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Old 09-24-2013, 05:51 PM   #21
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any time you wind up in or crossing a river system...you have to be prepared to switch sides with the marks...that's why charts/plotters are crucial to be referenced frequently.
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:19 PM   #22
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Thanks Randal. Yes, I've heard a lot about Charleston and our friends stayed there over the winter two years ago. Our goal at the moment is to find decent place as close to possible to home (NJ) to minimize the driving distance. With very busy day to day schedule every 100 miles add up. So, between the closer distance, area in general and attractive slip cost we picked Myrtle Beach this time leaving places like Charleston as one of the cruising destinations.
Grand dunes marina in Myrtle Beach is well protected from icw. I have spent time there. Good marina and I was very impressed with staff as checking boat & lines when I was away. Also closet to waccamaw river ( 50 miles of one of the most interesting section of the ice ) , 4 ft. Draft should not be a problem as long as you watch active captain & tides. But do study The last 8 or so miles before M B known as The Rock Pile. Good luck, Randal
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:31 PM   #23
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any time you wind up in or crossing a river system...you have to be prepared to switch sides with the marks...that's why charts/plotters are crucial to be referenced frequently.
Yes absolutely. Both plotters are always on in different zoom levels along with the radar.

Are there any known shallow spots that should only be transited during mid/high tide?
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:21 AM   #24
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Alex -

Just some notes in random order for NC. I just did Oriental-Wrightsville 2 weeks ago.

  1. Check active captain and cruisers.net for recent reports. There have historically been some reports about deadhead strikes in the Pungo.
  2. I'd stop at Belhaven, they have recently remodeled their town docks and going full-court-press to attract cruisers.
  3. Jarrett Bay, Morehead City Yacht Basin are good fuel stops - not because they are the absolute cheapest (Jarrett Bay may be) but because of the traffic they get, their fuel is the freshest.
  4. New River Marina in Sneads Ferry is typically the cheapest and gets it's fair set of turns.
  5. Look on Active Captain for a report of a sunken tank near Camp Lejeune. It's on the green side between #61 and #63. Go slow and stay red. I saw a barge stuck on it when I went by, observing it safely from the red.
  6. Surf City Bridge - 12' clearance, opens only on the hour. It's a boring wait.
  7. Wrightsville has some of the most expensive fuel. $0.50-$0.75 more than other locales.
Enjoy your trip!


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Old 09-26-2013, 07:35 AM   #25
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Yes absolutely. Both plotters are always on in different zoom levels along with the radar.

Are there any known shallow spots that should only be transited during mid/high tide?
About half the trip there is really no tide...behind the Outer Banks everything is wind driven tide...past Beaufort, NC it's all shallow outside the channel but inside is fine for anything less than 5'. As Ben pointed out there's always the possibility of trash or new obstructions...pay attention to the live broadcasts the USCG makes every day and read up each day on a new cruising guide or Active Captain.

NJ ICW is wy shallower but still doable on the 3 hrs before and 3 hrs after high tide...at low tide there are spots a 4' draft vessel will drag...even in the middle.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:02 AM   #26
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We have done the quick/delivery trip down from Long Island, Capemay, Norfolk, Coinjock and Beuford NC(sp?), then SC, then Florida. I will say the Capemay to Norfolk is a very long leg out in no mans land, if weather window is perfect for a day on either side very doable, if it turns there are not a lot of options, we went in July which affords better weather windows, if I was to do it now I would take the Chesepeake route down, just my gut feeling that's all.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:13 AM   #27
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Actually a lot of people don't realize you ca have small craft up to even storm warnings and make the run from New York to Norfolk just fine..the trick is after the beginning og Oct...much of the wind is from the West/Northwest/North.

You can run over 200 miles down the beach close to shore and never see much more than ripples other than when crossing the mouth of the Delaware and Chesapeake bays. If you can time those for outgoing tides...much of the chop is reduced...but it is still lumpy for those crossings. If you can time them for daybreak or after sunset...then often the wind has already started to die down...sure it's a gamble...a little bit..but more often than not a gamble that has paid off for me.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:16 AM   #28
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That's great, thank you.

