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Old 02-06-2009, 13:44   #1
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Last Minute Advice for ICW Trip

Howdy folks,

Well, on Thursday I'm hitting the road to Annapolis. I'll be spending Thursday evening and Friday provisioning the boat and tweaking a few things. Then Saturday at 0600 I'm underway for Charleston. My dad and a couple buddies will be joining me.

So here's where I am. See if you can think of anything I've missed before I go..


I purchased the following new equipment:

1) Fortress FX-23 to use as my stern/kedge anchor and a Rocna 10 with 40' of chain and 125' of 8-strand line for my primary. The CQR is going below as a last-ditch backup.

2) Two Mustang Survival harnesses/hydrostatic inflation PFDs with strobe lights and lanyards (based on 2 guys on deck at once while we overnight it down the Chesapeake) and a couple jacklines.

3) ICW Chartbook and both Skipper Bob guides.

4) Bosun's chair so I can A) finally finish mounting my flag halyard, B) permanently mount my radar reflector, and C) be ready in case something breaks up top.

5) New CMAP charts for my chartplotter.

6) New floppy hat with SPF protection.

7) New shades.

8) Mercury 4.5hp outboard for my dinghy (turns out it's a long shaft....I missed that on the craig's list add, but it shouldn't matter).


My dad took the boat over to have the engine tuned up, oil changed, etc over the weekend, so it'll be in good shape.


So that just leaves getting the boat squared away and filling the icebox with beer.

Ok, what have I missed for a 12 or 13 day run down the ICW?


Cherrs,
Alexei
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Old 02-06-2009, 13:56   #2
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You staying inside most the way?
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Old 02-06-2009, 14:44   #3
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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
You staying inside most the way?
That's the plan at this point.

Depending on weather, we might head out into the Pamlico sound and south to the Neuse River to avoid motoring the whole way.
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Old 02-06-2009, 14:53   #4
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I'm not too familiar with pamlico as I went outside, but dont you have to go through Pamlico at some point? Anyway, the only thing I can think of is Towing insurance can be priceless on the ICW. Boat US $75-$100/yr
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Old 02-06-2009, 15:07   #5
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Be aware of the shifting sand bars within the ICW! Remember to use your depth sounder and not wholly rely on your charts.
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Old 02-06-2009, 15:08   #6
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Alexei,

If you're sailing overnight in the Bay, make sure to have a high-output, waterproof spotlight for the cockpit, and a handheld VFH or a RAM mike. You'll probably see some traffic (tugs with barges, and ships). Shining the spot on your sails makes you instantly visible, and you definitely want to be able to talk with them while at the wheel. The tugs like to "ride the 10s" when steaming north or south in the Chesapeake--the 76*10' W line of longitude. So if you stay a bit east or west of it, you'll likely avoid confrontation.

Have a great trip!

p.s don't forget the beer!
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Old 02-06-2009, 17:36   #7
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I second the towing insurance suggestion. Not that I've ever run aground or anything... and of course the Corps of Engineers have had 100% funding of all dredging projects during the past decade...

I also advise checking a good cruising guide website - like Salty Southeast Cruiser's Net. They continually update ICW conditions and its all free.

Skipper Bob's Cruising Guides are also worth the investment IMO.

Remember you can never bring enough beer.
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Old 02-06-2009, 18:15   #8
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You have allocated plenty of time, so you won't need to hurry, but a good stretch to hop outside is from Beaufort NC to Wrightsville Beach (Masonboro Inlet). Miss the Sunset Beach Bridge which opens only once an hour as long as it's not low tide, and others.

I find the Dismal Swamp canal a nice diversion.

If you have time, a detour to Wilmington NC is interesting.

Sounds like you have already figured not to leave home without Skipper Bob.

As an aside, I recently got a copy of a book written about a trip in 1912 in a catboat on the ICW from Mass. to Miami and back. The Boy, Me and the Cat, by Henry Plummer. Fun to read and compare to the journey today.
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:16   #9
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It sounds like you're prepared. I would just add a weblink, as long as it's ok with the mods, that I've found to be invaluable for updated info along the way.
Cruisers Net your best source for up to date information on the Waterway - ICW Problems
I imagine we'll probably be crossing paths, as I'm headed north around the same time.
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:34   #10
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I recommend the following system when you work your shifts at night if you don't stop:
This is more useful offshore but I do it as a habit.
Each crew keep a whistle and strobe attached to your PFD
At every shift change check the strobe on the new guy up
On shift never leave cockpit or unhook tether and use whistle to wake other guy up to assist in any maneuvers, etc.

This guarantees no MOB recovery hassles

Have fun
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:09   #11
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Food and WATER to go along with all the beer. Beer is nice, water is necessary...And be sure to drink a lot more water than beer. You'll need to stay hydrated. watch your pee. If it's anything other than clear you're getting de-hydrated.
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:16   #12
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... watch your pee. If it's anything other than clear you're getting de-hydrated.
See also, Uroscopic rainbow: modern matula medicine
Uroscopic rainbow: modern matula medicine
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:25   #13
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That's the plan at this point.

Depending on weather, we might head out into the Pamlico sound and south to the Neuse River to avoid motoring the whole way.
Hey...if you're headed down the Pamlico (good choice) ... a good stop is Manteo on Roanoke Island. Free overnight at the town dock. Depth in recently dredged channel is minimum 7 ft. ...not the 4 ft. reported on some old charts. The Pamlico to Neuse route is easier and quicker than the traditional ICW and sailable for much of it. Another great stop is Ocracoke's Silver Lake which is virtually on the way and a good stop 55 miles after Manteo unless you are in a rush to get back up the Neuse.

The only other thing I would tell you is DO NOT follow the magenta line on your chart plotter. You need to use your eyeballs...marker to marker and make your turns wide and gentle. Get the latest shoaling info from skipper bob, boatus east coast alerts, and the salty southeast cruisers net and mark them on your paper charts. The chartplotter is great for quick glances at where you are...but on the ICW...the markers and the markI eyeball are the most important...and the magenta line will often lead to groundings.

Have Fun!
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