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Old 06-22-2013
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Re: first Sailboat and first sail from Annapolis to Washington NC

Context: I'm a delivery skipper.

Assumption: engine and other systems are in good shape and nothing major breaks.

I think you're looking at six days if you treat this as a delivery. Maybe 5. I'm pretty sure I could do it in 5. The usual time for most cruisers would be more like 8 or 9. It's all about preparation and attitude.

Give real thought to provisioning. You want breakfast that you can eat underway (one person can be on watch while the other cooks). Lunch underway. Late dinner after anchor down and prep meals for the next day. You're going to want snacks - make them easily accessible. I keep a big snack bag under the companionway.

Stopping for fuel is a time killer. Take as many jugs as you can manage and make topping up the tanks part of your evening routine. This is a good time of year - early sunrise and late sunset, so lots of light.

Leave Stevensville as soon as you can. Head down the Bay and run straight through to Norfolk, 4 on 4 off with two aboard and 4 on 8 off with three aboard. This will likely take 24 to 28 hours on your boat. Sail as much as you can. Keep boat speed up. When you hit Norfolk there is a marina near Hospital Point - it's right on the river and fast for topping up fuel.

Most of the ICW isn't appropriate for non-professionals to run at night. There are sections you can run (like the Alligator-Pungo canal). Stretch your days as much as possible.

Be conservative - nothing kills a schedule like running aground and waiting for TowBoat/US to show up.

Plan on anchoring so you can stretch the days as much as possible.

Let me know if I can help.
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