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Old 30-04-2013, 18:47   #1
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ICW Northbound?

Is anyone headed north via the icw near Charleston, SC in early June?
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Old 30-04-2013, 19:01   #2
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Re: ICW Northbound?

We're leaving tomorrow for a two month cruise of poking about from North Florida to Baltimore. We always stop in Charleston, but we will likely be north of there by June. We are in or out of the ICW up to Beaufort, NC and then we always cut through the NC sounds, Neuse, Pamlico & Albemarle and up to Norfolk to enter the Chesapeake. What are your plans and expectations?
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Old 03-05-2013, 15:46   #3
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We're leaving tomorrow for a two month cruise of poking about from North Florida to Baltimore. We always stop in Charleston, but we will likely be north of there by June. We are in or out of the ICW up to Beaufort, NC and then we always cut through the NC sounds, Neuse, Pamlico & Albemarle and up to Norfolk to enter the Chesapeake. What are your plans and expectations?
We're first-timers, so we'd like some advice regarding crossing the sounds near the Outer Banks.
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Old 03-05-2013, 16:37   #4
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Re: ICW Northbound?

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We're first-timers, so we'd like some advice regarding crossing the sounds near the Outer Banks.
For passage from Beaufort, NC to Norfolk inside, there are two choices to be made. Most choose the route up Core Creek to Neuse River and then West River and by Hobucken to Pamlico, up the Pungo, the Alligator-Pungo Canal, Alligator River to Albemarle Sound. Others may choose to take the Pamlico Sound from the Neuse out to Ocracoke and up to Manteo, then on to the Albemarle Sound. The route by Manteo (Eastern Choice) has much shallower water and not a good choice for drafts over 5' max. The other option comes with the choice of the Virginia Cut to Coinjock north of the Albemarle or the Dismal Swamp via Elizabeth City. Most sportsfish and motoryachts take the Va cut and most sailboats and many trawlers tend to take the Dismal Swamp. Both can accommodate a 6' draft although the Dismal Swamp Canal can be more effected by fallen trees from recent storms or low water from drought.

So, Beth G, What's your boat type & draft?
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Old 03-05-2013, 17:37   #5
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Re: ICW Northbound?

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Originally Posted by CaptForce View Post
The route by Manteo (Eastern Choice) has much shallower water and not a good choice for drafts over 5' max.
Still probably an accurate statement in terms of shallow water overall, but I thought they recently dredged the channel there?

Having little experience Beth, you may want to take the ICW - which does cross some open water in the NC sounds. The sail to Ocracoke and Manteo could be a great way to get some sailing experience, but as Force says, we don't really know anything about your boat, goals, experience. I prefer to take the Pamlico up to MAnteo via Ocracoke, but only when the winds are favorable.

Here's my advice, no matter which way you go. Travel early in the day and plan to be anchored or tied up by mid-afternoon to avoid afternoon thunderstorms. If they aren't in the forecast don't worry about it. I usually travel early anyway, but on the 60 mile days its hard to be anchored by 1500. Also, get unlimited tow insurance from TowBoats US. If you have not spent much time navigating on the ICW you may find yourself aground. It is not necessarily so, but pretty common. I've had unlimited tow since I started sailing 8 years ago, but never used it. Knock on wood.

There are great guide books, and you can discover it all on your own too. If you give some more specific info you might get some more input. There are people on this forum that write the guide books....
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Old 03-05-2013, 20:01   #6
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Re: ICW Northbound?

Thanks for the tips! We now have a Power Cat, and we only draw 30", so depth shouldn't be a problem. We've taken courses in Seamanship and Piloting, but we've only been south from Charleston to Fernandina on the ICW on our first sailboat. We have Towboat US, and we're in no hurry to go from one place to the next.
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Old 04-05-2013, 00:04   #7
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Re: ICW Northbound?

I'd go up one way and down the other and see it all for yourself. The route across the sound is only around 45 nm to Ocracoke and less than 60 from there to Manteo. I like it out there because there is beach, sea breeze, and good anchorages. During a gale, I'd rather be tucked away on the western side, up a creek.

The ICW route can be lively too, especially the Albemarle, Alligator, Pungo, Pamlico River, Bay and Neuse Rivers. Well that's about all of it

Charleston to Fernandina is a good trip, we love to swing on the hook in the Cumberland Sound.....
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