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Old 17-11-2019, 16:12   #16
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Re: Sailing Beaufort to Miami -> Bahamas

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Originally Posted by mjscottinnc View Post
I can reinforce what Auspicious is saying. I left late (mid-November) and needed to be in Stuart by the beginning of December. Each day I left at first light regardless of weather and stopped at sun down. Made a hot dinner, plotted my next day's leg and went to sleep. Started over the next day. Day after day after day...
^^ This is what I was dancing around. First - 30 days of freeze-dried meals is not my idea of a good time. Let's not forget that if you have a water problem you have a food problem with dehydrated food. Look up failure cascade. Canned and fresh goods have liquid and give your some margin to plan a stop for repairs or support you for DIY. If you think it can't/won't happen to you I have stories.

If you're trying to make real progress down the ICW the key is to make dinner each night and put together your breakfast and lunch for the next day. Plan to anchor out as that gives you more options. You start each morning just before first light (first light is earlier than dawn) and you run until sunset and a bit. You can start coffee (or whatever) but you drink it when you are moving. That means you start planning your stop for the day after lunch without running aground or hitting anything. Anchor down, dinner, look at next day, bed, lather rinse repeat. It's a slog. You need a pee bottle in the cockpit or plan on hitting the drains (there is no man in the world who's aim is anything like as good as he thinks with a moving target). More significant *ahem* functions need to be planned for. Are we having fun yet? Sheldon Cooper's bathroom schedule from 'The Big Bang Theory' comes to mind.
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Old 18-11-2019, 12:08   #17
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Re: Sailing Beaufort to Miami -> Bahamas

Thanks to All.
Very good info.
So looks like the options are narrowed down to
1- Get help (captain/crew) and go completely on the outside.
2- ICW (pretty much motoring)

if I go with option 1 it would have to be during the last 2 weeks of 2019 (I have these 2 weeks off). Finding help during that time is doable (I think) but I can't count on finding a weather window during the last 2 weeks (or can I?)

If I go with option 2, then it will probably take me a long time as I will be working during the day (I work remotly). So probably it will take me at least a month. Which is fine. For this option, any recommendation for an ICW book/guid?

I sure prefer option 1, but not sure if it can be done within the time I want.
Thanks,
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Old 18-11-2019, 16:53   #18
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Re: Sailing Beaufort to Miami -> Bahamas

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any recommendation for an ICW book/guide?
My favorite by far is Mark and Diana Doyle, "A Mile-by-Mile Cruising Guide for Norfolk to Miami", 3rd ed, 2016. It is out of print, and you will have to search for it. Their book spends as much time talking about the life that is going on around you as on the wondering ICW channel and its shallow spots. You will learn a lot about the areas you are passing through. You might just want to stop and look around. After all, you are cruising.

Waterway Guide; it is their business. They have a couple of books for New Bern to Miami; "Atlantic" and "Southern". Remember, they live on advertising, so mostly you will learn about marinas and places where you can spend your money, but the anchorage information is there too. Much of their information is on-line and more current than their print editions. I prefer them to Active Captain because they are vetted. Their hazards are real.

Bob423, on-line or in a book, is useful if you are scared to death of running aground and trust your GPS like a Bible. Usually, he went thru ahead of you (a year or less before) and has comments, a usable route, and good advice. He does a great job, but he does not cover the whole ICW; he sails outside north of Miami because of his air draft.

Oh, and don't buy freeze dried food, and do fix a good hot meal for breakfast, maybe grits, eggs, and country ham; pancakes and bacon; biscuits and gravy; you know. Before you leave drive up to Wilson, get a couple of pounds of Parker's BBQ, freeze it, and any time you are feeling down, hack off a quarter pound, warm it up, cook some cornbread, put a little bourbon in your sweet tea, and all will be OK. After supper, put on a good DVD, crawl under a stack of blankets in the vee berth, and life will be perfect.

Oh, and to cover 50 statute mile a day, you only need to travel 5 kts for 9 hours. That is less than 8 hour work day with lunch and a little commute time. No matter the weather, it sure beats hell out of a cubical.

Bill
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Old 19-11-2019, 06:45   #19
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Re: Sailing Beaufort to Miami -> Bahamas

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Oh, and don't buy freeze dried food

Bill
I've never excluded anything based on the opinions or experiences of others, this is especially true about food and individual taste. I researched freeze dried food extensively before I selected it as the backup food source to normal fresh and frozen. You will notice that it was a backup, I usually scratch prepared my meals. A buddy of mine is a backpacker and suggested I try three different commercial brands which I did. I selected Mountain House, the breakfasts are so-so, the breakfast skillet is the best of the bunch. Some of the entrees are absolutely delicious. I can highly recommend the Chili-Mac, Chicken-a-la-king, Chicken and rice, Pasta Primavera, but the Beef Stroganoff is the absolute top. You just add 1 - 2 cups of boiling water, pour it in, stir, stir at 5 minutes, eat at 10 minutes. At the end of a tiring day, its was fast, it was hot, and to me tastes just as good as anything I could have made. Don't take my or anyone else's word, go to sporting goods store or Walmart buy one and give it a try, decide for yourself. I'll will say its convenient as hell, easy to stow and when the only island grocery store is selling a single frozen pork chop for $75, makes a great alternative.

