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  #11  
Old 02-27-2006
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cmendoza is on a distinguished road
Wow, early October sounds late to me!
Then again, what the heck do I know... thanks for the info!

We're in the process of taking all of the great advice we've received to-date and building a working itinerary. Once it's done, I'll be sure to post it on this site... more importantly, I'll be sure to let everyone know how it worked out once we reach the keys ;-)

Again thanks,

Carlos
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  #12  
Old 02-28-2006
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Allan C&C Less is on a distinguished road
If you want to take your time then I suggest leaving early summer. Thats what I did. Actually did my trip from Canada so I started sooner but was on the Intercoastal by early summer. But where u headed after getting to Florida???? I did the Trinidad route to avoid the Hurricane zone...then central/south america then over to the islands ending up in Antigua. Thats where i sold my boat. Which I regret deeply. Well I'm saving up for another. With luck maybe get one next year and head south again. Good luck...enjoy fair winds, Allan
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  #13  
Old 02-28-2006
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LaceyKay is on a distinguished road
I would think if you left mid summer and made your way down to north Florida by the end of October, that would be perfect. (gives you 5 months along the way down) This would allow you to steer clear of Florida during hurricane season (June-October), since we seem to be a magnet for them down here, and it only seems to be getting worse each year. But at the same time it has you down here before it begins to get to cold. If you arrived in north florida just as it began cool off in October, you would be in south florida easily by Nov/Dec when there is actually the slight possibility of cold fronts (which weren't very often this year, and when they do come through, its not for long)

I would say if you followed a plan similiar to this, there would be no reason to need a heater whatesoever, especially if you are heading for Caribbean afterwards.

we had maybe 4 or 5 nights that reached 40 degrees total all winter, and i was camping on an island for one of them - you shouldn't have any problem on your boat keeping warm. most winter nights will get down to around 60 or 70 normally.

good luck!!!
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  #14  
Old 03-01-2006
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aschoenb@rcn.com is on a distinguished road
My family and I plan on a similar trip next year - leaving Maine in June to go north to Nova Scotia and then head south the first of Oct. Hopefully making the Annapolis by Nov. 1. Stay a couple of weeks and head south. Where in Maine do you live and what type of boat are you heading out in?
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  #15  
Old 03-04-2006
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cmendoza is on a distinguished road
Actually, we live in Hawthorne NJ, we had our slip in Haverstraw, NY and currently have our boat wintering in East Dennis MA. We left her there after our trip last year that ended in Provincetown. We'll be heading north to Penobscot Bay early July. Our plans are to spend July and August in the general area, and then head south as described... we sail a Catalina 30 TRB... if you would like, check out our website at www.svrocinante.com
Perhaps we'll run into each other...

Fair Winds,
Carlos
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  #16  
Old 03-31-2006
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paulthober is on a distinguished road
I sailed from Portland, ME to Beaufort, NC a few years ago, leaving Portland on Sept 1st and arriving Beaufort mid-November. This is a chilly time of the year in these waters - not cold, but I certainly didn't do a lot of sun bathing. This a very nice time of year as there is no crowd to deal with. I stayed in Oak Bluffs, MA harbor on a town mooring for a week free of charge. There were, maybe ten boats in the harbor.

Other places that I found outstanding places to stop on the way were New York City, Annapolis, MD, Elizabeth City, NC, and of course Beaufort. These all had good anchorages, friendly people, and interesting things to do while there. If you enjoy secluded and isolated achorages my favorite areas were Long Island Sound and Chesapeake Bay, particularly the latter, which if you have reasonably shallow draft, offers seemingly endless oportunities.

Enjoy your cruise.

Paul
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  #17  
Old 04-01-2006
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cmendoza is on a distinguished road
Thanks Paul...
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  #18  
Old 04-05-2006
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
I'd agree, six months for the ICW seems to be a bit long. I'd delay departure a bit, as you probably don't want to be too far south during the worst parts of hurricane season. I'd recommend leaving in mid-August, and spending about six weeks getting down to Norfolk/Portsmouth, VA at the beginning of November might be about right, to avoid most of the RTS problems. Then spend another six weeks or so getting to Florida, which would put you in Florida after hurricane season.

That makes a trip of about three-months.
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  #19  
Old 08-04-2008
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cmendoza is on a distinguished road
First, My apologies to everyone… I completely lost track of this post and my promise to come back and let everyone know how it went. Once again, our thanks to everyone for all the great advice.

