Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 10-02-2015, 12:52   #1
Registered User
 
Liunatic's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Key West
Boat: '83 Endeavour 40
Posts: 133
ICW chesapeake south

looking at traveling the ICW from Chesapeake all the way south, I Know timing the bridge openings so as no delay will never work, wondering if approaches to bridges all have a place to tie off while waiting. We have an Endeavour 40 with a draft of 5ft

rich and melanie
__________________

__________________
Life's a journey, not a destination
Liunatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2015, 13:25   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Charleston SC
Boat: 1979 Pearson 323
Posts: 72
ICW chesapeake south

Not much to tie up to, but you can usually vary your speed to make the opening. When the bridges start to stack up in Florida, the openings are staggered to allow you to make (most) of them provided you can do about 5-6 knots. If you have the weather, go outside to avoid the bridges in S Florida. There are a ton of them and even if you do make all of the openings you'll still be delayed.
__________________

__________________
cofc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2015, 13:54   #3
Registered User
 
Liunatic's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Key West
Boat: '83 Endeavour 40
Posts: 133
Re: ICW chesapeake south

I know I said south but I didn't mean Fla. Ill go on the outside from S Carolina, its our first time taking our boat south and heard the ICW is exciting the first time, boring the second time, and you know the rest.
I was crew on a 44 CSY last Oct from Annapolis to West Palm on the outside. the reason for my question is my boat doesn't like just sitting still long, full keel that doesn't back up very well in tight quarters if you know what I mean. As I approach and have wait for any length of time it would be nice to have a spot to tie off

Richard
__________________
Life's a journey, not a destination
Liunatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2015, 14:55   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Charleston SC
Boat: 1979 Pearson 323
Posts: 72
Re: ICW chesapeake south

I've only done the stretch from Oriental south, and aside from a random fuel dock there really isn't anything to tie up to. Sometimes there is enough room that I guess you could drop anchor if you have to, but I don't think it would be necessary. Most of the places where you would wait for a bridge are wide enough that you can just drive up to the bridge, do a 180, go back a half mile, wash rinse repeat. It's all so accurately mapped out that you can just vary your speed to get to the bridge a few minutes before opening.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
cofc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2015, 15:10   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,848
Re: ICW chesapeake south

You wont be waiting that long. You can keep your boat moving even if you need to reverse course. Dont let the bridge keeper pull you in to close that you feel unsafe.
__________________
motion30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2015, 18:22   #6
Marine Service Provider
 
AnchorageGuy's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wherever the boat is!
Boat: Marine Trader 34DC
Posts: 4,618
Re: ICW chesapeake south

rich, there are no places for you to tie up. You can time your transits to get to the bridge before it opens. But if your late by even a minute, odds are you'll wait for the next opening and in some cases that can be an hour. You need to do some practicing with your boat. No matter what kind it is, you should be able to hold position or stand by for a bridge opening. Your going to need to get there before the scheduled opening. How long before, will depend on you, but you don't want to arrive exactly at the schedule. The bridge tenders will want you there standing by, before they will even consider an opening. Thousand of boaters do it every year with every type of boat. You will also have to contend with winds and currents. So if you don't have the skills to stand by for a bridge, perhaps some additional experience is needed before you make the trip. Chuck
__________________
Chesapeake Bay, ICW Hampton Roads To Key West, The Gulf Coast, The Bahamas

The Trawler Beach House
Voyages Of Sea Trek
AnchorageGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2015, 18:30   #7
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 6,389
Re: ICW chesapeake south

Fascinating.

Really.

I live on the West Coast and am amazed at this type of question.

Any (and all) cruising guides for the stretch of water you're contemplating explain everything.

Read up, kiddo.
__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2015, 04:16   #8
Registered User
 
Liunatic's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Key West
Boat: '83 Endeavour 40
Posts: 133
Re: ICW chesapeake south

Stu, small things amaze small minds.
Everyone else, thanks for info. I have be reading and just thought this was a forum to ask questions, leaving the answers to anyone who wanted to reply

Richard
__________________
Life's a journey, not a destination
Liunatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2015, 06:56   #9
cruiser

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: North Charleston, SC
Boat: Camano Troll
Posts: 4,669
Re: ICW chesapeake south

As most have posted, there usually aren't places to tie up to wait for a bridge opening. And if there were, someone might already be tied up there.


If you're going into the current, you may be able to stay right where you are, waiting for the bridge. Just match your speed to the speed of the current. If you're going with the current, turn around and do the same thing.


Whatever you do, don't just sit there, call the bridge tender and let him or her know that you would like an opening. Sometimes a commercial boat will show up and they get openings as needed. Often, the bridge tender will let you go through after the commercial boat without waiting for the next scheduled opening.


