Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Intracoastal Waterway, (ICW)

The ICW is a combination of rivers, lagoons, and bays connected by a series of canals. We will be starting our cruise on the Intracoastal tomorrow. Presently we are waiting for the latest early winter storm (Nor'easter) to blow through the area.This is the second storm to slow us down, and we are anxious to get south to warmer weather. The wind is blowing at 25 to 30 mph, which makes it seem a lot colder than it is. The weather forecast is predicting snow tonight... Traveling today would just be windy, wet and miserable. I hope it is better tomorrow.
The ICW is mostly protected from weather, but is subject to tides and currents. We are very close to Norfolk and if the weather is favorable we plan to head there tomorrow morning after getting fuel and a pump out.

The raw water intake pump has been was leaking. I will run the engine today to check and make sure everything is fine. Serenity should be ready to go again.

We will travel through more than eighty opening bridges on the ICW. Since Shirl loves to take pictures of bridges, you may see a few posted.

Navigation on the ICW is mostly line of sight. Red channel markers are kept to starboard, and green to port when heading south. My understanding is that it is dangerous to travel at night, so we will look for places to anchor in the late afternoon, or if available, an inexpensive marina slip to spend the evening. Typically I look at the chart book and the travel guides and sort of plan the days travel with a Plan A if we make good time and a Plan B if we do not. Hopefully we will have more days when we use Plan A. Waiting on bridge opening schedules as well as bad weather can slow you down.
It will be interesting to see how the people and communities along the ICW interact with the waterway.
I have spent a great deal of time the the last two days going over he ICW chart book, and getting Serenity ready to go. The weather is supposed to be good this weekend so maybe we can log some miles south.
Serenity running up the main.


  1. The ICW is beautiful! When my grandparents lived in myrtle beach we would drive over and have dinner on it to watch all the boats go down it....pretty awesome to watch all the bridges moving for the boats! Hope you all have decent weather!!
    Amy & Roger (assault weapon)

  2. Ted and Shirl, which travel guides and books are you using to plan your trip?

  3. Amy and Roger,
    The ICW looks to be a great place to cruise. Today was cold and windy...tomorrow is supposed to be better.

  4. David,
    For the ICW I have Anchorages Along the ICW and Marinas along the ICW...both by Skipper Bob, and I have the ICW Chartbook by John and Leslie Kettlewell. The chartbook is my paper back up for my chartplotter. I have used Skipper Bob guides since Lake Erie.


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