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  #41  
Old 10-16-2013
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Re: U.S.-Bahamas, Crossing the Stream

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How was that part of the trip? We had planned to make it up to the Chesapeake, but gave up and stayed in Georgia for this hurricane season. It was July when we got here, and afternoon thunderstorms were nasty. The Georgia ICW seems pretty challenging, even considering that we did the ditch from Galveston, Tx, to Pensacola, Fl.

Ralph
The ICW from Charleston-Norfolk was quiet pleasant, and no serious issues to report. The fixed bridge in Isle of Palms was clearing 63' feet at high tide, so we drug our VHF antenna on the top. There were a few inlets that were challenging in NC, with Little River inlet being the most south bound one of note, the trick is to run the mainland side of any channel going past an inlet, the ocean side fills in faster. We did nearly get stuck in an inlet channel, watched my depth gauge plummet from 10-5' in seconds, backed straight back up the channel and made it through with relative easy hugging the mainland side.
The rock pile in Myrtle Beach was quite a narrow squeeze, would have been a bad time to pass anyone, but we cleared fine. I believe the worst stretch is 349-352, regardless stay in the middle of the channel and you should be fine, we cleared with a 6' draft and went through on a rising tide.
On a positive note I saw way more dolphins than I expected. Starting 25 miles north of Norfolk, all the way into the city with a sighting every 15-30 minutes. Had a few sightings in NC, with the closest encounters being in Cape Fear, NC (we made eye contact). Dolphins all over SC, sometimes miles inland into the marshland. The last day, Georgetown to Charleston so many dolphins in the marsh, then again at the marina in Charleston watched a guy swim right past the dock in the evening going upstream, woke up the next morning and he swam right by again going downstream.
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Re: U.S.-Bahamas, Crossing the Stream

Thanks for the info. We'll try to get an earlier start next year, and finally make it up that way.

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  #43  
Old 10-17-2013
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Re: U.S.-Bahamas, Crossing the Stream

Anyone have experience doing an offshore leg from Hilton Head, SC to Jacksonville, FL? In current conditions the Gulf Stream is far enough offshore there to run inside of it, probably on a counter current. Does a North wind create problems for being offshore if you're not on the Gulf Stream?
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Old 10-17-2013
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Re: U.S.-Bahamas, Crossing the Stream

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Anyone have experience doing an offshore leg from Hilton Head, SC to Jacksonville, FL? In current conditions the Gulf Stream is far enough offshore there to run inside of it, probably on a counter current. Does a North wind create problems for being offshore if you're not on the Gulf Stream?
You'll be well inside the GS. Current seems to be variable inside, sometimes against you, sometimes with depending on where you are but not very strong. Check Sailing Weather - Marine Weather Forecasts for Sailors and Adventurers - PassageWeather

This time of the year NW/N winds become more frequent. If in the GS they can be dangerous.
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Last edited by smurphny; 10-17-2013 at 08:58 AM.
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Re: U.S.-Bahamas, Crossing the Stream

We live in Charleston and have made the trip south to the Bahamas for over 15 years. There are many ways to do it, even north of Lake Worth. The last several years we have crossed from Ft. Pierce, usually in a dying northerly once the seas have calmed down. Leave at dawn and at dusk you are on the Bank. If you keep moving in protected waters to MH, you will have made all of your easting so you can sail down island to where ever....staging to do this trip in Vero provides endless provisioning possibilities in addition to the wonderful cruising community.
We have also crossed from Lake Worth to Lucaya and Miami to Nassau (will never go there again) but got stuck there for several weeks due to strong NE's...doing it before Christmas is usually easier. If Diana Nyad can swim across the Gulf Stream, I am sure you will have no problems in a 45' boat, just pick your day.
Chas-south....we usually do the ICW to Beaufort and then jump out to St. Mary's or St. Augustine but check on the Inlet before makiing that trip...Chas. to St. Mary's is also easy.
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Re: U.S.-Bahamas, Crossing the Stream

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Originally Posted by ambitious/rubbish View Post
Anyone have experience doing an offshore leg from Hilton Head, SC to Jacksonville, FL? In current conditions the Gulf Stream is far enough offshore there to run inside of it, probably on a counter current. Does a North wind create problems for being offshore if you're not on the Gulf Stream?
So, are you on your way yet? A boat came in here today. I met them on the sidewalk, and asked where they had come from. Charleston was the answer. They had some wind for awhile, but motored for the last 12 hours, but it was nice out there. I think the migration has begun?

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Re: U.S.-Bahamas, Crossing the Stream

We do Charleston to Fernandina in one easy overnight. HH will be shorter. North wind can be nice if strong enough to sail. Light north with swells from east maybe not.
Passageweather gives wave predictions.
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Old 10-18-2013
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Re: U.S.-Bahamas, Crossing the Stream

We have yet to begin, left the boat in Charleston for two weeks so we could return to our dreaded work lives. Also getting some things fixed/ added to the boat prior to the crossing. We'll start leg 2 10/30.
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Re: U.S.-Bahamas, Crossing the Stream

If I wanted to run 24 hours a day from Hilton Head, SC to say Jacksonville or St. Augustine how feasible would that be? I certainly wouldn't run the ICW at night due to numerous crab pots, fish trap areas, unlit channel marks and related navigational hazards. Will I find similar issues with an onside run SC-FL? What are some of the best ways to mitigate these risks on a budget? With the right combination of charts, spotlights, AIS is a 24/7 run as described reasonably safe, or do I need an infrared/ night vision system to substantially mitigate risk?
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Re: U.S.-Bahamas, Crossing the Stream

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Originally Posted by ambitious/rubbish View Post
If I wanted to run 24 hours a day from Hilton Head, SC to say Jacksonville or St. Augustine how feasible would that be? I certainly wouldn't run the ICW at night due to numerous crab pots, fish trap areas, unlit channel marks and related navigational hazards. Will I find similar issues with an onside run SC-FL? What are some of the best ways to mitigate these risks on a budget? With the right combination of charts, spotlights, AIS is a 24/7 run as described reasonably safe, or do I need an infrared/ night vision system to substantially mitigate risk?
I've noticed a trend in your posts...an over-reliance on gizmos and doodads. I was the same way, convinced that all the electronic goodies would help me automate my boat to a point where these passages are easy.

After owning my boat for 5 years, here's what I've learned. *NOTHING* beats sound, rested crew and good ol' Eyeball Mark I.

Rather than focus on AIS, Radar, charts, plotters (all of which are a constant source of breakage and maintenance for me now that I've installed them), focus on finding good sound crew...and making sure there are ENOUGH of you aboard so that you're able to take proper rest and do shifts that are reasonable.

The electronics *help*...but they cannot supplant good rested experienced crew aboard.
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