I ran from annapolis
, left dec 1 2001. There is one lock that is a very small up/down in va.
it is really an all motor
affair. there are plenty of good marks and get the waterway guide and the flip chart. You need to plan a bit about where to stop at night. so dark does not hit you in the middle of a tight 10 mile cut thru rock. the tides or more extreme down south-8 feet.
If you have time take time to visit the places you can. Bridges are easy enough. call on the vhf
. some operate on a schedule , others as needed. I hit some fog
ang it was real bad so we waited a few hours. I draw 4 feet and I bumped once. You may find some areas that have temporary markers as the icw
is maintained to remove shoals.
It really is a great ride. More boats make it a bit tricky. the ocheechobe has a hight limit already mentioned. I had to wait a week for a bridge repair on the oche waterway.
There is a great anchorege in stuart fl just after you turn onto the chobe branch. There was maybe 100 moorings and dingy dock
with clean bathrooms for $6 a day or you could just anchor
for no charge-but then you dont get the bathroom code .
The big lake is surprising Giant doorways protect the entrance. Markers are far apart but easily seen. waterdepth was 10 ft but this can change.
I had no concern about height as I carry 44 feet
plan mostly on hand steering
, plenty of single
I remember an ocean run between 2 bridges of about 5 miles. it just worked out nicely.
the guides warn of local knowledge needed for some inlets. The ocean is mighty and beautiful but inlets can be hell. i was amazed by all the interconnecting rivers down south. the ditch follows one then jogs to another. other times there is a manmade cut to get connected. I saw one boat leaned over high and dry. the family
was busy scraping and painting, either they were ready in case or they planned the grounding to do the bottom.
If I was in need of a bottom paint
I might have done the same thing.
I tried to push hard to get south since it was deember and my crew need to be home for christmas
. we anchored 2 or 3 nights off to the side in shallow water where I knew we would be hard agrround in 2 feet overnight but in the am we were floating free. I sounded to make sure of soft bottom. A big )80 ft) motor
yacht came thru at 0200 with a huge search lite. the owners wanted the next port by the morning so he ran at night-but he was very experienced and friendly
goodluck it is easier then many people will tell you.
remember to go north again even if it is 10 years. I moved to sw florida
and hate it my opinion anyway. it is not like up north but that is another story.