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  #1  
Old 12-29-2010
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charleston sc to jacksonville fl

have owned a 25 catalina for about 4 months now and grew up sailing smaller boats, and was wondering if anyone good give me some pointers on taking it outside from charleston sc to jacksonville fl
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Old 12-29-2010
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Everyone knows the time...distance...speed formulas, Your best bail out points are Savannah (Calibogie), St. Catherines, and St. Mary's. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 12-29-2010
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Just be careful of the large boat traffic on the St. Johns. The approch is pretty straight forward at Mayport and marked/lit well even for a night approach. Also, lots of current in the downtown area.
Three of us from this site made the trip from HHI last New Years.
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Old 12-29-2010
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Are you talking direct non-stop? We went from Charleston to Ft. Pierce to Vero on our Passport 40. It was 3-4 days out (if I recall) and it got pretty nasty at times, although it was January when we did it. Anyway, if you're going direct, don't go "direct" as the you'll run into the northern flow of the Gulf Stream as you get farther south. Try to skirt the coast.
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Old 12-30-2010
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I may well be in the minority here, but that is not a passage to be taken lightly in that sort of boat, especially at this time of the year…

Be VERY careful and cautious in picking your weather… A NW breeze will make for some beautiful sailing, but once it swings to the NE, it’s a whole different ballgame in the shoal waters off the Georgia seacoast… That can turn into one of the crappiest bits of real estate along the US East Coast very quickly, and conditions in anything more than 20 knots out of the NE could become rather dangerous in boat like a Catalina 25…

Tidal effects become a big consideration along this stretch of the coast, and can be felt well offshore… You must ALWAYS be aware of what the tide is doing, the effects of set and drift will be noticeable throughout this ride… You really want to avoid the situation of having to get back into one of the sounds against the ebb, that alone could take the better part of a day to do so in a boat like yours…

You really want to be sure of the weather before proceeding south of the Savannah River entrance, and you won’t have an opportunity to get back in at night until St. Simons Sound… Under no circumstances should you consider entering any of the other sounds between Savannah and St. Simons after dark…

Below Savannah, Wassaw, St. Catherines, Sapelo, Doboy, and St Simons are all do-able, but the big problem is that they all trend back to the NW. So, heading south, you’ll wind up losing a lot of the ground you’ve gained by going outside… Sapelo Sound makes the most sense to go back in, as it takes you fairly straight in to the west, you don’t pay quite the penalty there… But really, you want to avoid having to go into any of those places, especially in deteriorating conditions on an ebb… All those sounds can be a like running a gauntlet for miles, surrounded by shoal water and breaking seas, one ccould get into serious trouble very quickly through there…

And, you are a LONG way from any assistance, if you need it – don’t underestimate how remote this stretch of the coast can be…

One other hazard along this stretch, there are a considerable number of fish havens and unlit fishing buoys through here, always makes me nervous running through there at night… You like to think all that crap is charted and on station, but with those sort of aids, you never know…

Finally, the jetties at St. Mary’s and St. John’s entrances definitely rate a mention… Like the Charleston jetties, they will become awash and submerged at high tide, and present a serious hazard at night… It has always boggled my mind that there have never been placed a more distinctive aid to navigation (a strobe, or similar) at the seaward ends of these jetties, but even in the wake of the Christmas tragedy years ago at Charleston, such a solution never seems to have occurred to the powers that be… In any event, you must be absolutely certain of your position relative to these jetties, before your final approach to either of these entrances…

Keep in mind, it won’t be the end of the world if you have to do this trip, or major portions of it, inside… Once you get into the open sounds or wilds of Georgia south of Savannah, you’d still be able to do quite a bit of sailing in a boat as nimble and easily managed as yours… And it you’re inside south of St. Simons and Jekyll Islands, and have the time, I’d highly recommend a stop at Cumberland Island, it’s a very cool place…
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Old 12-30-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
I may well be in the minority here, but that is not a passage to be taken lightly.......................... and you won’t have an opportunity to get back in at night until St. Simons Sound… ...............it won’t be the end of the world if you have to do this trip, or major portions of it, inside…..........
'

Well said, and we too are conservative with selecting weather. I overlooked St. Simmons sound as a bail out entry inlet and it's class A-1 excellent! Take care and jpoy, Aythya crew
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Old 12-30-2010
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Weather is definitely your biggest consideration. 5.5 knots will get you from Charleston to Jax on an overnight. The St Johns will be a bear if you hit it with the tide going out. If you have to go inside, crossing the inlets at St Simons and Jeykell Island can be rough if the weather and tide are against you.

I assume you have a 9.9 outboard w/5gal tank. If so, be sure to take extra fuel.

Again, weather is your biggest consideration.
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