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Old 29-05-2014, 22:46   #16
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Re: ICW in August?

Thanks for your responses. So I have several votes of "it's really hot" and two promising mutiny (those two must know my kids).

But Magnawake and BandB suggest that sailing south offshore might be a reasonable choice. The question is: Can we sail offshore while stopping at night at marinas to rest along the way (and, yes, we do have air conditioning)?
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Old 29-05-2014, 23:48   #17
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Re: ICW in August?

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Originally Posted by UncleRico View Post
Thanks for your responses. So I have several votes of "it's really hot" and two promising mutiny (those two must know my kids).

But Magnawake and BandB suggest that sailing south offshore might be a reasonable choice. The question is: Can we sail offshore while stopping at night at marinas to rest along the way (and, yes, we do have air conditioning)?
With air conditioning you don't necessarily need to move off shore. But if sailing is really part of the pleasure you're seeking, then you're not going to be doing much of it along the ICW. Now by going outside you'll actually take longer in a sailboat than you would on the ICW. For powerboaters we can go faster offshore. However, the way I look at it is you get 8 hours of sailing in and 2 hours going out and coming in. This is as opposed to staying in and maybe gaining an extra 10-15 miles during the day. So going offshore isn't the straightest line. In fact it's a curve out and curve in and repeat. In many areas though marinas are located very close to the inlet. Perhaps even you mix days.

You could stay inside when there are towns and areas you really want to see. But when it's a boring section or you just want to go out and have fun, do that. Also, if the weather isn't conducive then stay in and take it easy. There are areas you'll definitely need the air at night and you'll need to close up to avoid bugs. We are not sailors but the few times we've been the real fun has been the Chesapeake and otherwise offshore. To us going down the ICW is just like a very slow trawler. Nothing wrong with that but I'd think a bit boring to sailors.
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Old 30-05-2014, 07:23   #18
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Re: ICW in August?

Once picked up a boat in North Carolina in July……….Did the Great Dismal Swamp, rather it did us ! Yeah, think tropical Africa. Think African Queen
(FWIW one of the greatest boating movies ever…..Gotta love Charlie and Rosie.)
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Old 30-05-2014, 20:10   #19
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Re: ICW in August?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleRico View Post
Thanks for your responses. So I have several votes of "it's really hot" and two promising mutiny (those two must know my kids).

But Magnawake and BandB suggest that sailing south offshore might be a reasonable choice. The question is: Can we sail offshore while stopping at night at marinas to rest along the way (and, yes, we do have air conditioning)?
if you can do multi-day hops, you might be able to do it, but there aren't enough conveniently located inlets to stop every night.
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Old 30-05-2014, 21:07   #20
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Re: ICW in August?

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if you can do multi-day hops, you might be able to do it, but there aren't enough conveniently located inlets to stop every night.
Many of the inlets are not very navigable without local knowledge. Might want to do some overnights, some ICW, some outside. NC and SC suffer most from lack of good inlets. However, lower SC and GA have quite a few and that's the most uncomfortable area. So works out decently in that NC and upper SC are more comfortable and lower SC and GA has more in the way of inlets.

Brunswick is where I think you'll be very glad you have air conditioning. Still it's a nice area and can be very enjoyable. Just going to be very hot and muggy and perhaps buggy.

Your own experience, crew, etc. would play a major role in determining what was possible and made sense. I think you could plan a nice trip, mixing it up some, enjoying different things along the way. Sail some, motor some, open air some, air conditioning some, especially at night (yes I know may sound backwards, but when you're moving and outside heat is one thing, when you're inside and trying to rest and sleep it's quite another). Maybe some who have sailed that area will speak as I've only done it by power.
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Old 30-05-2014, 23:21   #21
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Re: ICW in August?

It is hot, for sure, but you can make it work. How old are your kids? mine are 15 and 19 now so this doesn't realy apply to them, but we had some great summertime cruises. After a while, I got good at planning them for the family, and becasue it often involved an exciting singlehanded passage for me - or with a mate - I would get my adveture in, then spend the rest of the time catering to ther needs. And the ships.

Be strategic in your planning, and break up the trip as you are mentioning. I'll give you an example of how I would do it, after some other sugestions as a general idea.

Everyone gets their own fan. That is an absolute. My power is basic, and handles all the ships needs, and can run the hell out of some fans. Clip-on and small box fans from Walmart through inverter, and Hella and Caframo ships fans will keep the air moving. Spray bottles, containers for soaking feet, keeping up with tankage so everyone can use fresh water to keep cool or to rinse salt water off after a swim are good ideas. Shade for cockpit, and awning for over decks makes a bog difference.

