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Discussion Starter #1
We're heading out tomorrow at 6:30 a.m. or so from Beaufort, SC on our way to West Palm. Based on the weather, we might want to duck in before some stuff hits us Thursday evening (nothing outrageous, just some higher winds and lumpy seas), and we'll be close to Canaveral at about 3:00 Thursday, assuming all goes as planned, and we all know what that means.

We'll review the Waterway Guide, but I'm looking for personal experiences on the portion of the ICW from Canaveral on south. That is, can we make it without too much of a pain? Boat draws 5'6".

From my review, it looks like there's no place to duck in south of Canaveral that's reachable in 4 hours or so -- assuming a traveling speed of 6.5 knots -- which is why I'm thinking Canaveral, as it's the inlet most south that we can reach before the weather is predicted to catch us. If I'm wrong about that, please don't be shy, as I'd like to make the most ground on the outside as possible before ducking in.

I'll be curious to see for how much of this offshore trip we'll have cell/BB/Internet access. If we can maintain it and if the conditions are right, maybe I'll post updates. Regardless, I'll post something on the trip after it's over.

Thanks all.
 

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Wandering Aimlessly
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Its pretty much straightforward on that stretch, as I recall. Probably take you a day and a half from there.

If you use Verizon, you should connect to just south of Hilton Head Island, then pick it back up around St Marys Inlet. If you stay fairly close to shore (3-4 mi) you should stay connected the rest of the way.
 

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Have done that section several times Daniel. No issues whatsoever. Things get dicey at Canaveral weather wise as it is a true "cape" so be very sure you can make it there. You can also pull in at Ponce Inlet a bit further north.
Waypoint 29-04.650 x 80.53.650. It is not a class A inlet but is reasonable and straightforward with plenty of depth and no shoals....but exposed to the south and east and heavy tidal current can build waves. Turn and follow the marked channel south after getting past the jetty and it will bring you to the ICW intersection.

Forecasts seem to be deteriorating Daniel and it seems your trip has gotten longer. Stick close to shore and monitor carefully. Full gales now predicted in the offshore forecasts with lighter winds coastal...but still no picnic.
 

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Forecast as of 3:35 PM EST on January 13, 2009
Synopsis For Flagler Beach To Jupiter Inlet Out 60 Nm-
Synopsis
A strong cold front will move over the area early tonight bringing gusty winds and building seas. Cool high pressure will build over the waters Wednesday and Thursday with a reinforcing Arctic frontal passage forecast Thursday afternoon and evening. Deterioration of marine conditions are expected again with this latest frontal Passage.
Gulf Stream Hazards
None. The approximate location of the west wall of the Gulf Stream based on satellite data as of Sunday January 11 at 2 am... 45 nautical miles east of Ponce Inlet. 33 nautical miles east of Port Canaveral. 29 nautical miles east of Sebastian Inlet. 19 nautical miles east of Fort Pierce inlet.

Small craft exercise caution for winds
Forecast as of 3:35 PM EST on January 13, 2009
Coastal Waters From Flagler Beach To Volusia Brevard County Line
Out 20 Nm-
Tonight
Northwest winds 15 to 20 knots diminishing to 10 to 15 knots after midnight. Seas 3 to 4 feet. Choppy on the intracoastal waters. Showers likely through sunset then slight chance of showers in the evening.
Wednesday
Northwest winds 10 to 15 knots diminishing to 5 to 10 knots in the afternoon. Seas 3 to 4 feet. A moderate chop on the intracoastal waters.
Wednesday Night
Northwest winds 5 to 10 knots. Seas 2 to 3 feet. Mostly smooth on the intracoastal waters.
Thursday
Northwest winds 10 to 15 knots. Seas 2 to 3 feet. A moderate chop on the intracoastal waters.
Thursday Night
North winds 15 to 20 knots. Seas 3 to 5 feet. Choppy on the intracoastal waters. Slight chance of showers after midnight.
Friday
North winds 15 to 20 knots. Seas 4 to 6 feet. Choppy on the intracoastal waters. Slight chance of showers.
Friday Night
North winds 10 to 15 knots. Seas 5 to 7 feet. Slight chance of showers.
Saturday
North winds 5 to 10 knots. Seas 3 to 4 feet.
Saturday Night
North winds 5 knots becoming northwest after midnight. Seas 3 to 4 feet.
Sunday
West winds 5 to 10 knots. Seas 2 to 3 feet.
 

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Friday AM:


Georgia to St. Augustine...20 miles out:

THURSDAY
NORTHWEST WINDS 15 TO 20 KNOTS. SEAS 4 TO 6 FEET.

THURSDAY NIGHT
NORTH WINDS 20 TO 25 KNOTS. SEAS 6 TO 8 FEET.

FRIDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT
NORTH WINDS 15 TO 20 KNOTS. SEAS 5 TO
7 FEET. ISOLATED SHOWERS.

LIGHTER WINDS CLOSER TO SHORE!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone. Truly, you all have been a great help.

