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Old 29-09-2010, 10:48   #16
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Thanks to all

I am once again amazed at the quality and speed of the responses in this forum. Thanks to all for the great advice--I'll follow up with my results and ICW findings next month.

John
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Old 29-09-2010, 13:29   #17
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It's possible to get from Norfolk, VA to Beaufort, NC in 43 hours. But I would not recomend it :-)

That was my first ever delivery, in December.
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Old 18-10-2010, 12:38   #18
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Completed first ICW transit-Thanks all for advice!

Just wanted to provide update on my Portsmouth to Oriental trek last week:

We left NYC area last Saturday evening, and made it to Portsmouth (Tidewater Yacht Marina; $2/ft, with pool, restauarant, and megayachts abounding) near MM Zero around 7 PM Monday. Trip down NJ and DelMarVa coast was uneventful and mostly pleasant. We stayed 3-4 miles off the coast, and actually enjoyed light northerly breeze for first 15 hours. TY Marina worked well for us, as they brought the fuel right to our dock, and we were able to get underway Tuesday morning at 0530, with plenty of visibility from all the lights in the Norfolk area.

Our early departure put us in a good rhythm to clear the the lock and three bridges that had time restrictions, so we were passing Coinjock by early afternoon, despite our reduced speed (around 5.5 kts @2500 RPM-definitely due for prop and bottom cleaning!). We decided to press on through Albemerle Sound, which allowed for some nice sunset sailing and dining. We made it across to the bizarro gas station tie-up in Alligator River (Miss Hatties, or something like that).

After an early, unispired breakfast on Wednesday at the aforementioned gas station, we left around 0630 and continued down the Alligator and Pungo Rivers, and fianlly out into a short open run in Curricutick Sound, were we finally able to raise our sails for a bit. We dropped sails just in time to motor into Dowry Creek Marina at about 3 PM, which was the favorite marina so far. Nice place, good prices, and great people.

We left Dowry Creek at first light on Thursday, and had an easy motor down to Neuse River. We got caught mid-afternoon in the shallow and unprotected open water of the Neuse only a few miles short of Oriental. A cold front came in suddenly and the wind jumped from 10 kts up to 35+ kts in seconds. My worn out old jib was blown in minutes, and I heard another boat under full sails had been knocked down. After about 30 minutes of white caps and slamming, the sun came back and everything was placid again. We motored the last few miles to our assigned slip at Oriental Waterway Marina. Beautiful place, but the depth can get below 5' when the wind pulls the water away for a couple of days. Fortunately, we had at least 5 1/2 feet to into the slip, and were able to tie up by 3 PM Thursday.

We'll be back down there to continue the trip to FL in January, and will appreciate more tips on the southern ICW. I hope to try the Dismal Swamp route on the way up next Spring, as it sounded beautiful.

John
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Old 18-10-2010, 16:33   #19
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Interesting topic, what if you draw 7'2" - 7'5"

I hear no problem and some else says be ready to have headaches and better off going outside????
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Old 18-10-2010, 16:39   #20
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Seven feet is hard to do in the ditch. I would not do it.
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Old 18-10-2010, 16:52   #21
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good luck on seven feet,, i think 6 is even pushing it,,,did the ditch from fort lauderdale to norfolk in a vessel that draws 6.6 in 1998,,, had trouble then but the captain was mostly an idiot,,, ran aground 6 times,,, got stuck twice,,,, and he had a 200 ton master license,,,,he did not spent the time reading the charts
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Old 18-10-2010, 17:00   #22
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Are there any stretches that I can do?

Or can I realistically go inlet to inlet?
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Old 18-10-2010, 17:25   #23
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Neuse

It always blows in the Neuse, no matter what the forecast.
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Old 18-10-2010, 18:29   #24
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You'd have no problem doing the ICW from Norfolk to Beaufort with 7 or more feet. Many barges/tugs draw 9 feet through that area. After Beaufort it all depends on the current state of dredging in the bad spots. Right now, things are pretty good due, I guess, to stimulus money some of which was probably spent on dredging. We draw 6 feet and have done it all inside to Miami. I'm not sure 7 feet would be comfortable in 20 or so sections between Beaufort and Miami. In a few sections, I don't think tide could even help (Bakers Haulover comes to mind unless it was dredged since Spring '10).

Going outside is quite easy from Beaufort south, inlet to inlet. We like to go overnight from Beaufort/Cape Lookout to Charleston and then jump along the major, safe inlets (Port Royal, Saint Simons, Amelia, Jacksonville).
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Old 23-10-2010, 07:09   #25
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Going outside is quite easy from Beaufort south, inlet to inlet. We like to go overnight from Beaufort/Cape Lookout to Charleston and then jump along the major, safe inlets (Port Royal, Saint Simons, Amelia, Jacksonville).
A couple of notes:
if going from beaufort, you'll have 3 choices to deal with the cape fear
shoals:
1. go into Masonboro inlet, anchorage just inside, head down ICW for
next 15 miles where you then are in the Cape Fear river and head out
the inlet, bypass the shoals all together.
2. go far enough east to bypass them
3. There is a channel through them, check the charts, I wouldn't try in
unless in benign conditions.

Some ports are not convenient for south bound travelers, Port Royal is
one of them, you need to backtrack north about 15 miles to get to
Beaufort.
Tom
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Old 23-10-2010, 07:33   #26
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A couple of notes:

1. go into Masonboro inlet, anchorage just inside,
Tom
Can you elaborate? South is shallow. North to the town?
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Old 23-10-2010, 14:53   #27
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Can you elaborate? South is shallow. North to the town?
North, most go north of Motts channel, close to the dingy docks, only downside is there is a lot of small boat traffic, especially on weekends.
Tom
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Old 23-10-2010, 16:21   #28
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I have never had a problem with Frying Pan Shoals at Cape Fear. I stay outside/seaward of the Red "2"/Green "1" about 5 nm and zip right on by day or night. In the day you can actually get closer to the two buoys.
- - You are looking at about 200nm from Beaufort/Morehead City to Charleston Inlet so obviously that is a day/night/day leg unless you are really fast.
- - In any case I prefer to coast in on that leg at Georgetown / Winyah Bay as I really like that little town.
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Old 23-10-2010, 18:52   #29
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I have never had a problem with Frying Pan Shoals at Cape Fear. I stay outside/seaward of the Red "2"/Green "1" about 5 nm and zip right on by day or night. In the day you can actually get closer to the two buoys.
Are you talking about The Frying Pan Shoals Slue (as labeled on the NOAA charts)? I've been through there a half dozen times - it's almost 12 nm offshore. Do you know of a channel 5 nm out? If so, could you give a lat/lon of it? I plan on being there in a couple of weeks. I'd be quite surprised to learn of another way through there.
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Old 23-10-2010, 22:25   #30
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On NOAA chart 11520 there is only one set of Red "2" / Green "1" and they are about 12 nm off the Cape. I stay 5 nm further offshore at night in 3.5 to 7 fathom water. In the daytime I can stay closer to the buoys. There isn't any local name for the area on the above chart.
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