Some have cautioned about the water source and possible contamination. This is what I did to avoid that; I used the 3 day purification process on all three inboard water tanks before filling and only use that water for bathing, cleaning, and laundry. I kept 2 dedicated, water-rated jerry cans in the galley. I used that water for drinking and cooking. Each filling of the jerry can I'd purify the can water. I single handed and a single jerry can lasted a very long time and my galley had a nitch in between cabinets where the can fit perfectly.
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Old 19-11-2019, 07:51   #20
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Re: Sailing Beaufort to Miami -> Bahamas

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Originally Posted by AST View Post
Thanks to All.
Very good info.
So looks like the options are narrowed down to
1- Get help (captain/crew) and go completely on the outside.
2- ICW (pretty much motoring)

if I go with option 1 it would have to be during the last 2 weeks of 2019 (I have these 2 weeks off). Finding help during that time is doable (I think) but I can't count on finding a weather window during the last 2 weeks (or can I?)

If I go with option 2, then it will probably take me a long time as I will be working during the day (I work remotly). So probably it will take me at least a month. Which is fine. For this option, any recommendation for an ICW book/guid?

I sure prefer option 1, but not sure if it can be done within the time I want.
Thanks,

If you need to schedule two weeks off in advance, then you would have to be pretty lucky to get a good weather window. We used waterway guide a few years ago and were very happy with it. Active captain can be helpful as well.
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Old 19-11-2019, 08:17   #21
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Re: Sailing Beaufort to Miami -> Bahamas

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Originally Posted by mjscottinnc View Post
I've never excluded anything based on the opinions or experiences of others, this is especially true about food and individual taste.

/snip/

Some have cautioned about the water source and possible contamination. This is what I did to avoid that; I used the 3 day purification process on all three inboard water tanks before filling and only use that water for bathing, cleaning, and laundry. I kept 2 dedicated, water-rated jerry cans in the galley. I used that water for drinking and cooking. Each filling of the jerry can I'd purify the can water. I single handed and a single jerry can lasted a very long time and my galley had a nitch in between cabinets where the can fit perfectly.
I can't speak for Bill. My reservations with regard to freeze-dried foods is all about the water supply. I certainly carry emergency water but if tanks get compromised dependence on freeze-dried food makes an inconvenience into a real problem. That is why I prefer canned goods for deep pantry. That is not to say there is not a place for dried foods: dried mushrooms give you a lot more variety than canned. As a substantial part of your provisioning, even as back up, I don't think it is advisable.

Note that using backpackers as references is off point as they are more weight sensitive and less likely to have water supply problems. Mountain House is quite decent if you insist.

I would question why you can't drink and cook out of your tank water. Aside from convenience that moves your water jugs from a failure potential to back-up. Fix the tank problem.
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Old 19-11-2019, 09:06   #22
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Re: Sailing Beaufort to Miami -> Bahamas

AST, you might be interested in where we were each night during our trips to the Bahamas.

Bill
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File Type: xls Bahamas Trips.xls (60.5 KB, 33 views)
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Old 19-11-2019, 21:00   #23
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Re: Sailing Beaufort to Miami -> Bahamas

Absaloutly wsmurdoch.
I sent you a PM.
thanks
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Old 20-11-2019, 03:18   #24
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Re: Sailing Beaufort to Miami -> Bahamas

Bob423 tracks, Aqua Map with WaterwayGuide POIs and Corps of Engineers surveys are my "go to" tools in ICW... really a less stressful trip.
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Old 20-11-2019, 05:45   #25
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Re: Sailing Beaufort to Miami -> Bahamas

...and if after motoring south in the ICW you find it is not for you, there is a recent and useful thread on the Sailnet Forum that advocates sailing outside this time of year. https://www.sailnet.com/forums/cruis...i-nov-dec.html

Bill
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:29   #26
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Re: Sailing Beaufort to Miami -> Bahamas

