COVID-19 is a real danger in Florida.
This makes the winter cruise unpleasantly complex.
We want to move Red Ranger further south. But. We don't want to catch COVID-19. Nor do we want to become spreaders of COVID-19. We're vexed and go everywhere masked to make sure we're not the cause of someone's death.
Here's the "sort-of" plan, right now.
It's pleasant enough. We can haul out in Green Cove Springs. We're not far from our land base on western North Carolina. We can remain reasonably isolated if we don't hang around noisy bars and restaurants.
To get there, we'll work our way down the Bay to Norfolk.
I like to take the Annapolis to Norfolk trip in 4 or 5 jumps, depending on places we want to see along the way. One could, of course, spend a month or more doing this. We'll try to keep it to five days, depending on weather.
I estimate using 30 to 45 gallons in the worst case of no sailing. The best case is something like 18 gallons for motoring up and down creeks each night.
From Norfolk to Beaufort, the ICW seems prudent. (Cape Hatteras scares us.)
This is 205 statute miles on the ICW in 35-50 mile jumps. Five days of motoring; 31 hours of engine time; 40-62 gallons of fuel. There's little sailing space in The Ditch, so, I hope to arrive at Beaufort with a 10 gallons of fuel in the tank.
From Beaufort to Jacksonville, we'd like to sail outside. We did the reverse trip back in 2013, motor-sailing all three days. It was noisy, but acceptable. As noted in Jumping Outside, we need a pretty settled weather window. We'd like 3 days of benign sea state.
We have new sails, and we've learned a little about boat handling. We think we might do a better job of sailing some (or all) of it.
The Buys-Ballot's Law suggests I want a low pressure cell that has already run down the 35th latitude and has just started out to sea. With a high in south Florida, the wind may start out a little on the nose, but as we turn with the coastline, the wind should move aft.
The pilot chart says Beaufort 5, 17-21 knots is common. This sounds like mizzen and yankee during the day. mizzen and stays'l after dark. It means we'll only use the mains'l if the wind drops. In the Bay, that's choppy and unpleasant. At sea, it might be a little more tolerable.
That's about all I can do for now. Give CA the itinerary so they can work out the food budget:
5 days in the Bay.
5 days in the ICW.
4 days at sea.
I have waypoints and ETA's. I will create a more detailed float plan (with CG station phone numbers) for the the offshore leg. We give this to family with instructions to call if we fail to check in with our Spot Messenger.