ICW update report September 17, 2018

17 Sep

Update 12:00 EDT September 17, 2018

As previously suggested and as hoped, the Northern part of the ICW between Norfolk and Beaufort NC is partially operational. Some facilities are fully up and running. Some facilities are damaged but running.  Some facilities are closed. However the ICW seems passable with dockage, fuel and water available in places between Norfolk and Beaufort, NC.  Those facilities which are open for business are anxious to have cruisers come through.  But be aware that many homes and businesses are flooded and already damaged.  Be even more careful about your wake, as in flooding conditions your ...

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Chesapeake Bay Hurricane Holes

7 Sep

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 ...

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Navionics Sonar Charts

29 Aug

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
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Fender Life and Docking Technique.

29 Aug

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 ...

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Weather Prediction on the ICW

17 Jul

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 ...

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Anchors and Anchoring along the ICW

9 Jul

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 ...

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Summer is here. Time to test the systems.

2 Jul

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
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Chasing Spring

14 Jun

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 ...

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INDEX: Updates Northbound Along the ICW 2018

18 Apr

Known Trouble Spots Along the ICW

How to Access up-to-date Information on the ICW

The ICW North Bound Migration Begins

Updates: The ICW North Bound

Updates the ICW: Hell Gate

ICW: Ramshorn through Watts Cut

ICW: New Route for Dawho Creek

ICW: South Of McClellanville STM 430 To STM 435

Lockwoods Folly Inlet Crossing STM 320

Jacksonville St. Johns River Crossing STM 741

St Andrews Sound. STM 689

New River Inlet Crossing STM 247

Isle Of Palms STM 460

Mason Inlet Crossing  STM 280

Norfolk Southern RR Bridge On The Pasquotank River STM 48

Shallotte Inlet Crossing STM 330


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Fort George River ICW crossing. STM735

18 Apr

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....

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