Go'n South from C'peak

Questions about places PDQ's go, field reports about where you've been, and crew requests
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Go'n South from C'peak

by Old PDQ Message Board » Fri May 07, 2004 11:52 am

Posted by Ed Ellis on April 28, 2004 at 17:37:00:

In a couple of weeks, I'm planning to taking my recently acquired 36 to the Bahamas, Keys, and eventually up to Perdido Bay (near Pensacola). I'll probably cross over the the Bamahas at the Lauderdale pass.

1. I'm not too thrilled about motoring any more than I have to. Is is feasible to sail off-shore, but not far enough out to be fighting the Gulf Stream? e.g., Sail about a mile to two off shore as I head south) or will the northern current likely to be too strong to make this idea feasible?

2. Can anyone give me a very rough estimate how long it will take to get from the Chesapeake to the Lauderdale cut motoring down the Intercoastal?

3. Has anyone sailed around the south side of Andros over to Key West? I've never attempted it before cause of the draft of my mono, but it looks like it might be reasonable in a cat. Any thoughts on this?

Any info will be appreciated. Thanks, Ed

Posted by Nando on April 30, 2004 at 20:47:00:

In Reply to: Go'n South from C'peak posted by Ed Ellis on April 28, 2004 at 17:37:00:

Went S last fall: ICW to Beaufort, NC; offshore to Wrightsville Beach (one long day); then out the Cape Fear River, overnight to Charleston. Plan on going 15-20 miles or so offshore and watch out for Cape Romaine. Check the charts and weather. TAKE EXPERIENCED, TRUSTWORTHY CREW (who can hand steer following seas). Have a great sail and welcome to the community!

In Reply to: Go'n South from C'peak posted by Ed Ellis on April 28, 2004 at 17:37:00:

You might consider going offshore from Beaufort,N.C to Charleston. I did that last year and made Norfolk to Charleston in 4 days - way faster than the intercoastal which took me about two weeks for the same passage. The offore shore part of the passage was less than 30 hours ( although I will modestly say that was extreemly fast).
Whatever you choose have a great trip, Harvey

Posted by Alex Kehayes on April 30, 2004 at 06:03:00:

In Reply to: Go'n South from C'peak posted by Ed Ellis on April 28, 2004 at 17:37:00:

We motored and motor-sailed north from Lauderdale to the Albemarle Sound, about 1000 miles. It took fourteen days, usually underway by 0630 and cruising until dusk or a good anchorage. No stops to visit any of the sights. Good luck.
Alex Kehayes

by Chet White on April 29, 2004 at 19:02:00:

In Reply to: Go'n South from C'peak posted by Ed Ellis on April 28, 2004 at 17:37:00:

In Oct 1993 we took Allezcat (36010) down the ICW from Annapolis. Motoring every day, it was exactly three weeks from Annapolis to Punta Gorda, Fl going across the Okeechobee waterway. We went offshore (overnight) from Charleston to the St Johns River at Jacksonville then back down the ICW.

You might think about visiting the Keys first and then cross from Marathon or Key Largo to Bimini or Gun/Cat Cay. You then get a 2kt push from the Gulf Stream. By the way, it cost $300 to enter the Bahamas with a PDQ36 now. On the return you can jump from Bimini to Lake Worth inlet in one day (with a 3kt push), (you now call customs & then present yourself to an immigration officer). There is a convenient Immigration/Customs office at Lake Worth. From there it is one day to Stuart, 3days to Ft Meyers/Charlotte Harbor where you can coast up to St Pete and jump offshore to the panhandle. The Okeechobee waterway locks do close in Summer for maintainance, so you would need to call the Corps of Engineers at Clewiston first.

Have a great trip!


Posted by Terry Green on April 29, 2004 at 05:21:00:

In Reply to: Go'n South from C'peak posted by Ed Ellis on April 28, 2004 at 17:37:00:


1. We made the trip last fall. You can go offshore, but if you plan on using the ICW from time to time you will find that the distance out and back in will make up for the gain in time offshore. Many cruiser go offshore around Charleston, SC and come back in at Fernandina Beach, FL, to miss Georgia. There are a lot of shoals and other currents close in offshore. From mid-North Carolina to mid-Florida you will encounter increasing tidal ranges (up to 12 feet) and increasing currents (up to 4 knots). Watch out for the passes coming back into any of these areas. They can be and are trecherous.

2. We took 5 1/2 weeks and did not take a lot of time "smelling the roses". We should have taken more time, but days were getting shorter and cold weather pushed us onward. (Bocks Marine, past the last bridge north of Beaufort, NC, is a great place for repairs, if you need them. They can haul a PDQ(several there), and have very reasonable rates)

3. If you sail south of Andros to Key West you will be heading directly into the Florida Current, which is the beginning of the Gulf Stream. Everyone in our cruising area advises not to do that either direction because of the wind/current combination.

The Quickest way down: Cross the Gulf Sream at Norfolk and pass North of Bermuda. Head south to the BVI. Come west through Georgtown, Bahamas to Florida. TAKE ALONG EXPERIENCED OFFSHORE CREW !!!

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