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Old 17-05-2011, 11:52   #1
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FL Keys to Charleston - SC

My husband and I are wanting to get out of the Keys for the summer, we're looking to head to Charleston, SC for a change of scenery. We were thinking of taking the ICW. I have a few questions about the journey:

1. We're looking at doing this trip July/August (we're wanting to stay in Titusville to catch the last shuttle launch). Will we run into problems with monsoons and poor weather?

2. Recommended harbors along the way? Things to avoid? Information that would be helpful?

3. Harbors in Charleston? Any that are really great, or some to avoid? We'd require internet access. Dog friendly. We'd be looking for a mooring ball or a place to drop anchor, no slips. Reasonably priced.

I see my path, but I have yet to know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it.
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Old 17-05-2011, 11:57   #2
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Re: FL Keys to Charleston, SC

Janae, get the Waterway Guide and Bob's anchorages. If you go to Cruiser's Net, they have a list of dog friendly stops.
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Old 17-05-2011, 12:19   #3
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Re: FL Keys to Charleston - SC


You guys will have to deal with the afternoon thunderstorms some of which can be quite nasty.

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Old 17-05-2011, 12:22   #4
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Re: FL Keys to Charleston - SC

Janae, second the rec for Skipper Bob's Anchorages. Don't know about the dog part, but we have anchored in the Ashley River, just across from the big municipal marina with the megadock. I believe we got internet on the boat, probably with a small directional antenna, and I'm sure we'd get it with our bullet now. There's a strong reversing current there, but good holding, and we stayed on one hook for a week.

We're in Titusville now (just watched yesterday's launch). Actually staying a week at the Point Kennedy Yacht Club & Marina. Its been run down, but lots of repairs going on now. Docks are being improved, pool is sparkling clean and refreshing, new pub (beer/wine) just opened 4 days ago, internet seems good, friendly staff (although small). Weekly price was much better than Titusville Municipal Marina, although no knocks on that place at all, they have taken great care of us in the past when anchored out.

We've never done Florida by ICW, its too easy (especially going north) to take day or single overnight hops on the outside. Good fishing too, but you gotta spring for rigged ballyhoo for guaranteed mahi in the freezer.

We have stopped at Dinner Key Marina (mooring ball) in Coconut Grove/Miami area, were just there and not super pleased with the new temporary facilities. Plus, no internet. We stopped in Lake Worth, went to two marinas (we usually anchor out, but I'm working and really, really need internet and the ability to get the wife/kids off the boat easily or I get grumpy). Didn't like Cannonsport, did like Lakeport municipal marina.

A few years ago we made the passage from Titusville, 30 miles in ICW to Ponce Inlet, then offshore to Charleston. Took us two days (left in morning, arrived Charleston entrance 48 hours later, plus several hours in to Ashley river). Seemed like a good passage, had some gulf stream lift plus prevailing southwesterlies.

In South Carolina, we found nice anchorages between Charleston and Savannah coming south one year, and I remember the anchorages but forget their names/where they were. Definitely look to Skipper Bob's for suggestions. Sorry I can't recall specifics, maybe I will post from boat later today if I remember.

Have a good trip.
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Old 17-05-2011, 12:24   #5
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Re: FL Keys to Charleston - SC

Forgot to address the weather part. Definitely afternoon t-storms during your window. We got hit Saturday afternoon off the Florida coast with two squall lines, both over 50 kts, with at least one 64 kt gust in the first one. Interestingly, now that I think about it I'm glad we were offshore rather than in the ICW for those.
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Old 17-05-2011, 12:41   #6

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Re: FL Keys to Charleston - SC

ActiveCaptain will surely be your friend. No other source has more information about anchorages or marinas. No site or database anywhere has 1/10th the number of reviews we have - just look around and you'll see. Since we cruise ourselves with 2 labs, you can bet that every marina and every anchorage has special sections for pets. No other database has entries about pets for every stop.

No place has the hazard information we have too - it's updated daily by people going through the ICW reporting their findings. The data is available online on our website or offline with 12 current navigation products that have adopted our data as their point-of-interest information (MaxSea, Furuno, Coastal Explorer, PolarView, Nuno Navigation, Nobeltec Trident, Navimatics for iPhone/iPad, NutiCharts for Android).

ActiveCaptain is 100% free although being a part of the community means you have a responsibility to contribute your own findings as you're moving along. There's bad karma if you don't!

We cover Key West through Charleston, of course, but also continue up to Maine, Nova Scotia, the rest of Canada, the west coast, Europe, Caribbean, etc. We're very strong along the ICW because more boaters travel there. Europe is building although the UK and Netherlands are pretty good right now.

There are currently more than 100,000 boaters accessing the data. Another 8 navigation products are integrating with our data. Once you look around, you'll see why.
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Old 17-05-2011, 13:18   #7
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Re: FL Keys to Charleston - SC

Steamboat Creek, about 30 miles south of Charleston, is a favorite anchorage. It's off the Edisto River, about 2 miles off the ICW and worth the detour. Public ramp to land dog, and friendly folks who come for the sunsets.

Many others, and mooring balls at Vero Beach and Fernandina Beach. They will take reservations by phone. I understand there are now mooring balls at St. Augustine (we missed that last winter). We have also anchored in Salt Run there, and visited the light house.

There are numerous anchorages adjacent to high rise bridges in the ICW - Read Skipper Bob for caveats, and anchor north or south, east or west of the bridges depending on wind conditions.

Currents can be an issue with the bridges - good to time your arrival for the opening so you don't have to wait in a current.

Enjoy your trip!

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Old 25-05-2011, 11:41   #8
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Re: FL Keys to Charleston - SC

I sail between Charleston and Marathon every year and find it much easier and faster to go offshore in the gulf stream. 59 hours last month. There are a few anchorage spots but Charleston seems to me much more suited to docking due to the heavy ship traffic. Active Captain lists several optional anchorages but most are unsuitable for long term due to the heavy shipping traffic. The city of charleston is just such a fantastic place to walk around and enjoy and there are not many ways to do that from a dingy. I know you may be going to escape the Keys heat but you may find Charleston incredibly hot and muggy in July and August. Last summer we found little relief until we reached Rhode Island and beyond. Dogs are tough in parts of that part of the world because there are so few beaches and the sluffmud sloughs are so nasty when they get in it. All the marinas in Charleston I have stayed at were dog friendly.

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