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Old 16-03-2011, 20:52   #61
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

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i've been looking at the charts for an hour for the ICW and it looks like pure hell. channels only maintained 100' wide? 6-8 ' depths all around?
You're in a C-27? Sheesh - just remember to slow down enough for the "No Wake" zones.

As one poster pointed out, there are NO deep inlets between Cape Charles and Ocracoke. Most are sure groundings before you reach the inlet. If your offshore experience level is low, this is probably not a great place to get those first few hundred blue water miles.

Inside, outside - stay away from the dirt. If the weather's with you, jump out, but keep an eye out for the unexpected change. Ocracoke to Beaufort (NC) has Lookout Bight as a weather hole, but it's a tricky "S" curve - better you should make Beaufort. Beaufort to Cape Fear offers Bogue Inlet, New River Inlet, Masonboro Inlet, and Carolina Beach Inlet, but some (New River) have tidal currents that will outrun your hull speed. Masonboro is the best of the lot, though all carry 5+ feet of water at average low tide, if you are in the deep part of the channel. Don't try Bear or Topsail Inlets.

Hit me with a PM when you're coming through.

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Old 23-03-2011, 20:29   #62
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

what about going around florida? can i stay between the coast and the gulf stream without going ICW, or due I have to cross it to Bimini and then cross it again
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Old 23-03-2011, 21:01   #63
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

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what about going around florida? can i stay between the coast and the gulf stream without going ICW, or due I have to cross it to Bimini and then cross it again
By the time you get past Cape Canaveral, there is not much space between the shore and the Gulf Stream. If you cross the GS to the Bahamas, you have shallow water and no more space to operate than if you stayed along the FL coastline, PLUS you have to pay $300 for the privilege of sailing in Bahamian waters.

By the time you get to Stuart, you can cut across via the canal.

Don't be "afraid" of ICW cruising - it's not just for old farts with tons of equipment and no sense of adventure. It is breathtakingly beautiful in spots, there's always a new town/marina/park/etc coming up, and it's the smart choice when wind, weather, and currents are not in your favor. And when the wind IS in your favor, you can sail inside - you don't have to motor for days. But do NOT get near the GS when the wind is out of the north. Bad news.

Play it schmart, kid (he said in his best James Cagney voice).

John
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Old 23-03-2011, 21:08   #64
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

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what about going around florida? can i stay between the coast and the gulf stream without going ICW, or due I have to cross it to Bimini and then cross it again
There are a few places where you have to go in ocean (Ft Lauderdale to Miami comes to mind) just to stay on the ICW but you stay between the shore and the gulf stream. Any sort of diversion to Bimini and back is only if you are profoundly lost but lucky -- or are looking for an excuse to go to the Bahamas.

Seriously, the ICW is the way to go only it isn't exciting. If you want some open water experience, NW FL is a good spot as is skipping GA if the conditions are right.

Also, just echoing the warning to be careful of the outer banks of NC. Graveyard of the Atlantic, even now.

Remember that.
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Old 23-03-2011, 21:50   #65
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

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Also, just echoing the warning to be careful of the outer banks of NC. Graveyard of the Atlantic, even now.
I will offer a dissenting opinion of the Outer Banks, but with sizeable caveats.

Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout and Cape Fear are ALL easy to navigate (and survive) if you don't get lazy and try to cut the corner. Stay out as far as your chartplotter (got one, right?) says you should. Go outside the platforms and shoal bouys and you will be fine. That's what they are there for. Don't reckon that your teensy tiny Catalina can tip-toe inside the buoy for just a few hundred yards - it says it's 8 feet and you only need 5, right? Dead wrong.

Also, as I pointed out before, there are not many places to duck in between Virginia Beach and Ocracoke. Know which inlets are useable and only use a weather window that is double what you think you need. Calculate your 'run for cover' options every hour or so. Listen to the weather broadcasts and HEED THE WARNINGS. Remember how much time it takes to tack around the shoal if you are trying to find cover.

If you are traveling in the May - August time frame, keep in mind that the prevailing wind is from the southwest, and from Cape Hatteras to Savannah is southwest on the rhumb line. I have spent more time than I care to admit beating into a 20 - 25 kt wind in 6 - 8 foot waves with a net speed toward my target of 1 mph (in a very fast Ranger 33, no less). Reef early and often, be ready to motor.

Be ready, be smart, be careful, be watchful. No problem.

