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Old 28-04-2015, 09:48   #16
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Location: Des Moines and the Lesser Antilles
Boat: PDQ 44i
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Re: NC to St Augustine delivery

We like to pick a good weather window and then go outside from Cape Fear to St. Augustine. The rhumb line stays just inside the Gulf Stream and it is usually a nice sail, much quicker than plodding down the ICW.
M Anderson, Capt.
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Old 04-05-2015, 19:06   #17
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Boat: '87 Irwin 43
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Re: NC to St Augustine delivery

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Originally Posted by doublewide View Post
We like to pick a good weather window and then go outside from Cape Fear to St. Augustine. The rhumb line stays just inside the Gulf Stream and it is usually a nice sail, much quicker than plodding down the ICW.
M Anderson, Capt.
S/V Seabbatical
Sounds good, thanks.

When I do get to my chart study, anybody know how much room I'll find between deeper water east of Frying Pan Shoals and the Gulfstream?
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Old 04-05-2015, 19:09   #18
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Re: NC to St Augustine delivery

That is if we exit at Beaufort, NC and go all offshore past Cape Fear.
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Old 04-05-2015, 19:42   #19
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Location: North Carolina (cruising)
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Re: NC to St Augustine delivery

I like that Irwin. I have my eye on one too. I would be very interested in your survey report. Please personal message me and keep in touch. I would love to hear how the trip goes. I vote for the ocean route. The ICW Sucks !!!! Ask me how I know....
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Old 04-05-2015, 20:00   #20
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Re: NC to St Augustine delivery

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Originally Posted by malyea View Post
When I do get to my chart study, anybody know how much room I'll find between deeper water east of Frying Pan Shoals and the Gulfstream?
Not much... And it's often rather sloppy in that vicinity :-) In settled conditions I'll usually pass through Frying Pan Slue, but no way do you want to try that at night...

I really don't know why you'd want to go around Frying Pan, it's really not significantly shorter than going back in at Wrightsville, and back out at Southport... Cape Fear/Frying Pan is like a mini-Hatteras, that place makes its own damn weather... On a boat that is new to you, do you really want to be out off Frying Pan at midnight your first night out, in early summer, maybe some thunderstorms getting ready to fire up in the vicinity of the Stream? I don't get it...

Shoot on over to Masonboro Inlet instead... Spend the night in Wrightsville, celebrate your first day's run with a dinner at the South Beach Grill...

Fly down the Cape Fear River on the ebb, back outside at Oak Island, it's an easy overnight to Charleston, or perhaps South Edisto River... From either of those, another easy overnight should put you in St Augustine...

Ducking back inside S of Cape Fear can be a bit problematic when heading south, as most of the entrances trend strongly to the NW, and can involve a LOT of backtracking, and loss of distance/time saved by running outside... The only entrance between S Edisto and the FL line that doesn't involve a significant turn back to the NW, and rejoins the ICW in fairly short order, is Sapelo Sound... And, as with all entrances along that part of the coast, if you happen to hit it on the ebb, it can take you forever to get back in...

Be wary of St Augustine, plenty of boats have come to grief there in the last couple of years... If there's any real swell running, you probably want to go in the St John's at Mayport, instead... The channel into St Augustine has developed a considerable dogleg to the N on the way in, the buoys are small and can be tough to pick up with any sea running, and on the ebb it can be pretty nasty...

Good luck with the new boat, enjoy the trip...


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Old 04-05-2015, 23:06   #21
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Re: NC to St Augustine delivery

Don't go offshore around Frying Pan Shoals. You need to go WAY WAY offshore to be safe. And then you tangle with the Stream. Better to stay in the ICW until south of the shoals.
Stay inside at least as far south as Cape Fear River/Southport. Then go outside and head for St Augustine. That has worked well for us.

Capt Mark Anderson
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Old 06-06-2016, 19:06   #22
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NC to St Augustine delivery - FINAL REPORT

Just to close the loop - ie, compare this final report with the above/previous advice given...interesting comparison.

Executed a successful offshore delivery/passage last Dec 19 - 23 of my Irwin 43 singlehanded.

Departed Beaufort, NC at slack tide early Dec 19, flew down track to round Cape Fear/Frying Pan Shoals about 2230 that night on a close starboard reach.

Plenty of water depth across the 'shoals' while still staying well inside the Gulf stream.

Adjusted course to southwest towards Charleston in case I wanted to duck in - did not. Favorable westerly wind at 15 to 20 on the beam so flew down the coast 30 - 50 miles offshore.

I was abeam Savannah and crossing the shipping approach lanes by early evening with a pod of 10' dolphin riding the bow wake. Love AIS!

Rough patch of weather from 2300 till 0200 with steep waves - wind 23 gusting 28 and seemed to be opposing maybe a counter current - got tossed about pretty good.

Hove to for some rest after the rough patch, cleaned fuel filters at sunrise and resumed for STA sea buoy.

Motored in light air most of 3rd day and spotted St Augustine lighthouse after sunset. Too dark to enter the inlet, hove to and slept/napped standing off till dawn.

St Augustine is a fine inlet and was in my new slip by 0900.

Weather was chilly but at no time cold or freezing. Frying Pan Shoals was a non event. Maximizing time offshore beats the ICW for me every time.

Had a great offshore sail.

Cheers
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