That's one of the best parts of the ICW. If you’re not ogling over the homes, you’ll certainly ogle over the boats. I’ve done it before (both as a recreational boater and while in the U.S. Coast Guard), but it adds a whole new level of stress and unnecessarily increases the chances of getting lost, running aground or having an accident. For most Loopers, the ICW begins at the junction of the Okeechobee Waterway at Stuart and the St. Lucie Inlet and "unofficially" takes us north to Norfolk and then continues through Chesapeake Bay, the C&D Canal, Delaware Bay, and the New Jersey the covid pandemic improves) putting people in harms way would not help anyone! Then head west across to the Great Lakes. I always plan out the next day’s run prior to heading out, typically the night before, which also gives me a chance to review the latest weather forecasts and their potential effects on my travel plans. Although I experience shorter and longer daily runs (60 to 70 miles in some cases), 40 miles is a good average for my boat and one that provides additional time to arrive at my planned destination before dark should unexpected delays crop up. One bridge is opening and another is about to close. Others are flat out interesting to look at. There’s a stretch of the ICW that will, however, allow boats with tall masts (over 64’) and deeper keels (7’ or so) running from Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale. Sailboats account for a hefty proportion of the recreational boats that travel the waterway each year, according to the Atlantic ICW Association. When it comes to cruising the ICW, the oft-quoted phrase “getting there is half the fun” is apropos. One that I will always remember. Oh well, I do what I can but it would be so much better if I have a real survey boat! ICW segment 8: This extends west on the heavily commercial Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) for 1,058 statute miles. We have begun to drop our water ballast raise our centerboard and rudders while under way and this allows with the aid of a very large (for this size sailboat) 50 horsepower engine to achieve speeds of 18 miles per hour. 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All your existing systems—fresh water, sewage, propulsion and shaft seals, anchoring, navigation—will be … A trip down the ICW, a few months cruising down south, and then returning to the Bay, will put five times as many hours on a boat as a normal boating season on the Chesapeake. During our transits we use a 50 mile per day average. refer them to someone to help kick start the season (that is after the hurricane season ends & when Avoiding the dangers of the open ocean, you can travel this system of canals, rivers, and protected waters up and down the East Coast in safety and comfort! Now this anchorage was lovely, with schools of fish being chased by dolphins and bombed by birds all around us. When you plan the next day’s run, comb through the charts and guidebooks, and note things like marina locations, possible anchorages, bridge or lock schedules, and potential ICW trouble spots, such as shoals, sunken vessels, disabled lights, markers, etc. Originally built to ensure a secure means for shipping goods up and down the Atlantic Coast, today the ICW is used not just by commercial vessels, but also by a large number of recreational boaters. Each time only spending a few minutes being stuck. The depths are around 13’ for the whole passage (or so the charts stay). You can put in long days and make great time, for example, while at the same time getting up close and personal with your surroundings. The best boats to travel down the ICW are motorboats or sailboats with a mast no higher than 64’ or a keel not too much deeper than 5’. Now, if only I could get a sponsor so I could take one of these babies down the ICW in the fall and again in the spring. The waterway is also used when the ocean is too rough to travel on. There are so many resources available to help you navigate the ICW…it’s really tricky to pick through and find the good ones. No worries I’m not expecting any Know these things ahead of time to help generate both peace of mind and a more enjoyable trip. When it comes to cruising the ICW, the oft-quoted phrase “getting there is half the fun” is apropos. Pompano Beach, FL 33060 Some are ginormous palaces and others look like inner-city apartment blocks. Amazingly, the entire loop is approximately 6,000 miles long. Have you tried growing herbs? You have a plant! the Mediterranean who knows how it could pan out! During the busiest travel months, it's wise to call ahead by phone or VHF to reserve a slip for the night. We teach singles, couples and families what it truly is like to live the liveaboard lifestyle. You run aground. To get an overview of our time spent in Florida, check out Sailing Around Florida. For those that experience seasickness, it’s downright debilitating. The plan was to stay one night at the Palm Harbor Marina in Palm Beach where we exited the Atlantic Ocean. When traveling down the ICW you will run into water with a lot of tannin, especially in swampy areas. Some have really awesome gears. You are never out of sight of land, which is the point of the ICW. Posted on October 24, 2019 October 24, 2019 Author Dave Ellens 2 Comments. From the Big Apple, it's a straight shot up the Hudson to the Erie Canal. If you would like to get in touch or having any questions, here are our details. We have now traveled a ways down the ICW and pulled into the large rectangular anchorage area in Wrightsville. Our original plan was to head out by 6 am