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  #51  
Old 10-18-2013
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Re: U.S.-Bahamas, Crossing the Stream

We have a crew of 3, and plan on working with a 3 man rotation, where each member is primarily responsible for 8 hours, and assists another 8 hours, with then 8 more hours for sleep. I'd like to take Hilton Head to Jacksonville/ St. Augustine to test how our rotation will work. Then take a day or two of ICW running south to get closer to a better passage and to rest. This leg skips the worst stretch of ICW through Georgia and provides an opportunity to test how our crew and shift schedule will work.

The issue I face is how many navigational hazards will I face being offshore, but inside the Stream from SC-FL. I know there are far too many unmarked hazards (crab pots, unlit poles) to comfortably do an ICW run over night, but will I face similar issues 10-20 miles offshore? If you had any insight into this particular passage offshore from SC-FL regarding any points that are relevant to navigation (unlit buoys, unmarked obstructions, etc), that would be of great assistance, as charts and maps only tell a partial story. Like everything else on the water there is no substitute for experience and local knowledge, so I'm after insight beyond what I can research myself. I've viewed charts, so I have some understanding of the passage and I cannot see why I shouldn't be able to run at night in that stretch of water. If I am missing something regarding this particular stretch of ocean please share. Otherwise, happy travels.
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Re: U.S.-Bahamas, Crossing the Stream

Ambitious
I think you are pushing your crew with that watch schedule, might be ok for a day or two any longer and you will have fatigue setting in. you might want to try something like 3hr helm, 3hr assist, 3hr sleep or in 4hr blocks. that way the same person won't have the overnight watch all the time. That is the schedule we use when transporting with a 3 or 4 person crew and it seems to work out.
Also remind your crew that even thou the sun is out never ever pass up a chance to sleep .
We will be headed south on Persistance - Person 36 on Nov.1 from Westbrook Ct
Peter
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Re: U.S.-Bahamas, Crossing the Stream

I think you're starting to hit on a good plan. As Peter (Justified) said, I'm not sure you want an 8-hour schedule. 3-4 hours is about the max, really, unless you're going with a much looser definition of being "on duty".
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Re: U.S.-Bahamas, Crossing the Stream

I could see why you'd want to shorten the schedules, as we rotated every hour or two at the helm while on the ICW, due to the associated fatigue. However, assuming we get the right schedule together that fits our crew, a 48 hour continuous hall from HH, SC to North Florida is feasible and relatively safe? There are no significant crabbing areas, or other navigational hazards that wouldn't show on a chart or GPS that need to be planned for, or maybe avoided? While fatigue is a concern I feel it would be much better to find out hey our plan for 24-72 hours of continuous sailing is rubbish between SC-FL, rather than between Abacos-Provo. Sounds like fatigue is the greatest concern, but what are some others? We did do some pre-dawn mornings on the ICW, most notably leaving Georgetown, SC and while mentally taxing we were only an hour or so before sunrise, a full night of sailing is a much greater commitment, so I want to make sure it's reasonable. 8-12 hours of what I experienced in the mornings leaving Georgetown and other places would be too much, I literally need a more open ocean relatively free of potential snags and hazards or night time travel is not worth it, so am I correct to believe I have that SC-North Florida?
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Re: U.S.-Bahamas, Crossing the Stream

So I live in Beaufort, SC.
I want to do my first overnight singled handed sail this fall. I was thinking of going out the Port Royal sound at dark and heading out into the darkness " well maybe a bright moon lit knight" then back. Do you see any trouble in this for my first trip? I am knot sure how far the Gulf stream is from the coast. i sure dont want to find it the hard way. I will be in my 30 C&C MK1 with a 16 hp dependable Yanmar diesel. I have a good chart plotter and know the area well. I have sailed this area all summer and some last fall.
let me know what you think.

