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Old 10-06-2014, 06:44 PM   #41
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Thanks for heads up, Bill. In my float plan (spreadsheet format) I've included all the bridges and all details I could find on them. According to AC notes, only few of them state that there are boards posted. So, I'll take the conservative approach and will go with the official max clearance.
.
While we generally run outside, don't over estimate the issues with the bridges. If you're not at peak traffic times, you'll find you can time them extremely well and keep your pace. Typically their schedules are perfect for trawlers. I've come back from West Palm to Fort Lauderdale on the ICW and not had to stop a single time. I'd go the speed necessary to hit right and I'd notify the bridge tender well in advance. For the most part, the tenders are very friendly and try to make it as easy as possible.

Just to give an example, I happen to have Hallandale to Pompano handy and was playing with the bridge timing. Clear Hallandale at 12:15, Hollywood Beach Blvd 12:30, Sheridan 12:45, Dania 1:00, 17th St and Las Olas you clear, Sunrise at 1:30, Oakland Park 1:45, Commercial 2:00, Atlantic 2:30, 14th St., 2:45. They time perfectly. A lot of bridges but very organized. Oh, and no advantage trying to squeeze as you'll just end up waiting for the next one. It's like traffic lights that are sequenced so once you make one if you stay at the right speed, you make them all. Of course, don't see that much anymore.
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:22 PM   #42
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While we generally run outside, don't over estimate the issues with the bridges. If you're not at peak traffic times, you'll find you can time them extremely well and keep your pace. Typically their schedules are perfect for trawlers. I've come back from West Palm to Fort Lauderdale on the ICW and not had to stop a single time. I'd go the speed necessary to hit right and I'd notify the bridge tender well in advance. For the most part, the tenders are very friendly and try to make it as easy as possible.

Just to give an example, I happen to have Hallandale to Pompano handy and was playing with the bridge timing. Clear Hallandale at 12:15, Hollywood Beach Blvd 12:30, Sheridan 12:45, Dania 1:00, 17th St and Las Olas you clear, Sunrise at 1:30, Oakland Park 1:45, Commercial 2:00, Atlantic 2:30, 14th St., 2:45. They time perfectly. A lot of bridges but very organized. Oh, and no advantage trying to squeeze as you'll just end up waiting for the next one. It's like traffic lights that are sequenced so once you make one if you stay at the right speed, you make them all. Of course, don't see that much anymore.
Thanks for clarification on the bridges. I know exactly what you mean. When I was looking at their schedule the timing did appear to me as they should flow nicely and geared toward cruisers at around 7kts. This reminds me bridges operation in VA Cut. I was just a bit overwhelmed seeing 14+ bridges to open in a short stretch. If I don't have too much of a delay due to weather or other factors, I may give it a shot and enjoy the scenery. After all, as far as I know, ICW in FL is as good as it gets on the East Coast.
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Old 10-06-2014, 08:54 PM   #43
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Thanks for clarification on the bridges. I know exactly what you mean. When I was looking at their schedule the timing did appear to me as they should flow nicely and geared toward cruisers at around 7kts. This reminds me bridges operation in VA Cut. I was just a bit overwhelmed seeing 14+ bridges to open in a short stretch. If I don't have too much of a delay due to weather or other factors, I may give it a shot and enjoy the scenery. After all, as far as I know, ICW in FL is as good as it gets on the East Coast.
Well, when we're wanting to cover distance we go outside, but that's also because we've seen the inside. All along the east coast there's so much to see. Sometimes going back and forth between in and out can be nice. If you're subsequently going back north then you can go outside part of the way down, especially when conditions are great and make a point to go inside when you return for any areas you missed coming down.
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:06 PM   #44
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Depends on what "as good as it gets" means. To me, it is almost all your fellow boaters that are the aggravation, especially on weekends. Cutting in front of you, veering around, the guys who don't get the timing and get on you for their getting by, and then meeting them again at the next bridge jamming things up while they stand off. The bridges will hold boat traffic to clear heavy auto traffic at peak times.

We found viewing the real estate from the big boat interesting.. once. The second time, very early in the morning on a weekday and poor seas outside, well, OK. The third time on a Sunday.. very dumb, but I was getting a free dockage in Lantana as part of a Loggerhead lease and didn't feel like turning back to the LW inlet.. bad decision. Personally we like wilderness boating. Taking the Whaler around the canals and New River is much more fun for real estate viewing.
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Old 10-07-2014, 09:40 AM   #45
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...How's the up coming weather look to you?
Bill, I don't know if decided to make the run, but I'm looking at real-time buoys data and two different sources match reporting 3-4' winds 15-20kts.

http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/

Here's good view on the winds:

NDBC - Station 44096

I would give it a shot and see if I can make to Ocean City. If it's not too bad then I'd take the run to Norfolk. From what I see there are some areas where the wind is stronger (mouth of DE Bay), but Western component helps to keep the waves down.

