I just returned from a Charleston to Beaufort offshore trip. We headed easterly out of Charleston hoping to catch the Gulf Stream flow. Thinking that we were taking too much time heading east, we kept inching the heading more towards the north. Now I have an overlay of my actual route and the Gulf Stream at that time. Given that hindsight is supposed to be 20/20, I'm trying to determine what I should have done. On this photo our route is in magenta (Day 1) and yellow (Day 2). We did have to go easterly enough to get around Frying Pan Shoals before heading into Beaufort. The black dashed lines are the edges of the Gulf Stream. The wind on Day 1 was 5-10 kts SW and on Day 2 was 10-15 kts NE. Our Day 2 was beating into the wind all day! If we had maintained a due east course, then we would have been in the stream before the wind shifted, but then we would be in the gulf stream, getting the benefit of the currrent, but still be against the NE winds (could have built up some chop). Otherwise, we could have headed straight to Frying Pan and then straight for Beaufort. Any ideas? What would you have done?