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Old 17-12-2015, 07:59   #31
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Re: ICW shoaling and hazards?

My only real experience with the ICW is the Florida part, both sides, and I've bumped, but not yet been stuck with 5'. I don't see 7' working, maybe with someone who has experience with the area, but first time, no.
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Old 17-12-2015, 14:06   #32
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Re: ICW shoaling and hazards?

The C&D Canal to the Delaware River at the North end of the Chesapeake acommodates large ships as well as the route out the Delaware River. The cut at Cape May (Cape May Canal) is restricted by a pair of 55'MHW bridges. The New Jersey ICW from Cape May North to Atlantic City is restricted by a 25' fixed bridge(Maybe 30'?). The New Jersy ICW from Atlantic City to Manasquan Inlet has a 55' fixed bridge and a depth near the Point Pleasant Canal that rarely exceeds 4'4".

There is no ICW further north, but a few cuts. The passage on the East River by NYC is deep and clear;Long Island Sound is pleasant; up Buzzards Bay and through the Cape Cod Canal is an easy run; the Blynman Canal (spelling?) cutting off Cap Ann from Gloucester, Ma to Ilse of Shoals, Maine requires a draft of no more than 5'.
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Old 17-12-2015, 14:51   #33
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Re: ICW shoaling and hazards?

Great list. I was warned about #10 (little mud river.) A cruiser on his way north told me to be extremely careful at low tide because there was only 5' of water in the center. My draft is 4'-3" and I bounced off the bottom most of the way.



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Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
First, addressing the vertical clearance, the only difficulty could occur with sustained winds associated with a storm system that could raise the tide above mean high for a few days. This is not common and would be a topic of conversation on the VHF. In addition, the Julia Tuttle Bridge in Miami does have a vertical clearance of 56' at mean high at the center span. The adjacent spans off center allow another foot, but the tidal range here would not often allow for 60'. It's an easy ho outside any Florida section between good inlets and many cruisers avoid the many bridges in South Florida.

I agree that 7' can be carried on the ICW from Norfolk, Va south at the rising half of the tide. Throughout the passage there are plenty of places where you my run aground off the mid-channel, but the following locations need attention even at the deepest center points.

1- Take the Virginia Cut instead of the Dismal Swamp route south of Norfolk.
2- Mile 285 to 295 between Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach.
3- Lockwood's Folly Inlet area near mile 322 and Shallotte Inlet near mile 330 depending on recent dredging.
4- Mile 3498 to 353,- this stretch is deep enough, but lined with jagged rocks and not an area where you would want to meet and pass large commercial traffic. I always suggest a YHF securite call here to inquire about meeting traffic.
5- Mile 430 to 440 and 456 to462
6- Mile 496 to 497
7- From mile 510 to 520 there are several points where there are intersections of natural rivers and dredged cuts. It's important to "square" these corners and be attentive to leeway due to currents.
8- Mile 573 to 576 (Field's Cut),- when approaching the Savannah River be attentive to crossing paths with large ship traffic.
9- Mile 602 at Racoon Key
10- Mile 653 to 656
11- Mile 681 to 686
12- Mile 739,- be attentive to crossing St. Johns River Ship traffic.
13- Mile 792-793 be attentive to adjusted positions of nuns and cans.
14- Mile 838- 841

Also, be sure to call meeting dredge operations and barge traffic on VHF 13 to determine a favored 1 or 2 whistle pass.

We enjoy the ICW due to our visits to many of the ports and small towns on the route as well as the beautiful wilderness anchorages. We often take two or three months to cruise this route from the Chesapeake to Florida. Those with deadlines or an interest in speed would do better selecting the weather for offshore. 'enjoy!
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Old 17-12-2015, 18:19   #34
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Re: ICW shoaling and hazards?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
.................
........................
We call it the "ditch". If you're expecting it to be scenic and interesting like the Kiel Canal (which you and I did together a couple of times on my boat), you will be disappointed. It's more like a ditch, than that. .....................
.....................................
I will certainly agree that some people hate the "ditch" and find it's passage difficult. Unlike the Kiel Canal it is not all groomed, dredged, developed and suitable for the passage of large vessels. Dockhead is right,- you might be miserable; however, most of the ICW is formed by natural waterways and many areas are isolated wilderness.






