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Old 11-02-2016, 06:10   #1
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Spots Along the ICW To Pop Out/Back In

morning all.

relatively new sailor here - in a 1967 Grampian Classic 31.

had planned on taking the ICW all the way down from Oriental to FL, but am finding it to be slow and annoying.

I realize that this is a good time to get to know my boat, but was wondering if there might be any alcoves of reprieve along the way to pop out for a few hours just to open her sails up, and then come back in?

figure an hour to get out of the inlet [whichever one it might be], 2-3 hours out on the Atlantic, an hour back in and that would give me enough time to find an anchorage/marina.

obviously, this has much to do with wind, weather, et al, but if anyone might have a few favorite spots along the way, you might just save this sailor's sanity.

many thanks!

ps - also taking tips on staying upbeat during these times. can honestly say that the ICW is not for me.
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Old 11-02-2016, 06:44   #2
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Re: Spots Along the ICW To Pop Out/Back In

'Slow and annoying' is an understatement.

I have only done the ICW once so there's much better local knowledge here than me.

But

I zipped outside for some 24 hour hops. That would save 4 or 5 days inside.

Can you do an overnighter?
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Old 11-02-2016, 06:57   #3
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Re: Spots Along the ICW To Pop Out/Back In

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Originally Posted by theodyssey View Post
morning all.

relatively new sailor here - in a 1967 Grampian Classic 31.

had planned on taking the ICW all the way down from Oriental to FL, but am finding it to be slow and annoying.

I realize that this is a good time to get to know my boat, but was wondering if there might be any alcoves of reprieve along the way to pop out for a few hours just to open her sails up, and then come back in?

figure an hour to get out of the inlet [whichever one it might be], 2-3 hours out on the Atlantic, an hour back in and that would give me enough time to find an anchorage/marina.

obviously, this has much to do with wind, weather, et al, but if anyone might have a few favorite spots along the way, you might just save this sailor's sanity.

many thanks!

ps - also taking tips on staying upbeat during these times. can honestly say that the ICW is not for me.
How far down are you?

I did Morehead City to Swansboro on the outside back in the day (Beaufort Inland- Bogue Inlet) and came back on the ICW, but that was on a 17' powerboat.

It looks to be around 35 - 40 miles......one way trip down.
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Old 11-02-2016, 07:06   #4
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Spots Along the ICW To Pop Out/Back In

Make sure to listen to the VHF WX station on swell and wind conditions before hopping out. May be smooth inside but short period swell outside= unpleasant.

Not knowing where you are on the ICW it is hard to say otherwise.


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Old 11-02-2016, 07:24   #5
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Re: Spots Along the ICW To Pop Out/Back In

IMHO the greatest danger is exiting and entering the inlets. We watch the weather and only enter the best inlets. Which rules out a majority of inlets from NY south.

My advice would be to watch the weather and be willing and capable of staying out in deep water.
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Old 11-02-2016, 07:35   #6
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Re: Spots Along the ICW To Pop Out/Back In

Quote:
Originally Posted by theodyssey View Post
morning all.

relatively new sailor here - in a 1967 Grampian Classic 31.

had planned on taking the ICW all the way down from Oriental to FL, but am finding it to be slow and annoying.

I realize that this is a good time to get to know my boat, but was wondering if there might be any alcoves of reprieve along the way to pop out for a few hours just to open her sails up, and then come back in?

figure an hour to get out of the inlet [whichever one it might be], 2-3 hours out on the Atlantic, an hour back in and that would give me enough time to find an anchorage/marina.

obviously, this has much to do with wind, weather, et al, but if anyone might have a few favorite spots along the way, you might just save this sailor's sanity.

many thanks!

ps - also taking tips on staying upbeat during these times. can honestly say that the ICW is not for me.
===

I've done 6 round trips on the ICW in the last 10 years and can't think of too many places north of Florida where you can jump out for just a few hours. The shortest hop that comes to mind is Morehead City, NC to Masonboro Inlet, NC. That's about an 80NM hop which is doable in our 8 kt trawler but an overnight run for anything slower. Usually when we go outside it's in contemplation of one or two nights offshore.
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Old 11-02-2016, 07:43   #7
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Re: Spots Along the ICW To Pop Out/Back In

St.Mary's to St Johns and St Johns to St Augustine can be day hops, Maybe Ponce to Port Canaveral.


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Old 11-02-2016, 07:48   #8
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Re: Spots Along the ICW To Pop Out/Back In

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Originally Posted by wayne.b View Post
===

I've done 6 round trips on the ICW in the last 10 years and can't think of too many places north of Florida where you can jump out for just a few hours. The shortest hop that comes to mind is Morehead City, NC to Masonboro Inlet, NC. That's about an 80NM hop which is doable in our 8 kt trawler but an overnight run for anything slower. Usually when we go outside it's in contemplation of one or two nights offshore.
Yep, Bogue Inlet is way too dangerous and shallow. (I just checked activecaptain)

When I did it, I was on an old power boat and was 20 years old..........not a problem.