Here's our current plan, subject to doing one final weather check in the a.m.:

1. Leaving Beaufort at first light tomorrow, Wednesday, Jan. 14.

2. Planning to run in the light weather as fast as we can with the hopes of getting to Canaveral on Thursday evening before the weather gets to us (optimistic I know, but that's what we're hoping for).

3. From there, we'll spend the night at the marina just inside the cut at Canaveral, and then take Friday and run down the ICW as far as we get on Friday (which looks to be the most challenging weather day). Figuring we should be able to get to Fort Pierce on the inside.

4. Saturday morning, go to West Palm, either inside or out. Either way we should get there before dark on Saturday.

5. If we can't make it to Canaveral for whatever reason, we will bail at Ponce Inlet. Ponce is 215 miles from Beaufort, so we ought to be able to make that before dark on Thursday. If we go to Ponce, we'll stay at Lighthouse Boat Yard & Marina, and then start running down the ditch early Friday morning and go from there.

Thanks again, and we'll let you all know how and what we're doing.
 

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Wandering Aimlessly
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You'll be lucky to make Fort Pierce in a day from the cut. Stay safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Update

We're about 16 miles from Ponce Inlet, and we're going in there. We just won't make Canaveral before dark and weather. From there, it's looking like a long motor down the ICW for the next two days, as tomorrow and Saturday are predicting 6 to 9 foot seas.

I need a no BS answer, so to speak, can we safely run from Ponce to Titusville, with the last 10 to 15 miles in the dark? If not, I think we're left stopping at either New Smyrna Beach, which will make it difficult for us to make it to West Palm by Saturday night.

Thanks all.

DG
 

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The last 15 miles can be done in the dark. It's mosquito Lagoon, haulover bridge and then the Indian River. But I would not do it. Anchor off the yacht club at new Synrna also when going through New Symrna take the cut thru Sheephead bay, it's a lot deeper than the regular ICW. I'm in Vero right now.
 

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I'm stuck in Vero for a few weeks. My wife had to go home for surgery. I dont know what your hurry is to get to west palm but one solution might be to stay in vero and rent a car. It's only an hour and a bit. My wife flew out of West Palm. Good safe moorings here.
 

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Daniel...sent you an e-mail. I would expect you in to Ponce by 1PM giving you 4-5 hours of daylight/twighlight to go about 35-40 miles. (statute) You will thus be about 15 miles short of Titusville at darkness.
This is NOT a difficult section of the ICW but it is narrow and shoal off channel and the lighted beacons are spaced rather widely. You need a spotlight to pick out the daybeacons to insure you don't get off line in between the lighted buoys. It can be done and the worst risk is grounding in soft stuff. Only anchorage if you decide NOT to proceed is just south of the New Smyrna bridge to the east.
 

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Wandering Aimlessly
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The jog west from Haulover Bridge until you turn south can be pretty bumpy if there's much wind on or close to either beam. Don't forget you have some bridge openings to deal with, so allow some extra time in your plans.

I wouldn't run in the dark there by myself, but with alert crew, a good spotlight, and not rushing it, you should be okay.
 

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Wandering Aimlessly
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Good to hear. South from there can be no fun in bad weather.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Update 2

Everyone, thanks so much for the advice. As Cam mentioned, we stopped in New Smyrna for the night, and got underway again at about 7:30 today. It's cold!!!! Heading for Cocoa Beach or maybe Melbourne, depending on timing. No night time travel for us on this trip. Tomorrow to Vero Beach, where I meet my ride to the airport and then fly home to NY Saturday night while the skipper continues on to his ultimate destination (which should make all of us snowbound sailors quite jealous -- Bahamas, Carib, and then a transatlantic to Spain and the Med).

I'll post a little thing about the trip once I'm home, as it looks like I'll be scrambling a bit between now and then, though I'll try to check back in tonight once we're settled.

Seriously, thanks to everyone for all the advice and help (especially Cam, who is a fount of information and very generous with it; someone needs to talk that boy out of driving around and get him back on the cruising circuit!).
 

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Gor all is god to hear all is going well, or at least not badly. Unless you're staying in marinas, good anchoring to the east of the bridge before Melbourne (Banana River).
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Free tonight?

I'm stuck in Vero for a few weeks. My wife had to go home for surgery. I dont know what your hurry is to get to west palm but one solution might be to stay in vero and rent a car. It's only an hour and a bit. My wife flew out of West Palm. Good safe moorings here.
Rick, we're in Melbourne at a marina. We are going to the Charthouse for dinner, and then back to the bar at the marina for drinks (we're told it's a fun place on Friday nights; not sure what to expect). Considering that you are without your wife (I hope she's OK), and the two of us are without our wives, we could have the inaugural meeting of the Sailnet Temporary Bachelors Club. I know Vero is not walking or dinghying distance to Melbourne, but I'm not sure if you have a car available to you. If you're interested, email me ([email protected]), and we can work out details.

Everyone else, thanks again, and I'll bore you all with the details once I get back to NY and have a few minutes. Nothing particularly exciting, so don't wait up . . .
 
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