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Old 16-10-2018, 09:11   #1
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Norfolk to Bahamas

Hey there! I have a 33 Morgan out island that I will be sailing from Annapolis to Bahamas, one way or another. I will either be doing short coastal hops, or crossing the stream and heading south. The trip will be in the beginning of December, weather allowing.

I want to make the trip down the Chesapeake by myself, to get to know the boat and iron out any kinks.

This boat has no engine, just a sculling oar and sails. I am in no hurry to get anywhere and have no pressing schedule, just to start moving south the beginning of December.

If you are somewhat experienced but NOT a sailing snob, let me know if you would like to come along. I need someone with all the basics down, who could probably teach me a few things.

While it is a great boat, that is well maintained and all new rigging, it is not a brand new yacht with all the luxuries, so dont expect them.

If you are up for an awesome adventure, dont need all the frills, and are a team player, hit me up!
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Old 16-10-2018, 10:26   #2
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Re: Norfolk to Bahamas

It will be rough without a working engine.
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Old 16-10-2018, 10:50   #3
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Re: Norfolk to Bahamas

Um, I have no intention of discouraging you, but I suspect you may be disappointed in the number of responses that you get. First of all, leaving in December is going to expose you to some hellacious cold fronts, which means northerly winds often in excess of 30kt. You will be heading south, against the north-flowing gulf stream. This is a classical recipe for disaster. Second, without a motor, even an outboard, it will be very difficult to duck into most of the inlets en route, I can't imagine trying to sail in with the traffic density in many of the smaller inlets (although much less traffic in December, I wonder why...). So short coastal hops are going to be really, really challenging, if not dangerous. Third, unless you are headed directly to the Abacos (and even then), it doesn't make sense to cross the stream and then head for the Bahamas, much better to get to Florida and then cross the stream. This way you have safe harbors at hand (assuming you can get into them).



I wouldn't do that trip at that time under any reasonable circumstances, but if it's really something you are committed to, at least get an outboard motor. With that, hopefully the worst thing that will happen is that you will get punished by a cold front but make it to safety OK. It only goes downhill from there.


Good luck to you, let us know how it went! Pete
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Old 16-10-2018, 15:18   #4
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Re: Norfolk to Bahamas

This is a bad plan in so many ways. Think it over carefully.
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Old 16-10-2018, 16:01   #5
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Re: Norfolk to Bahamas

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/....php?p=2688037

I'm linking to page 4 of that thread that started much like your adventure is about to start. Seven days after he got on his new boat it was on a NC beach.

You certainly make it sound like you've never sailed this Morgan OI before and, perhaps, are pretty new to sailing yourself. If I'm wrong, please feel free to ignore me, but...

Please, please, do not take a small, slow, engineless boat into the North Atlantic in winter. It's the beginning of that trip that has me most worried for you, if you can at least find a way to get down the ICW to Beaufort, NC or so you'll be much better off. That's one of the most beneficial sections of the ICW, cuts out one of the worst parts of the outside trip down the east coast.

I'm not saying don't start sailing south and give up on cruising, I'm saying put a little more thought into this trip than that fellow did.
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Old 16-10-2018, 16:12   #6
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Re: Norfolk to Bahamas

How fast one can go with a sculling oar when crossisng a lock or bridge in ICW. 33 ft Morgan OI is not a light boat.
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Old 16-10-2018, 18:25   #7
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Re: Norfolk to Bahamas

Are you kidding me?
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Old 16-10-2018, 18:37   #8
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Re: Norfolk to Bahamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
How fast one can go with a sculling oar when crossisng a lock or bridge in ICW. 33 ft Morgan OI is not a light boat.
Fwiw, you aren't permitted to go under a bridge, or through a lock under manual power. Even a hip tow from a dinghy isn't allowed. You need to call Seatow or Towboat US, or some such.

I refuse to say how I know...
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Old 16-10-2018, 18:38   #9
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Re: Norfolk to Bahamas



Im sorry, but I had to do it.
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Old 16-10-2018, 19:05   #10
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Re: Norfolk to Bahamas

Good lord, this has train wreck written all other it...

A prudent sailor recognizes and minimizes risk.

Live to sail another day! God's speed.
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Old 16-10-2018, 19:29   #11
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Re: Norfolk to Bahamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjscottinnc View Post
Good lord, this has train wreck written all over it...
Shipwreck, surely?

Survival suits recommended for a sail in around Cape Hatteras in winter...they might then be able to return your remains to your family.
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Old 16-10-2018, 19:37   #12
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Re: Norfolk to Bahamas

We sailed down the Chesapeake, starting at Annapolis on 13 Dec 1997. Cold.
Went through the ICW from Norfolk. Christmas in a creek north of Elizabeth Ciry (docks were untenable because of a cold front). Cold. Carolinas. Cold. New Year in a creek in the middle of a salt marsh. Cold. Georgia. Cold. When we crossed the border into Florida, the sun shone. Mid January.

We had an Espar heater. You'll need something like that. Many facilities (marinas, fuel docks, pump outs) were closed or on limited services. Most tourist towns shuttered to some extent.

My advice? Truck the boat to Florida, if you don't have an engine.
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Old 16-10-2018, 20:38   #13
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Re: Norfolk to Bahamas

I also have engine free boat with sculling oar and I'm doing the same trip same time! Not sure if I go to bahamas, but I'm in chesapeake now, and heading south in a month or two.

This reminds me of thread last year where many told me I could not sail canal in winter without engine.

I would not take serious the comments of engine (ab)users here because a lot don't really know much about sailing in tight areas like inlets with tidal currents including ICW. Most also have never even operated a sculling oar. I can assure you it is not only possible, but can be a great trip.

It is no problem to sail in and out of the inlets along the way to avoid bad weather, however with a good boat, and sensible routing, it should be ok most of the time.

Basically: avoid the stream in strong northerly.

When you make it and post your success, it is fun to watch the responses explain why with "your" boat it is possible somehow, or even how "lucky" you were, or how what you did was "dangerous" or otherwise wrong or even "illegal".

It is hilarious to read these remarks from people who are addicted to using engine and don't know what to do without. You hear on radio call for tow when the engine breaks.

By far the most difficult is near land, and docking with the sails especially in currents. A lot of these (in)experienced mariners don't like the idea that they didn't gain much experience even after "sailing" for years since they use engine instead. So, they will put you down and complain rather than removing their own engine to try to learn for themselves!
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Old 16-10-2018, 20:51   #14
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Re: Norfolk to Bahamas

Hey there! Thanks so much for the encouraging words...I hesitated even posting it because it knew there would be responses like that but that was so negative. Can we talk more about the trip? I would love to hear more about your experience with the sculling oar...

Can we email ? Mine is lillymadisonw@gmail.com
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Old 16-10-2018, 21:47   #15
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Re: Norfolk to Bahamas

Sean, you have a tremendous amount of experience. It does not sound like the OP does.

And yeah you made it through the C&D canal ok. By then you had circled the globe and were pretty expert at handling your Bristol. I was one who warned you against it and just because you made it without incident does not mean I now think itís a good idea.
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