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Old 12-06-2013, 09:41   #16
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Re: North Carolina to St. Thomas

Without any knowledge of boat, personnel or ability, its hard to write posts being judgemental about either routes, weather, or passagemaking with children.

From Little Creek, you need a solid 2 day forecast.. the stream is far offshore and is wide. Another poster has stated the course I would take... assuming an ICW friendly boat, head to Morehead City NC and reassess weather from there... Plot a route to USVI and have an exit strategy. Categorically, doing this trip without access to NOAA or other weather info is a no-no imo.

There is no longer a Hurricane season..simply probabilities, and similarly so with winter gales, there is, however, an insurance season
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:48   #17
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Re: North Carolina to St. Thomas

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Originally Posted by Salty East View Post
four children age 7-17.
What crap about the kids not going.

I did my first world championships at 17!

Lots of cruising boats have kids 12 or 13 standing their own watches, some at night.

And you lot want to emasculate them! Stuff them in cotton wool like pathetic junior morons.

Crusing is ABOUT giving your children a life and responsability.

Cruising is about being a family. Everyone learns. Everyone risks. Daddy becomes Dad. Mommy becomes Mum (or Mom) and the teddy bear is left back in the crib.

Take yourself and children for life affirming adventures on your sail boat. Its what this forum is meant to be about!


Mark
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:47   #18
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Sept can be the worst part of the H season just put that in ye brain
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Old 12-06-2013, 13:20   #19
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Re: North Carolina to St. Thomas

statistically, absolutely...

Atlantic hurricane - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

this is why most insurance companies have lock out periods thru Oct.
Me?.. I would be in Morehead city Nov 1 waiting to go..

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Sept can be the worst part of the H season just put that in ye brain
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Old 12-06-2013, 13:37   #20
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Re: North Carolina to St. Thomas

Did the same trip February 2012 from Little River, SC to Fajardo, PR. I followed the British Admiralty Sailing directions setting out for Bermuda then turning south until picking up the trades.

We did encounter 40+ knt winds for 3-4 days. Nothing outrageous but rig for a substantial sail.

I will be headed back to PR this December over the same basic route.

Good sail.

Jim
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Old 12-06-2013, 14:44   #21
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Re: North Carolina to St. Thomas

Having sailed from Norfolk to Red Hook in December 2012, and assuming that ends up being the choosen route (or from Morehead City/Beaufort), my take is this:

1) The Caribbean 1500 leaves too early, better to wait a couple of weeks until closer to the end of November or the first part of December for departure.

2) The only weather window you will get is 2 - 4 days, so get across the stream as quickly as you can and get in as much easting as possible for the conditions.

3) Hit I-65 and make your turn.

4) Watch out for the big boats that are out there.

5) Take plenty of sunscreen with you because it's cheaper here than it will be in St. Thomas.

6) Buy rum when you get there because it's cheaper in St. Thomas than it is here.

7) Be safe/have fun.
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Old 12-06-2013, 15:12   #22
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Re: North Carolina to St. Thomas

When in Charlotte Amalie (ah-mma-liah) - St. Thomas, stop by A.H. Riise store for the best prices and selections on liquors, imports and china; a duty-free mega shop complex. For best prices on jewelry, no one beats Cardaw also in Charlottle Amalie; a couple of blocks to the back of stores from St. John's ferry dock. Avoid shopping during the peak days when too many cruise ships are in the harbor. Sail away!

