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post #18 of Old 10-12-2012
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Re: Help With Offshore Navigation

Originally Posted by Harborless View Post

I want to leave out of Jacksonville and sail down to the New Smyrna Beach inlet. I will be doing this trip right around Dec. 20th give or take a few days for weather window.

So basically I have a chart and I have a garmin handheld gps which I have no idea how to operate properly. I want to know what I need to do in EXCRUCIATING detail to complete this trip. I know its not much more than sailing 5-7 miles offshore and hugging the coast down but how do you know your position? I have a compass, the GPS, and some charts with a VHF radio for navigation. How would I be able to know I was at the New Smyrna inlet and not the Daytona? How do I chart my course to account for wind and current to make sure I am where I am supposed to be? I will be single handing so please be very specific and add anything you feel is pertinent.
Do yourself a favor, just motor down the ICW...

No way you can make that run in daylight on one of the shortest days of the year, even St Augustine to Ponce Inlet would be pushing it... So, you're talking about spending a night offshore, which with your level of experience is out of the question...

There are no separate inlets for Daytona and New Smyrna, Ponce Inlet serves both... In ideal conditions, Ponce is no problem, but in anything less than ideal, it can turn nasty very quickly. With the exception of Boca Raton and Jupiter, Ponce is generally considered to be one of the most challenging/dangerous inlets doable for sailing vessels on Florida's East coast...

Again, just motor on down the Ditch...
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