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Old 21-08-2016, 13:18   #1
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ICW - clean enough to swim?

Where is the ICW clean enough to dive in to cool off? From what I have seen in N. Florida the water is not very clean nor inviting.

I guess at the inlets are the cleanest water to cool off. Any other places?

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Old 21-08-2016, 14:57   #2
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

There are stretches of the ICW, especially in South Carolina, where the water is the color of coca-cola. Locals say the water is clean, but I wouldn’t swim in it. There’s also gators in many parts of the ICW from SC south. There are several anchorages on the ICW close to the ocean where you can anchor, dinghy to shore, cross over a dune and swim in the big pond. One such spot is Peck Lake in Florida
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Old 21-08-2016, 15:15   #3
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

Swim undeterred.



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Old 21-08-2016, 15:28   #4
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

As Dennis mentioned, Peck Lake is a 2 minute walk to the atlantic.

About the only place we swam IN the ICW was in Boca Raton, which is an inlet. That was the only place between Jacksonville and Fort Lauderdale that looked decent enough. Doesn't mean that the water wasn't clean enough, but it sure wasn't clear enough for us.
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Old 21-08-2016, 15:50   #5
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

Once you get into Florida, there are lots of places we swim - normally around inlets. Pay attention to where you see weekenders pulling up their boats and having a beach day.

FYI, swimming in the ocean doesn't free you from the alligator problem. Alligators swim openly in the Atlantic - some far from shore. While not being common, it does happen.

http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/ani...ng-with-whales

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/06/17...gia-beach.html

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2014/...crambling.html

The bigger problem is that they have started to find the giant salt water nile crocs in Florida.
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Old 21-08-2016, 15:57   #6
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

On the Gulf of Mexico side, from New Orleans to the Everglades in south Florida I have only rarely seen any water that could be described as clear. A couple of times anchored inside the barrier islands in the panhandle area come to mind, where I could actually see the bottom in eight feet of water.

I suppose all the fresh water from the rivers, bayous, and swamps has something to do with this. Which contain tannins (what's that), ag runoff, silt, etc.

I guess a distinction can be made between clear and clean.

I'm more likely to be in the water for hull cleaning or anode maintenance. It's gotta be done so I jump in and do it and rinse with fresh water when back onboard. And I have jumped in for a cool off at times when rafted up with friends.

The only times I have decided not to dive in was when a local municipality had heavy rain followed by treatment plant over flows polluting the local waters. (yes you St. Pete, several times last summer).

Where I am right now, the water is the color of weak tea. The water is not salty. Part of the Okechobee runoff issue. I have a new anode to install and it's due. So in the water I go in the next few days.

Edit,..... Inside Pensacola Pass and Perdido Pass(AL) the waters are quite clear and popular spots.
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Old 21-08-2016, 16:20   #7
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

I do not like swimming in murky water where there are probably a few bull sharks, water mocassins, and alligators plus probably flesh/brain eating bacteria.

Seems the crystal clear water that is found in the dozens of springs and rivers from central to western Florida is not found too much in eastern Florida.

I have been at Silver Springs with friends kayaking. You can see where the alligators are. I have looked and took a quick dip to cool off and get back on the kayak. I felt safe since I could see. Same at the Rainbow River, crystal clear water.

I saw that a Nile Croc was found in S. Florida. That is not good. A woman lost her hand in the everglades about a week ago. Knocked a can off a dock. Reached to get the can and wham...alligator grabbed her hand.

Everyone says to use the ICW instead of the open ocean when going north/south, I thought it was nice water.




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Old 21-08-2016, 16:27   #8
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

I've swam in the icw between south padre island and matagorda. Sometimes not by choice. I wouldn't call it dirty, just silty.


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Old 21-08-2016, 17:14   #9
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Swim undeterred.

Depends on your accent. Do you pronounce that under-turd or in-dee-turd?
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Old 21-08-2016, 17:19   #10
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

Palm Beach Inlet by Peanut Island was nice on the incoming tide 15 years ago .
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Old 21-08-2016, 18:31   #11
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

There is a sand bar in Ft Lauderdale on the ICW about a mile north of Port Everglades, you'll find a 100 people swimming there on a nice weekend. Most places nope.
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Old 21-08-2016, 18:50   #12
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

I go into the water at Matanzas Inlet. Did the cool body float around the inlet as the tide came in. Ocean water was clear as it came into the inlet. Lots of people were swimming in Matanzas River in that area. There is a huge sandbar there also.

So I know most inlets are nice areas. Ponce Inlet in the southern part of Daytona is especially a nice place to cool off.

I have been on the Withalchoochee River which I would describe as clean water but tea color look.



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Old 21-08-2016, 18:52   #13
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

I wouldn't get out of the boat to enter water. Too many creepy-crawlies, microscopic and larger. For that matter, I would not enter a public pool.
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Old 21-08-2016, 18:57   #14
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

I did the ICW Charleston-Annapolis with a friend a few years ago. Absent specific local warnings, swimming will almost always be fine, health wise.

Some of the water may be stained by tannin and such, but it's not necessarily unhealthy.

That said, we didn't swim all that often.
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Old 21-08-2016, 19:05   #15
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Re: ICW - clean enough to swim?

In the Florida summer heat the only way to stay cool and be outside is to be in the water. Creepy crawlers or not. Just i want to avoid as many creepy crawlers as I can.

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