I have no idea what the kids ages are or if your crowd gets seasick. But if you don't know I'd assume they do and preempt it. If they don't, all the better. There are excellent offshore jumps that while seemingly longer, can make for increadible summer passages with the kids. I have memories of sailing across Onslow Bay from Cape Lookout to Wrightsville Beach when the kids were 7 and 10. It was July/Aug, and there was a distant hurricane causing a dreamy 6' swell that along with a steady breeze had us locked in to a beam reach. The kids were both plowing their way htrough Harry Potter books, and I would look down and see the younger boy fiddling with the VHF mic cable as he read, and rolled around with the boats motion. At the end of that ~14 hour hop, a cousin met us in his sportfishing boat and we went off for a big seafood dinner at Dockside. My son has great memories of that trip. And they were all about the fried seafood at the end of an adventure

So, if it were me, I would take the dismal, but go whichever way you want. Then I like to take the sound. You can make stops in Manteo and Ocracoke. Enterprise will pick you up in Manteo, and you can take the kids to a movie (for me it is nap city. AC and flickering lights). Then a pancake joint in the AM, some beach time, jockeys ridge and hang gliding, Wrights Brothers memorial. It is not very far from Norfolk, but hey, you want them to be pumped about it, right?

Ocracoke is another day from Manteo. The sound is wide open, and you are more likely to get a steady breeze and get to sail, without the drone of that hot hunk of steel. Silver lake is a decent anchorage, should be OK mid week, and the park docks are an option if you can plug in and get AC. Wait, do they have power??? Can't remember. I dont really need it.

From there you head down to Beaufort/Cape Lookout via Oriental. Stop at River Dunes and get a slip. Stay a couple nights, consider a guest house they rent. Pool, upscale feel with a relaxed and often desserted atmosphere, it'll be another little pick-me-up for the tender crew.

Cape Lookout is a great place to hang out, and a good full day from River Dunes, and you can also stage in Beaufort for the quick trip out the inlet. Beaufort has the restaurants, ice cream and my favorite, the maritime museaum. With AC, and a nautical library, the museum is a great place to hang out. There's a coffee shop up the way. Eat lunch at Beaufort Grocery. I've spent countless summer nights at Cape Lookout, and there is often a nice SW wind over 15 knots. In general, tight creeks and marsh can be windless and buggy. The wide open stuff is what you want, if conditions are conducive.

Afternoon thunderstorms are commonplace. Get up early and head out at 5:30 and let the family sleep while you make tracks. try and be settled in by 1500 or earlier even. Take this seriously, as you would on the chessie.

From Cape Lookout, you can cross offshore to Wrightsville Beach - Masonboro Inlet. About 70 nm from memory. Even if you have to motor offshore, there is less traffic, no bridges, good breeze and good sailing, but I can't tell you what to do there. It helps, because the long days on the ICW can get hard. Down below, with a breeze and fans, it's not too bad.

Same stuff headed south, with attractions along the way, and opportunities to pull over and cool down. The enterprise thing is a good way to break up a trip, by renting a car and tooling around town to places that are fun for the kids, while anchored out or tied up. Of course you can go to the chandlery, grocery, fruit stands, or booze store too. You don't need one, but it can be a good option for $40 or so.

You get the idea. You can get lucky and get some cool weather. I've been in foul weather gear and shivering in July on the sounds or offshore, but more likely hot and wind in SW quadrant. When it shifts to N, it can be nice.

Plan it out and it can be a ton of fun, with strategic misery management. It is a little long perhaps, but that's your call and I haven't a clue about your kids age of type of boat. One way car rentals or flights are an option too if you want them to join in. I guess you need a ride at Brunswick anyway, and I have rented a one way there to get back home in western NC. Not always possible though.

We've spent weeks during the winter at Cumberland Island. It is an easy sail out St Simons to St Marys, a great anchorage, and spectacular island.

I'll be the first to say that the heat doesn't really bother me unless full on heat exhaustion. I work outside as a farmer, with no cab tractors, so it takes a lot to get me down. After some windless days in the Chessie a couple of years ago, droning north to Annapolis, I can remember pulling in to Solomons, anchored way up the creek and stuck my feet in a cooler with some ice to cool down. Bare feet on the cockpit sole, and temps in the 90's had me pretty beat down.

Good luck, hope this is helpful. Didn't want you to get discouraged, because it is completely doable if you keep the crew front and center in your planning. Sorry, no time to edit...
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Old 02-06-2014, 17:17   #22
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Re: ICW in August?

Wow! cheoh - what an incredibly helpful post. I think you've hit the nail exactly on the head, especially your points about the kids. My interest in the trip is restored, and whether we go this summer or next, I will keep this post for reference. Thanks again for taking so much care in responding.
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Old 02-06-2014, 17:50   #23
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Re: ICW in August?

UncleRico, If you just want a 3 week vacation with kids, I'd stay in the Outer banks area. Forget the ICW below Southport, NC. We spent 3 weeks between Southport, Beaufort, Cape Look out, New bern, Oriental, Ocracoke, Manteo and areas in between. Most of these areas are right on the coast and have a breeze even at night. You wont be disapointed !!! So why go father south? The outer banks is the best kept secret on the east Coast. Its off the ICW and most people (snow birds) just pass it by. I thought by your original post you were set on traveling the ICW only and had to be in GA. By going off shore , I was referring to staying off shore the whole trip and not coming in at all. That would get ya down there in a few days (and nights). I forgot about your kids though, they might not enjoy looking at water for several days. There again, the OBX is the bomb !!! Check this trip out. This is just one of our trips.

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