stops till i know Ole
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Old 06-05-2009, 14:50   #3
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I haven't got the boat yet, but am looking at three - all about 25-27' and 4' draft 33' mast
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Old 06-05-2009, 15:04   #4
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You want to go alone in this busy corridor averaging 4 knots? You will be one exhausted person when you arrive. If you arrive. I am not saying it can't be done. I am just saying it is one heck of a task.

If it was me in your situation, and I have been there. I would do some inside, and outside. One night at the most alone on the outside.

My wife, and I leave Green Cove on a northern storm, and have the anchor down in South Beach Miami in 48 hours. We arrive exhausted with us sharing watches.

Do you have some kind of self steering? If not forget it! We all get through life differently, and this is my take since you asked. What ever you decide. BEST WISHES in arriving safely........i2f
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Old 06-05-2009, 15:53   #5
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Do it in hops, watch the tides for current in inlets dont go out too far or you will meet the gulfstream most of inlets are easily negotiated in good light but remenber you are heading west sun is low against you easey inlets with anchorage are on the charts base your travel at 4knots stop at night or you will be to tired there is a lot of traffic. let us know when you get the boat Ole
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Old 06-05-2009, 15:56   #6
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Claiborne Young's Cruising Guide to Eastern Florida is a good way to start your planning.
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Old 06-05-2009, 16:44   #7
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I will have an Autohelm. No, I don't plan on sailing too much at night.

I was thinking of Jacksonville to Ormond Beach-Daytona (New Smyrna maybe)-Melbourne-Port St. Lucie-Lake Worth-Miami-Angel Fish-Marathon

I just need to get an idea of the anchorages on the way.
I know Miami to Marathon, but not the rest. When I last came down it was from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale - but I didn't go on the outside past Hatteras. Mostly ditch stuff.

I was thinking (because of the wind direction) to go out fairly far on the first leg. BTW, how far is the Gulf Stream from Jacksonville.

Thanks Hud - I had'nt heard of that particular book.
Thanks Ole - yeah, I don't have charts yet.
Imagine - Green Cove? The only one I know is in WA
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Old 06-05-2009, 17:04   #8
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How long do you want each hop to be?
J'ville to Daytona is roughly 100 statute miles.
I'd add another day and pull in a little earlier that first night, into St. Augustine (make sure you have the right conditions for crossing the bar into the Matanzas River)(Have a beer at The Milltop for me);
Then make Daytona on day 2.
The rest of the hops seem reasonable, but that is a LOT of sailing with the wind on the fwd quarter -- and that's assuming you can get that many good days in a row -- I'd add at least 2 days for weather layovers. And, don't forget you'll likely be dealing with afternoon thunder squalls every day that time of year.

Sounds like a blast for a couple of guys. Sounds like fun solo, too -- as long as you're flexible

Get the Cruising Guide!

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Old 10-05-2009, 09:56   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawnconn View Post
I will have an Autohelm. No, I don't plan on sailing too much at night.

I was thinking of Jacksonville to Ormond Beach-Daytona (New Smyrna maybe)-Melbourne-Port St. Lucie-Lake Worth-Miami-Angel Fish-Marathon

I just need to get an idea of the anchorages on the way.
I know Miami to Marathon, but not the rest. When I last came down it was from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale - but I didn't go on the outside past Hatteras. Mostly ditch stuff.

I was thinking (because of the wind direction) to go out fairly far on the first leg. BTW, how far is the Gulf Stream from Jacksonville.

...
I have sailed a fair amount in the area (St Augustine-Fort Pierce) you mention; if you stay about 8 - 10 km off shore, you're ok with the Gulf Stream until just about Fort Pierce. In fact, it is likely that you would benefit from the counter currents. South of Fort Pierce, the stream fairly quickly gets closer to shore. To get an up to date idea of the location of the stream (for free ) - check out </title> <meta name="description" content=""> <meta name="keywords" content=""> <meta name="author" content="Frank Monaldo"> <meta name="generator" content="AceHTML 5 Pro"> <title> AVHRR Imagery Ocean Remote Sensing Group - JHU/APL
This page contains the stream surface temps and good enough for basic location info.

