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Old 08-02-2013, 09:22   #1
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St Martin to Norfolk

I have been invited to captain a 2001 Lagoon 38 from St. Martin to Baltimore at the end of March, 2013. A friend of mine recently purchased the boat from a live aboard couple in St. Martin. This is an owner's version and reportedly has not been in charter. He has a recent survey and the boat is equipped with radar and other basic navigation equipment. He is a novice sailor and has invited 2 other men to accompany him, only one of which has any sailing experience.

My experience has been 25 years on Chesapeake Bay and 7 bareboat charters in BVI on catamarans ranging from Lagoon 38 to Robertson Cain 4600. I understand that this does not constitute real off shore experience. How difficult a trip would this be for someone with my experience? It seems like a good time of year to make a trip like this. What are the biggest hurdles we would need to overcome? How long should it take(I am thinking 3-4 weeks). It this an overwhelming challenge for someone with my experience? I have advised my friend that he should seek the assistance of a professional captain for this trip but his funds are limited.

I know there are many very experienced off shore sailors on this site. What are the hazards and obstacles I need to consider. Any input will be much appreciated.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:50   #2
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pirate Re: St Martin to Norfolk

At that time of year your hazards should mainly be closing land...
I'd run for Bermuda which is around 900 miles... then pick a window of favourable winds to get me to the mainland... after that its coast hopping to the weather.
Reckon the land sides no problem to you... watch the reefs..
The Ocean... don't try and set a schedule.. and leave when you have a couple of nice days to start on... gives one time to settle in..
Ohh.. before I forget... Welcome to CF..
Have a great trip
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:00   #3
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Re: St Martin to Norfolk

March is early for going all the way to the Chesapeake. You are very likely to have some strong cold fronts sweeping off the coast in that season, and you don't want to be in one of those in the middle of the Gulf Stream. I second the thought of going to Bermuda where you can regroup and get that perfect weather window to make the Chesapeake without hitting bad weather. Be prepared to be cold once you get on the other side of the stream.
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:41   #4
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Re: St Martin to Norfolk

Any input regarding sailing conditions most likely to be encountered? Also, reading the logs of Maryland School of Sailing Island Packet 44 training class return from St. Thomas to Norfolk over the past 5 years, it seems like they try to adhere as closely as possible to a direct line that is basically a straight line from point to point. Anyone have a good reference regarding prevailing winds, current, etc.
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:51   #5
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pirate Re: St Martin to Norfolk

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddsadler2 View Post
Any input regarding sailing conditions most likely to be encountered? Also, reading the logs of Maryland School of Sailing Island Packet 44 training class return from St. Thomas to Norfolk over the past 5 years, it seems like they try to adhere as closely as possible to a direct line that is basically a straight line from point to point. Anyone have a good reference regarding prevailing winds, current, etc.
I would not put much faith in annual averages etc...
Start looking daily at passageweather or similar to get a good intuition on any fronts/patterns and how often they go through in the coming weeks before you start... the only bit I'd be concerned about would be N of Bermuda... 2 opposing currents and all that... gets a bit bumpy...
The weather aint wot it woz no more...
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