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Old 13-10-2014, 06:53   #1
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Outside from Annapolis to Boca Raton next week

I've searched the forum and have read several threads on the general subject but I'm sure there are many more posts on this topic. So, if you can recommend any specific posts that you found helpful, I'd appreciate the reference.
Four of us are leaving next week on a 39 Beneteau. We're equipped with all the necessary com gear, radar, CG gear but no life raft. The plan is to go straight through with overnight watch standing. 2 of the crew are experienced but not with much blue water, 2 are not but have some experience. We will not be taking any weather chances so if it looks bad, we stay put and wait it. If something develops while we are out and it makes sense to pull in, we've got contingency ports identified down the coast. We are not under any firm time constraints but want to stay under 2 weeks if possible. We want to avoid the ICW.
Looking for general advice from the forum on the route and any other tips that might be helpful like:
What's a good start point from Norfolk?
Should we hug the coast?
How much time would be added if we took the ICW from Norfolk to Moorehead?
We're planning 2 on each watch, 4 hour watches. Is that about right?
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Old 13-10-2014, 07:14   #2
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Re: Outside from Annapolis to Boca Raton next week

It's generally advisable to ICW it to Beaufort NC and then head out. This gets you past Hatteras. With your crew you should make Norfolk to Beaufort in three days. It's about 200 statute miles from the hospital anchorage in Norfolk to Beaufort.
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Old 13-10-2014, 07:41   #3
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Re: Outside from Annapolis to Boca Raton next week

We have twice done Norfolk to Charleston on the outside of Hatteras once late in hurricane season and once in early November. We stayed close in on the red buoys that are on the 10 fathom line about 4-5 miles off-shore. We picked a 48 hour weather window with great care and were not on a schedule!

Your boat is much smaller than ours and your crew far less experienced. You need to follow Vasco's excellent advice and stay inside until you get to Beaufort. There is no bail-out off Hatteras!!!

We use www.passageweather.com for our wind and wave information. There is a hurricane brewing in the Caribbean it would not be a good idea to be off Hatteras as it passes.

Beaufort to Charleston is a straight shot but beware the Charleston breakwater it goes out a very long way...do not cut the corner especially at night.

From Jacksonville south there is often a south going counter current which is close to the beach south of Canaveral.

Good luck
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Old 13-10-2014, 08:13   #4
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Re: Outside from Annapolis to Boca Raton next week

I have to agree with the other posters, take the inside route to Beaufort. Going around Hatteras might save a day on the whole trip, but you could just as likely lose a day waiting in the Norfolk area for a weather window - especially with Gonzalo expected to be a Hurricane by tomorrow and somewhere near Bermuda about the time you may want to depart.
Whether you go around Hatteras or go outside at Beaufort, the rest of your trip south of Frying Pan Shoals will be the same. You will need to stay within 50nm or so of the coast to avoid the GS, and much closer once you get south of Charleston.
So unless you have your heart set on getting a picture of the abandoned Diamond Shoals Light before it falls into the sea, there is really no benefit to going out at the mouth of the Chesapeake.



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Old 13-10-2014, 09:36   #5
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Re: Outside from Annapolis to Boca Raton next week

As you approach Boca Raton you want to enter at either Lake Worth Inlet and then onto the ICW southbound, or enter into Hillsborough Inlet, just south of Boca Raton and then come back north a few miles. DO Not enter into Boca Inlet,it is narrow and shoals up frequently. Having said that, Lake Boca just inside the inlet is a decent place to spend the night, use the north end of the lake and stay on the outer edge of the Lake, do not cut across the lake as it is shallow in the middle.
My sailing club, Hillsborough Inlet Sailing Club, can be found on the net and is a good source of local knowledge.
Fair Winds...............
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