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Old 02-01-2010, 16:24   #1
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Riding Tidal Currents on the ICW

How does one plan ahead for the direction of tides while voyaging the ICW?

How is one to estimate the flow in and out of the "ditch"?

Is it all guessing?

Please forgive me for I am clueless.

Thanks
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Old 02-01-2010, 16:57   #2
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The truth of the matter is that you don't. For each outlet to the sea you pass during the course of your travels down the ICW, you will have the current with you to the inlet on a going tide and against you after you pass the inlet. The opposite is true on a rising tide. In areas where inlets from the sea are well spaced, there may be minimal tidal (current) interference or assistance that it is not worth taking into account.
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Old 02-01-2010, 17:05   #3
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The truth of the matter is that you don't. For each outlet to the sea you pass during the course of your travels down the ICW, you will have the current with you to the inlet on a going tide and against you after you pass the inlet. The opposite is true on a rising tide. In areas where inlets from the sea are well spaced, there may be minimal tidal (current) interference or assistance that it is not worth taking into account.
Thanks,

If you were on the ditch intersecting a river exactly in the middle between 2 outlets would you assume the water would dump out to the direction of the deeper charted side?
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Old 02-01-2010, 18:06   #4
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Originally Posted by endoftheroad View Post
Thanks,

If you were on the ditch intersecting a river exactly in the middle between 2 outlets would you assume the water would dump out to the direction of the deeper charted side?
It really boils down to local knowledge, and with few exceptions it does not affect much anyway.

Your question would have to assume 2 rivers with equal flow, and equal current obstruction in both directions.... plus you would have to accurately calculate your position for a given time... if you run the ICW that way (some might) you are not gonna enjoy it much.

The only real tide watching to be done is to look for problem areas, and avoid them on a falling tide. In your projected route, not too many (Hells gate comes to mind).
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Old 02-01-2010, 18:50   #5
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I agree, just go and take what the ditch gives you One day fair currents another day not If you try and play the currents you will NEVER get south
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Old 02-01-2010, 20:30   #6
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I agree with the above posts; on the "ditch" (different from, for say, the Chesapeake Bay) the current will reverse as time, inlets, and midpoints pass. Very difficult to make plans for.

The only affect it has on my plans is, barring a bridge opening to catch, I usually back off on engine speed with a fair current, and speed up with adverse currents. Or if a stop is needed, try to make it during a strong adverse current.
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Old 02-01-2010, 20:50   #7
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...in addition to the current related responses: If your ICW travel brings you southward, you may want to pay attention to several shallow locations (Jekyll Island creek, GA, for example) and try to avoid navigating through during extreme low water.

Fair winds!

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Old 03-01-2010, 17:08   #8
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Thank guys for the advice.

Cheers
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Old 03-01-2010, 17:38   #9
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If you are moving every day and starting early it tends to even out. Some days you gain 3 knots and others you lose. It's not really possible to predict each segment given the number of inlets. In general, where the tide is high expect the biggest swings.
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