Cruising

Hampton ICW Snowbird Rendezvous

22 Aug

October 17-20, 2019

The very popular and successful “Hampton Snowbird Rendezvous” is returning to Hampton, VA, after a year’s hiatus.  This rendezvous draws cruisers from across the North East, Mid-Atlantic and eastern Canada for four days of social functions and ICW cruising-related educational seminars. It is the place to meet, socialize, learn about cruising the ICW and buddy boat with fellow ICW travelers. This event,  sponsored by the City of Hampton, is a cruiser organized and run event.

Learn the secrets of traveling the Intracoastal Waterway from Tom Hale, (SAIL Magazine, and co-leader of the SAIL Rally down the ICW ...

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Serpents in Paradise

31 Jul

Cruising boats in a beautiful Guna Yala anchorage. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Every so often you hear a piece of news that jolts you out of a preconception or two. For me, one such was the attack on a cruising family on the northeastern coast of Panama last May.

A trawler yacht was boarded at night and when the skipper, New Zealander Alan Culverwell, went to investigate, he was shot and killed. His wife, Derryn, was attacked with a machete before she and her two children managed to lock themselves inside the boat.

It was all the more upsetting ...

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ICW Caution Areas July 2019

25 Jul

A cruise down the ICW is relatively easy to navigate.  There are some sections which have historically been  shallow and prone to shifting with constantly changing channels. This list covers many of the known problem stretches.  With up to date Navionics charts and with Aqua Map Master cruisers have available better charts and better information than ever before.  The following list covers includes some recently dredged areas which are already  shoaling in.  You can take time to mark  your charts  now so that you will have advanced notice  of these areas when you plot your daily route this fall.  If  ...

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Tablet Navigation on the ICW

14 Jul

ICW TABLET NAVIGATION Charts on the ICW

July 12, 2019

There has been a sea change in small craft navigation over the past few years. Today boats circumnavigating the globe with a tablet as their chartplotter. For those of us cruising the ICW the changes are no less revolutionary!   The impact of tablet navigation apps will affect cruisers differently based upon their experience, their existing navigation tools, and the cruising grounds.

Most ICW cruisers have an installed chartplotter.   Tablet navigation allows you to scan the area ahead and around you looking for new options and destinations, while the chartplotter continues ...

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One month Till Departure.

7 Jun

 

I’m again the caretaker of a floating vessel. Whenever Satori is in the water she occupies a place in the back of my mind. I flip through the mooring lines, fenders, seacocks; the boat next door with the sketchy looking shore power cable. A boat in the water is a creature that requires care and attending to.

Other than a strange airlock in the injector pump, the boat largely was recommissioned without much drama. I also remembered how to drive it, making a solo back into the slip look like I knew what I was doing. Backing a boat ...

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Comparing “Aqua Map Master” and “Navionics Sonar Charts” while Navigating the ICW Between Charleston and McCellanville, SC

19 Apr

This section of the ICW is called the “South of McClellanville” section. It is one of the longest and shallowest trouble spots on the ICW. The following is an overview of this stretch of the ICW between Awendaw Creek and Jeremy Creek.  While there are some places with 8-10 feet of water, there are also stretches with less than 5 feet of water at MLLW. If you drift out of the “channel” you will find water less than 3 feet.  So, what defines the channel?  How do you find it?

We transited this section for the eleventh time on March ...

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South of Fernandina STM 718 March 24, 2019

17 Apr

 

For some reason the section between STM 717 and STM 719 is confusing to some. It needn’t be.

Northbound after exiting Kinglsey creek you are in the Amelia River.  Stay to the east side past R2. The charts show the deepest water on the lower east side. I have used the  upper west side  at the G2 bend of the river for about 5 years, as the water is deeper along the western shore  The eastern channel has at least 8 feet of water at MLLW. The western channel has 12+ at MLLW .  This is one place you ...

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Bogue Sound STM 210-213

8 Apr

 

A significant shoal  has been growing at R12 and R10A.  The picture below is from Aqua Map with the USACE survey of March 6, 2019. We drifted off center because we were being passed buy a 55’ motor yacht right at the worst section.  He did not have these USACE charts and was not aware of the shoal.  He was quite surprised to slow down and suddenly realize he was in very shallow water.  The water was so shallow the motor yacht could not accelerate onto plane until the water got deeper in about 100 yards east. We had ...

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New River Inlet April 6, 2019

6 Apr

The ICW path through the new River Inlet has  changed over the past few years.  Starting in 2016 it now includes a “dip” at R72A.  The path between R70 and R76 is now called the “Dip Route”.  The marks can be confusing, and the stress is compounded by strong cross setting  currents.

Southbound, R12 and R12A add to the confusion.  They mark the New River Inlet Channel and are not part of the ICW.  They have however caused great confusion. R12A is in direct line with ICW R70 and R72 which leads some southbound boats to pass R72A to port ...

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Price Creek SC STM 448 March 31, 2019

5 Apr

There has been a shoal building off R86 about 8 miles north of Isle of Palms. The NOAA charts do not provide enough detail to help you know which side of the shoal to pass. Most guidance says to stay east of the shoal. We have made several trips on the west side of the shoal.  In looking at the  Aqua Map Master USACE surveys as we planned our route last week, the surveys have no information on water depths east of this shoal. Based on that decided to go west of the shoal March 31:

  1. We have tracks of
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