I highly doubt that I can get past Norfolk as this would be the longest day from Cape May (~140NM), unless I stop at Ocean City, MD. But, I don't think I'll be happy with only 40NM run. If the weather allows I'd like to do CM to Norfolk in one day, b/c I know that I may be delayed later on.

If I was to go passed the Norfolk, what would be the next preferred port you had in mind?

I've only done the MD-FL segments, but you've got lots of input on all that... so I won't add anything there.

Your first two open ocean days -- if single-handed? -- sound too aggressive, to me. Noise, wind, vibration, concentration... all take a toll over time...

Or if weather keeps you inside, the Delaware/C&D/Chesapeake route is easily manageable... and offers useful rest stops at various distances. Also works at displacement speed under some circumstances, but of course that adds even more time.

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Old 09-26-2013, 11:23 AM   #29
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I've only done the MD-FL segments, but you've got lots of input on all that... so I won't add anything there.

Your first two open ocean days -- if single-handed? -- sound too aggressive, to me. Noise, wind, vibration, concentration... all take a toll over time...

Or if weather keeps you inside, the Delaware/C&D/Chesapeake route is easily manageable... and offers useful rest stops at various distances. Also works at displacement speed under some circumstances, but of course that adds even more time.

-Chris
Chris funny you say that, I do remember after travelling all the way from Cape May coming into Norfolk in a sense of sensory overload with all the traffic and naval ships, so what you say about takes a toll is very true, well for me at least. As the trip went on I adapted better.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:24 AM   #30
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May I ask... Why Myrtle Beach? We are in New Bern, NC where there is less of a Las Vegas/touristy feel, the slips are much cheaper than in MB, there is a TON more boating to do via anchorages and lovely places to visit, and you don't have to winterize here either.

Just a pitch.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:29 AM   #31
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If you can make 20 hour or greater runs...the outside route is the ticket 90% of the time...both the Delaware and Chesapeake bay are just as rough as the ocean when blowing North, Northwest or West...maybe even rougher because of opposing current.

Just know your limitations as far as fatigue...then plan accordingly. I would love to run outside to Norfolk every year but girlfriends family lives in Baltimore, I have friends in the area and her dog needs reasonable stops....so the inside route from Cape Mat to Norfolk is taken but not preferred by me unless you are taking time to enjoy and NOT trying to make time southbound.

Also for an inexpensive place to stay in the Myrtle Beach area..try Osprey Marina way at the southern reaches of Myrtle Beach..nice facility and inexpensive.

http://www.ospreymarina.com/
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:03 PM   #32
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Alex -

Just some notes in random order for NC. I just did Oriental-Wrightsville 2 weeks ago.

Check active captain and cruisers.net for recent reports. There have historically been some reports about deadhead strikes in the Pungo.
I'd stop at Belhaven, they have recently remodeled their town docks and going full-court-press to attract cruisers.
Jarrett Bay, Morehead City Yacht Basin are good fuel stops - not because they are the absolute cheapest (Jarrett Bay may be) but because of the traffic they get, their fuel is the freshest.
New River Marina in Sneads Ferry is typically the cheapest and gets it's fair set of turns.
Look on Active Captain for a report of a sunken tank near Camp Lejeune. It's on the green side between #61 and #63. Go slow and stay red. I saw a barge stuck on it when I went by, observing it safely from the red.
Surf City Bridge - 12' clearance, opens only on the hour. It's a boring wait.
Wrightsville has some of the most expensive fuel. $0.50-$0.75 more than other locales.

Enjoy your trip!


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Ben,

Many thanks for the tips.

I actually read an article about 60'er sinking in 120 seconds after heatting a broken marker pole in Pungo. I guess, this is the area I'll be sure to go slow, if I hapen to go that route.

How do you get the reports from AC other than clicking on all the yellow icons?

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About half the trip there is really no tide...behind the Outer Banks everything is wind driven tide...past Beaufort, NC it's all shallow outside the channel but inside is fine for anything less than 5'. As Ben pointed out there's always the possibility of trash or new obstructions...pay attention to the live broadcasts the USCG makes every day and read up each day on a new cruising guide or Active Captain.

NJ ICW is wy shallower but still doable on the 3 hrs before and 3 hrs after high tide...at low tide there are spots a 4' draft vessel will drag...even in the middle.
Great tips! Is there a way to subscribe to the email notifications from Active Captain and Cruisersnet.net? I've been using AC for years, but never saw a feature to subscribe for notifications.