John
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Old 23-03-2011, 22:16   #66
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

ferel, although i am a year or 2 out from being in your waters, thanks for sharig your expertise and experiance

B
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Old 23-03-2011, 22:49   #67
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

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ferel, although i am a year or 2 out from being in your waters, thanks for sharig your expertise and experiance

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Old 24-03-2011, 08:07   #68
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

i like your advice Feral Cement; I have decided to route the ICW from Norfolk to Beufort and then run outside to Fl. I was trying to plan this so I could stop in the keys and also check out Marathon. from the videos i have seen about the fl Icw, it just looks crowded. So many times I feel like the advice I am getting is from peoples own fears. I will tell you the truth; I AM NERVOUS about the trip. However i am a former bull rider, was in Army, and have never tolerated my own fears to hold me back. but i do want to get home to the grandkids and wife. if i know it can be done then i know i can do it. your advice seems sound and i appreciate it. god willing, this will be my greatest adventure yet (pathetic considering there is 500 year history of rounding the globe). I am excited for the challenge
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Old 24-03-2011, 16:10   #69
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

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I have decided to route the ICW from Norfolk to Beufort and then run outside to Fl.
Good choice. Learn to spell Beaufort, cuz there's so many of them. ;-)

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So many times I feel like the advice I am getting is from peoples own fears. I will tell you the truth; I AM NERVOUS about the trip.
Fear is a survival instinct. Listen to it, find out why it's telling you something, then behave accordingly. If you were on a Princess Cruise ship, you wouldn't be at all afraid (just bored) because you know they have ALL the equipment and the boat is big and solid, piloted by pros, etc. Do what you can to be that Princess Cruise ship - ready and prepared for what may come.

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However i am a former bull rider, was in Army, and have never tolerated my own fears to hold me back. but i do want to get home to the grandkids and wife. if i know it can be done then i know i can do it. your advice seems sound and i appreciate it. god willing, this will be my greatest adventure yet (pathetic considering there is 500 year history of rounding the globe). I am excited for the challenge
Just be smart. When in doubt, don't. Don't make it a quest; make it a relaxed, enjoyable sight-seeing tour of the east coast. No hurries, no worries.

BTW, with a TR, you should leave the dock reefed if you are going off-shore. When are you leaving?

John
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Old 24-03-2011, 16:22   #70
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

I've been up and down the coast to Florida numerous times and it isn't fear that has me going inside via the ICW a lot of the time, it is preference. Yes, there are dangerous shoals out on the ocean, but the main reason the ocean route isn't always the best is that you will be sailing into the teeth of the wind and it will be slow and uncomfortable going. Many, many times I have split with a fellow boater who headed outside at Beaufort, NC, "to make better time" and when they next catch up to me somewhere down in Florida I hear all about the terrible trip they had fighting the wind, spending time licking their wounds in various ports, etc. Frequently in the fall with cold fronts, etc. you can catch northerly winds, but then the ride out in the ocean is rough with big seas. Plus, I love the ICW, except for the last stretch between Palm Beach and Miami, but even there it is interesting, in a rather different, urban sort of way. You can anchor in places within view of the big-city lights, yet in a peaceful little cove. The ICW can make sense, actually be faster at times, and can be fun. Don't dismiss it until you've tried it. Having said that, I often take an offshore run or two when headed south if the weather is cooperating. You don't have to choose one route or the other--use both when each is appropriate.
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Old 26-03-2011, 08:54   #71
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

I'm a delivery skipper and run the East Coast regularly straight around the year. It is faster, cheaper (for my customers) and safer to go outside. I can make Annapolis to Daytona Beach (for example) in five days most of the year.

The hype on Cape Hatteras is grossly overstated with just enough truth to be spooky.

As it happens, I'm just rounded Hatteras bringing a Passport 40 North. AuspiciousWorks on Delivery
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Old 26-03-2011, 09:44   #72
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

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Originally Posted by Feral Cement View Post
By the time you get past Cape Canaveral, there is not much space between the shore and the Gulf Stream. If you cross the GS to the Bahamas, you have shallow water and no more space to operate than if you stayed along the FL coastline, PLUS you have to pay $300 for the privilege of sailing in Bahamian waters.

By the time you get to Stuart, you can cut across via the canal.

Don't be "afraid" of ICW cruising - it's not just for old farts with tons of equipment and no sense of adventure. It is breathtakingly beautiful in spots, there's always a new town/marina/park/etc coming up, and it's the smart choice when wind, weather, and currents are not in your favor. And when the wind IS in your favor, you can sail inside - you don't have to motor for days. But do NOT get near the GS when the wind is out of the north. Bad news.

Play it schmart, kid (he said in his best James Cagney voice).

John
I agree with feral, "Play it smart kid........" (James Cagney)
Offshore is way faster but there's no stopping (anchoring) in offshore sailing...just like there's no crying in baseball. One just can't stop the boat for a rest. Either take crew and shorten you trip by 3/4 time or more or take the ICW and enjoy the view.
If you do go offshore, "forewarned is forearmed" In April and early May the offshore gale winds can take you hundreds of miles offcourse meaning OUT TO SEA. You will have no choice in that matter.
"Play it schmart....kid!"
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Old 26-03-2011, 10:29   #73
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

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Originally Posted by Auspicious View Post
I'm a delivery skipper and run the East Coast regularly straight around the year. It is faster, cheaper (for my customers) and safer to go outside. I can make Annapolis to Daytona Beach (for example) in five days most of the year.

The hype on Cape Hatteras is grossly overstated with just enough truth to be spooky.

As it happens, I'm just rounded Hatteras bringing a Passport 40 North. AuspiciousWorks on Delivery

Yep - Same for me: I do the Northward from the Caribbean and Southward down to the caribbean with monotonous regularity year round and always go outside. I'm very much happier offshore! Tony
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