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post #6 of Old 04-04-2013
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Re: Annapolis, MD to South FL on ICW & Outside

Seems to me you'll easily be able to manage more than 40 SM/day on the waterway, as you'll have the longest days of the year to work with... Then again, I'm accustomed to being always underway before sunrise, and 10 hours/day seems like a ridiculously short day, to me... (grin)

Agree with others re the suggestion to go out around Hatteras, I wouldn't endorse doing so with a boat so new to you, and so early in the trip... Unless you're gonna proceed straight onto Charleston, there's simply no point, it's considerably longer going out around, and at that time of the year there's a good chance you'd be met by a SW breeze upon rounding Diamond Shoals, anyway... Not much fun...

As others mention, any hop outside between Beaufort/Morehead and the Florida line will generally save considerable time and distance over the ICW... But more importantly, it should afford you the opportunity to actually do some SAILING, and a chance to escape the monotony that motoring down the ICW can become... If you're gonna be going outside, I'd recommend picking up Steve Dodge's guide to inlets along the SE coast, invaluable for someone doing the trip for the first time:

With your draft, if you get favorable weather, I'd suggest going thru Pamlico Sound instead of the ICW between Albemarle Sound and the Neuse River. That can be some nice sailing, but don't try it if there's a probablilty of any stiff breeze out of the SW, that will quickly make it a very unpleasant bash... You might take a day off in Ocracoke, one of my favorite stops along the entire coast...

Here's my take on the trip - written with an eye towards maximizing the opportunities for sailing down the coast - in a piece for CRUISING WORLD about 10 years ago... Some of it may be outdated now (disregard my suggestion re Oregon Inlet, that's not a option at present), and bear in mind it's written from the perspective of the prevailing conditions one is likely to encounter in the fall...

An Insider's ICW | Cruising World

Good luck, have fun with your new boat, it's a marvelous trip, any which way you wind up doing it...

Last edited by JonEisberg; 04-04-2013 at 09:48 AM.
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