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post #21 of 26 Old 04-02-2018
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Re: novice sailor /sail to Florida from Baltimore

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So i sold my house and everything in it and and stayed in hotels that my company provided for work for almost 2 years . as soon as the house sold i started looking and found the boat i wanted at a unbelievable price . I had it surveyed and the surveyor pointed out all the thing that needed repaired and in 2 years it is now ready to go.
I have not sailed this coast but from what I have read this is not an easy journey, not for a newbie sailor, especially solo. It would be a real shame for a mishap to end your journey before you even get to tropical waters.

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post #22 of 26 Old 04-02-2018
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Re: novice sailor /sail to Florida from Baltimore

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Do you have a chartplotter at the helm? If not I suggest at least a handheld chartplotter along the lines of the Garmin 78sc (or a laptop/tablet with appropriate software and GPS). Navigating while singlehanding can otherwise be challenging particularly around unfamiliar inlets (and worse in the dark with poor weather).
Agreed and the navigational marks where inlets and channels cross the ICW can be confusing.

And don't blindly follow your plotter. The ICW and it's shoals move around with storms. You need to keep an eye on the buoys (you have a good pair of binoculars right?) and it's not a bad idea to sit down with Active Captain and ICW specific web sites and read about the area you'll be transiting the next day for any surprises.

The Waterway Guide is also a good investment https://www.waterwayguide.com/shipst...roducts_id=263

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post #23 of 26 Old 04-17-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: novice sailor /sail to Florida from Baltimore

yes i have a new garmin chart plotter /radar and sounder installed last summer . i wanted every advantage i could get and yes i have binoculars and i will invest in the waterway guide . before leaving i plan to invest in all the safety gear i can .thanks for the input .
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post #24 of 26 Old 04-18-2018
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Re: novice sailor /sail to Florida from Baltimore

Seeing as I've experienced as much as 8 knots of north bound current in the Gulfstream between Fla and the Bahamas, I doubt your 38' ketch would make much headway against even half that. Since the prevailing winds in the Keys are easterlies and the Gulfstream runs west, offshore sailing in the Keys can be pretty rough, if not downright dangerous. Key Largo marinas are pretty expensive.
There is often a counter current close to the coast south of Beaufort, NC, but as a sailor alone (tired) and inexperienced, trying to sail close to the coast is a recipe for disaster.
As mentioned, hurricane season is no joke and that sort of experience (a hurricane) can cost you your boat, if not your desire to continue sailing. Consider waiting until fall to venture forth and spend the summer getting experience sailing locally, especially mastering anchoring and reefing in bad weather.

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
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post #25 of 26 Old 04-22-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: novice sailor /sail to Florida from Baltimore

yes i have come to realize the ditch is the best route i appreciate your input .
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post #26 of 26 Old 04-22-2018
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Re: novice sailor /sail to Florida from Baltimore

I've done the ditch single handed. Some advice, look behind you from time to time to insure you are still in the channel. Don't panic when your sounder goes to zero, then pops back. It was explained to me that silt in the water will screw with it. Know where you will anchor that night before you get under way. There are stretches that anchoring is few and far between, that is getting off the channel and still having enough water to float your boat. Get a pair of binoculars and use them. Plan your trip through Hells Gate so the current favors you. Pay attention to the markers at Lockwoods Folly inlet, the channel moves and your chart plotter (well mine did) lies to you. Take your time to stop and smell the roses. It is an absolutely a wonderful trip. I used the Waterway Cruising Guide.

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