on Monday morning and hopefully make it to our new marina between 3:30 and 4:30 in the afternoon. Where’s the best place to anchor or the location of that recommended marina? From the practically uninterrupted seascape panoramas of … ICW Traveling/Week 69. proper insurance coverage needed to tour places like the west/east Florida coasts or inter-coastal That said, don’t be deterred. Every extended ICW trip should include a general timeline and list of the desired stops to make along the way, but it’s the day-to-day progress that should actually drive the schedule. Others are broken and only one side opens – providing the captain a very narrow gap to maneuver (watch my video below)! Cruising the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) from Virginia to Florida is a bucket list dream for many cruisers. There are tour boats and even a floating tiki bar to check out. Ultimately it is the referred persons choice when making your phone Here are 10 reasons why: Join us on Britican for a week-long liveaboard sailing experience. In other parts of the ICW, the bridges are 65’ high and don’t open. And at one point in our journey down the Intracoastal Waterway, there were five sailboats in a convoy. Every few minutes the boat shifts from left to right left to right left to right indefinitely. When anchoring, the key is to be seen. var abkw = window.abkw || ''; These include the Atlantic and Gulf Intracoastal Waterways, the Great Lakes, the Rideau Canal, and the Mississippi and Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Yeah, we ran aground which isn’t ideal but we found a way off. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Interestingly, amongst all the mega yachts, mansions, and hubbub in the Intracoastal Waterway there’s a massive amount of birds, mangroves, natural areas, green areas, and sea life. In addition to weather, the number of miles I plan for each day depends on a variety of factors, from distances between suitable anchorages to towns or areas I want to visit. Contact us: info@southernboating.com. The first boat, a boat that we didn’t know, would VHF the bridge operator and give the names of all the boats in the convoy. The best boats to travel down the ICW are motorboats or sailboats with a mast no higher than 64’ or a keel not too much deeper than 5’. Watch our video below to gain a tiny insight to our journey Perhaps after we’ve had enough of sailing (if that ever happens), Simon and I will buy a motorboat and do the Great Loop. There’s no etiquette. The answers and the key to safe and less stressful journey is proper planning for your ICW trip, which starts with the most up-to-date ICW guidebooks and charts for the area and studying them well in advance. The Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) is a 3,000-mile (4,800 km) inland waterway along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of the United States, running from Boston, Massachusetts, southward along the Atlantic Seaboard and around the southern tip of Florida, then following the Gulf Coast to Brownsville, Texas. Fax: +1 (954) 522-2260 The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway—also affectionately known as the ICW or The Ditch—is a protected inland waterway route that runs 1,243.8 statute miles from Norfolk, VA, to Key West, FL. On 7 November 2012, in Deltaville, VA, it was 41 flippin’ degrees outside, that’s why! The same goes for other hazards, such as crab pots, which can be found anywhere. Facility reviews should also be viewed with a grain of salt at times: “The dock master hates Algerian Snaggle-tooth Poodles (like our Fluffy) so we’re never coming back and you shouldn’t either!”. If you do take your sailboat down the ICW, you won’t be alone. And our solo sailing companion, Michael on s/v Entitled would be able to ‘raft’ onto us. Viewing my trip as a whole, this allows me to progress along the ICW at a reasonable clip but also provides stopover days for rest, sightseeing, weather delays, etc. var plc318127 = window.plc318127 || 0; During our two day passage, we enjoyed saying ‘thank you’ to the bridge operators for opening and hearing their ‘thank you’ back. Thanks for the awesome tips! Sure helps when it comes to The Outer Banks of North Carolina, small towns like Elizabeth City, New Bern, Washington, Georgetown and many more offer unparallelled hospitality and are filled with history. Learn how to sail at night, plan passages, and/or book into foreign countries AND enjoy the sun, sand and sea of the tropics. On my vessel’s average speed of six knots, I typically plan for a run of around 40 statute miles each day. It’s made up of both natural and man-made waterways. It’s a rather lawless canal where huge mega yachts cruise through at 30 knots and small sailboats putter along at 3 knots. Here is some helpful information on planning your ICW trip. The number of side trips off the ICW can provide months of ideal cruising. So there you have it. If tonight is all-you-can-eat ribs night at Hawg Heaven Restaurant, is there a dinghy dock or public shore access nearby so the crew can get their pork on? There are no duplicates. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. It’s crazy. In years past I've battled the affliction using On/Off which works quickly and does the job. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The Intracoastal Waterway is one of the most fascinating waterways in all of the United States, connecting bays, rivers and lagoons. It’s not ideal to run aground but it certainly adds a bit of spice to the journey. 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