Suggestions requested on getting IP 380 from Rock Hall, MD to Hilton Head, SC

kent_island_sailor

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Kent Island!
Another thing - make sure you know the ICW Pass. It isn't powerboats trying to kill you, it actually works pretty well.
+1 on leaving Rock Hall on a certain date too - you can go someplace else and hang out or leave the boat for a time. This is THE prime time best cruising weather for the Bay, you could have a wonderful time slowly making your way to the Norfolk area.
 
I'll second the combined strategy, but keep your options open. You may want to do the Waccamaw River. And wind direction could give you a great sail, or an upwind slog.

The prevailing seabreeze blows up the coast from the S. But this time of year there are more and more days blowing down the coast from the E or N. If you can wait to pick your days, you may get a day or two of favorable wind - and a great sail.

The continental shelf extends far out, with relatively shallow water, which keeps big ocean waves from getting into the Myrtle Beach area.

Murrells Inlet is an option for a stop. But it's not connected to the ICW.

Georgetown is great, but keep in mind it's over 10mi from the ocean (I want to say 13nm from the harbor to the end of the jetty). Tidal current in Winyah Bay has to be considered too.
 
If you do the inside route your draft allows you to do Pamlico Sound instead of the Alligator and Pungo rivers. The route would be Norfolk -> Manteo -> Ocracoke -> Beaufort NC. Ocracoke was one of the highlights of our trip from Florida to Virginia this year. 360 protection and a neat little touristy town with everything in easy walking distance.
 
FWIW, I brought an improperly-propped Alberg 30 from Kilmarnock VA to Georgtown SC, solo except for the Crewdog as ships company. Top speed 4.5 kts, late October (ie shorter days), all inside via Coinjock, except for the Beaufort NC -> Masonboro jump. Mostly underway 10-12hrs per day, it took 9 days of travel.

Heading S and decent weather, a jump from Cape Fear outside will save a lot of time and traffic/bridge hassle. 70 miles straight line to the mouth of Winyah Bay. No need to come the 12m upriver to Gtown, as there's a good anchorage just inside the jetties. Avoid Winyah on strong NE'lies, though.
Then choose the next day - pop back out for the HH dash - 90 or so miles? Or come in 3-4 miles to get back on the Ditch for Chas.

If you try C Fear -> Gtown outside and need to bail, just the 30 miles outside from C Fear to Little River and back onto ICW will save you time, some shallow inlet crossings, etc... and is an easy in/out.
Take the Western Bar Channel out of the Cape Fear, cuts off a couple of miles and there is plenty of water there at the end of Oak Island, 8' at low IIRC. Pay attention to the chart.

If on the Ditch in Little River & headed S, depart there late on a flowing tide and you'll have current behind you all the way to Socastee, and be just in time to catch an ebb down the Waccamaw to Gtown.

Have fun, its a good trip. :)
 
^^^ Indeed. It was like San Diego today, 75F and dry - a far cry from yesterday's soggy 94F.

And a good breeze blowing down the coast.

We'll get more days like this. Keep your options open!
 

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