Join Date: Dec 2010
Thanked 227 Times in 187 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Re: Solo Offshore Overnight- Advice Sought
Damn, has ANYONE read his original post? He is NOT going to be crossing from S Florida to the Bahamas on this trip, folks :-)
To the OP, sailing due east of Ponce Inlet for 20 miles or so will put you in pretty busy area, traffic-wise... A lot of southbound shipping attempting to stay inshore of the Stream off Canaveral will pass thru there, as will any northbound traffic rounding Canaveral and heading for Jacksonville or Brunswick... Much of the traffic thru there is seagoing tugs towing barges far behind, the sort of shipping with short-handed crews that make me the most nervous...
It most certainly would not be an ideal area to park yourself for awhile, or go to sleep for any prolonged period of time... Besides, you want to keep sailing thru the night anyway, no? That's what singlehanded sailors do, after all - I don't know of many who routinely heave-to overnight as a matter of course, the sooner you appreciate how rigorous and tiring coastwise solo sailing along the US East coast can be, the better off you will be...
And as others have mentioned, no way do you want to be towing your dinghy out the inlet... And, make sure you will be able to interpret whatever lights other vessels will be showing, particularly those tugs... The barges in tow typically show lights that can be very faint, or difficult to see at all. In any event, you don't want to be anywhere near those guys...
Have fun, and good luck... Mark is right, you'll learn a lot... :-)