Join Date: Oct 2009
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Done north from Florida several times...While the Gulf Stream is miles out, in Florida, the northerly going current is fairly close in, in many paces just a few mile off shore and inshore there is a southerly counter current. There is a weed line tends to be the demarcation.
If you are doing it in hurricane season it is safer to stay within a few hours sail of the Florida coast but be warned, when the weather is severe and onshore, none of the entries are a bargain and even Miami and Lauderdale can be dangerous.
I once did Miami to Charleston (500 nm) in 3 days by angling out from Miami to the longitude of Charleston, approx 80W, and then riding the Stream up. Not sure I would do it in Hurricane season.
Lots of lovely places to stop such as Biscayne Bay, St Augustine, Fernandino Beach and Charleston. I find the ICW in Florida too restricting, slow and busy so I stay outside in the northerly current but many friends swear by it.
Beaufort to Norfolk on the ICW is very nice, less busy and you need a 2-3 day window to go outside Hatteras. I would not want to be outside if there was a tropical wave in the offing.