The earlier you can dock today the better. Starting tomorrow it definitely looks much better.
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:09 AM   #46
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Depends on what "as good as it gets" means. To me, it is almost all your fellow boaters that are the aggravation, especially on weekends. Cutting in front of you, veering around, the guys who don't get the timing and get on you for their getting by, and then meeting them again at the next bridge jamming things up while they stand off. The bridges will hold boat traffic to clear heavy auto traffic at peak times.

We found viewing the real estate from the big boat interesting.. once. The second time, very early in the morning on a weekday and poor seas outside, well, OK. The third time on a Sunday.. very dumb, but I was getting a free dockage in Lantana as part of a Loggerhead lease and didn't feel like turning back to the LW inlet.. bad decision. Personally we like wilderness boating. Taking the Whaler around the canals and New River is much more fun for real estate viewing.
George,
I meant from the scenery point of view. Especially for those from Northeast, who has the opportunity to do it during winter months.

I like your observation on how the same "canal cruise" is different between doing it on a big vs. small boat. When I had smaller boats (18' and 26'), which I towed anywhere between Canada and FL, we had several opportunities to explore small sections of ICW around Ft Lauderdale area. I didn't worry about bridges and boating traffic was not too bad. But that was many years ago.

Having our 11' tender with 40HP engine will give us the opportunity to zip around the canals for a short range scenery tours. However, our primary goal is to use the big boat as much as possible when we go down to FL during holidays and kids school breaks.
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:37 AM   #47
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Bill, I don't know if decided to make the run, but I'm looking at real-time buoys data and two different sources match reporting 3-4' winds 15-20kts.

http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/

Here's good view on the winds:

NDBC - Station 44096

I would give it a shot and see if I can make to Ocean City. If it's not too bad then I'd take the run to Norfolk. From what I see there are some areas where the wind is stronger (mouth of DE Bay), but Western component helps to keep the waves down.

The earlier you can dock today the better. Starting tomorrow it definitely looks much better.
Thanks. We stayed put. The seas would be on or close to the nose the last time I looked and the period is close together. Not a condition that would make this boat happy. Plus we would have to slow down and be out in it longer. I'm not getting beat up on this trip if there is anyway to avoid it.

I'll continue to keep an eye I it but Thursday was looking good the last time I checked.
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:59 AM   #48
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Last year, on my way down south (when I took off from OC, MD), I had similar situation but with NW wind at 15-20 gusting to 25-30. The ocean run in the earlier part of the day was not too bad (3-4'ers), but we received (as expected) a "big welcome" from Chesapeake Bay. Constantly 4-5'ers chop close together. I knew this was going to take place, but I know how to run my boat in these conditions (15kts on plane, fast enough to be on top of the water and slow enough not to slam her into waves). This is the time when I take advantage of my "fast trawler" and use her planing hull as she was designed. I just figured that being in this for 1-2hrs shouldn't delay a 120NM run and a full day. Unfortunately, my schedule is usually tight. So, I knew that as long as make it to Norfolk, I'll be able to hide in the ditch all the way to Charleston, if I had to.

Of course with SW you'll get some of it on the nose, but with tomorrow's forecast for WSW should help you. The only part I don't really like is that it'll be 2nd day in the row winds blowing in the same direction. But, more of Western component will help you, if you stay closer to shore. I'm sure you know that as you enter Chesa-Bay, hugging the southern shore will help you even more to be in calmer water.

If you have the time, then of course Thursday looks to be the best for the long run between Cape May and Norfolk.

Safe travels.
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Old 10-07-2014, 11:20 AM   #49
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Take a look at the Delaware Bay to Northfork weather box on passage weather.com and you should see what I see. It now shows winds of 30 - 35 knots off Cape May out of the SW for tomorrow morning at 6am.

Sailing Weather - Marine Weather Forecasts for Sailors and Adventurers - PassageWeather
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Old 10-07-2014, 11:29 AM   #50
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Take a look at the Delaware Bay to Northfork weather box on passage weather.com and you should see what I see. It now shows winds of 30 - 35 knots off Cape May out of the SW for tomorrow morning at 6am.

Sailing Weather - Marine Weather Forecasts for Sailors and Adventurers - PassageWeather
Yea, I see what you mean. Somehow NOAA has a different view on this:

12NM E Lewes DE

WSW wind 13 to 16 kt, with gusts as high as 22 kt. Isolated showers before 7am. Seas 4 ft subsiding to 2 ft.
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:25 PM   #51
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NOAA Marine Forecast

Small Craft Advisory in effect from 6 PM EDT this evening through Wednesday morning

Coastal Waters From Fenwick Island De To Chincoteague Va Out To 20 Nm-
Today

S winds 15 to 20 kt. Seas 3 to 4 ft with a dominant period of 8 seconds.
Tonight

S winds 20 to 25 kt with gusts to around 30 kt. Seas 5 to 6 ft with a dominant period of 7 seconds. A chance of showers.
Wed

SW winds 15 to 20 kt...becoming W 10 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Seas 3 to 4 ft. A chance of showers early in the morning.

