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Old 10-04-2009, 07:19 PM   #1
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I mean it. We have a few spots coming down the coast that we like stop in, but this year the slowness of traveling down the Intracoastal Waterway really got to me.

Last year almost the entire trip up the coast from Florida to New York was offshore, but we had even less time then. It was surprisingly pleasant. No cranky sailboats, no dangerously rude big powerboats, no bridge tenders to have to wait for (and most of them are very, very nice so it's not the people, it's the situation that gets to me).

This year, we should have tried harder.

The State of New Jersey is a horrible coast so we usually zoom down offshore, and we did it again this year. But we met friends in Cape May and decided to cruise with them for a few days, so up the Delaware River we went, and through the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. It was much better traveling on a nimble power boat than a pokey slow sailboat, at least. But the trip up the river, through the Canal, and down the Chesapeake is a huge detour and added several days that we could only afford because we like our friends enough to find a way to make up time later.

Then bad weather forced us to stay in the ICW and we got into the trudging along for eight or nine hours, anchor, wake up and do it again. and again.

FINALLY we went offshore south of Savannah, Georgia and came back in at St. Mary's Sound, Florida. It was the least stressful stretch of the trip.

Given our better experiences offshore than on the ICW, I can't help but wonder why sailboats would willingly choose to trudge so far south on the ICW? If they were taking two months to make the trip and stopping and exploring most of the time, it is worth it. But to try to make good time, day after day for several weeks unending, I don't understand it. There are plenty of places where one can daysail and come in to anchor at night, then go offshore again. That's the best of both worlds, in my opinion. But I like the sailing, maybe that's the difference.

Today's rant. Now that we've stopped I'll be better tomorrow.

Fair winds,

J
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:09 PM   #2
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I agree... for me this year I'm getting stuck in the ICW because of work. I work from home on the boat so can only go outside for a run on the weekends... which means not only waiting for a weather window, but a weather window on a weekend when I'm in a good spot to leap... I'm anchored in Gale Creek at the moment and will make Beaufort tomorrow... If the weather looks like it might give me one of those weekend windows I will jump to Savanah... if not.... more trudging along spending money on diesel...
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Old 12-26-2009, 01:36 PM   #3
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I agree... for me this year I'm getting stuck in the ICW because of work. I work from home on the boat so can only go outside for a run on the weekends... which means not only waiting for a weather window, but a weather window on a weekend when I'm in a good spot to leap... I'm anchored in Gale Creek at the moment and will make Beaufort tomorrow... If the weather looks like it might give me one of those weekend windows I will jump to Savanah... if not.... more trudging along spending money on diesel...
I second the agreement
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Old 12-26-2009, 02:51 PM   #4
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welcome aboard kiteserfer... are you in the ICW?? what's your stomping ground?
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:30 AM   #5
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welcome aboard kiteserfer... are you in the ICW?? what's your stomping ground?
Hey Atavist,

don't feel too bad I am in Sydney Australia, it is summer here only you would not believe it. The weather has been nasty and has some how lined itself up incorrectly with the week, the same as up there. That is during the week when I am stuck working the weather is hot temp 34c clear skies 10 - 15knts S SE. Come the weekend temp 21c raining 0 to 5 knts variable, come Monday morning 34c etc etc.

I think that I need to send an email to the "man" and aske him to reliagn the weathe with the weekends.

Safe cruising.

Regards

Manni
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:57 PM   #6
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34C?? .. I'd kill for that right now... Mate it's 34F here in sunny Florida... So much for getting away from the cold by heading south for the winter..... and me of course neglecting to fix the heater because i thought it was going to be warm enough to not need it down here...
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:16 PM   #7
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34C?? .. I'd kill for that right now... Mate it's 34F here in sunny Florida... So much for getting away from the cold by heading south for the winter..... and me of course neglecting to fix the heater because i thought it was going to be warm enough to not need it down here...
How far south have you gotten? Stuart? We'll be there some time next week. Please don't tell us it's cold there. Pleeeeeeese.
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:27 PM   #8
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Yup we are in Stuart... it's bloody freezing... well.. almost it was 34 this morning ... but we do expect frost tonight so as of tomorrow it will indeed be literally FREEZING!!...

What are you guys coming to staurt for? I thought your boat was in Jacksonville?

