There are already a goodly number of southbound cruisers in the Chesapeake Bay. With the expected approach of Hurricane Florence, it is time to start considering where to hide if the storm comes into the Chesapeake. We have lived on and cruised the Chesapeake for 30 years. We’ve experienced many tropical storms and a few hurricanes. With that experience here are some observations about Chesapeake hurricane holes. As a general observation, marinas and anchorages below the Rappahannock are going to feel the full effects of a coastal storm. Further up the Bay the winds may be somewhat mitigated going over ...Read More
As you have no doubt noticed, the cartography I use in most of my posts is by Navionics. We navigate with Coastal Explorer on our PCs and use a Navionics + chip in our chart plotter and a Navionics US & Canada HD app on our iPhones and iPads. With the Navionics + and the Navionics app there are three cartography options.
- First is a duplicate of the NOAA charts, but with a different color palette chosen by Navionics.
- Second is the Navionics + charts. They are built on the NOAA charts but with some added features.
- In app tides
The following comments may be common sense to cruisers . If the trip down the ICW is your first long trip with many stops at a variety of new to you marinas, here are some thoughts on fenders and fendering for you to consider.
When you are tied to a dock, you will place fenders to hold the boat away from the structure. If it is a fixed dock the fenders are placed at or near the dock pilings where and as needed. Generally floating docks are more forgiving on fender placement as you merely put several down low near ...Read More
As cruisers, we learn to predict the weather in our home waters with relative ease: it becomes instinctive. In the summer cruising grounds your radius from home port is likely to be only 100 miles. You will probably stay within your local seasonal weather pattern. Cruising the ICW is quite different. If you watch the local TV weather forecast in the morning, its afternoon predictions will be practically worthless as by afternoon you will be 50-60 miles away. This morning’s weather center forecast for tomorrow morning will be different from the forecast at tonight’s anchorage. In short, you will get ...Read More
Anchors– Anchor designs have evolved greatly over the centuries. The Danforth anchor was a breakthrough design in the early years of world war II: a lightweight anchor with superb holding capabilities. After the war, it became the standard anchor for small craft. Its one weakness is that the flukes may get jammed with a stone, stick, or quahog and it will not reset if a wind or current reversal pops the anchor out. The various plow and claw style anchors were developed to address that possible weakness. However, their ultimate holding power did not measure up to the light weight ...Read More
As we move into the summer boating season, it is time for to start preparing your boat for a trip southbound along the ICW. This trip is, for most first time ICW travelers, the longest continuous voyage they have made on their boat. While it is true that the trip along the ICW is merely a series of day trips, and so is not that difficult, it is also 30 day trips strung together. This will push the boat the systems and the crew to new limits.
- Your engine will be run about 200 hours in 30 travel days getting
Chasing Spring, 40 miles per day
We left Stuart Florida in March to begin our run north to Annapolis. Stuart is at statute mile 990 on the ICW. Annapolis is 141 miles beyond ICW “mile 0” in Portsmouth, VA. We had 1131 miles to go. As we raised our anchor in Stuart, it was a delightful spring day. It was sunny, temperature was in the mid-70s. Nights had been cool but not cold. We slept with the hatches open. Ashore, azaleas were in full bloom, the cypress trees were light green with early leaves on every branch. Yellow pine pollen ...Read More
Just north of the St. Johns River at Jacksonville FL is a new spot to keep clear of. There is shoaling building in from the east at the mouth of Garden Creek. We saw 7.2 feet at +3.8 feet of tide. This shoal has 3.4 feet at low water. Stay slightly to the red side of center and you’ll see 12 feet. The shoal clearly shows in the Navionics Sonar Chart. Because we had significant tidal help our track shows we intentionally crossed one of these shoals to confirm the depths shown on the Navionics Sonar Chart....Read More
We have been keeping an eye on Watts Cut for a couple of years. There seems to be a shoal building. Half way between G137 and G 135 we saw depths which would work out to 6.3 feet MLLW. There will be less water if you stray from center. If your boat draws over 5.5 feet it would be wise to transit Watts Cut on a rising tide.