I always have my VHF scanning 9, 13, 16 and 69. Are there more channels I should add for this trip?

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We have done the quick/delivery trip down from Long Island, Capemay, Norfolk, Coinjock and Beuford NC(sp?), then SC, then Florida. I will say the Capemay to Norfolk is a very long leg out in no mans land, if weather window is perfect for a day on either side very doable, if it turns there are not a lot of options, we went in July which affords better weather windows, if I was to do it now I would take the Chesepeake route down, just my gut feeling that's all.
I was thinking that on my run between Cape May and Norfolk I'd be using Ocean City, MD as my shelter, in case if the weather turns bad. From there it's more of longer shot. However, when I was looking at the charts it looks like there are few options. Are any of these inlets should be avoided?

- Assawoman Inlet
- Gargathy Inlet
- Metompkin Inlet
- Wachapapreague Inlet
- Quinby Inlet

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Actually a lot of people don't realize you ca have small craft up to even storm warnings and make the run from New York to Norfolk just fine..the trick is after the beginning og Oct...much of the wind is from the West/Northwest/North.

You can run over 200 miles down the beach close to shore and never see much more than ripples other than when crossing the mouth of the Delaware and Chesapeake bays. If you can time those for outgoing tides...much of the chop is reduced...but it is still lumpy for those crossings. If you can time them for daybreak or after sunset...then often the wind has already started to die down...sure it's a gamble...a little bit..but more often than not a gamble that has paid off for me.
I totally agree as I've used this approach for years.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:15 PM   #33
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May I ask... Why Myrtle Beach? We are in New Bern, NC where there is less of a Las Vegas/touristy feel, the slips are much cheaper than in MB, there is a TON more boating to do via anchorages and lovely places to visit, and you don't have to winterize here either.

Just a pitch.
Great question. In short, we originally were thinking Charleston, but wanted to see where else can we go to be closer to North to cut on driving and still have good boating and vacation spot in general. We happened to drive by and stopped at few places in MB area. We like when saw a strip of all kinds of family fun activities. Thinking that it's not always nice and warm, we at least would be able to use all the other things in the tourists area. It's also puts us about 80-100 miles closer to home and cuts 1-1.5hrs of driving. BTW, the marina prices were very attractive, which is of course one of the primary criterias.

Other than that I'm new to the area and open for any suggestions.

I'll look at New Bern, NC. Do you have any marinas you can suggest? If you don't want to advertise them on the open forum, can you PM me?
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Old 09-26-2013, 01:51 PM   #34
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Alex-I lived in that area for a lot of years. if your intent is to just use the boat as a condo for time in MB, you will be fine. But if you want to do any cruising, there is not much that much available. The ICW is a ditch from NMB to the Waccamaw River. About 25+miles. Of course, once you hit the Waccamaw, the trip down to Georgetown is beautiful.

Going north, there is not much in terms of places to cruise until you get to Southport/Wilmington.

For active winter cruising, I would make the extra 100 miles to Charleston (warmer) or back up to somewhere between Oriental, Beaufort and Wilmington (colder).
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:53 PM   #35
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Alex-I lived in that area for a lot of years. if your intent is to just use the boat as a condo for time in MB, you will be fine. But if you want to do any cruising, there is not much that much available. The ICW is a ditch from NMB to the Waccamaw River. About 25+miles. Of course, once you hit the Waccamaw, the trip down to Georgetown is beautiful.

Going north, there is not much in terms of places to cruise until you get to Southport/Wilmington.

For active winter cruising, I would make the extra 100 miles to Charleston (warmer) or back up to somewhere between Oriental, Beaufort and Wilmington (colder).
Thanks for the tips. I guess I should reconsider different area. Probably this time I would consider closer to North vs. going further South. Realistically I don't think we can qualify for active winter cruisers. We have both kids in school and have to go by their schedule, which limits our cruising a lot. We might get few long weekends and the longest time off slots are the X-mass and spring breaks. I understand that Jan/Feb won't be cruising months at all due to the weather.

I'll have to research Southport/Wilmington area, but if you have any details it would be great.