Should be a bit warmer next week if you are lucky. Tomorrow is expected to be the low for this front, warming very slowly through the weekend to lows in the 40s instead of 30s.
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:38 PM   #9
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The good news is I just now finally got my 30 year old Taylor Marine parafin heater working... woo hoo... it's not quite central heating but it will at least take the worst of the chill off.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:26 PM   #10
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The boat's in J-ville until we get back there and we'll be heading for Stuart as soon as possible. We want to be there for the PDQ owner's gathering January 23, and the PDQ open house. A lot of visiting and catching up to do.

My brother lives in St. Augustine, so we'll probably stop there for a day or two, then straight to Stuart. Not quickly, since we don't do quickly anymore.

34F is too cold, J-ville must be worse, but I have faith that it will improve.
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:25 PM   #11
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Not only that, the ICW these days is a nightmare with the draft (at least for us, 6'8")...and the Corp, in their infinite wisdom attempting the reroute rivers....the lack of dredging to mandatory depths, and all that. When I made my first trip from the Chesapeake to the Gulf Coast many years ago, granted on a 55' power boat (I was hired to bring the boat around) it was a great trip...but the last several years have gotten worse and worse, on so many levels. "The Ditch" was fun the first couple of times, but I wouldn't do it again....going outside is the only way to do it. The problem is most people that have boats, both pwer and sail, do not want to "experience" the Cape...but the benefit of that is a clean seaway for the rest of us!

We have a home in the Tampa Bay area, and we are looking forward to that trip later this year via the outside and the Keys, before we head off to the Islands, probably in November.... Where are you guys now?
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Old 01-04-2010, 10:02 PM   #12
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We have a home in the Tampa Bay area, and we are looking forward to that trip later this year via the outside and the Keys, before we head off to the Islands, probably in November.... Where are you guys now?
I think you remember that we're on a power catamaran; depth and bridge height are not our problem, and although anytime we're on the water is good, it's not as great as sailing, IMO. I agree that the ICW used to be a great trip for us. We still like a few of the stops, as I mentioned. Absurd perhaps, but Tubby's Restaurant in Thunderbolt, GA is a must-stop for us.

For the rest, though, it is tiresome unless the weather is really grotty outside. We don't seem to see the beauty anymore, and that's when it's time to try something new.

Right now we're packing our backpacks to fly from NJ to J-ville where the 'Melon is waiting for us. We'll have to leave her in Stuart to fly back north some time in February to attend to some unfinished business, but we think we'd like to spend the rest of the winter in the Everglades once we return. Maybe over to the Bahamas, but that's not certain yet. Depends on our February trip north.
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In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

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Old 01-04-2010, 10:13 PM   #13
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Out of curiosity do you pick up a mooring here in Stuart or anchor off?? FYI if you anchor, the locals court battle with the marina here is finally settled and you can now anchor on the landward side of the mooring field... that's where i'm at.. about 50ft from the Riverwalk at Shephards Park, much better than dinghying over from the common anchorage on the west side of the channel... it's only me, one other little sailboat, and two power boats anchored here. Definitely room for a few more boats.
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Old 01-04-2010, 10:37 PM   #14
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I think you remember that we're on a power catamaran; depth and bridge height are not our problem, and although anytime we're on the water is good, it's not as great as sailing, IMO. I agree that the ICW used to be a great trip for us. We still like a few of the stops, as I mentioned. Absurd perhaps, but Tubby's Restaurant in Thunderbolt, GA is a must-stop for us.

For the rest, though, it is tiresome unless the weather is really grotty outside. We don't seem to see the beauty anymore, and that's when it's time to try something new.

Right now we're packing our backpacks to fly from NJ to J-ville where the 'Melon is waiting for us. We'll have to leave her in Stuart to fly back north some time in February to attend to some unfinished business, but we think we'd like to spend the rest of the winter in the Everglades once we return. Maybe over to the Bahamas, but that's not certain yet. Depends on our February trip north.
Jeanne,

No, I didn't know that...but now I do! There are lots of great places, and Tubby's is one of them. Stopped at Thunderbolt Marina on the way back, on that trip I described earlier. Love Savannah, and still have family there, on the Grimble River...one of the most beautiful Plantations in Savannah. Do you know the Arthur W. Solomon Bridge? Named after my great, great uncle.... This discussion brings back wonderful memories....

NJ is "grotty" right now! Gina (my wife/Jib Chick) is from Princeton, and we were there for Christmas....and it is still ridiculously cold....as it is here in St Michaels....and being a Florida boy, I cannot get used to it...and not sure I want to.

Have a safe trip....and perhaps we can meet you guys one day...
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