Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 11-10-2014, 13:41   #1
Registered User
 
Viturina's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Naples, FL
Boat: 1936 Rhodes Ketch, 46'
Posts: 64
First trip for me (wife) down the ICW

Hi there - We are currently living aboard our 1937 Rhodes ketch. I love living aboard, but no real sailing experience. My goal is to get some short day sails in over the winter, but mostly we will use crew to move north/south. Here's my question: we're heading down the ICW, may or may not go all the way to FL. Best spots for being on the boat in a marina over the winter along the way? I have a business I love, which is completely portable, but does require excellent AT&T cell coverage and I'm assuming any marina will have great wifi, but maybe that's a huge assumption. We're up for docking fees, but don't want to be spending crazy amounts. Mostly, want to be in a cruising friendly location, nice area to be in, not too remote but not right in the middle of a city either (if avoidable). Thoughts? Favorite spots? I know I'm a newbie, so bear with me - in a few years, I'm sure I'll be all about anchoring in the middle of nowhere, but not this season lol!
__________________

__________________
Jen Hagemann
Viturina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2014, 14:29   #2
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
Re: First trip for me (wife) down the ICW

I found it was just pot luck as to where is nice. Just drift along down and when you see a nice place drop in and stay the night.
Active Captain is a great resource and it can give you others opinions plus prices etc, but again, some folk love a place that you won't.

I used cell connections for internet all the way.
__________________

__________________
Notes on a Circumnavigation.
OurLifeAtSea.com

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2014, 20:03   #3
Registered User
 
zboss's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: On a boat
Boat: Cabo Rico 38
Posts: 3,427
Re: First trip for me (wife) down the ICW

I can't speak for everyone here but for my wife and I, who were in a very similar position to you guys, we found that the ICW was full of surprising places that were very unexpected and also lots of great marinas with high quality Wi-fi... but they get expensive. The wi-fi is generally not open so you need to be a guest to get the passwords.

I found 4g/lte cell reception pretty much everywhere from the northern Chesapeake all the way south to Florida. Mostly because just about all the ICW is occupied by private homes or businesses. Of course, there are exceptions in south Georgia, but that is about it.

Whatever you do, get going now because in another month is gets flat out cold on the way down. We left December 2nd to come south last year and our first day out we hit freezing rain. The cold chased us all the way to Cape Canaveral in February, which seems to be the cut-off point for warm weather.
__________________
zboss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2014, 20:17   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 4
Re: First trip for me (wife) down the ICW

Great to hear there is another set of newbies ready to travel the ICW. My husband and I are planning to leave next week from Maine. My biggest anticipated challenge is going through the East River in NYC and along the NJ coast. Love any helpful hints that could build my confidence there.
__________________
NancGrace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2014, 20:34   #5
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 6,389
Re: First trip for me (wife) down the ICW

Quote:
Originally Posted by NancGrace View Post
My biggest anticipated challenge is going through the East River in NYC ...

Search for Hell Gate on this forum, there was just a thread about it last week.
__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2014, 21:42   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,388
Re: First trip for me (wife) down the ICW

Quote:
Originally Posted by NancGrace View Post
Great to hear there is another set of newbies ready to travel the ICW. My husband and I are planning to leave next week from Maine. My biggest anticipated challenge is going through the East River in NYC and along the NJ coast. Love any helpful hints that could build my confidence there.
Like Stu said, check out Hell Gate. The current can hit 5-6m kts so you have to time your passage so you aren't fighting it.

Down the Jersey shore to Delaware is an easy overnight sail. Watch the weather closely and leave NY when you have a good 24 hour forecast. You can do the same from DE to Norfolk.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2014, 06:06   #7
Registered User
 
Viturina's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Naples, FL
Boat: 1936 Rhodes Ketch, 46'
Posts: 64
Re: First trip for me (wife) down the ICW

Thanks - We're looking for crew from Cape May to NJ - should have that in a few days, and the weather should be nice then, as well. We'll get to Norfolk and then have a conference to go to for our business, but probably leave Norfolk end of October - I'm not a fan of cold!
__________________
Jen Hagemann
Viturina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2014, 08:40   #8
Registered User
 
Viturina's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Naples, FL
Boat: 1936 Rhodes Ketch, 46'
Posts: 64
Re: First trip for me (wife) down the ICW

Henry & the girls had an easy time going through Hell's Gate - just have to find the favorable tide - their window was 3 am till 11 am, so they left the dock at about 6 and were carried along quite nicely. They had a lovely sail most of the way down the NJ coastline, but then the weather turned so the wind was on their nose for the last 4 hours into Cape May. We are in a marina (South Jersey Marina) and have been here a week, waiting for better weather and a few crew to help Henry with the overnight down the Delaware Penninsula. We could go up into Delaware Bay, but he'd rather do the outside route. We'll be at Atlantic Yacht Basin in Chesapeake, when he gets to the Norfolk area. Keep up posted about your travels, too!
__________________
Jen Hagemann
Viturina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2014, 08:45   #9
Moderator
 