...I would rather stick needles in my eyes than travel down the ICW.
...Going outside is not nearly as difficult as people think.
...I've done the trip to the B'mas countless times, many times solo.
...This time of the year is especially good. Watch the weather for an approaching front, which will come ticking down the coast like clockwork.
...As the front approaches, winds will switch to the west, nor-west, and seas along the coast will be completely or mostly flat. Keep close to shore to enjoy flat seas and the best sailing you will ever have. You have to go offshore a few miles at Cape Canaveral, but should be just fine.
...Divide the trip up, J'ville to Cape Canaveral is an easy overnighter and you will have a glorious sail down the coast. If the weather holds ( the front stalls) continue on down to Ft. Pierce or even West Palm Beach.
..If dividing the trip up, Canaveral to Ft. Pierce is another easy trip. Leave early in the morning and you can make Ft.P by evening.
..Ft.P to WPB is an easy day sail.
..I've done this trip from J'ville to WPB beach in about 1.5 days, riding a front all the way down, speedo pegged and flat seas. Delicious !
...Once in WPB, check the weather again. You want to do the crossing in a " pre-frontal" wind condition, ie, winds out of the west. Another sleigh ride and you will be across lickety split.
Like the ride down, crossing to the B'ma bank is best done with a west wind. Another sleigh ride.
...It's that simple....really !!
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:07   #27
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Re: Sailing Beaufort to Miami -> Bahamas

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...I would rather stick needles in my eyes than travel down the ICW.
What is it about traveling the ICW that so many people hate?
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:41   #28
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Re: Sailing Beaufort to Miami -> Bahamas

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What is it about traveling the ICW that so many people hate?


Itís not Manly enough, no photo ops of being in heavy weather gear and being lashed by storm waves at the helm.
We do it often as we are in no hurry and we can stop every night, anchor and get a good nights sleep, and weather really isnít nearly as important. You really donít need a weather window.
It IS a motoring proposition though, sections can be sailed, but not many.
It is often slower of course, plan on 50 miles a day, but it may not be slower if you have to wait a week for a weather window to go outside.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:13   #29
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Re: Sailing Beaufort to Miami -> Bahamas

..I've done the ICW from the Chesapeake Bay on down south and that prompted me to vow never again.
..# 1. You have a sailboat, not a powerboat. The sails are not there for show, so use them.
.. # 2. The ICW has many uncharted shoals....some change day by day, others week by week. You are guaranteed to get acquainted with several of them and if you have the misfortune to hit one on an outgoing tide, sit back and enjoy the scenery, because you will be there for a while. High tide may only arrive around midnight, so now you have to navigate the ICW at night...maybe a windy, rainy, very dark night.
..#3. The ICW has numerous inlets, all of which are governed by tides, so you can count on having an adverse current at least 50% of the time. some of these currents have quite some speed to them....get used to making 2 knots over the ground.
..#4. Barge traffic ! You can't compete with a barge, so you will need to move out of the way, usually to the side, where you will run aground.
..#5. Powerboat traffic. Big powerboats provide big wakes, whether going slow or fast, which will rock the fillings out of your teeth.
..#6. Bugs. bugs love slow moving sailboats and if you anchor overnight somewhere, the bugs will love you even more.
..#7. Bridges. While many bridges are now fixed span, many are not, so trust me on this one, you will come to hate them.
..#8. Figure on only doing 8 hours motoring a day....and you will motor...a lot !!
..#9. If you stop overnight at a marina, bring a fat wallet.
..#10. General boat traffic. You will be glued to your steering wheel for the duration of the day. Potty breaks....ha ? Run below to fetch a beer....sure...good seamanship to leave your sailboat un-helmed.

...The list is endless....but my question is why ??

...I tell you why...FEAR !!!...Why get a sailboat in the first place if you don't like the ocean?

...Many newbies think 6" is a " big" wave...get real !. Waves are not bad offshore, even coming at you. After a while, you will think of a 3' wave as " normal"

...The weather is not constant, so just use the wind. If you have to wait for favorable winds, just wait. Cruising means you should have no time table.

...I can tell you for a fact, 99% of sailors that get in a jam, is because they " have" to be somewhere on a certain date.

..Even a small sailboat is perfectly capable of handling a bit of adverse weather. After a while, you will get some salt in your veins and actually start to enjoy it....and surprise, surprise, you will quickly appreciate your boat's ability to pound thru' or over a wave.

..South Florida is filled with sailboats that have come down the ICW. First time, those boats poke a head outside an inlet and have a bit of ocean come splashing onboard, mamma will tell you....it's me of the boat, bucko !!

..Honestly, sailing offshore is tranquil, you will make better time, be able to fetch a beer, enjoy counting stars...etc, etc, etc....maybe even catch some fish...

..Sailing offshore means you will always be in reach of the USCG, Seatow, etc, but it's reasonable to expect you will have all the requisite charts and safety gear.

...Anyway, do what you want....I'm just trying to give you the other side of the picture.
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Old 02-12-2019, 13:14   #30
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Re: Sailing Beaufort to Miami -> Bahamas

“Have to fit passage into 2 week’s booked vacation
Schedules are what get offshore sailors into needless trouble - can’t schedule weather.
If you’re forced to go when booked off, you’ve answered your own question......stick inside, slow & tedious as that might be. Plan for it, take your time, enjoy lots of short hops.
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