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Old 14-08-2016, 14:03   #1
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Single Handed sailing from Chesapeake to Bahamas

I am sailing single handed to Bahamas from Chesapeake Bay end of this year. Anyone here done this? I am on a Baba 30 which will do about 5 knots. I am looking for some experienced advice on how to tackle it. I plan on taking the ICW to Oriental area of NC. Then taking to blue water possibly sailing between the Gulf Stream and Land till I get to Northern Florida before crossing the gulf stream. Sailing about 10 -15 mile off shore doing 15 min. increments in sleep. I would like to marina hop down the coast to Florida in order to be able to sleep every night but find it would be quite a distance between anchorages from what I can tell on charts. I feel safety at sea when getting sleep plenty of room and little worries of hitting anything on leeward land. I have also thought of sailing south on the east side of the gulf stream to get to the Bahamas. I feel more comfort far from land when tackling sleep. Looking at charts it just seems like there is so many thing to avoid sailing close to land and I dont want to end up in heavy easterly winds so close to land. Any advice or input? Thanks
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Old 14-08-2016, 14:23   #2
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Re: Single Handed sailing from Chesapeake to Bahamas

Last November I sailed single-handed from Charleston to the Abacos, where I cleared in at Green Turtle Cay. It took ~4 days in my Island Packet 380. I chose a route east of the Gulfstream and waited for a front to pass so I could ride the back of it -- I essentially had a port reach the whole way. Once I lost sight of land, I saw an average of two other boats/day on my Vesper AIS, and none were close enough to generate an alarm. I felt comfortable sleeping under those conditions, but still woke up about every hour to check on things. It was great fun!
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Old 14-08-2016, 14:26   #3
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pirate Re: Single Handed sailing from Chesapeake to Bahamas

Head out of Beaufort for Bermuda and hang a right 50-100 miles offshore.. use the back eddies from the Stream and lessen your collision stress.
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Old 14-08-2016, 18:59   #4
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Re: Single Handed sailing from Chesapeake to Bahamas

Very easy to do the ICW route as well. Plenty of anchorages and marinas all the way down, just study your guidebooks and you'll be fine (should you choose that route). Some days you can do 50+ miles, some days 35 or 40. ICW will take much longer, but you will be well-rested. You can also hop offshore and go back inshore at your discretion, as there are plenty of good and well-marked inlets along the way. For what it's worth, I'm going to the Exumas in November, and my plan is to go offshore from Charleston to Ft. Lauderdale on the western side of the gulfstream and then crossing to Nassau with weather. I draw too much to run the ICW, but I like the idea of being able to duck into an inlet for any reason that might come up.
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Old 15-08-2016, 08:30   #5
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Re: Single Handed sailing from Chesapeake to Bahamas

I did this last year from Connecticuit to Nassau. Well traveled route and plenty of places to tuck in. I went from Cape May outside to Norfolk then down the ditch to Beaufort avoiding Hatteras. (In hindsight conditions were such that this wasn't necessary but had a great time on the inside.)

I might suggest getting as far south as you can before crossing, Stuart or West Palm to West End or Lauderdale/Miami to Bimini.

Enjoy!
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Old 15-08-2016, 08:53   #6
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Re: Single Handed sailing from Chesapeake to Bahamas

I'm planning sailing down the West side of the Stream this winter too. A friend of mine was coming North that way this year and got spun 360 by a thunderstorm with gusts that topped 50 knots off the Canaveral coast.
For that reason, I am considering hiring Chris Parker for weather routing and forecasting prior and during the preparation and timing the departure. I'm not sure of the cost, and there are probably heaps of other methods to be sure, but he and his team demonstrate careful consideration to the South Florida and Bahamas sailing community.
He offers weather insights at numerous gams and boat shows, if you not familiar with him, and can be found at:
https://mwxc.com/
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Old 15-08-2016, 09:48   #7
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Re: Single Handed sailing from Chesapeake to Bahamas

Dear Skipper, I recently sailed in a 30' sloop from New Smyrna Beach to the Bahamas. There is too much to talk about in an e-mail. If you would like to talk on the phone I am at 386-410-4095.

Yours,
Steve Baker
New Smyrna Beach, FL
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Old 15-08-2016, 10:11   #8
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Re: Single Handed sailing from Chesapeake to Bahamas

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Dear Skipper, I recently sailed in a 30' sloop from New Smyrna Beach to the Bahamas. There is too much to talk about in an e-mail. If you would like to talk on the phone I am at 386-410-4095.

Yours,
Steve Baker
New Smyrna Beach, FL

If you guys do touch base, I would love to hear a summary of what you had to offer. (Thanks,)
Peter
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Old 15-08-2016, 11:23   #9
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Re: Single Handed sailing from Chesapeake to Bahamas

I have single handed my way from the Chesapeake to the Bahamas twice. I did the ICW to Beaufort, NC. Then hopped my way south off shore managing to not do more than 30 hours at a time, I stopped in different ports the times i did that, depending on weather conditions. Crossed the Gulf Stream from No Name Harbor and cleared into Bimini. I like doing the Bimini crossing because- #1. you only need one day of good weather to get there and I would rather be stuck in Bimini than in FL waiting out a north blow. #2 It's an easy overnight trip, anchoring on the banks, to get almost anywhere from Bimini.
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Old 15-08-2016, 12:59   #10
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Re: Single Handed sailing from Chesapeake to Bahamas

Why don't you get one or two experienced helpers to join you?
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Old 15-08-2016, 13:10   #11
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Re: Single Handed sailing from Chesapeake to Bahamas

Out Chesepeake, cross Gulf Stream off Hatteras, head to Bahamas.

I love your line "anyone here done this?"

No, no one.

Go be the first. It will grow hairs on your chest.

Marina hopping every night would be a huge pain in the butt.
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Old 15-08-2016, 13:12   #12
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Re: Single Handed sailing from Chesapeake to Bahamas

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Why don't you get one or two experienced helpers to join you?

Why? He will learn less with crew.
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Old 16-08-2016, 05:56   #13
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Re: Single Handed sailing from Chesapeake to Bahamas

Thanks everyone for the beta.. Nice knowing many others have done is single handed. I meet tons of folks that have crews but never anyone that has sailed single handed to the Bahamas. So all your help has given me all the more hope. Thanks again.
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Old 16-08-2016, 08:47   #14
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Re: Single Handed sailing from Chesapeake to Bahamas

Really comes down to knowing how you are with limited sleep in possible challenging conditions. Would offshore fish for days at a time, so not much sleep and I will say I'm not very useful after 12am, my body goes into a coma, so it wouldn't work for me, but I'm sure others have a greater ability at it.
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Old 16-08-2016, 09:28   #15
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Re: Single Handed sailing from Chesapeake to Bahamas

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Head out of Beaufort for Bermuda and hang a right 50-100 miles offshore.. use the back eddies from the Stream and lessen your collision stress.
Stupid Question.. Beaufort, NC or SC?
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