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Old 15-08-2009, 03:54   #1
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ICW - Anyone Done it Recently?

Just wondering if any of you have been down the ICW lately.
If so, where did you start and how far did you go?
Would appreciate any info.
thanks
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Old 15-08-2009, 04:38   #2
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We left CT in Nov of 08 and ended up in Jacksonville in april of 09, we draw 5.5 feet. The total trip for us was about 1400 miles. It was a great trip, however, we did it through the winter months and it was cold, saw ice in the dismal swamp and snow in Belhaven. Stayed for a month in Norfolk at Waterside Marine. For us it was a great trip and I am glad we did it. We anchored about 60% of the time.
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Old 15-08-2009, 06:07   #3
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sounds like an interesting trip for sure.
Did you sail any of the time or was it mostly motoring?
Do you have a copy of the route per chance?
thanks for the response.
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Old 15-08-2009, 06:29   #4
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I came up from Fl Lauderale this past may to the top of the chesapeake 14 days
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Old 15-08-2009, 07:03   #5
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We sailed all the way down NJ, we did pull in at Barneget Bay, Atlantic City and Cape May to wait out gales. And we also sailed across in Albemarle sound. We knew it would be slow and that we would be motoring a lot. We are going to the Bahamas in the fall from Jacksonville and I assume it will be mostly sailing. The Chesapeake was slow going as well, had to wait out storms in a number of spots but we had lots of fun. Most of it was a anchor, the chesapeake has some great protected spots to anchor. Georgia ICW is very shallow and we were only able to travel about 4-5 hours per day to take advantage of the tides. Even for die hard sailers the trip down the ICW is a once in a lifetime adventure. Good Luck
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Old 15-08-2009, 07:08   #6
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bluwaterdreamin,
As far as the route, we followed the magenta line all the way down. We did use Skipper Bobs book and anchorages along the ICW and in some places made deviations from the line but mostly followed his directions and the magenta line on the GPS. Hope that helps some
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Old 15-08-2009, 08:58   #7
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We sailed all the way down NJ, we did pull in at Barneget Bay, Atlantic City and Cape May to wait out gales. And we also sailed across in Albemarle sound. We knew it would be slow and that we would be motoring a lot. We are going to the Bahamas in the fall from Jacksonville and I assume it will be mostly sailing. The Chesapeake was slow going as well, had to wait out storms in a number of spots but we had lots of fun. Most of it was a anchor, the chesapeake has some great protected spots to anchor. Georgia ICW is very shallow and we were only able to travel about 4-5 hours per day to take advantage of the tides. Even for die hard sailers the trip down the ICW is a once in a lifetime adventure. Good Luck
Hi Mike,

Getting ready to do essentially the same trip, CT to Green Cove. I am constrained by time off from work so being limited to 4-5 hours a day through GA would be a big problem. What is your draft and are there just a few areas to avoid or is it the whole state that's a problem? I draw 5' 6" (officially) and was hoping to slide through. If that draft is problematic I may have to go outside for the worst sections.

Thanks
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Old 15-08-2009, 09:19   #8
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I draw the same as you, I have heard that there has been some dredging in the worst areas. We choose not to push it, however, you can always make the call once you get to the worst areas. some of the areas we watched closely was Hells Gate, Fla Passage, we went aground at Old Teakettle Creek (we were able to get ourselfs off). From Teakettle to Wallys creek was shallow. Jeykll creek was shallow, but I think they have dredged some. Once we were passed Jeykll it was not bad. If you check Cruisers net it has pretty up to date conditions all the down. We used it alot. One other thing to note was going under the two bridges entering into the Cape May Canal is only 55 feet. Our wind vane lightly dinged the bottom of a wiring hanging down on both bridges, we are at 54 feet on our main mast. hope this helps some
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Old 15-08-2009, 09:31   #9
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I draw the same as you, I have heard that there has been some dredging in the worst areas. We choose not to push it, however, you can always make the call once you get to the worst areas. some of the areas we watched closely was Hells Gate, Fla Passage, we went aground at Old Teakettle Creek (we were able to get ourselfs off). From Teakettle to Wallys creek was shallow. Jeykll creek was shallow, but I think they have dredged some. Once we were passed Jeykll it was not bad. If you check Cruisers net it has pretty up to date conditions all the down. We used it alot. One other thing to note was going under the two bridges entering into the Cape May Canal is only 55 feet. Our wind vane lightly dinged the bottom of a wiring hanging down on both bridges, we are at 54 feet on our main mast. hope this helps some
Thank you very much. Will definitely mark these spots on my planning chart to watch out. Cruisersnet is on the list to check before departure as well. Also just got a cell phone broadband modem for the laptop so can check the internet anywhere I can get cell phone access. Hope this turns out to be useful.

The 55' clearance on the Cape May bridges would be tight. I'm rated at 55' and since I just bought the boat have not measured to verify the exact clearance. But I'm planning to go outside from NY Harbor to Delaware Bay and again from Delaware to the Chesapeake, then inside (shoaling permitting) the rest of the way so will miss those bridges.
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Old 15-08-2009, 21:46   #10
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If you can go outside instead of staying inside in Georgia you will save significant time and trouble. The ICW in Georgia seems to go every which way but south. It is a serpentine monster. Draft was a major problem in the cuts between the various rivers. Given the large tide, I have seen less than 5 ft in the cuts at low tide. Traveling only on a rising tide and part of the falling tide limits you to maybe 5 hours or so each day. Tons of great places to stop but if you are in a hurry go outside.
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Old 16-08-2009, 04:13   #11
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Osirissail is correct about the draft issue, and he is also correct about the great places to stop. We were lucky in that time was not an issue for us and we were able to enjoy many of the great stops. Hope you can do the same. However, we would probably go on the outside on some parts to avoid the shallow water if we ever travel the ICW back North. Good Luck.
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Old 16-08-2009, 06:57   #12
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Ok, I'll try this again, I just wrote a long, detailed, informative post and then lost it along with my internet connection.
We just did the trip from Palm Beach to the Chesapeake a couple of months ago, you can read about it on our blog. The Blog started in April when we left FL.

The shallow parts were from North of St. Augustine until about 5 miles north of the Savannah river. (Fields cut just north of the Savannah was the only place we bumped with our 5-1/2 foot draft) You can safely make 8-10 hour days through GA if the tides are at the right time of day. With 7'+ tides you've got plenty of water after high, just don't screw up and run out of the channel! An hour before the flood is ok too, because you don't have to wait long if you do run aground.

Cruiser’s Net | Home was invaluable for staying updated on the problem areas and closed anchorages. I checked it every couple of days for the next stretches ahead.
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Old 16-08-2009, 07:47   #13
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Thanks everyone for posting.
You guys always come through.
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Old 16-08-2009, 09:56   #14
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fishspearit,

doesnt drive you crazy, just finished a well thought email and slam gone... its enough to make me make another drink...
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Old 16-08-2009, 10:55   #15
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we just finished a trip down from Charleston to Stuart, Fl yesterday!! We found very few problem areas, other than me trying to cut corners!! As long as you tend to stay on the outside/ center of most bends you should be fine. And we use the crab pots as markers, they tend to be at he edge of the deep water, so stay between them
Hell's gate was dredged recently so no problems there. We did Little Mud River on a high tide so no problems there. One stop that we really like is Wahoo Island. It is just north off the ICW and before the Little Mud. If you have any specific question let me know. Oh yeah TONS of horse flies, and I mean tons, enough to make soup every afternoon with the corpses
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