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Old 15-08-2010, 16:18   #1
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Traveling the ICW

I am about to head South from Norfolk, Va. (Mile zero) on the ICW-Ft. Lauderdale bound. My mast height in 63', so my understanding is that I'm okay with bridges until Ft. Lauderdale. Any thoughts on how long this voyage might take, spending 10 hours a day underway?
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Old 15-08-2010, 16:44   #2
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I would look at this as a potential twenty-one day trip without delays for weather, repair or play. We usually take about twice this time, but we are cruising without deadlines, in the best of weather and a strong interest in play. We've made this trip sixteen times and still find great opportunity to enjoy this in three weeks. Take care and joy, aythya crew
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Old 15-08-2010, 16:52   #3
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It's about 1068 nm from Norfolk to Port Everglades. You probably will average about 50 nm per day, but you may not be able to travel EVERY day. Also, you will need to adjust your daly trip in order to find a suitable anchorage or marina to overnight at. Add to that the need for fuel, pumpout and most importantly, waiting for bridge openings. Also, with a 63 ft air draft, you will need to adjust your travel to accomodate your draft.
Made the trip last fall from New York, but intentionaly took my time. Left on Sept. 27th and arrived in Lauderdale on Thanksgiving day (about a two month trip)
Be especcilly careful just south of 700nm, Red marker 60 was missing and I went aground just short of marker 60A.
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Old 15-08-2010, 18:51   #4
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We have made this trip more than a dozen times round trip. The 50 mile per day average is about right unless you take part of the trip outside. We generally do a combination inside and outside. The trip will take you a few weeks or a few months depending on your desired pace, weather delays, we have had to hold up for a week or more, mechanical breakdowns, I can' remember the last time we did it with no problems, and of course your draft will matter, you did not say. Some areas along the inside passage will require you to do them a high tide unless you have a very shallow draft. I like to say, it is like asking how long is a piece of string?
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Old 15-08-2010, 19:32   #5
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I like to say, it is like asking how long is a piece of string?
Well........I'm waiting.......how long is it? Is this a quiz??
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Old 15-08-2010, 19:48   #6
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Resolute:

I assume that you are in a 40' sailboat that can easily motor 6+ kts or maybe 7 1/2 mph. Some days you will go 6 hours and arrive early at a nice town or spot. Oriental, NC is one such town. Other days you will go 11 or so hours. Since you haven't been there before, then you will not be pushing it or relying on questionable anchorges. It takes a bit of forensic reading to figure those out from Skipper Bob's guide. Active Captain is a lot easier because you can read reviews from real cruisers.

An eight hour daily average is more realistic and throw in several more just for fun. So the approximately 1,100 miles can be done in 1,100/(8*7.5) + 3 = 21 days.

I am half way through going down a little more than half of the way and it is taking 10 days for 600 miles with no lay days (so far) on a boat that motors at 8+ mph. We have had some 40 mile days and a few 80 mile days so far.

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Old 16-08-2010, 07:24   #7
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Thank you.
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Old 16-08-2010, 08:01   #8
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Hi, resolute boat1..greetings from Mexico
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Old 16-08-2010, 08:33   #9
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There is one bridge just south of Coinjock that will be close if the water level is high. I hate the intercoastal. You will feel like your eyeballs are going to pop out of your head after a few days. I would go offshore between Beaufort to Mayboro inlet, inside to Cape Fear river, then back outside to atleast Charleston. From there, you can back outside to Hilton Head, Brunswick, Fernadina, etc. There is a counter current pushing you south all the way.
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Old 16-08-2010, 08:39   #10
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................. I would go offshore between Beaufort to Mayboro inlet..................
Just a note, That's Masonboro Inlet, but good advice given here, Aythya crew
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Old 16-08-2010, 09:13   #11
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If I remember right there's a few bridges that I would not try with 63 feet. I hope that's the total height and not just the mast, don't forget the wind instrument and vhf antenna (this usually serves as a low bridge alarm). I know the bridge on the Alligator/Pungo canal can be difficult if the water's high and it's not tidal, more wind blown there. There are a few more "iffy" bridges on the Atlantic ICW.
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Old 16-08-2010, 10:33   #12
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What months can you do it in? When does it ice over? Does it ice over? Are there Indians?

Specifically: (We are thinking of doing it in the next few years from the Caribbean)

a) If I get to Florida at the beginning of the Hurricane season is that the right time to go north?

b) When would be the latest I could leave to travel southboaund in the Fall or Winter? From where? New York?

c) What way do most normal people go?

d) Can I have a gun and shoot something?



Thats all the questions I can think of.
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Old 16-08-2010, 10:55   #13
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Florida starts to get steamy hot in May. That is when I'd start heading north.

Be on the Chesapeake by June and Long Island and New England in July/Aug.

Heading back in September and the Chesapeake by October.

Carolina's in November and back in Florida in December.

Some insurance companies draw a line at the Florida border for hurricane season which runs from June 1 to Nov 30.
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Old 16-08-2010, 11:13   #14
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Our mast is 63 foot, we have made the trip 3 times now. There is no issue until you get to Fort Lauderdale. You can't get under a bridge between there and Miami. It is a fix bridge, I think something like 29 feet.

The draft may be just as important. Going through much of Georgia there were many shallow spots last time we went through. I am certain we were plowing through a bit of mud on a couple of occasions.

If you're motoring straight though, I'd plan for about 23 days or so. I'd get the "Anchorages along the Intracoastal Waterway" by Skipper Bob. Great reference for finding anchorages along the way. He also did one for marina's.
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Old 16-08-2010, 12:45   #15
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Florida starts to get steamy hot in May. That is when I'd start heading north.

.
Thanks mate, great stuff



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