When we talked to dockmasters in the few marinas in MB they advised the following destinations:

-Whities Island and Birds Island
-Georgetown ~60NM
-Boldhead ~60NM
-Charleston ~125NM
-Hilton Head ~130NM
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Old 09-26-2013, 02:59 PM   #36
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When we talked to dockmasters in the few marinas in MB they advised the following destinations:

-Whities Island and Birds Island
-Georgetown ~60NM
-Boldhead ~60NM
-Charleston ~125NM
-Hilton Head ~130NM
First of all the ICW is marked in statute miles.
Second, with the fire on the Georgetown waterfront, it will probably be a long while before it is restored to its former quality cruising stop.
Hilton Head is about 90 miles south of Charleston at about mile 575.

Have you checked out Southport or Wilmington?
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:18 PM   #37
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First of all the ICW is marked in statute miles.
Second, with the fire on the Georgetown waterfront, it will probably be a long while before it is restored to its former quality cruising stop.
Hilton Head is about 90 miles south of Charleston at about mile 575.

Have you checked out Southport or Wilmington?
The numbers I had were very approximate just to give me a rough idea. I just got an email notification from cruising guide on Georgetown (didn't have a chance to read it though).

I'm currently looking at New Bern, Southport and Wilmington. I have never been in any of those places. If you guys have any more info that would be great. I hope my "Chesapeake Bay to Florida" Embassy Cruising Guide has some good info on those ports. Otherwise, it's web searching....
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:12 PM   #38
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New Bern is a great location. The big 4 marinas are:

New Bern Grand ~$7.00/ft. (RIGHT in downtown)
Bridgeton Marina (price unknown) Located across the river
Bridge Point Marina $6.50/ft (set to reopen in two weeks) Just across from downtown
Northwest Creek Marina ~$6.50/ft (just outside of town)

It's a very historic town. Small enough to feel quaint, but big enough for lots of "big city" things like West Marine, Wal Mart, Lowe's, etc.. Tons of great places to eat and drink.

Cruisable locations at hull speed are: Oriental (3 hours), Morehead City (6 hours), Beaufort (6.5 hours), Belhaven (9 hours), Ocracoke (2 days - best to jump off from Oriental), Manteo (3 days-ish away) and tons of great side creeks and rivers to drop the hook for the night. And a good destination marina at places like River Dunes too.

You could also send your kids to Camp Seagull or Seafarer located in Minnesott/Arapahoe, NC.
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:27 PM   #39
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New Bern is a great location. The big 4 marinas are:

New Bern Grand ~$7.00/ft. (RIGHT in downtown)
Bridgeton Marina (price unknown) Located across the river
Bridge Point Marina $6.50/ft (set to reopen in two weeks) Just across from downtown
Northwest Creek Marina ~$6.50/ft (just outside of town)

It's a very historic town. Small enough to feel quaint, but big enough for lots of "big city" things like West Marine, Wal Mart, Lowe's, etc.. Tons of great places to eat and drink.

Cruisable locations at hull speed are: Oriental (3 hours), Morehead City (6 hours), Beaufort (6.5 hours), Belhaven (9 hours), Ocracoke (2 days - best to jump off from Oriental), Manteo (3 days-ish away) and tons of great side creeks and rivers to drop the hook for the night. And a good destination marina at places like River Dunes too.

You could also send your kids to Camp Seagull or Seafarer located in Minnesott/Arapahoe, NC.
Thanks a lot, Tom. That's some great info. The prices are cheapest I've seen and it looks like plenty of cruising close by.

How's the weather down there? Usually, base on my observation, an approx 100 miles distance equals to 3-5 degrees difference. I assume that since New Bern is about 185 miles North of Myrtle Beach the weather is 5-7deg colder. Does it mean that the boats are exposed more to the freezing temps? Do you winterize any of the components?
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:15 PM   #40
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I have never winterized. Water never gets below freezing. Even the winter of 2010 that was SERIOUSLY cold here, we were fine. Normally, we can boat well into December and pick up again in early to mid March. I can't comment on the difference in temps between the locations. I have never cared enough to take in the data. Besides, will three or four degrees matter when it's 30 degrees outside? Brrrrrrrr........
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