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Old 05-08-2013
JonEisberg JonEisberg is offline
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Re: How to Proceed...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harborless View Post
Primarily myself and the tiller along with an egg timer. I also have practiced sailing using bungee cords and sail trim to hold a course. Lastly i have a tiller lock which holds the tiller on course long enough for me to tinker with the jib or do something else.
this is why i have planned the trip in no more than 12a hour runs with me possibly leaving out of st augastine at night to make new smyrna before dark the next day. My average cruising speed should be around 4.5 knots with dinghy in tow.

If merrits on the wy why not! Yea the keys sound like a fun time.. plus its something new. I just hope there is ample spear fishing.
I'd strongly caution against attempting to depart St. Augustine in the dark... For years, the channel has been pretty much a straight shot, but just recently has been re-configured to include a significant dogleg close to the beach on the N side... headed out, you'll have good light facing east well before sunrise, so you can still get a very early start, but no way would I recommend transiting that inlet now to anyone for the first time, in the dark...

If you're coming down from Mayport outside, you really want to avoid hitting St Augustine on the ebb, it can be a real mess, especially now with the new channel... If sailing conditions are not favorable outside, it can be much quicker to go down the ICW if you hit the St John's River/ICW junction at about high water, and ride the flood south... Then, by the time you hit the Tolomato River south of Palm Valley, you can ride the ebb down to St Augustine...

Ponce Inlet is no problem in good conditions, though you really have to pay attention once inside... On the ebb, however, whole different ballgame, and of course you do not want to try it with any significant swell running or a strong onshore breeze...

I'd also suggest considering going down inside behind Canaveral, once you're out into Mosquito Lagoon, you can do a lot of sailing if conditions favor doing so... That stretch down the St Pierce is the nicest in all of FL, you can sail most of the way if you're lucky, plenty of nice anchorages and towns with decent shore access...

Going outside around Canaveral to Ft Pierce, on the other hand, can be a LONG trip. I sure wouldn't want to hand-steer that whole deal, and if you decide to go back in at Port Canaveral, you'll add many more miles to the overall distance compared to the ICW...

IMHO, you really, REALLY want to get yourself a tillerpilot... Running down the FL coast in such close proximity, leaving the possible fate of your boat to an egg timer and some bungee cords, is an absolute recipe for disaster... An autopilot will completely transform your cruising, I guarantee once you finally have one, you will be kicking yourself for not having gotten one sooner... Stop in Sailor's Exchange in St Augustine, they may have something laying around... Raymarine 1000 and 2000 tillerpilots come up on eBay all the time, one will be well worth whatever you pay... Setting off on the sort of trip you're planning without a reliable form of self-steering is asking for trouble, bigtime, IMHO...

And when you make it to the Bahamas, remember that fishing with a spear gun is prohibited, only a Hawaiian sling is permitted over there...
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