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Old 23-07-2017, 06:41   #1
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Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

Planing on heading South during hurricane season, 2017 from Annapolis to Miami. Was wondering, for any of you that have done this on what the do's and dont's are besides not to do it. Are there places to run and hide in case of a hurricane? And what is the best thing to do in case of one. Thanks
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Old 23-07-2017, 07:18   #2
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Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

In honesty, stay North.
However there is no one answer to your question, sometimes based on where you are, you can run way up river and get into the Mangroves, sometimes you can't.
Many Marinas are not an option, their policy is to kick boats out, some you can stay in.
Most recommend doing the best you can for the boat, then leaving.

It's a crap shoot being down here that time of year, just have to ask yourself if you feel lucky or not.

I guess maybe best thing is to always keep it on mind, pick your major stops based on having options.
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Old 23-07-2017, 07:19   #3
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

When heading south I usually wait until mid-October or even early November. However, even with that late departure I've still had to hold up a couple of times for minor tropical storms. Also that late departure meant it didn't get warm until S. Carolina. One year it was still cold when I arrived in Florida.
In case of a serious tropical storm, you should have up to a week of warning to plan where to hold up. Mostly that would be heading up one of the many rivers that form much of the AICW (e.g., Pamlico and Neuse in N. Carolina) to find a secure anchorage or marina.
If you want or need to do much of the trip outside, there are always good inlets within 24 hours of your position.

John
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Old 23-07-2017, 07:35   #4
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

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Originally Posted by thanasi View Post
Planing on heading South during hurricane season, 2017 from Annapolis to Miami. Was wondering, for any of you that have done this on what the do's and dont's are besides not to do it. Are there places to run and hide in case of a hurricane? And what is the best thing to do in case of one. Thanks
there are lots of places to hide, but you may have to go up a river to do it and there isn't any guarantee that the hurricane isn't going that far.

do - follow the buoys and realize they could be moved or not even on your chart and may be waaaaay over to the side if there has been shoaling

don't - think you can travel a long way each day

do - know where you plan to stop each day and have a backup for if you can't make it that far

do - plan around the tides (especially further south in the Carolinas and Georgia)

don't - if you jump outside don't try coming back in during an ebb tide if the wind is blowing

don't - join a rally as all it it doing is racing to the next stop

do - let the rally past you and listen to their vhf channel for the heads up when they go aground

do - change your chart over to measuring in mph and miles to match the ICW chart and time your bridge arrivals so you don't have to try to do circles (not all bridge areas have room to do circles)

don't - follow the french canadians that race from bridge to bridge and don't answer the radio
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Old 23-07-2017, 07:39   #5
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

Last year would of been a mess during and after Mathew. There are 100s of boats damaged up and down the ICW and parts couldn't be passed for weeks. Marinas close, fuel tough to find. Boats where trapped in the Dismal Swamp, that stretch is still closed. Like was said it's a crapshoot. One year no problem, next bad news.
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Old 23-07-2017, 07:41   #6
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

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don't - ... and don't answer the radio

I might offer a modification to this one. Frustrating trying to offer a slow pass to a boat that won't answer radio, whistle signals, hailer calls, etc.

-Chris
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Old 23-07-2017, 07:48   #7
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

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I might offer a modification to this one. Frustrating trying to offer a slow pass to a boat that won't answer radio, whistle signals, hailer calls, etc.

-Chris
I just got back from Europe, no VHF on the canals and doubt I could with limited language. Maybe they don't speak English or not very well.
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Old 23-07-2017, 07:58   #8
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

It's essentially a non-issue.

Serious storms are relatively infrequent. Those that do occur, and which would impact you, are forecast now many days (week?) prior to landfall.

I can't think of any place along the ICW where I couldn't find shelter within 24-36 hours .

There will be a steady parade of boats heading south starting in September. Getting a headstart will help ensure that you arrive at the popular anchorages without battling for room.

While you might find mangroves much further south, your primary escape route will be inland, up the many creeks and/or rivers adjoining the ICW. And you always have the option on hauling out if you schedule early.

Hurricane holes are noted on many cruising guides. Others can be discerned from charts.

With the abundance of weather information available to all boaters, no one should be caught unaware of impending heavy weather.

I say go for it! And carry one serious anchor (and assorted lines, chafe protection, etc.) for those rare occasions that you might need it.
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Old 23-07-2017, 08:21   #9
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

If I never left the dock without a perfect forecast...I would never leave the dock.
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Old 23-07-2017, 08:48   #10
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

Wouldn't let the hurricane season stop me although, the no-seems are a definite reason to wait till cooler weather.
Just be aware of the weather ( not afraid of it ). Do your route planning with very conservative daily goals.
The bigger question for me is where do you plan on staying once you get to Miami?? There are a lot of we'll protected marinas but very $$$ that require $$$ insurance including removal coverage if your boat requires it.
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Old 23-07-2017, 09:15   #11
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

we have done it. i agree a lot with Sailor Boy but you really need to keep that radio communication open.
we actually headed North and a very north bound hurricane made us stop and hole up in Georgetown for a few days and then we recalculated and reconsidered our travel plans. So we decided we needed to go South and avoid the hurricane.
BIGGY- don't have committed obligations to be somewhere by a certain time because you may have to change directions or stay put for weather to pass.
Needless to say, once we headed South towards hurricane country, we had the most beautiful weather and 6 weeks of great travels.
when you least expect it, expect it.
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Old 23-07-2017, 09:33   #12
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

I have done it. If you are staying in the ICW I dont see a big problem. Just pay attention to the weather and what is or isnt coming. You will have a couple weeks notice if you do. one minimum. Plenty of time to find a secure location.
It's nice to get out of Annapolis prior to ice on the docks every morning!
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Old 23-07-2017, 10:23   #13
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

Planning is everything. Pick hurricane options no more that a 2 day sail apart. That could be rivers, mangrove swamp or marinas. Note that if the nearest inlet is 50 miles away storm surge will be limited. Call the marinas on your list and ask them. Most folks will be happy to advise you. The biggest danger will probably be other boats with bad captains. Try to avoid the crowds.
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Old 23-07-2017, 10:25   #14
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

Do - put the free Red Cross Hurricane app on your mobile phone.
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Old 23-07-2017, 10:54   #15
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

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Planing on heading South during hurricane season, 2017 from Annapolis to Miami. Was wondering, for any of you that have done this on what the do's and dont's are besides not to do it. Are there places to run and hide in case of a hurricane? And what is the best thing to do in case of one. Thanks
If your in the Bulls Bay area of SC. The Jeremy Creek shrimpers, McClellenville, hide up Awendaw Creek. You need to know how to navigate the oyster rakes.
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