>>>>>>I was at the beach over the weekend and saw tons of sailbaots in the ICW heading south. Why aren't they on the outside?? It was a beautiful day with N winds around 10-15 knots. Just wondering if more people stay in the ICW than on the outside.
It depends upon where you were "on the beach" - What State?
- - There are several reasons for staying "in the ditch" versus going "outside."
- - If you are up north of Beaufort/Morehead City then the ditch is much safer and convenient than trying to sail out into the Atlantic Ocean
all the way to Morehead City
or points south.
- - Further south going "outside" is primarily used when you "have to get there" in limited amount of time. Also some sailors have not been "outside" and are not experienced in ocean sailing.
- - The the main reason for staying inside is that Cruisers are cruising to "see things" not bypass things. The whole ICW is a fascinating experience. There are a hundred wonderful little towns and villages and places to explore along the way. New friends to meet at each stop and time to share and learn about the life of cruising.
- - The ICW is "run" during the daylight hours and as you get further south the tides become a further limiting factor. Amazingly, the great stopping points seem to be spaced just right for a comfortable day run.
- - As you get down past Charleston, then the twists and turns and tidal range makes "going outside" much more inviting. And the places to "duck back inside" increases.
- - But bottomline, the whole idea of cruising is to stop and smell the roses, not set speed records getting from Norfolk to Miami
- although I have done that, especially when we have an early winter up north.