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Old 16-11-2009, 12:55   #1
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Ocracoke, NC to Jacksonville, FL Offshore

Have been planning to take the trip for a while now and have finally finalized (as much as you can finalize anything on a sailboat) the dates. Looking to leave right after Thanksgiving depending on weather. There will be two of us on a Cal 34, one with extensive off-shore experience, and myself with years of sailing on the Chesapeake. What I would love to know from those of you who have done this trip is a realistic time frame and where you stopped along the way if you didn't go straight through. As of now, we are looking to stop at Charleston and possibly somewhere in Georgia. I understand there are dozens of ways to do this trip, but your experiences would be most appreciated.

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Old 16-11-2009, 15:15   #2
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Time frame? Easy! What speed are you going to maintain? How many miles will your course cover? How many places are you going to stop? How long will you spend at each stop? Well, maybe not so easy - you're for sure the only two folks who can answer the question.
Otherwise, note which inlets are class A in case the weather goes bad. Charleston is a great stop. I used to live at St. Simons Island, Ga. and really loved it. Golden Isles Marina at SSI is not convenient to anything, but they used to have a marina car.
The St. Marys' river inlet offers two great options: Head North and anchor behind Cumberland Island and dinghy ashore to a National Seashore Park complete with wild horses, large sand dunes, mansion ruins, etc.; alternatively head South to Fernandina Beach which has a couple of marinas and a great revitalized downtown area with various bars, restaurants, and art gallerys. Don't miss the Palace Saloon.
Last but not least, St. Augustine's more fun for a sailor than Jax.
Have a great trip!
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Old 16-11-2009, 15:29   #3
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We went from Beaufort NC to St. Augustine in about 3 days. Pretty easy and your not that far off shore. Maybe 120 miles at the most.
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Old 16-11-2009, 16:16   #4
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I've done Morehead city to St. Augustine in 3 days (7 knots) with cooperative weather. Going south, the closer you stick to shore the more help you'll get from the southward flowing current. If you go too far off shore you'll be fighting the stream the whole way. If you go outside the stream and the weather goes bad you might have to fight your way across the stream in a wind opposing current situation to reach safe harbor. Good places to duck inside on your way south are Beaufort NC, Masonboro inlet, Georgetown SC, Charleston, Port Royal, Savannah, St Simons Island, and St. Marys at the FL-GA border. If you're looking to anchor out some of the other inlets in GA have some really beautiful anchorages nearby but be careful of the tidal range in GA, sometimes 11-13 feet. Tidal currents can be pretty strong so going in at the wrong tide can take a while, of course it's really nice if it's behind you.
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Old 17-11-2009, 11:48   #5
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Thanks for you replies. I was planning on staying closer to shore as I will need all the help I can get from the southerly current and of course be in a better position to duck in somewhere if some unexpected weather picks up. Will give cape lookout and fear their due distance and then bring it in a bit once we get passed Charleston.
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Old 06-01-2010, 04:08   #6
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Do be aware of the Georgia shoals

Be very careful south of Charleston, especially off the coast of Georgia. I had an experienced delivery crew put a boat on the shoals off of St. Catherines inlet a couple of years ago, double whammy, stronger than normal inbound tide pulled them closer to shore than they thought, and the lighted sea bouy was non op.

Sea bouy off of St. Catherines was non op at the time, and there is a light in the inlet that closely matches the light sequence of the sea bouy.

Closer to shore than they thought, they felt they were going to be outside of the sea bouy, then bumpity bump and Kristine is no more. All crew rescued by Coast Guard, they have a lot of experience in the area as 100's of boats a year find bottom the hard way around there.
Sailors, Adventurers & Friends
Our hulls aren't afraid of things that go "bump" in the night!
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