...and below OC, Md the coast starts to turn SW again...
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Old 10-07-2014, 02:49 PM   #52
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NOAA Marine Forecast

Small Craft Advisory in effect from 6 PM EDT this evening through Wednesday morning

Coastal Waters From Fenwick Island De To Chincoteague Va Out To 20 Nm-
Today

S winds 15 to 20 kt. Seas 3 to 4 ft with a dominant period of 8 seconds.
Tonight

S winds 20 to 25 kt with gusts to around 30 kt. Seas 5 to 6 ft with a dominant period of 7 seconds. A chance of showers.
Wed

SW winds 15 to 20 kt...becoming W 10 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Seas 3 to 4 ft. A chance of showers early in the morning.

...and below OC, Md the coast starts to turn SW again...
Each person has to determine their own tolerance for various conditions. It's generally not a matter of safety they're dealing with, but comfort. And when you're carrying passengers as a captain, then it's their comfort and tolerance. I'm sure neither Bill nor the boat would have any problem handling the daytime conditions shown, but passengers not use to those conditions, would probably prefer greatly that they avoid them.
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Old 10-07-2014, 04:01 PM   #53
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Each person has to determine their own tolerance for various conditions. It's generally not a matter of safety they're dealing with, but comfort. And when you're carrying passengers as a captain, then it's their comfort and tolerance. I'm sure neither Bill nor the boat would have any problem handling the daytime conditions shown, but passengers not use to those conditions, would probably prefer greatly that they avoid them.
Good point. I 100% concur.
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Old 10-07-2014, 05:31 PM   #54
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"passengers not use to those conditions, would probably prefer greatly that they avoid them."

One would think. But in this case I'm having a bit of difficulty getting that across to some members of the "crew". The time/speed/distance stuff is just not sinking in. And the option of going the bay/canal/bay route was dismissed very early on and repeatedly.
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Old 10-07-2014, 06:05 PM   #55
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"passengers not use to those conditions, would probably prefer greatly that they avoid them."

One would think. But in this case I'm having a bit of difficulty getting that across to some members of the "crew". The time/speed/distance stuff is just not sinking in. And the option of going the bay/canal/bay route was dismissed very early on and repeatedly.
Maybe a day of rocking and rolling would be good for them...lol

I've known cases where owners talked Captains into conditions that they knew would be miserable but not unsafe. One in particular, after the trip, the owner said to never listen to him again.

I also don't recall what type 45' you are on. I'm imagining one that doesn't handle rough conditions very well.

As to Charleston, maybe they were thinking Charleston, W Va. Other than the fact it's inland, it is closer than Charleston, SC.
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Old 10-07-2014, 06:08 PM   #56
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NJ to Ft Lauderdale Trip

IMO, it's a big detour to go the C&D route. If I had the time I would do it just for the experience. But from the delivery point view, I would rather wait 1 day than do the 100nm detour.
However, if I see that I have to wait 2 or more days, then of course it's no brainier. At least this is my approach for my delivery.
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Old 10-08-2014, 05:30 AM   #57
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I agree. But if we had gone to the canal the other day we would have been in or passed Northfolk by now and on our way down the ICW. And the weather here would not be a factor for us moving further along south.
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Old 10-08-2014, 06:47 AM   #58
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Personally, I'd bring him out for the offshore run for attitude adjustment. An hour or two may just have you heading up Del bay for a more reasonable passage. Nothing like a few things getting thrown around the cabin for dramatic effect. He will drop the "ancient mariner" persona quick.
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Old 10-08-2014, 10:45 AM   #59
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I agree. But if we had gone to the canal the other day we would have been in or passed Northfolk by now and on our way down the ICW. And the weather here would not be a factor for us moving further along south.
It's more like a 75nm detour to Norfolk if you are just steaming along and not stopping to smell the roses, which for us was the whole reason for going the Chessie as we were never confronted with the weather situation Bill has. Really just an extra day at trawler speeds, assuming you are able to make the same speed on either route. In my opinion, weather allowing, once you are outside might as well go all the way to Oregon Inlet if it is in good shape.

Seems a shame to me to have a boat and bypass the Chesapeake, never to return again. If you've done it few times and are in more of hurry, just looking for a new experience, well then OK.
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Old 10-08-2014, 12:57 PM   #60
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Seems a shame to me to have a boat and bypass the Chesapeake, never to return again. If you've done it few times and are in more of hurry, just looking for a new experience, well then OK.
Our philosphy exactly. When we're on the east coast we do what refer to as "leap frog" seeing places one trip and others the next time by. We know we'll be back many times so if we miss something, we'll get it next time. However, We've been on the west coast a lot lately. We treat it as "never to return" territory. We might return one day but not in the near future for sure. So we try not to pass by anything we really want to see and not to leave places when we haven't seen all we want to.
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