I have personally been given an opening without waiting for the next scheduled time a couple times. I didn't ask why, I just thanked the bridge tender and went on through.
__________________
rwidman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2015, 07:00   #10
cruiser

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: North Charleston, SC
Boat: Camano Troll
Posts: 4,669
Re: ICW chesapeake south

Quote:
Originally Posted by motion30 View Post
You wont be waiting that long. .
Some bridges only open once an hour. Some bridges don't open for two or two and a half hours during morning and afternoon rush hours. If you have to wait for two hours you might as well anchor and shut off the engine(s).
__________________
rwidman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2015, 07:43   #11
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Out there doin' it
Boat: 47' Olympic Adventure
Posts: 2,638
Re: ICW chesapeake south

It doesn't hurt to hail the bridge (vhf or phone) 15 mins before your arrival to give them a 'heads up'. Time your arrival for a couple minutes before a scheduled opening. When you're about 1/4 mile from the bridge, you can then slow down, call the bridge again to request the opening, and make any arrangements if necessary with opposing traffic. That last point you have to do yourself; the bridge operator doesn't direct traffic.

Just know that some operators will tell you to get very close to the bridge, probably so they can visually verify that you are tall enough to need an opening - then will have you back away and wait. Plan accordingly, especially if going astern involves some yaw.
__________________
Lodesman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2015, 08:08   #12
Sponsoring Vendor

Community Sponsor

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Heathsville, VA
Boat: Gemini 105Mc 34'
Posts: 1,459
Re: ICW chesapeake south

...and be sure to hail each bridge on the VHF as you approach (best as soon as the tender can see you). Some tenders will not open the bridge if you didn't call or signal, even if you're sitting right there. I've heard cruisers then call the bridge asking why it hasn't opened yet, just to hear back that they didn't ask for an opening, and the next opening is in a half hour.
Waterway Guide is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2015, 08:46   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Annapolis, MD
Boat: Gozzard, 44CC, 50'
Posts: 160
Re: ICW chesapeake south

Be sure you know which VHF channel the bridge tneder is monitoring. It can vary by state .. 9, 11 and 16. Also watch the depth boards at the fixed bridges. Some higher tides are reducing the minimum clearance to below 65 ft. If you're going "out" in SC, remember the tide in Port Royal Sound is 9 ft +/-. My best advice is to "think" like a tug skipper pushing a barge when you go around the bends and you'll have a better chance of staying in deep water. Have fun and take your time!
__________________
Scrimshaw4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2015, 09:08   #14
cruiser

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: North Charleston, SC
Boat: Camano Troll
Posts: 4,669
Re: ICW chesapeake south

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrimshaw4 View Post
Be sure you know which VHF channel the bridge tneder is monitoring. It can vary by state .. 9, 11 and 16.
or 13.
__________________
rwidman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2015, 09:52   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Wherever the wind takes me
Boat: Bristol 41.1
Posts: 809
Re: ICW chesapeake south

As others have said, it's a matter of timing.

Many Chesapeake Bay sailors will have little to no experience with opening bridges (top of my head I can only recall the one opening bridge at Knapps Narrows) and it can be intimidating the first few times. As you get a couple successful openings under your belt they become easier.

In many locations you will have adequate room to maneuver and if you arrive early for the opening you can motor back and forth as needed. In several spots however (Wrightsville Beach southbound for example), such actions will leave you aground. This is particularly true in areas with strong currents. In such cases, use the current to maintain station by either bow into the current, or, if your vessel steers well in reverse, simply using reverse at idle speed to control the boat. Practice develops skills.

Bridge operators vary in their cooperation, courtesy, skill, and degree of car traffic. Which means some will hold the bridge for you for a minute or two, while others will shut you down if you are not exactly in place when they decide to open. Direct your complaints to the Coast Guard.

We missed the opening on the Ben Sawyer Bridge at Charleston (northbound) one year and simply dropped the hook while we waited 59 minutes for the next opening. Made lunch to pass the time.

If still a bit unsure, see if you can tag along with another boat for your first opening. Bridge tenders seem more apt to be helpful for several boats trying to gain an opening than for just one.

Check the latest info for the hailing channel as at least one state has changed the channel. Some bridges also monitor 16 but they are the exception. Having your VHF radio in the cockpit is extremely helpful, particularly if you need to coordinate with other vessels.

Be aware the the current in states like South Carolina, Georgia and northern Florida can be considerable, and that current may accelerate and/or change direction once you enter the area of the bridge abutments or fenders. Stay alert. In a few cases, current can approach 4-5 knots. Best to have the flow with you. This also entitles you to pass through first if there is traffic waiting on the other side of the bridge

Traveling the ICW we find fewer opening bridges each year. Even the old pontoon bridge near Camp Lejeune has been removed. Your charts or Guides may indicate opening bridges where none now exist. Same is true for ranges - many have disappeared.

Have fun on your trip. Schedule your travels in accordance with the tides (Georgia in particular), and enjoy the experience of the ICW.
__________________

__________________
redsky49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
icw

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ICW questions for ICW veterans advocate777 General Sailing Forum 13 25-11-2017 10:59
From Chesapeake Bay to Florida-ICW or Offshore? Starlight35 Navigation 24 12-06-2017 08:53
Crew Wanted: Chesapeake and ICW The Way Crew Archives 1 31-05-2011 12:53
Crew Wanted: Chesapeake to S. Florida via ICW motion30 Crew Archives 2 01-12-2009 00:50



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:57.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.