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Old 16-12-2008, 22:12   #1
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A post for ICW tavellers

I am getting ready to head down from Norfolk and plan to get slips periodically along the way. Once I'm south of sweater weather I can ease the pace and smell the roses.

What are some of your favorite can't miss spots, recommended marinas, etc.?

Places with easy docking and fueling, reasonable rates and a decent place eat are among my favorite features.

As always, thanks for the info.
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Old 16-12-2008, 22:19   #2
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Fernandina Beach
Everything you asked for and more. Great little town with some fun stores and good dining all within walking distance of your boat.
Repairs can be had here also. We pulled in with a badly damaged main. It was picked up at the boat at 0900 and returned by 4pm. The total cost was beyond reasonable.
I had a minor engine issue. The dockmaster was walking by and noticed we were in the engine space. He asked about the problem and then offered what turned out to be the fix. No charge for his time.
The entire dock staff was about as pleasant as you could hope for. I give them two snaps up and a circle!
On another trip we arrived after enduring some particularly heinous weather. We all ended up spending the first night there in a great hotel across the street from the boat. Long hot showers and a jacuzzi in the room! You can't beat that.
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Old 17-12-2008, 08:45   #3
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Thanks. That's exactly the kind of info I'm looking for. Which marina did you use there??
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Old 17-12-2008, 09:03   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquah0lic View Post
Thanks. That's exactly the kind of info I'm looking for. Which marina did you use there??
Fernandina Harbor Marina in Florida, United States. Buy high quality framed images, prints, t-shirts. Up to date marine weather, services information, and photos

Fernandina Harbor Marina

The link shows a great overhead shot of the transient/fuel dock.

Pulling and out is no problem and we have stayed tied up for a few days there without issue.

Another plus for this place is it close proximity to open water. If you want to jump off the ICW and take a leisurely sail south its a great place to get outside.

I love absolutely Savannah and Charleston but the trip run up the channel alone can take a good long time.
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Old 17-12-2008, 10:08   #5
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I always liked Midway marina in Coinjock as our first stop out of Norfolk. Great people and easy tie-up. They used to have an old hippy van with shag carpeting you could take into town to get good barbeque but that's been years ago. Dowry Creek is a little out of the way but once again you can't beat the people or the facilities.
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Old 17-12-2008, 20:01   #6
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this is one of my favorite spots there is another marina if you turn right and go under the bridge and than right on the left is also a nice marina but there is somthing about being right down town. Marina Municipal Marina in Saint Augustine Florida

also if you are interested in going up the st johns there is always the landing at jacksonville its free adn a great party spot with out side music and 12 or so resturants plus a inside mall ect all on the water.
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Old 18-12-2008, 20:27   #7
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Aqua...
Coinjock Marina....the restaurant is awesome. Save room for fresh cobbler a la mode.
Using ICW alternate route...instead of Alligator River route...cross to Manteo Town Marina and Silver Lake at Ocracoke before heading up the Neuse to Oriental where Oriental Harbor Marina is very nice. Beaufort NC is next and the Beaufort town docks put you right in the middle of town.
Beufort SC...town docks again are great. They have courtesy cars.
Georgetown SC...Georgetown Landing Marina is a little walk to town but very nice and the town is great...buy some shrimp right off the boats!
In Myrtle Beach...we like Dock Holidays...close walk to restaurants and provisioning.
Charleston SC...you must see the city...but we like to do it from a distance at Patriots Point Marina where they run a free shuttle into town AND to grocery stores for provisioning. Watch the current though!
In Georgia...Thunderbolt Marina is your best bet for seeing Savannah as a bus runs from close by into town which is another no miss destination. Alternatively, a little further south is Isle of Hope Marina which also has a nearby bus into Savannah.
Not a marina stop...but DO make time to anchor off the Park Service dock and explore Cumberland Island before stopping in Fernandina Muni Marina.
In Florida....
In St. Augustine...we now go to Oyster Creek Marina instead of the Muni as it is more protected and closer to provisioning and West Marine...you still can walk into town.
In Daytona...Halifax Harbor is as nice a marina as you will find anywhere...and the "Greeks" for Pizza and Subs is a short walk and West Marine is on the premises.
Titusville Muni Marina is fine.
TelemarBay Marina near Dragon Point on the Banana River/ICW intersection is excellent for service needs as well as GREAT chinese food nearby!
Vero Beach Muni marina....is a place you can stay months at. Free transport hourly to all the stores. Nice cruisers lounge, walk to the beach, lots of snowbird cruisers and great atmosphere.
Ft. Lauderdale Las Olas Muni Marina...is also at the heart of everything and very nice with a walk to the beach and bus line handy for everything.

Hope this helps!
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Old 18-12-2008, 21:26   #8
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We spent a couple of weather days at the Beach house Marina in Surf City, NC last week. It is east just off the ICW North of the mile 261 bridge. It is a small place but has nice floating docks, clean baths, and laudry machine. It is within walking distance of several resaturants, bars, grocery store, good fishing store with quite a bit of "boat stuff" And an Ace hardware is a long but doable walk away. Easy to get to fuel docks and the marina is relatively inexpensive.
I would not recommend The Hague Marina just off the ICW near Myrtle Beach. Full price but run down docks and nothing near by. The showers and baths burned down several years ago and have not been rebuilt no fuel.
Southport is a pretty town for a walk with a free dock or anchorage in the harbor a pretty good seafood restaurant, PJs a short walk from the city dock
Charleston City marina is expensive but worth a stop just to walk the docks and see about every sort of boat you can imagine. Fueling is easy there.
Good luck
Steve
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Old 19-12-2008, 12:36   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquah0lic View Post
I am getting ready to head down from Norfolk and plan to get slips periodically along the way. Once I'm south of sweater weather I can ease the pace and smell the roses.

