I'm planning my first sail from CT to Key West, leaving the end of this month. We are sailing in a 30' sloop with a 6' draft, and apprx. 45' of mast.
I want to sail the ICW from Norfolk down to Beaufort, the idea being to avoid the "Grave Yard". But, I don't like the idea of having to navigate the canals and rivers around Norfolk.
What I would like to do is to enter the ICW at Oregon inlet.
I'm not sure where to exit, though the sooner the better as far as I am concerned. The choices seem to be to exit the ICW either at the Beaufort Inlet, or the Barden Inlet at Cape Lookout, or the Ocracoke Inlet near Portsmouth.
I plan to keep in deep water as much as possible, sailing 40 plus miles off shore to avoid the small fishing/pleasure boats that don't have proper lighting at night. (There are 4 of us, and the plan is to sail round the clock)
I am open to suggestions and advice about every aspect of the CT to FL route. In particular, I'm looking for any input and advice regarding navigation through the inlets or the ICW generally, and which of the above options seem the most desirable, or any other ideas.