There's little in common with the 61 miles of the Kiel Canal and the 1,200 miles of the East Coast ICW from the Chesapeake through Florida.

There's definitely some shallow water!


.... and some less exciting areas.
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Old 17-12-2015, 19:40   #35
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Re: ICW shoaling and hazards???

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Garmin is like many others, the base map that comes with it isn't all that good, you have to pay for the premium map to get a good map.
Cost lots of bucks to get one for your plotter, but usually the same map for an app is cheap.
I bought the $300+ upgrade chip. It has accurate aerials, but then so does Google Earth - FOR FREE! The upgrade chip has the same crappy charts - worst I've seen in the industry and I have 5 different chart apps, plus paper charts.

Navionics wins hands down for navigating the ICW, at least in our N. Florida region.
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Old 18-12-2015, 01:16   #36
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Re: ICW shoaling and hazards?

Thaks guys,

I guess we'll end up trying it and if we are using our tow insurance too much - we'll go outside.
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Old 19-12-2015, 04:55   #37
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Re: ICW shoaling and hazards?

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Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
Beginning with our first transit of the ICW from the Chesapeake to Florida in 1972 until this year's southbound trip, we have completed this passage 25 times. With experience we find that we rarely have difficulties with depths and I would expect anyone could do well with a draft of six feet or less.

Here are some of our observations and procedures:

1- Paper or electronic charts are useful in planning and determining the expected route, but real world observation of markers, especially moved nuns and cans, trumps anything on a chart.

2- The magenta line on paper or electronic charts does NOT represent a real position of the deepest water.

3- There's no need to over react to your depthsounder showing decreasing depths before approaching your draft. Trends are to be noted, but remember, if you are following the best path, then your depth sounder will show you entering shallower water exactly half of the time!

4- The red and green navigational aides are no more indicating places to approach than they are indicating locations to avoid. Be sure to follow the best fit curve that lies between these indicators.

5- When turning from a river to a dredged cut, or a cut to river, square your corners. Always give more distance to the points of land.

6- Don't fear low tide. Nothing is easier than traveling at the lower side of the tide and rising. A possible bump on sand or mud results in a quick release with the rising tide and besides, at lower tide the deeper water is better defined. High tide is the real risk for a problem grounding!

7- Printed material may be useful, but tides are clearly broadcast on the VHF and the days follow an easy pattern.

8. Anecdotal reports of shoaling are NOT reliable! Most people who report problem locations would have found deep water just a few yards to port or starboard of their location.

9. We regularly make a securite call on the VHF inquiring about meeting large commercial traffic at two locations,- Elliot Cut just south of Charleston, SC and at the "Rockpile" between North Myrtle Beach and Barefoot Bridge, SC.

10. We like navigating as a team at problem locations,- one at the helm and one looking aft for a parallax view of markers watching for leeway due to side winds and currents.

11. We often call boats on our VHF that have passed us earlier or those that we are meeting to ask about their experiences and observed depths in problem areas.

12. We take casual short days in the best of weather and never are troubled by traffic or large wakes.

Enjoy the cruise!
Superb guide!

Everyone navigating the "ditch", should print this out and frame it, and hang it over the nav table.

All of these are insightful, but particularly useful for Carsten, who's not used to tidal waters, is the bit about low tide.

Low tide is your friend. If you think there's enough water to get through at low tide, that's the safest time to do it. Your other friend is a rising tide. If you bump, even if you get stuck, and the tide is coming up, you'll be ok. The converse is also true -- never, ever, ever do anything risky, in terms of depth, on a falling tide.

Worst of all is getting stuck right on high tide -- at springs. Ever heard of getting "neaped"? Oooh, you Baltic sailors don't even want to know about that . . . .

It means you could end up like this:

Click image for larger version

Name:	hamblegrounding.jpg
Views:	152
Size:	63.7 KB
ID:	115284

For two weeks Praying for two weeks of calm weather
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Old 19-12-2015, 06:31   #38
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Re: ICW shoaling and hazards?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Superb guide!

Everyone navigating the "ditch", should print this out and frame it, and hang it over the nav table.

All of these are insightful, but particularly useful for Carsten, who's not used to tidal waters, is the bit about low tide.