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Old 12-06-2013, 15:52   #23
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Re: North Carolina to St. Thomas

I have been up and down I-65 several times. However the best trip, of several I have made, going from Rhode Island, was one in which the owner let us take his yacht to Bermuda in September. We then hung out there until into November and then sailed to St Thomas.
Two shorter trips with a break in Bermuda and able to get out of NE before the autumn storms.
With today's weather forecasting capabilities both parts of the trip can be made (IMHO) without risk of encountering a hurricane.
Good luck with your trip.
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Old 12-06-2013, 17:24   #24
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Re: North Carolina to St. Thomas

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Originally Posted by gbanker View Post
I have been up and down I-65 several times. However the best trip, of several I have made, going from Rhode Island, was one in which the owner let us take his yacht to Bermuda in September. We then hung out there until into November and then sailed to St Thomas.
Two shorter trips with a break in Bermuda and able to get out of NE before the autumn storms.
With today's weather forecasting capabilities both parts of the trip can be made (IMHO) without risk of encountering a hurricane.
Good luck with your trip.
This is a very practical approach I think if you are departing New England, and if you don't mind laying over in Bermuda. Makes for about a 800 nm trip to St Thomas which is several hundred miles shorter than from Little Creek. Second choice would be as you mentioned from Chesapeake, but later in the season and with cold fronts. The thorny path would be last resort, but I would not rule it out. It might be the best choice for you, but we don't know what you're sailing, your experience, or if the kids have been offshore yet.

Hope it is a great trip
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Old 12-06-2013, 18:11   #25
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Re: North Carolina to St. Thomas

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
What crap about the kids not going.

I did my first world championships at 17!

Lots of cruising boats have kids 12 or 13 standing their own watches, some at night.

And you lot want to emasculate them! Stuff them in cotton wool like pathetic junior morons.

Crusing is ABOUT giving your children a life and responsability.

Cruising is about being a family. Everyone learns. Everyone risks. Daddy becomes Dad. Mommy becomes Mum (or Mom) and the teddy bear is left back in the crib.

Take yourself and children for life affirming adventures on your sail boat. Its what this forum is meant to be about!


Mark
"Take yourself and children for life affirming adventures"..
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Old 12-06-2013, 18:27   #26
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Re: North Carolina to St. Thomas

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Originally Posted by Salty East View Post
I will be sailing this fall from Maine to USVI with my husband and four children age 7-17. I read that Donald Street suggests sailing from Little Creek, NC to St Thomas. Is there a reason why I keep reading that most people sail in November?
Can this be done in late September early October? Or is the threat of hurricanes too big during that time? Any other reasons? Or thoughts about that trip?
Thank you!

On the way down island, we made it from Georgetown Bahamas to PR, nonstop, in 5 days, by just going out for 3 days, turning south, and going down for 2 more. It was a rough passage at first, hard to windward for much of it, but far preferable to the painstaking Van Sant way. I think it was safer too, at least for us... The motion to windward is brutal on our little tri, but we CAN seriously go to windward when needs be.

Almost a year later:
With the help of a weather router... My wife and I made a trip the other direction, from Trinidad to the Beaufort NC inlet, in just 12 sea days. We left during hurricane season on Oct 4th, (my birthday), and my present to myself, was getting the hell out of Trinidad!

We had run very low on money, and getting back to the US to get jobs was now the point, not casually touring the islands on the way up.

We sailed 2 days to Domonica, spent the night, and then two more days to Culebra PR. Then waited for two weeks, looking for our best weather window to take us home. While waiting, with the last of our cash... we toured PR, and went to Aricibo, which I had missed on the way down.

When we got the go ahead, we headed out for a straight line sail to the Beaufort NC inlet. It took 8 uneventful days.

Before deciding on this hurricane season passage, and being a bit concerned, I had a long phone conversation about it with Chris Parker, (the weather router). He convinced me that it was totally doable, in relative safety. This would be the first time we actually PAID for his services, and we would check in with him daily, by radio. (Ours was a really cheep radio, but with occasional "relays", we sucessfully made contact daily).

While still in the island chain, hurricane hidey holes for our shallow draft Searunner 34 trimaran were fairly abundant, so this was less of a concern.

When we headed out for the 8 day leg to NC, he had us dodging big weather systems so close, that we saw the lightning on the horizon! We never got more than 30 knots in a short blow, during the entire trip!

