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  #11  
Old 01-24-2007
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camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough
OK...Since there seems to be sufficient interest...I am gonna start an ICW Southbound thread and that way we can all chime in with advice and point others with the same question to the thread. Nomad...absolutely do-able and a nice trip if you have a good engine. I'll try to post some detailed tips shortly on the new thread.
Vasco...from Charleston south there are a good number of navigable inlets including
Beaufort (bewfort) SC, Tybe Road (Savannah), St. Catherines sound, St Simons Sound, St. Mary's River...all of which I have done with a 6ft draft.
Nonetheless, if I were single handing I would stay inside and stay rested except for the jumps I could do in one day like St. Simons to Fernandina. Double handed I would split the difference and stay 20-30 miles out and not try to do more than 2-3 days at once. Triple-handed I'd point her right at Jacksonville as you suggest. Jags..I would not start out my offshore single handing experience with an overnight trip. Suggest taking the day hop from St. Simons island (ICW) to the St. Mary's River (Cumberland Island/Fernandina) ...then going outside again from the St. May's to the St. Johns. Make sure you have a good forecast and clean fuel tanks!
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Old 01-24-2007
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Thread? This topic ought to have its own forum IMO. BTW what is the big deal with anchoring a few miles off shore for a few hours to get some zz's in between inlets? I imagine I'd try to go offshore at the bay, if the weather permits. How is that inlet BTW did I read somewhere about it being hairy?

Last edited by JagsBch; 01-24-2007 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 01-24-2007
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Camaraderie,

I normally will do the Georgia stretch outside, usually on my way home as the weather doesn't seem to cooperate on the way down. It only takes 30 -36 hours but if you stick close to shore it'd take a lot longer and doesn't serve much of a purpose. There is no advantage to staying close in. For this stretch it's all or nothing as it just takes too much wasted time (and I'm not on a schedule) going in and out, especially if the tide isn't in your favour. Either do the whole of Georgia in the ICW or go outside and skip it altogether. Going outside on this stretch also avoids some of the skinniest water, especially going past Jekyll Island. Now from Fernandina to Jacksonville it's better and faster inside, a much shorter trip.
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  #14  
Old 01-24-2007
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This MB is turning out to be a tremendous asset. NO DOUBT

Thanks for the heads up Vasco. I guess it is a good thing I started planning this trip down now. There are a lot of options and plenty of things that must be determined and arranged. One thing for sure I am in no hurry, as long as I get back in Jax in time for my daughters summer vacation from school, we'll be spending it on the sailboat, Lord willing.
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Old 01-24-2007
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Nothing wrong with anchoring a few miles offshore to get some zzz's as long as someone else is pulling the anchor up again and you have a fairly long piece of string. I don't know the depths there a few miles offshore say half a mile = 3.5 miles of string or maybe chain. Maybe the wife can do anchor duty.
Sailing isn't about being able to do some basics, you might learn some of them a bit in some hours but about building a wide range of experience and skill so you can handle whatever comes up, and more so the judgment to anticipate it and possibly avoid it beforehand. Build your competence first by learning to crawl then walk before you get too carried away on big plans.
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Old 01-24-2007
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Jags:
BTW what is the big deal with anchoring a few miles off shore for a few hours to get some zz's in between inlets? I imagine I'd try to go offshore at the bay, if the weather permits. How is that inlet BTW did I read somewhere about it being hairy?

Anchoring in the open Atlantic while single handing to catch some zzz's means getting very close to shore and breaking waves and generally a LOT of chain required...even in benign conditions, things can happen while you are sleeping so I would not recommend it and don't know anyone who has done it except in daylight while awake on a nice summer day.

I assume you mean the entrance to the Chesapeake bay. It is pehaps the easiest "inlet" to navigate on the whole east coast BUT it is wide open to the ocean and 6-8 foot seas approaching the bridge tunnel are not unusual if the wind is over 20 knots or something is kicking up offshore....especially when the tide is running out. When you go south out of the Bay...then you face going around Hatteras which is not called the Graveyard of the Atlantic for nothing.
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Old 01-24-2007
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Boy this topic could really use a forum all its own...

OK, well that settles the notion of me attempting to go offshore singlehanded till I get to Florida. I found a few threads on the topic...


North on ICW?
New York to Florida Via ICW
Draft in ICW and Keys
Nighttime Anchorage
Bridge clearance on ICW
Southbound on the ICW?
Travelling down the ICW
Annapolis to New York in Late April?
South Jersey ICW?

leaving the Chesapeake around 11/15 which is certainly not too late. It also leaves several of the more open sections of the ICW behind you so you wouldn't have to worry about nasty weather much

The trip down the "ditch" is an adventure and really changed my life. I met so many interesting people in the most unlikely of places....

Last edited by JagsBch; 01-24-2007 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 01-24-2007
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I am hoping to take time off from work one spring of summer and just motor/sail the ditch for all the sights and sounds. It is a "roadtrip"unlike any you can experience in a car. You will have plenty of time to go offshore during better circumstances later. Think about restaurants and marinas and small towns... that you can see in a leisurely stroll downthe ICW.
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Old 01-24-2007
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Jags-
"BTW what is the big deal with anchoring a few miles off shore for a few hours " Well, anyplace that is shallow enough for you to ANCHOR offshore, is also going to mean the shallows will cause intense wave action and you're probably going to get your brains bashed around.
The extensive areas off NJ or Hatteras where you might think you can anchor? Are known for eating ships and boats. You want to stay far offshore, totally clear of the shoals (even 100' depth is a shoal for ocean water) that are going to cause rough water.
Plus, if you have mechanical failures (rigging failure, engine failure, anchor failure) and you are being driven up on a lee shore...you are better off being far enough offshore so that you have time to make repairs or call for assistance, before incoming bad wx can put you on the beach.

I'd also suggest, MOST strongly, doing some shakedown cruising in nearshore or sheltered waters, taking a long day trip, an overnight, a 48-hour, during which you can load and stress everything on the boat to find out if there are problems which could really bite you on a longer trip, or further offshore.
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Old 01-25-2007
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My 6' draft appears to be an issue here and there on the ICW, to the point it will require some exhaustive planning. I know there are all kinds of give and takes when purchasing a sail boat, now I am wondering hw big of an issue will a 6' draft wind up being. Is that something I should be concerned with. I am starting to feel that the depth of the draft could severely impact and limit my recreational abilities.

Anyone live in NE Florida care to comment on the topic? For instance how far up can I sail the ST. Johns River before it becomes a concern? I am flying up to NY to make the purchase on the boat Tuesday.
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