Originally Posted by truckman
I've sailed the coast numerous times between FL and Ches Bay, but never south in the spring. You'll just be going against the flow of the usual migration - northbound in the spring. You can plan on a non-stop and pick a weather
window, but have lots of bail-out locations in between if the weather
doesn't work out for a non-stop. Straight line shot to Frying Pan Shoals at Cape Fear, turn to starboard a bit and stay out of the Gulf Stream
Get paper charts
of the entire coast and research
all the inlets to see which are viable for bailout. Even if you're too tall for the ICW
you can duck in many of them to take refuge if you need to. Even though you won't be in the ditch, a Waterway Guide is a good reference to have.
If you have an SSB
get a subscription to Chris Parker at Marine Weather Center - Bahamas & Caribbean Marine Weather Services
at many times the cost.
If you don't have an SSB
, get an inexpensive receive only unit (Chris suggests some on his site) and listen to Chris - even cheaper. You just won't be able to ask specific questions. But you'll be able to go to school
on all the north bound boats getting advice.
Or get your own weather info from online sources before you leave and augment it by VHF
weather in route
if you stay close enough to the coast to receive it. This is pretty far out.
2 Hulls Dave