My personal experience with the wind patterns (during Aug) contradict your assumption: Only in the early morning hours (until the land heats up) do you have anything that blows from the West - and that fairly light and w/in a mile or two of the shoreline. It is mostly dead calm all the way until the sea breeze starts blowing from the East/Southeast around 1 - 2 PM. This can - if you're lucky- reach about 15 - 18 knots - to provide some excellent sailing

As far as anchorages go, they are scattered all along: I am not very familiar w/ St Augustine area (am about to move my boat to a marina there) - I was told that many folks anchor around the Bridge of Lions (by the fort) but this anchorage can apparently give you some cheap thrills due to strong currents.

Further south, Port Canaveral is very nice if you go through the Canaveral lock, and anchor in Banana river - either South right by the lock fenders (a little noisy due to the highway traffic) or North; East of the Space Center channel, right by the power lines. Make sure you don't anchor anywhere near the barge canal itself because the fuel barges pass through there as early as 5 AM(!)

There are numerous convenient anchorages along the ICW-Southbound from Port Canaveral area - you need to traverse the barge canal and make it to Indian River (ICW) As a singlehander as well, I don't care much for the ICW but you seem to have a bunch of time and may enjoy it more.

At Fort Pierce, Faber Cove is one off the best and most protected anchorages - it is just South of and parallel to the inlet - marked clearly on the charts. You have to get to the ICW from the inlet, turn South, and turn East into Faber Cove after the causeway bridge.

If you happen to be passing through St Augustine area during one of my "monthly ten days on the boat" period, send me a message and my girlfriend and I can offer you a cold drink in exchange for hearing your stories

Fair winds!

Sailndive
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Old 10-05-2009, 16:12   #10
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Thanks Sailndive for the info - that's what I was hoping for! and for the offer of a cold one - I'll definitely keep it in mind when I get there.
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Old 10-05-2009, 19:43   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawnconn View Post
I will have an Autohelm. No, I don't plan on sailing too much at night.

I was thinking of Jacksonville to Ormond Beach-Daytona (New Smyrna maybe)-Melbourne-Port St. Lucie-Lake Worth-Miami-Angel Fish-Marathon

I just need to get an idea of the anchorages on the way.
I live in the Melbourne, FL area, actually a couple of miles west of Cape Canaveral. By the time you get down here the winds will be prevailing from the ESE to Southeast during the day and calm at night. Your entire itinerary will have the wind dead on your nose or really close hauled. Who said they'd be SW?

The stream is roughly 100 miles east of Jacksonville, 25 miles east of Cape Canaveral, and almost touches shore at Lake Worth. There is almost no way to avoid it except by hugging the shore. And there are eddies that flow off the main current.

There's a reason people use the ditch. It's not so bad, my boat's parked on it.
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Old 10-05-2009, 20:30   #12
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Dawnconn,

Rick brings up a valid point; how well will your boat point? Mine could point very high and that's why I mentioned "excellent sailing" as far South as Fort Pierce where the stream is almost eight nm off shore. If yours does not point as well, you may be in for a good bit of tacking back and forth.

There is another point about the inlets in the area, particularly the Ponce de Leon and Fort Pierce inlets: It often gets very rough if there is ebb tide and a counter (very typical) wind from the East... I have seen six or seven foot standing waves in the mouths of these inlets more than once.

Between Port Canaveral and Ft Pierce, there is Sebastian inlet: Do NOT try to go through this inlet with a sailboat.

Somewhat further North of Saint Marys inlet (GA-FL state line), there is San Andrews sound and inlet: This is a very tricky inlet with shifting shoals that the charts don't/can't keep up with. If you see a shrimper going in and you can keep up and follow them, you can make it into the ICW from offshore through this inlet.

If you'd like info about St Simons Island (Brunswick) GA or Cumberland Island and Fernandina Beach areas, just ask.

Fair winds!

Sailndive
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