Florida to the Potomac - SailNet Community
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post #1 of Old 04-28-2011 Thread Starter
Islander 32' Mischief
 
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Florida to the Potomac

So I was hoping for some advice on sailing north from FL (Sebastian) up into the Potomac. Most of the coastal articles I have found have been about sailing South. I have a good crew (there will be three of us), a boat that has been recently (within the last year) refit and repowered and provisioning plans pretty well worked out. The boat herself is an old coastal cruiser, 1964 Islander 32' (old style) sloop, that my father, myself and a master carpenter had made into an 8 year full restoration project.

Anyways, to the sail plan, by my calculations 10-13 days seems to be a good estimate to complete this trip safely. Talking to the crew and going over what I am comfortable with we came up with the following.

After departing Sebastian we will exit the ICW in Melbourne and intend to complete the first leg offshore to North Carolina and then stop-over in Oriental.

The next part of the trip is completely dependent on weather and time. The options being, motor-sail up the ICW into the Chesapeake and then up the Potomac or jump outside again and head up the coast. Advice given to me has generally been that if you do decide to go on the outside of North Carolina that you give it a wide berth because of the strong currents.

The plan calls for us to leave FL on May 17 and intend on landing at Tantallon Creek Marina on the Potmac June 1.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of Old 04-28-2011
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As far as I know, the bridge at Sebastian inlet is fixed. I'm not sure what the clearance is but I don't think it is very high(not enough for your boat). You'll probably have to go out at Cape Canaveral. Let me know if I'm wrong.
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post #3 of Old 04-28-2011
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If you're planning on going to Oriental. why not just stay inside to the Chessy? It's 3 days if you push it, and it's one of the few areas where you can sail ( except the last day). It's 2 days out of your way to go to Oriental and then back outside.

John
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post #4 of Old 04-28-2011
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Generally, you plan is good, but maybe a good look at the charts. Ther is no inlet to leave the ICW for the ocean at Melbourne. You can go up to the simple lock at the canal north of Cocoa, but that puts you out just south of Cape Canaveral. Maybe easier to head out at Ponce Inlet or St. Augustine. Once offshore stay aware of your excellent options for an inlet on your way to Beaufort. The St. Johns, St. Mary's, Brunswick, Savanna-Callibogue, Port Royal, Charleston, Winyah Bay, Little River.. and more in NC are all good inlets. We're fans of the short hop, but we don't have time committments. Still, be aware of all your options. I also agree with the inside route from Beaufort, NC to the Chesapeake, but once again, we are "cockpit potatoes" and enjoy the easy route. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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post #5 of Old 04-28-2011 Thread Starter
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To Surveyor: You are correct, the bridge at Sebastian is fixed and too low to permit me to pass through. Additionally, the inlet itself is dicey for the commerical fisherman and would not be wise for a sailboat to attempt. Melbourne, more appropriately, Port Canaveral, has a barge canal into the Atlantic from the ICW.
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post #6 of Old 04-28-2011 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBzeer View Post
If you're planning on going to Oriental. why not just stay inside to the Chessy? It's 3 days if you push it, and it's one of the few areas where you can sail ( except the last day). It's 2 days out of your way to go to Oriental and then back outside.
Is that 3 days from Oriental to the Chesapeake in the ICW? My intent was to be outside from Florida to Oriental (the reason for the stop in Oriental is family, friends and rest). Is it a good assumption that the intial leg offshore from Florida to North Carolina should take about 4 days?
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post #7 of Old 04-28-2011
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I typically take 6 easy days from Oriental to the Potomac (St. Mary's River). The Potomac has a lot of navigatble distance. Where is your Potomac destination?
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post #8 of Old 04-28-2011 Thread Starter
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The final destination is Tantallon Creek marina just above Ft Washington. I work in DC and its much easier, less worisome, more fun and will provide a cheaper place to live if the boat is up here.
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Well there's another two days, if not three, up the Potomac. For me it would be three or four easy days without any night travel!
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post #10 of Old 04-28-2011
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Yes, you can do it in three (in the summer months). Long days, and if the wind isn't right, it means motoring. Once you enter the bay proper, you're good to overnight up to the Potomac.

John
Ontario 32 - Aria

Free, is the heart, that lives not, in fear.
Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
JCP


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