We almost got rolled by a breaking ocean wave but my teenage wife screamed a warning just before it broke.

We were inside the breaker line near Atlantic Beach trying to pickup a friend who had swam out to meet us for a boat ride.

Good Times!
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Old 11-02-2016, 08:04   #9
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Re: Spots Along the ICW To Pop Out/Back In

Once south of Cape Canaveral the GS is offshore a little. Generally if southbound you do NOT want to be I deep water. Stay in 30-60 feet to avoid a major counter current.

Do spend some time studying both the location of the GS and bridge heights. I do not believe a Grampian 31 has to much air draft, so you may be able to slide under a lot of bridges.

I have taken all the inlets south from Jupiter south in different boats. Aside from Everglades (FLL) and Government Cut (MIA) none are easy. Some are just worse than others...


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Old 11-02-2016, 09:20   #10
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Re: Spots Along the ICW To Pop Out/Back In

Georgetown SC to Charleston SC
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Old 11-02-2016, 09:27   #11
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Re: Spots Along the ICW To Pop Out/Back In

You find it slow and annoying, yet you bought a sailboat? You should have bought a speedboat.

Seriously, all the ICW cruising guides have information on inlets. Try the Waterway Guide book.


Personally, my wife and I love the AICW. It's always interesting with the different marine life and the different towns and people we meet along the way. If we were in a hurry to get somewhere we would drive or fly.
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Old 11-02-2016, 09:40   #12
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Re: Spots Along the ICW To Pop Out/Back In

Iv'e sailed out of Charleston for the last 30 years up and down the east coast. The only inlet coming south that you can comfortably come out of for a day sail is the Cape Fear near South Port and head south until you get to Little River inlet north of Myrtle Beach, also a good inlet to come into.

Georgetown to Charleston is overnight
Beaufort, NC to Masonboro inlet is overnight

You can go out Charleston jetties and turn south to the N. Edisto or S. Edisto River inlets and do it in about 7 hours.

Also, you can push it and go up the St.Helena sound in a couple more hours.

Hilton head from Charleston is overnight.

All assuming you are in a 6 - 7 kt. sailboat.
When you get to Florida,
St.Mary's inlet to St.Augustine is a day sail.
St. Augustine to Ponce inlet is a day sail, then go inside until you get to Palm beach
Palm Beach to FT. Lauderdale is a long 12 hr day
Ft. Lauderdale to Miami is about 5 hours.

Good Luck
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:13   #13
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Re: Spots Along the ICW To Pop Out/Back In

I second beaufort to masonboro inlet spent the night at wrightville beach and head to southport on the inland waterway the next day. Spent the night in southport and head out the cape fear river to little river inlet, a nice 4-6 hr sail. Spend the night in a marina at Little River or Myrtle beach, take the inland waterway to georgetown and spend the night. I've done this multiple times during daylight hrs. I'm not familiar with inlets or passages south of georgetown. Leave before dawn, you can't always catch the tide right and will be slowed down but want to enter an unknown inlet or overnight marina at daytime.
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:21   #14
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Re: Spots Along the ICW To Pop Out/Back In

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Originally Posted by pwmullins View Post
Iv'e sailed out of Charleston for the last 30 years up and down the east coast. The only inlet coming south that you can comfortably come out of for a day sail is the Cape Fear near South Port and head south until you get to Little River inlet north of Myrtle Beach, also a good inlet to come into.

Georgetown to Charleston is overnight
Beaufort, NC to Masonboro inlet is overnight

You can go out Charleston jetties and turn south to the N. Edisto or S. Edisto River inlets and do it in about 7 hours.

Also, you can push it and go up the St.Helena sound in a couple more hours.

Hilton head from Charleston is overnight.

All assuming you are in a 6 - 7 kt. sailboat.
When you get to Florida,
St.Mary's inlet to St.Augustine is a day sail.
St. Augustine to Ponce inlet is a day sail, then go inside until you get to Palm beach
Palm Beach to FT. Lauderdale is a long 12 hr day
Ft. Lauderdale to Miami is about 5 hours.

Good Luck
This is a good list of opportunities, but I would add:
Port Royal Sound and Callibogue Sound (north off the Savannah River Inlet), also the Saint Johns River entrance at Jacksonville and the Brunswick, Georgia Inlet.

We've made over 25 transits on the US East Coast often from Maine to South Florida. We're very difficult to disappoint when it comes to the ICW, bridges or slow progress. We do select some short hops offshore, but if they are for the day only, then they don't actually save time when you factor in the passage out and back in. Fort Pierce was also omitted from the list above. Places like Ft. Pierce, St. Marys, Lake Worth and Ft. Lauderdale are attractive because the inlet is short and close to the ICW with an easy path in or out.

We always carefully check the conditions for inlets,- weather, current opposing wind, visibility, etc. We've been enjoying this path for 45 years as low risk, slow and casual cruisers.
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:39   #15
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Re: Spots Along the ICW To Pop Out/Back In

Ft Pierce to Palm Beach is about 50 miles, not too bad as long as you don't get into the stream. Stay close to shore.
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