What are some of your favorite can't miss spots, recommended marinas, etc.?
A few that come to mind that haven’t been mentioned:

A lot of this is weather dependant. In a way, its a shame you’re heading South this late. NC is one of the better places I know of and I would move to the Outer Banks in a heartbeat. There is a ton of stuff to do and the area does a fairly decent job at balancing development with tourism and ecological issues. Another thing I like about the whole place is its genuinely friendly. Other places (ahem, Charleston) seem to have the general attitude of: “We have people come to our lovely city all the time. We’re very busy. Did you want to buy something?” And to be honest a lot of them really are lovely and do have a lot of people there. But they don’t necessarily seem to really want you there.

Elizabeth City is pretty much the first town south of Norfolk where you can get your boat worked on (in the event all is not fine) as you likely know. E.C. has several good restaurants within an easy walk, there is a museum also. The town has a small dock has doesn’t charge for 48 hours and, while I’m not sure if this is still the case, the grocery store will give you a ride – you’ll need it as it’s a bit of a hike. There’s a covered bulletin board that has the notice on it if they are still doing that.

Edenton, NC -- Pretty, small antebellum (it was the original state capital of NC) town. Within walking distance are restaurants, a movie theater, coffee shop, a smallish bookstore. There is a park right across from the town's dock on the other side of the park is the police station - so things are pretty safe. The dock is free for the first 48 hours, but afterwards the rates really go up ... a whole dollar per foot ... per night!

Manteo,NC is on the sound side of Kitty Hawk. It's a dog-friendly town and quite walkable. Lots of little shops and restaurants. The marina has a pump out station. Festival Park is directly across from the marina.

Cape Hatteras is nice, pretty quite and laid back in a manner similar to the Keys. Again, quite walkable. If you go in the off-season, the character is quite different than in tourist season.

I think Beaufort has been mentioned already, so I'll quit here.
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Old 19-12-2008, 12:46   #10
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The Osprey Marina at MM 373.5 is getting some rave reviews from folks traveling the ICW.
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Old 19-12-2008, 14:43   #11
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Cumberland Island is my favourite spot on the ICW. Crescent River is another nice anchorage where you can get shrimp from the shrimpers. Like most cruisers we don't go into marinas unless it's absolutely necessary so I can't comment on those. For us cruising is cutting the shoreside ties and living a simpler life although I have to admit with wifi it's difficult to get away from everything. I have to drop this damn thing overboard.
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Old 19-12-2008, 18:48   #12
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I'll add a little to the earlier comments about Beaufort and Charleston, SC.

Beaufort, SC. The muni marina there joins a city park There are several nice medium priced restaurants that back up on this part. My favorite is Plums.

For Charleston, SC, Patriot's Point is nice. It joins the park where the Yorktown Carrier is. Not to mention a submarine, cruiser and coast guard cutter, all open for your exploration. But, if instead of taking an 10 mile shuttle to get to downtown you'd like to walk, bike (I would recommend these only in daylight, and ask someone for the best streets to walk through) or take the free city shuttle the 2 miles to downtown, City Marina is nice as well.

As you head South on the ICW from Charleston, you run up the Ashley River. The ICW turns up Wappoo Creek (City Marina is on the Ashley on the right just past Wappoo). When you head up the Wappoo, in about a mile you come to the Folly Road bascule bridge (don't remember the official name of it). Immediately past the bridge on the left is a dock for the Charleston Crab Shack. This is a fairly low to moderately priced for lunch or dinner. If you like rich cheesy seafood dishes, try the Seafood a la Wappoo. For a cheap lunch, the various fried seafood baskets. Make sure you keep tides in mind when tying up here. There's plenty of water, but the tide will go about 4 knots and the dock is small. (As an aside, as you get to the head of Wappoo Creek, there is Elliot's cut. If you are in a sailboat, you should be aware the tide there can run 5-6 knots.)

OK, I'm doing this out of order, but on the North side of Charleston Bay is Shem Creek. The channel to get there meets the ICW right where the ICW dumps into Charleston Bay. Water's Edge has limited dock space and is a moderately to high priced place that is excellent for both steaks and seafood. There are also a variety of other bars and restaurants on both sides of this little creek.

Anyone coming through Charleston, just let me know. If I am going to be there while you are, maybe we can hook up. If for no other reason, maybe you just would like a ride to go provisioning. This would be best accomplished if you will be staying at City Marina. However, I am only there about every other weekend, so if you are just breezing through, the odds of me being there on your schedule are low. But ya just never know.

-dan
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Old 21-12-2008, 10:47   #13
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Thanks to all for taking the time to pass along this great info. I'm going to print this thread before I leave to help plan the trip.
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Old 21-12-2008, 11:11   #14
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I'm with Maren as far as Elizabeth city. It was an all time favorite! I also loved St. Simon's island, Ga. and really liked Charleston too. Sorry I cant give ya marina info, as I don't visit them too awful much. You'll no doubt speak with alot of sailors who do the "ditch" every year though. You are gonna love it! Have fun, and do try and stop to smell the roses. I smelled so many that the water started to freeze around me
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Old 21-12-2008, 15:51   #15
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Melbourne, Florida -- add that to your list, too. There is only one or two marinas I know of but its another nice town. The historic (read: pretty) section is with in a 5-10 minute walk of a marina (which I don't remember the name of).

Charleston, SC -- I like(d) the Cooper River Marina but its a working area and there is some additional construction going on there now. Also, you might want to look at this thread
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