Low tide is your friend. If you think there's enough water to get through at low tide, that's the safest time to do it. Your other friend is a rising tide. If you bump, even if you get stuck, and the tide is coming up, you'll be ok. The converse is also true -- never, ever, ever do anything risky, in terms of depth, on a falling tide.

Worst of all is getting stuck right on high tide -- at springs. Ever heard of getting "neaped"? Oooh, you Baltic sailors don't even want to know about that . . . .

It means you could end up like this:

Attachment 115284

For two weeks Praying for two weeks of calm weather
HA HA HA I've seen that picture before - but you forget Dockhead - now I sailed a bit with you and have some practical experience with tides (dare I say Bologne sur Mare?).

However - we are both defensive sailors when it comes to tides etc - and I will be sure to have my tow insurance fully paid up

Despite what everyone here has said - we'll end up taking the ditch. Our plan is to take one or two long legs from the carribean up to Nova Scotia/prince Edward Island in the spring and turn south following the summer/early fall southward until we reach the carribean again.

So I guess we'll be outside from Canada down to the delaware bay, then hop inside and stay inside for as long as it is worth it and doable.

The legs northward, we'll have the stream with us - southward we won't but I'm hoping the current is negligable that far north.
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Old 19-12-2015, 13:13   #39
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Re: ICW shoaling and hazards?

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. . . but you forget Dockhead - now I sailed a bit with you and have some practical experience with tides (dare I say Bologne sur Mare?). . . ..
Carsten is referring to the time we left Boulogne sur Mare to cross the North Sea -- in a F8. And at night. At dead low tide That happened last May.

I made an error of pilotage -- half the outer harbor of BSM dries out. Whack. The only time in my entire life that I've ever been aground due to an error of pilotage.

That was a good lesson in the value of a rising tide. I was terrified of the effect of the strong weather, and we threw out the kedge. But we floated off in a few minutes, pulled up the kedge, and were on our way. Remember, this was at night And in a pretty decent blow A good introduction for Carsten, who is no longer a tidal virgin
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Old 19-12-2015, 14:09   #40
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Re: ICW shoaling and hazards?

The first time I ran the "ditch" from the Chesapeake to Florida was in 1972. I was young and "in manure". I had a light 30' Sparkman & Stevens with a 5.5' fin keel. I ran aground 13 times during the trip, but I never called for a tow. I could always either back off with the rising tide; shove off with my shoulder on the stem while standing in the shallow water; or pull the top of my mast over with a line to a kedge and slide off with my reduced draft. I had no idea how to "read" the markers and infer where the deeper water was located. I've had three tows during my 44 years of cruising, but they were all with engine failure in a restricted space. I bet I've been aground far more than most people.... 'I excell at grounding!



'usually good time for a nap or refreshments in the cockpit! I must add that most all my groundings come with poking around mud and sand in shallow water. I don't take the same risks among rock, swell and inlets. I did have a dangerous grounding when pulled off my hook to the earth with a tropical wave in the Keys back in 1983. I was lucky to miss the bridge pylons and land in the coral marl and muck around 2am.

Most of my groundings have been "non-events"! This is partially because I own a boat that is designed to take a grounding well. I have a cut-away forefoot on a long keel so there is no harsh profile to create an impact, but more often a gentle rise to the bow. I have no skeg, fin, or strut and an aft end of my keel that is contiguous with a strong rudder shoe.



'little risk of damage,- no weak dangling parts! Don't misunderstand,- I rather not ground, but I have been known to survey a muddy bottom for potential anchoring with my keel.
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Old 20-12-2015, 22:38   #41
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Re: ICW shoaling and hazards?

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Carsten is referring to the time we left Boulogne sur Mare to cross the North Sea -- in a F8. And at night. At dead low tide That happened last May.

I made an error of pilotage -- half the outer harbor of BSM dries out. Whack. The only time in my entire life that I've ever been aground due to an error of pilotage.

That was a good lesson in the value of a rising tide. I was terrified of the effect of the strong weather, and we threw out the kedge. But we floated off in a few minutes, pulled up the kedge, and were on our way. Remember, this was at night And in a pretty decent blow A good introduction for Carsten, who is no longer a tidal virgin
And as with all virgins you are only a virgin once. When it is gone ot is gone

I'll be happy if i never repeat that night seem to remember a lsrge coaster entering the outer harbour as we screwed around


Good thing the tide was rising
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