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Old 29-02-2008, 16:23   #16
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Terry

I can not help you with the route but I live in Savannah. Look me up when you arrive and I'll treat you to a cold one !
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Old 05-03-2008, 10:57   #17
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My boat was a German flagged boat, and in all the commotion I overlooked getting U.S. Documented. It was an extremely costly mistake. Plus I bought the boat In St. Maarten. So I was importing a foreign flagged, and built boat. You should have no problems at all coming in.

If you are going to spend some time anywhere I would suggest in the Bahamas after picking up the family in Georgetown. From SVI to Georgetown you should have about a 4-6 day trip. We did El Fajardo, eastern P.R., to San Salvador in 4 days with some light, and some moderate wind......BEST WISHES, and feel free to P.M. me if you wish.....John
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Old 05-03-2008, 11:35   #18
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I made the trip from St Thomas to the Chesapeake Bay in May, 2006, with a stopover in the Abacos, just for the heck of it. We sailed directly from Crown Bay Marina, St Thomas, to Marsh Harbour, Abaco, entering the Sea of Abaco at Man-O-War Cay. We departed May 1st, and I believe it took us six days, if memory serves. That leg was an easy sail, with the Tradewinds on the port quarter most of the way. We got a little weather (squalls with lightning) ,and a wind shift east of Eleuthera, but no problems. We spent five days checking out the bars, restaurants and anchorages in the Abacos--fun!

The part of the trip that I was most concerned about was the Abaco-Cape Hatteras-Norfolk leg. A friend of mine attempted that passage in early May, 2002, and was hammered by a series of three strong Lows coming off the mainland. His main was shredded, and they spent three days lying ahull east of the Gulf Stream, taking knockdowns from time to time, and maintaining regular Satphone comms with the Coast Guard. They finally were able to limp into Georgetown, SC, and made the rest of the trip north in the ICW. A couple of other sailboats were sunk offshore during that same storm, I believe.

With that in mind, I hired Commanders Weather to send me weather updates via email over SSB. We made sure we had a decent weather window at departure, and got daily updates as we approached Cape Hatteras. As it turned out, a front came to meet us off Hatteras, but it was very weak, so we stayed outside the whole way.

Our route from the Abacos was to depart from Allans-Pensacola Cay in the north, and sail west on a close reach to pick up the Gulf Stream off Melbourne. We stayed just inside the western wall of the Stream all the way north, so we could duck to the west if it got too rough or stormy. The trip was uneventful, with light to moderate winds and some motor sailing.

Another friend left Florida about two weeks later, and got slammed by a strong gale and ducked into Charlestown for a few days.

I think May's the time to go, but a weather routing service will at least give you some idea of what you might be facing. They aren't too expensive for an intial forecast followed by daily updates. If you want to dally along the way, the Abacos make sense, as they're the northernmost opportunity for a sheltered anchorage if you need to wait for the weather.

Good sailing!
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Old 05-03-2008, 19:12   #19
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Nice summary Hud. One clarification point...west from Allans brings you over the banks and to the standard exit points for FL transits. Is this what you did from Allans or did you head out the channel north till you cleared the banks before heading west? Just curious.
I always avoid Hatteras and tuck in at Beaufort. 3 guys were picked up on a sailboat off Hatteras by a cruise ship a couple of weeks ago. They had forestay gone and all sails shredded and had been adrift without ability to navigate for a week after being hit by a storm rolling off the coast. For those interested...here's the rescue video followed by an interview with the captain and crew:



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Old 06-03-2008, 04:35   #20
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Hi, Cam.

We left Allans-Pensacola in the afternoon, and decided to head north into the Atlantic. We went out through the channel at Moraine Cay, I believe (don't have my charts or log with me). It might have made more sense to head west across the banks, because there was a bit of a current against us, maybe a knot or so, on the outside.

Hatteras is a gamble, but I felt pretty good about staying outside with the weather routing we got from Commanders, plus other sources available over the Pactor. Travelling just inside the western edge of the Stream, we exited off Diamond Shoals about sunset, and actually had to motor-sail to Cape Henry, the winds were so light.

I wouldn't do Hatteras outside without good weather routing, and I'd be conservative in making that decision. A lot of boats get into trouble out there.
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Old 06-03-2008, 06:55   #21
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HUD thanks for the info, great post!

Hatteras won't be an issue for us, not going that far north but we will probably take the route you suggest to the Bahamas. The plan is to go directly there then have the wife and kids fly down and meet us so we can spend 2-3 weeks in the Bahamas. Then on to Savannah, probably crossing to Florida and then hopping north.


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Old 06-03-2008, 14:09   #22
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Hud...thanks. Haven't tried it that way...good to know of the current. I wasn't criticizing going off Hatteras...anyone with a mast height over 65' HAS to...just commenting on what a chickens*** I am!! ...and sharing an interesting rescue story. All best...
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Old 30-03-2008, 16:09   #23
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I did the trip you guys are talking about in the spring of 2006. I have my route and discussions on our website. I hope i'm not too late to help here.

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