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Old 03-27-2014, 02:12 PM   #41
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I prefer small towns than big city/ports that have heavy commercial traffic. Georgetown SC, Darien GA, Fernandina FL are to me more favorable. Charleston is good for a couple day layover.
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:45 PM   #42
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Another good reason for assistance towing insurance...while technically not covered by your policy...it would be a hard hearted franchise owner that wouldn't at least help with anchoring the vessel safely, or tow it to a facility or bring someone out to help dock it under your membership.

We are very fortunate in most of the continental US to have rescue facilities that can get to you reasonably quickly in many cases....yet I always teach that when on a boat...you are in the wilderness...don't expect quick help...

And when you really think of it...the greatest chance of needing assistance may be in conditions that stop or slow down rescuers considerably.

For many cruisers, the chance of dying from a medical emergency is probably higher than from a boating emergency.
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:20 PM   #43
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I'll add one hint that I forgot earlier. If your cell phone does this, never mind.

We take the portable GPS from our car. Why? If you're in a strange town and are looking for a grocery store, restaurant etc., the car GPS has this information and will tell you how to get there and how far it is.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:17 PM   #44
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Really good advice here. Here I will repeat some items:
- Active Captain. Once I started using this I tossed the Skipper Bob books. Especially when you have two dogs cruising with you, you gotta have good pet friendly information.
- The people you meet. Because of one friend we played hopscotch with we stopped at Sunbury, which is in itself a great thing. Fresh Oysters and crab stew, beers and coozies as swag.
- When in doubt, don't go out. We crossed St. Andrews Sound on a day when we could have laid low, and it is the only thing I regret doing. Thank God nobody was hurt, only everything that wasn't screwed down on our boat was in a different place when we finished. Yes, much if it is a ditch or a river, but a few parts can get really shallow and really rough worse than you know. We followed the rule until we had to turn around and go home, then got "get-there-itis" but should have hung out in Fernandina for another day.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:47 PM   #45
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Thanks!

Yes, real gems from you all, and we are noting every word. Thank you!

BTW, I read something about posting placards. I know about the Waste Plan and disabling the septic overboard valve. Am I missing something else along this line?
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:52 PM   #46
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oil discharge placard

waste management plan (needed for over 12m)..............(here is a sample you can print and fill in... http://www.safeguardmarine.com/image...ement_plan.pdf)

copy of the NavRules
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Old 03-31-2014, 10:32 PM   #47
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Save Our Seas no plastic overboard posted.
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:16 AM   #48
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Icw

I agree with Jeff on taking a CPR and Basic 1st Aid course, the Red Cross offers this in most areas. While not an EMT like Jeff and Karen, I have had the basic training and have lost count as to the number of times it has been used, from a restaurant to the side of the road.
On a lighter note, my wife and I attended one of Jeff and Karens presentations at a rendezvous and as they summarized "... if faced with a medical emergency on board, on land call 911, at sea call the CG...", Rosemary turned to me and said,"Let me get this straight, you suffer a medical emergency on the boat and I'm supposed to call 911 before I call the yacht broker?" The folks seated around us broke up.
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:41 AM   #49
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Why do you plan to bypass the Florida Keys by cutting through Okeechobee? If you do you'll miss one of the most fascinating segments of the entire journey. Of course there is the danger of liking it so much you'll say "screw Marco, I'm staying in the Keys." Good luck!
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:42 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonstruck View Post
Save Our Seas no plastic overboard posted.
Yes, those cards are required on some boats but does anyone change their behavior because of a sign they posted themselves?

I don't throw plastic or trash overboard and I don't discharge oil or antifreeze overboard. Not because of a sign, but because I know I shouldn't pollute the waterway I am cruising in.
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:50 AM   #51
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We're planning to go thru the Okeechobee Waterway because it is better protected, but your suggestion is intriguing.