Let’s just hit a couple of the highlights before I get into our trip:
Fridge
  • Watch depths as there are MANY uncharted shallow areas - stay center of channel whenever possible…
I’ve got to say, we really didn’t run into many problems with depth (6’-6” draft) on the entire trip down… yes it got a little hairy in some areas and yes, I did dredge a couple of new channels going into some marinas and even got hung up a bit in New Smyrna, FL – but all in all no troubles
  • There are several “sounds” that can be extremely rough when the winds change - Albemarle in North Carolina is one such area - learn them and watch your weather.
Yep, patience was a virtue on this trip, but we waited patiently for our windows and had a great trip!
  • Take care after any rainfall - things you wouldn't believe wash into the “ditch”;. Entire trees floating (or, sometimes submerged)are not uncommon.
Yep, entire trees!
  • Traffic on the “ditch”; can be interesting - some boaters understand courtesy and protocol and others just don't - be watchful.
Dead on - we try to be as courteous as possible ourselves, throttling back as they approached, etc. as with everything else in life, we met and spent some great times with several power boaters and “cursed” a bunch of others.
  • Be ever watchful for crab pots - there is no rhyme or reason to their placement and sometimes they can be found very close to the navigational channel…
We made it all the way to Key West and back north again without incident…. Until! Snagged a pot entering the Chesapeake… fortunately, caught it with the keel, saw the float submerge and killed the engine… managed to back off it without issue!
DavidCReno
  • Keep in mind that you'll meet amazing people as you travel south and may want to travel at a common pace so that you can see each other a little more on the way.
I know I don’t have to say it, but it’s absolutely true! By far, the best part of the entire trip was the people we met along the way.
Nereus32
  • I can recommend heat on board! Last year when we came down, our heater allowed us stay in the Chesapeake longer, while everyone else was forced to move south. We left Washington D.C. on November 5th. The fall colors were beautiful and worth it.
Thank you, Thank you, and Thank you!
We picked up a “Mr. Heater” and it made all the difference in the world! As you’ll find out later in this lengthy reply, we didn’t reach Portsmouth until December 22nd! – Yes, even thought it claims to be safe indoors, we always made sure we had plenty of ventilation!
PBzeer
  • I'd check the average temps for the route for the time of year you are planning, then, just work within a comfort range at whatever pace you feel like. Since you've obviously left a life of schedules and time clocks, why put yourselves back into them?
Can’t thank you enough - My wife and I kept reminding ourselves of this every time we made a decision, we hung out in Charleston an extra week because it was a bit colder than we wanted and not only got better weather, but met a great couple that told us about a great, free, Blues concert running throughout that entire week!
Dick Pluta
  • My wife and I did this a couple of years ago…We left NJ in early October…
My original response to Dick was “Wow, early October sounds late to me! Then again, what the heck do I know...”
Sure enough, October 11th found us in Cape May, NJ - It was perfect timing for us, a bit cooler than we would have liked, but also a lot less crowded… thanks again
Allan C&C Less
Somehow, I missed your post…my apologies.[/
Hopefully you’ve found yourself a new boat and are out there… In the end, we decided to do a 1 year test run before shoving off for parts unknown, so after Florida, we headed back North.

LaceyKay
Sorry, missed yours as well…
BTW, as things turned out, we didn’t hit Florida until February 28th

paulthober
  • Other places that I found outstanding places to stop on the way were New York City, Annapolis, MD, Elizabeth City, NC, and of course Beaufort
Well, we know NYC well, so didn’t bother stopping there, but loved Annapolis - enjoyed great fireworks thanks to the Naval Academy and enjoyed the Christmas boat parade! Elizabeth City was definitely worth a stop – great little town, very nice people, free overnight dockage and of course, the “Rose Buddies”. We missed Beaufort, but spent some time in New Bern and really loved the general
Sailingdog
Sorry, missed yours as well, but thanks for the advise… as you’ll soon read, all sorts of life events conspired to alter our “plans” and substantially shortened the amount of sailing time… I’m just glad we set aside the year to do it

Anyway, this is quite a bit longer than expected, so I’ll stop here and I’ll come back with more info in the near future…

Again, our sincerest thanks to everyone,
Carlos & Maria
SV Rocinante
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  #20  
Old 08-04-2008
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fullkeel7 is on a distinguished road
C & M,

Well, at first I was mad at myself for reading an old thread, but was really happy I saw your post. It's nice to read about a successful and safe adventure. Congrats and looking forward to your update....and thanks for the post.

Bob
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