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

Quote:
Originally Posted by ambitious/rubbish View Post
I could see why you'd want to shorten the schedules, as we rotated every hour or two at the helm while on the ICW, due to the associated fatigue. However, assuming we get the right schedule together that fits our crew, a 48 hour continuous hall from HH, SC to North Florida is feasible and relatively safe? There are no significant crabbing areas, or other navigational hazards that wouldn't show on a chart or GPS that need to be planned for, or maybe avoided? While fatigue is a concern I feel it would be much better to find out hey our plan for 24-72 hours of continuous sailing is rubbish between SC-FL, rather than between Abacos-Provo. Sounds like fatigue is the greatest concern, but what are some others? We did do some pre-dawn mornings on the ICW, most notably leaving Georgetown, SC and while mentally taxing we were only an hour or so before sunrise, a full night of sailing is a much greater commitment, so I want to make sure it's reasonable. 8-12 hours of what I experienced in the mornings leaving Georgetown and other places would be too much, I literally need a more open ocean relatively free of potential snags and hazards or night time travel is not worth it, so am I correct to believe I have that SC-North Florida?
Where are you coming up with 48 hours? In a 45' boat you ought to be able to do the entire Charleston to JAX in well under amount of time. Port Royal Sound (Hilton Head) is significantly closer (50NM less?) -- maybe a 24/hr run tops. If you want to go offshore to test the crew and save some time on the ICW, I'd head out from Charleston. You'll still be inside the gulf stream. The rhumb line from Charleston to JAX is under 200 NM. I don't understand the big concern about uncharted stuff out there. If you get 10-15 miles off before you head south (maybe the 10 fathom line?) and keep an active watch, you should be fine. I've only done it 2x so I am hardly the expert, but I'd study the charts (know your distances / times fall off points -- get the Dodge SE USA Inlets book as a backup) pick your weather window and go. Do you have the Maptech Norfolk to Florida Chartkit? This trip (leaving either from Port Royal or Charleston) is pretty easy to set up with that Chartkit. Leaving Charleston may even be easier simply because the coast falls away more and you get it out of your way.
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Last edited by blowinstink; 10-18-2013 at 03:45 PM.
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Re: U.S.-Bahamas, Crossing the Stream

Well the thought is one day ICW Charleston- Hilton Head to recapture our sea-legs (and to see how the 70 year old grandfather will do). Then I'd like to go outside from HH to Jax or St. Augustine and run 24/7. My father doesn't want to run through the night while outside, which I think is a terrible mistake. He is concerned about bumping into things during the night, so I basically want to know if his concerns are grounded in reality. I think we'd be fine, it should be way more open than the times we ran in the ICW at dark, and I really want to make time. Concerns are things like in Georgetown where there was an unlit unmarked pole in the middle of the channel, which we nearly ran into in the pre-dawn darkness. I'd think I wouldn't have those issues offshore, but we really do not want someone with a spotlight to have to sit on the bow and scan for crabpots all night.
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Re: U.S.-Bahamas, Crossing the Stream

and 48 hours is only a conservative guess. I think it was 180 miles, so probably closer to 36 hours.
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Re: U.S.-Bahamas, Crossing the Stream

Anything is possible but not probable if you run offshore overnight.

My wife and I double hand outside from Charleston to Fernandina every spring and fall with no problem.
I would skip entering St Augustine, it isn't a class A inlet like St Marys, St Johns.

We like having radar and AIS.
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Re: U.S.-Bahamas, Crossing the Stream

There are no crab pots in the ocean. Radar is almost essential running at night to pick up buoys and to monitor large ships. There are quite a few private offshore buoys, fish sanctuary buoys, and structures with no lights (like the Frying Pan Shoals platform). Radar gives you a clear picture of what's around you. I almost always pick things up on Radar well before seeing them at night, especially if there is no moonlight to help and it's rough. Charleston to The St. John River is an easy, straightforward ocean passage. Just be mindful of the warships and LARGE container ships entering the St. John. As far as hitting stuff at night, IMO the chances are pretty small. There does not seem to be lot of flotsam. If there were a flood or something and rivers were spitting out tree trunks, I'd begin to worry about it. Sailing by the stars at night is wonderful.

One thing about electronic charts to be aware of is that you need to check all the layers because some unlit buoys will not show up on all the different scale layers of the same area. One layer will show them, the next....gone!
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Last edited by smurphny; 10-18-2013 at 07:34 PM.
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