As for the placards, I'd just like to be in compliance if/when boarded.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:14 AM   #52
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rclarke246--I'm guessing your draft is under 5'. If so, you can do the keys from Biscayne Bay/Key Largo on the inside if it's blowing, and via Hawke Channel on the outside if it's not. Plenty of good protection to duck into en route if the weather kicks up. You'll be in good VHF weather radio range the entire route to keep tabs on weather. And the time of year you're planning couldn't be more benign in terms of weather. When you're done with the Keys, you can island hop north through the Glades to Marco. My tip is DO NOT miss the Keys. They'll spoil you. The only thing slightly better might be to take the 5-6 hour dash across the Stream to Bimini and the other 799 Bahamas. Whichever you choose, Bon Voyage!
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:22 AM   #53
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The Keys and Biscayne Bay are great. To visit Key West by boat is a special thing. Marco Island is only about 100 miles from Marathon or Key West with the Dry Tortugas only a little more distant. One of the beauties of being at Marco is having Naples and the Thousand Islands in your local cruising area. Then from Little Shark River a long days run to the Keys. About 25 miles North to San Carlos Bay you can go into Ft. Myers Beach or enter the GICW for the best of SW Florida cruising. There should be plenty of time for all.
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:33 PM   #54
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If your are posting all those placards maybe you should also have a copy of Colregs.

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Old 04-01-2014, 06:51 PM   #55
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You can do the Okeechobee and the keys ...... turn left at Ft. Myers
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:59 PM   #56
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We crossed the Lake to Ft Myers; turned left, went to Marco, 'Glades, then Marathon. Only caution; watch the Gulf weather forecast; wind vs tide. We got quite a drubbing while enroute after 2 hours of smooth cruising. Marco Inlet was quite a moment. The run from Marco to Little Shark River, then to Boot Key was like glass. Enjoy the adventure
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Old 04-05-2014, 05:35 PM   #57
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If you enjoy muddy, shallow water with shifting shoals and hours of boredom in narrow channels, I'd recommend that you not miss Okeechobee. If you can't stand the sight of multi-colored coral reefs populated by rainbows of exotic tropical fishes swimming in crystalline water, stay away from the Keys. If you hate white sand beaches dotted with swaying coconut palms and quaint mangrove islands, avoid the Keys like the plague. Whichever you choose, bon voyage!
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:37 AM   #58
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you will have to open many bridges on your trip.remember you are the captain of your vessel..do not allow the bridge tenders to draw you up too close to the bridge where you do not have room to maneuver safely. also if other boats are in a big rush for the bridge let them go past you. You will all go tru at the same time anyhow
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Old 04-14-2014, 11:19 AM   #59
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remember you are the captain of your vessel..do not allow the bridge tenders to draw you up too close to the bridge where you do not have room to maneuver safely.
This is very good advice. A boat was severely damaged at the Little River Swing bridge this weekend because strong current caused them to make a maneuver too close to the edge of the rock lined channel there. Never anticipate that a bridge tender will open a bridge when you want it (even if it's on demand) and always consider current as you're approaching bridges. You are in command.

And from experience, if you have a disagreement with a bridge tender, don't argue with the bridge tender. Be polite. Then pick up a cell phone and call the local Coast Guard station for advice and assistance. If a bridge is closed for an extended period, there needs to be a LNM published about it or continuous CG radio alerts. We've had two instances where a bridge tender was very coy about telling us that the bridge couldn't open - asking a question like, "we'd like to keep the bridge closed for 90 minutes - do you understand?" Most people will just agree. We came up on three boats waiting in that situation hearing the radio exchange 20 minutes prior. When I requested an opening, I politely refused to "understand" and re-requested the opening. The bridge tender told me that we would have to wait. One CG call and the bridge opened 5 minutes later.
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Old 04-14-2014, 11:40 AM   #60
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Don't know how I missed this thread, see it originated when I was in internet no-man's land. But a few quick reactions:

1) I strogly disagree with cutting across the Okeechobee when time is not a factor. You miss some of, if not most of, the best cruising of the whole journey that way. Doing urban SE Florida is fun the first or second time, as is the entire length of the Keys, particularly if you like marinas.

2) The northern half of North Carolina is much more fun if you skip the ICW and detour into Manteo and Ocracoke (especially Ocracoke). So much nicer than the Alligator River, Pungo, Goose Creek et al.

3) not sure if the OP has a dinghy and is totally a "no anchor" vessel, but if you like unspoiled beaches, at least one night anchored out at Cape Lookout to enjoy the best beaches in the eastern USA.
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