Hudson Force's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Lived aboard & cruised for 45 years,- now on a chair in my walk-in closet.
Boat: Morgan OI 413 1973 - Aythya
Posts: 7,894
Images: 1
Re: First trip for me (wife) down the ICW

I'd agree with MarkJ above regarding Hell's Gate. The actual most common maximum current is closer to 5 kts., but that's still best to avoid having it on your bow. We find that we best transit the East River using the tidal data at the Battery (south point of Manhatten). When we are southbound we depart the area of the Throgs Neck Bridge about two hours after high tide at the Battery and when northbound we depart the Battery at about two hours after low tide. This works well with us at our average cruising speed of 6.5kts.

We enter between the Brothers Islands and exit in Butterrmilk Channel east of Governors Island.

Your 46' Rhodes likely has a significant draft that will impact some of your choices further south on the ICW. Share your draft and vertical clearance needs with us so we gave proide some better advice.
__________________
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
Hudson Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2014, 08:51   #10
Moderator
 
Hudson Force's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Lived aboard & cruised for 45 years,- now on a chair in my walk-in closet.
Boat: Morgan OI 413 1973 - Aythya
Posts: 7,894
Images: 1
Re: First trip for me (wife) down the ICW

Ah, I see my post above came late, but we can still share some ideas about your passage south from Norfolk. We've cruised from Norfolk to Florida 25 times and, with your draft and vertical clearance numbers, we'd be glad to share our thoughts about some inlets, anchorages and other choices.
__________________
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
Hudson Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2014, 09:04   #11
Registered User
 
Viturina's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Naples, FL
Boat: 1936 Rhodes Ketch, 46'
Posts: 64
Re: First trip for me (wife) down the ICW

Hi Hudson - Our draft is about 6 (design says 5'9, but with a full boat we plan on 6'6") mast is 55, so, we should be ok for ICW. My husband has been up and down a few times, so he has more experience, plus he's done offshore and a lot of cruising. I'm the newbie! Any ideas would be great. We have the Waterway Guides and so I'll be check those out, but any personal recommendations are greatly appreciated. We have a lovely Dickinson diesel heater on board, and we were aboard all last spring in CT (when it was below 30), but I'd prefer not that harsh a winter if we can avoid it lol! I'm hoping Charleston might be far enough south but from other comments above, that still might be too chilly. We have friends in St. Augustine & they highly recommend it, plus another friend has recommended Edisto Island (think that the name). For my business's sake, I'd kind of like to get someplace with some population and be there for a few months, but then enjoy a break by moving - we'll see. Its a learning curve for sure - have to get south of Cape May first!!!
__________________
Jen Hagemann
Viturina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2014, 09:21   #12
Moderator
 
Hudson Force's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Lived aboard & cruised for 45 years,- now on a chair in my walk-in closet.
Boat: Morgan OI 413 1973 - Aythya
Posts: 7,894
Images: 1
Re: First trip for me (wife) down the ICW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viturina View Post
..........................
Our draft is about 6 (design says 5'9, but with a full boat we plan on 6'6") mast is 55 .........................

.................. I'm hoping Charleston might be far enough south but from other comments above, that still might be too chilly. We have friends in St. Augustine & they highly recommend it .............
.....................
A six inch drop by loading a 46' boat is huge. I'd think you'd more likely drop about 2" at most, but I don't know what you're "packing". Either way, your vertical clearances for the ICW are good and the draft will require some timing at places. but even at low, it's a soft mud touch at most places.

Charleston is a wonderful place, but you'd need to judge the weather choice by your own. I'm a hot house pansy from Fort Lauderdale and I suffer enough in North Florida for the winter.
__________________
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
Hudson Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2014, 09:22   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Paradise
Boat: Various
Posts: 2,360
Re: First trip for me (wife) down the ICW

The East Coast is covered with great boating areas. Now I'll cover the southern part mostly here as it's about to turn cold further north and you'll probably not want to linger. That means you're likely not to experience the greatness of the Chesapeake. No better boating anywhere. We personally love Annapolis but also love Cape Charles and we like the Hampton area. Can't go wrong in the Chesapeake except you're nearing the end of 70 degree days for the season. By November, most highs in the 50's.

Even NC you're running out of time a bit. The Morehead City/Beaufort area is great for boaters. Many small towns too such as Coinjock and Oriental. Then the Cape Fear with Wilmington or Southport along the coast. The northern part of NC still comfortable in October and Wilmington/Southport area still decent much of November.