IF a "low" had formed close by, he assured us that he could give us a 4 day heads up, and 3 days on the formation of a hurricane. Unless it formed right on top of us, that gave us some running time to get out of the way.

A hurricane would have been VERY unlikely to just "form over us", without his seeing the correct conditions for it, so we would already be on a different course if it did.

Chris Parker assured me that he helps people make hurricane season passages regularly, and with an abundance of caution, on a fairly fast boat, it can be made safe due to daily weather checkins with him. After our very civilized passage, I believe this to be true. It was the best $150.00 I ever spent!

Have a safe trip,
Mark

PS: The last day, we had VERY narrowly averted being at sea IN THE GULF STREAM, riding out the gale that was coming the following day...
An hour after making landfall, (in the dark), after the owner of a local Morehead City restaurant loaned us his truck to search for fuel, we sat down in his restaurant for the best grouper dinner we ever had. Then, being EXHAUSTED, we enjoyed the free dockage that came with the meal. WOW!

It was our most magical passage... Hurricane season or not.
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Old 13-06-2013, 07:38   #27
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Re: North Carolina to St. Thomas

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Originally Posted by cheoah View Post
...but we don't know what you're sailing, your experience, or if the kids have been offshore yet.
Again, no offense intended to the OP, but the fact that they are asking a bunch of strangers on an internet forum why everyone says to wait until November, and if there is really a risk of hurricanes in September... I think that tells us pretty much all we need to know about their level of experience,
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Old 13-06-2013, 11:23   #28
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Re: North Carolina to St. Thomas

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Again, no offense intended to the OP, but the fact that they are asking a bunch of strangers on an internet forum why everyone says to wait until November, and if there is really a risk of hurricanes in September... I think that tells us pretty much all we need to know about their level of experience,
Well on face value, one would assume that she does not have the experience based on the questions, the mix up of inlets, etc. No problem OP, we all had to figure this out at some point.

On the other hand, some people ask very basic questions to test their own assumptions. I do that too sometimes, not so much on here because it is harder to have a dynamic exchange. One example is the Bermuda idea gbanker posted. OP may not have thought about that if they were locked into coastal runs/ICW and jumping off farther south. I would also feel good about taking this route in Sept with good high pressure and access to tropical outlook, and a sound boat properly outfitted. Wonder what a mooring costs in Bermuda? Is the anchorage good holding? I've certainly heard of people dragging there. MArinas would be too pricey, but one would be freshly provisioned from home a week prior, making it economical unless there are other costs like entry fees I'm not aware of..

She may also be less experienced than the husband - or the 17 y.o. for that matter - and testing the water independently of what he/they are always telling her. It is possible she's just trying to verify info that he's saying, so she might learn something new from a diverse group of sailors. My wife does this in relation to car and house repairs sometimes, jsut making sure I'm handling it to her satisfaction

Since she hasn't returned yet, we're left to our own imaginations.
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Old 09-10-2013, 23:03   #29
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Re: North Carolina to St. Thomas

Anyone have experience coming from Tortola to North carolina in Feb/march? I'm bringing a 47' cat up here sometime early next year and am looking for some input on the best time to make the passage. THanks!
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:23   #30
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Re: North Carolina to St. Thomas

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Originally Posted by thai ree View Post
Anyone have experience coming from Tortola to North carolina in Feb/march? I'm bringing a 47' cat up here sometime early next year and am looking for some input on the best time to make the passage. THanks!
Have made winter trips from the VI to FL, would not want to go any further north. Feb-Mar time is a really bad time of year for the trip, especially if you are referring to a straight shot to NC. You are in the peak of the winter weather patterns which means strong cold fronts blowing in from the north. That will give you gales from the N- NE, more frequent as you get further north. If you happen to be crossing the Gulf Stream when a front hits you will not have a good day.

If you absolutely must bring the boat back to the states in mid winter maybe a safer plan to sail through the NW Providence Channel to S Florida and then work your way up the coast from there.
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