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post #5 of Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Morehead City to Virgins in early Feb

Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Hmmm, 2 inexperienced sailors as crew on a mid-winter passage from Hatteras to the islands... What could possibly go wrong?

Uhhh, I think you probably mean "too late", no? A departure in November or December, once you reach the trades, they're still likely to be more out of the ENE... As the season progresses, they'll begin to move more around towards the SE... Not good, unless you like bashing to weather for the latter portion of the trip, but no doubt your inexperienced crew will revel in such conditions... (grin)

36-48 hours perhaps, 72 if you're really lucky... Especially during a winter like this one, with wild fluctuations of the jet stream forecast throughout, weather forecasting beyond a few days is likely to be a real crapshoot...

IMHO, March is perhaps the riskiest time of the year to be anywhere near the vicinity of Hatteras... That's the time these very intense systems that originate in places like Arkansas can begin their march across the SE, spawning tornadoes and violent weather, drawing a bead on Hatteras... If they happen to collide with another system, late winter cold front or whatever, watch out... Very volatile, difficult time of the year to forecast, IMHO...

You should have a look at Don Street's TRANSATLANTIC CROSSING GUIDE, he outlines a pretty good late-season route from Jacksonville or thereabouts, getting across the Stream in advance to a cold front, then riding that as far east as you can... That might make the most sense in this case, head down the coast from Beaufort, and get your crew settled in, or sorted out... Departing from Morehead with an unknown/untested crew can be a recipe for disaster - remember one of the lessons of RULE 62?

I'd proceed very carefully with this one, if I were you... What sort of boat? And, perhaps more importantly, does it have a full cockpit enclosure? (grin)
When I lived at the Jersey shore March was the worst months for noreeasters. The would form either off of Hatteras or the Myrtle Beach area and plow up the coast. Lots of unstable air with the cold Canadian fronts and air coming through every few days still and the warm gulf air running into to it. Problem with northeasers is that can be slow movers.

Risky trip with novices.


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