While we love Myrtle Beach, SC for personal reasons, the best of SC is Charleston. It is boater friendly, choices of marinas, and a lifestyle and culture to be enjoyed. It's good through November, highs by December however only around 60 degrees.

So time to move on. Savannah is one of our favorite cities. So much to explore on the water there. The drawback is that downtown the only marinas are expensive so most stay down river near the coast and have a rather long trip to the city.

By December it's still time to get to Florida and great areas soon are on your path. Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island are the first stops. Many great rivers in the area so choices of large quality marinas or calm quiet anchorages. I will caution those not use to the area though that Florida is a very long state and climate wise you're not into the year round warmth yet. Fernandina Beach is still closer to Beaufort, NC than it is to Key West.

Jacksonville is next and there is a lot to do on the St. Johns River. However, you're now getting close to what I consider the first real taste of paradise. St. Augustine is incredible for cruisers. What a beautiful town to explore. And the highs in December are in the upper 60's. This is followed by Daytona Beach which a lot of cruisers overlook but we still love. Then Titusville and the Cape Canaveral area.

One more area before South Florida and that is the Treasure Coast. This area is like a huge coastal suburb of South Florida in that it has many of the amenities but lesser crowd and lower costs. Vero Beach, Ft. Pierce, Port St. Lucie, and Stuart have anything a cruiser could ask for. Highs in the mid 70's in December so perfect weather to most coming from the north.

Finally, our home land of South Florida. Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami. Contrary to some reports there are still plenty of anchorages. As to Marinas, none better in the world. Just they are costly and the winter is peak season. Daily transit rates are going to start at $1.50 and go up from there. Most are going to be $2-$3. But this is the Capitol of boating and an area that caters to the water. And it can be experienced at moderate costs. I admit to prejudice and I love Fort Lauderdale but then I wouldn't consider an East Coast voyage complete without Miami and Biscayne Bay and South Beach.

Finally the Keys. A world of relaxation and peace. You can be in the middle of things in Key West or quieter boating communities such as Marathon.

Really there is far more to experience along the east coast than can be done in a lifetime. I think really it's just move south fast enough to avoid whatever weather you consider personally to be uncomfortably cold. I love the tropical paradise of South Florida where our cold months have temperatures in the mid 70's. I do seem to have brought some of that with me to San Francisco, at least for the day, as it's going to hit 82 degrees here today.
__________________
BandB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2014, 10:02   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2010
Boat: Tayana 37
Posts: 115
Re: First trip for me (wife) down the ICW

I would want to go at least as far south as Charleston to get into the warmer weather before stopping for good. You are still going to get some cold days and nights from there south, but it is not going to be as bad as, say, Wilmington, NC. As you are probably aware, Charleston and Savannah both have some of the charms of a bigger city, but neither are too overwhelming. I really enjoyed Beaufort, SC, but I imagine it might get a little old after a few weeks, being such a small town. I could also imagine holing up for the winter just about anywhere along the Florida coast, and, in that case, you would be a lot closer to making the hop to the Bahamas if you feel so inclined. But, really, as others have said on this thread, I think you should just head south and decide to stay wherever your are comfortable. There are so many different types of places from completely secluded to in the heart of the city and everything in between. What I like in a place will probably not be the same as you.

I have been posting some of our experiences heading south on my blog. I have mainly focused on navigating the ICW, but there is also some information on various ports along the way. With the exception of Charleston, however, we did not stop in marinas.

Have a great time!
__________________
Helbent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2014, 10:05   #15
Registered User
 
Viturina's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Naples, FL
Boat: 1936 Rhodes Ketch, 46'
Posts: 64
Re: First trip for me (wife) down the ICW

Hudson, We've never felt that the original 5'9" was at all acurate by the time we owned her, empty. She was built in 1937 with plenty of modification along the way, so we use 6'6" as a safety. She draws all of 6', and more with crew, gear, etc. She was originally built with an engine, but subsequent owners added huge fuel & water tanks, plus other gear.

BandB, thanks for the awesome listing - we've lived in Naples for the bulk of the past 12 years, so we are a bit sensitive to weather below '60 but not against it
__________________

__________________
Jen Hagemann
Viturina is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
icw

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wife's First Night Watch Thin Line Families, Kids and Pets Afloat 2 05-09-2014 22:38
First boat, first post, first adventure. northoceanbeach Pacific & South China Sea 5 28-05-2013 19:05
Fail on my wife's first sail Ray4Man Seamanship & Boat Handling 25 28-04-2013 20:09
First Boat, First Problems - Drain Hole My Wife Didn't Like from the Start :) parito The Sailor's Confessional 8 12-05-2011 06:03
A trip down the ICW... exposure General Sailing Forum 8 04-05-2007 05:30



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:34.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.