Morehead City to Virgins in early Feb - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-23-2013 Thread Starter
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Morehead City to Virgins in early Feb

Got an offer to take a 45 footer with two inexperienced sailors to usvi. It seems to me is too early in the season.

What should i look for in term of weather window in feb or march? Alternatively, is to sail down to fl and crossover, then I won't be for the whole trip.

Please share your wisdom and the meantime I will do more homework. Will be back in the States next week to make final decision for go and no go.



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post #2 of 11 Old 01-23-2013
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Morehead City to Virgins in early Feb

You would be in freezing cold weather till you got to the gulf stram which would only take 24 hrs or so.
I've made this trip several times and it usually takes 10 days.
Make sure you use a weather router!
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Morehead City to Virgins in early Feb

Have headed south from MHC in February and returned from Fla to MHC in Feb mostly via ICW and yes it was a bit cool. I do not have an inclosure just a dodger but still an enjoyable trip. Dan S/V Marian Claire

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post #4 of 11 Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Morehead City to Virgins in early Feb

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Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
Got an offer to take a 45 footer with two inexperienced sailors to usvi.
Hmmm, 2 inexperienced sailors as crew on a mid-winter passage from Hatteras to the islands... What could possibly go wrong?

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Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
It seems to me is too early in the season.
Uhhh, I think you probably mean "too late", no? A departure in November or December, once you reach the trades, they're still likely to be more out of the ENE... As the season progresses, they'll begin to move more around towards the SE... Not good, unless you like bashing to weather for the latter portion of the trip, but no doubt your inexperienced crew will revel in such conditions... (grin)

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What should i look for in term of weather window in feb or march?
36-48 hours perhaps, 72 if you're really lucky... Especially during a winter like this one, with wild fluctuations of the jet stream forecast throughout, weather forecasting beyond a few days is likely to be a real crapshoot...

IMHO, March is perhaps the riskiest time of the year to be anywhere near the vicinity of Hatteras... That's the time these very intense systems that originate in places like Arkansas can begin their march across the SE, spawning tornadoes and violent weather, drawing a bead on Hatteras... If they happen to collide with another system, late winter cold front or whatever, watch out... Very volatile, difficult time of the year to forecast, IMHO...

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Alternatively, is to sail down to fl and crossover, then I won't be for the whole trip.
You should have a look at Don Street's TRANSATLANTIC CROSSING GUIDE, he outlines a pretty good late-season route from Jacksonville or thereabouts, getting across the Stream in advance to a cold front, then riding that as far east as you can... That might make the most sense in this case, head down the coast from Beaufort, and get your crew settled in, or sorted out... Departing from Morehead with an unknown/untested crew can be a recipe for disaster - remember one of the lessons of RULE 62?

I'd proceed very carefully with this one, if I were you... What sort of boat? And, perhaps more importantly, does it have a full cockpit enclosure? (grin)
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Morehead City to Virgins in early Feb

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Hmmm, 2 inexperienced sailors as crew on a mid-winter passage from Hatteras to the islands... What could possibly go wrong?



Uhhh, I think you probably mean "too late", no? A departure in November or December, once you reach the trades, they're still likely to be more out of the ENE... As the season progresses, they'll begin to move more around towards the SE... Not good, unless you like bashing to weather for the latter portion of the trip, but no doubt your inexperienced crew will revel in such conditions... (grin)



36-48 hours perhaps, 72 if you're really lucky... Especially during a winter like this one, with wild fluctuations of the jet stream forecast throughout, weather forecasting beyond a few days is likely to be a real crapshoot...

IMHO, March is perhaps the riskiest time of the year to be anywhere near the vicinity of Hatteras... That's the time these very intense systems that originate in places like Arkansas can begin their march across the SE, spawning tornadoes and violent weather, drawing a bead on Hatteras... If they happen to collide with another system, late winter cold front or whatever, watch out... Very volatile, difficult time of the year to forecast, IMHO...



You should have a look at Don Street's TRANSATLANTIC CROSSING GUIDE, he outlines a pretty good late-season route from Jacksonville or thereabouts, getting across the Stream in advance to a cold front, then riding that as far east as you can... That might make the most sense in this case, head down the coast from Beaufort, and get your crew settled in, or sorted out... Departing from Morehead with an unknown/untested crew can be a recipe for disaster - remember one of the lessons of RULE 62?

I'd proceed very carefully with this one, if I were you... What sort of boat? And, perhaps more importantly, does it have a full cockpit enclosure? (grin)
When I lived at the Jersey shore March was the worst months for noreeasters. The would form either off of Hatteras or the Myrtle Beach area and plow up the coast. Lots of unstable air with the cold Canadian fronts and air coming through every few days still and the warm gulf air running into to it. Problem with northeasers is that can be slow movers.

Risky trip with novices.

Dave


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post #6 of 11 Old 01-24-2013
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Re: Morehead City to Virgins in early Feb

I would doubt you will get a weather window long enough to make the trip, probably not even through the stream as it makes it's own weather, especially in the cold months. After the stream, you'll be bucking the Antilles current if you don't make enough easting, adding to your difficulties.
Prepare yourself for a "heavy weather" delivery, beating most, if not all the way. I've done several winter deliveries to the islands from Newport, RI and none was easy or fun. I hope you are getting well paid.
I'd suggest a set of hand cuffs or some of the plastic restraints if you are taking inexperienced crew on a tough delivery (not joking).
Good luck.
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post #7 of 11 Old 02-05-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Morehead City to Virgins in early Feb

Sorry the late response for my inquiry. Obviously, I did not take this trip. I did advise the owner not to go out but take the ICW to Florida. I may join them later and help to take the boat to Bahamas.

Thanks for yours inputs. They reinforced my thinking. Here are three main reasons I hesitate to commit.

1. Weather
2. Condition of the boat. I have seen the boat. It was bad shape. I was told the boat survey well recently despite the look, but I have not read the survey report.
3. I can't confidently single handled the boat myself in rough sea. Its set up is not the best for short handed crew.

I don't mind the cold or working with new sailors. But this time, it does not feel right. I love the challenges, I must trust my instinct.

Thanks Captains
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-05-2013
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Re: Morehead City to Virgins in early Feb

Better to be on shore wishing you were sailing than out stuck in a bad situation.
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post #9 of 11 Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Morehead City to Virgins in early Feb

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Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
Sorry the late response for my inquiry. Obviously, I did not take this trip. I did advise the owner not to go out but take the ICW to Florida. I may join them later and help to take the boat to Bahamas.
Good call...

What's the boat, when will they be heading down from Morehead? I'll be heading south sometime after the 15th, I'll keep an eye out for them...
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-06-2013
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Re: Morehead City to Virgins in early Feb

"I'd rather be in the boat with a drink on the rocks than in the drink with a boat on the rocks"
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