• close family • small boat • big world •

So Long ICW, It’s Been Good To Know You

May 22, 2014

by Paula
At anchor, No Name Harbor (Biscayne Bay), Florida

The first leg of our voyage has been travel down the US Intracoastal Waterway from Deale, Maryland to Biscayne Bay, Florida. Motoring down this inland pathway at 9 mph was slow-going, made even more so by our engine-replacement and prop-wrap detours. But it has been a wonderful way to ease into the cruising life and see the eastern US coast. Here’s a photo-essay of each stop on our journey so far.

The Start: Deale, Maryland on the dock at Herrington Harbour North A busy marina where we spent the summer of 2013 readying the boat and ourselves for the voyage.

Stop 1: Solomons, Maryland at anchor
Our first stop was just one night, with crazy winds and waves. Greg watched a boat drag past us while he sat sleepless for most of the night on watch.

Stop 2: Smith Creek, Virginia at anchor
A remote and peaceful harbor in the lower Chesapeake Bay. We stayed an extra day after discovering the head pump was totally clogged. Paula cleaned out and rebuilt the entire pump while the kids enjoyed their first day completely unplugged.

Stop 3: Tangier Island, Virginia on the dock at Park’s Marina
This tiny fishing island in the Chesapeake Bay was a time-warp. Here, locals have mostly stayed-put since early settlement days, and their accent is closer to Elizabethan English than anywhere else in the world.

Stop 4: Fisherman’s Bay, Virginia at anchor
We just couldn't make the anchor set. We finally hauled it up.  The reason turned out to be the ten foot log that we had hooked neatly in the middle.
Stop 5: Norfolk, Virginia on the dock at Waterside Marina
The big city and Hooters was off our stern. We watched Navy ships pass by and visited local museums. The kids played some wild card games with new friends on s/v Aliento.

Stop 6: Great Bridge, Virginia alongside at the free dock
On the Elizabeth River we went through our first lock.

Stop 7: Coinjock, North Carolina on the dock at
We tied up for the night at a marina on the waterway, nestled between stretches of marshy swamp land.

Stop 8: Alligator River, North Carolina at anchor
We enjoyed this beautiful river even though we just had our first engine disaster.

Stop 9: Reeds Point, North Carolina at anchor
We couldn’t make it all the way to Manteo, so dropped the hook in the crook of an island. We traveled here from the Alligator River by sail and by using our dinghy as a tug-boat, since the motor was out of commission.

Stop 10: Manteo, North Carolina on the dock at Manteo Waterfront Marina
We stayed for two weeks to rebuild our engine. We enjoyed the small, artsy town and visited local museums and the Jockey’s Ridge dunes. Nicole participated in a yarn bomb and we celebrated Halloween with the locals

Alligator River, North Carolina at anchor
Just as beautiful the second time around, but this time with a working engine.
Stop 11: Stop 12: Pungo River, North Carolina at anchor
We stayed the night in the Pungo River at the mouth of Slade Creek.

Stop 13: Belhaven, North Carolina on the dock at River Forest Marina
Made it here after engine episode number two. We stayed at this dilapidated marina just long enough to know we needed to get elsewhere for our engine repair. The town is way past its hey-day, and the marina is in a sorry state of disrepair.

Stop 14: Oriental, North Carolina on the dock at Deaton Yacht Services
We had a lengthy six week stay at this boatyard in the small town of Oriental to replace our engine. We celebrated both Thanksgiving and Christmas here, and became fast friends with the family on S/V Refuge.

Stop 15: Morehead City, North Carolina on the dock at the Sanitary Fish Market
One night at this no-frills dock in an industrial city. One night was enough.

Stop 16: Mile Hammock Bay, North Carolina at anchor
A large anchorage in this bay off Camp LeJeune. We were disappointed not to see any amphibious exercises by the US Marine Corps.

Stop 17: Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina on the dock at Wrightsville Beach Marina and Dockside Marina & Restaurant
We enjoyed a great visit from old friends Daniel & John, who stayed with us overnight.

Stop 18: Southport, South Carolina on the dock at Southport Marina
We arrived after the first passage warm enough to take off the foul-weather gear.

Stop 19: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on the dock at Barefoot Landing Marina
We celebrated New Years Eve by watching fireworks from the cockpit and sharing our hopes for 2014.

Stop 20: Georgetown, South Carolina on the dock at Hazzard Marine
We spent three frozen days waiting for the weather to clear.

Stop 21: Whiteside Creek, South Carolina at anchor
Stayed just one night in this narrow anchorage, watching the tide drop enough to make us uncomfortable about swinging toward the shore.

Stop 22: Charleston, South Carolina on the dock at the City Marina
Daystar was dwarfed by the huge powerboats on the Megadock.

Stop 23: On Passage in the Atlantic Ocean
Not exactly a stop, we spent the night sailing the Atlantic after heading out the inlet in Charleston. Our passage was cut short by the propeller-wrap incident.

Stop 24: Thunderbolt, Georgia on the dock at Hinckley Yacht Services
We enjoyed the sightseeing in Savannah and Bonaventure Cemetery while getting repairs finished.

Stop 25: Back River, Georgia at anchor
A brief stay at a calm and peaceful anchorage.

Stop 26: Frederica River, Georgia at anchor
We were fogged in for three days with nothing but marshy shoreline nearby.  Visibility was mostly 1/4 mile or less.

Stop 27: Jekyll Island, Georgia on the dock at Jekyll Harbor Marina
We took a couple days to enjoy the fantastic bike paths through the nature preserves and quaint shops of this island.

Stop 28: South Amelia River, Georgia at anchor
It’s not all beautiful: this anchorage was cold, windy, and rough with no view.

Stop 29: Jacksonville Beach, Florida on the dock at Beach Marine
Finally in Florida, but still cold and mostly rainy.

Stop 30: St. Augustine, Florida at the Municipal Marina and Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor
We spent a week seeing this unique historic city, with trips to Castillo de San Marco and the Alligator Farm. We befriended Marcy & Mike of S/V Trade Wind, an impeccably restored 1938 Alden motor-sailor. Cash got to try out Marcy’s on-board harpsichord (he played a Mozart Sonatina and the piano solo from Clapton’s Layla).

Stop 31: Matanzas River, Florida at anchor
One calm night overlooking the remains of Fort Matanzas.

Stop 32: New Smyrna Beach, Florida on the dock at the City Marina
Had a great visit from family (Dad, Marion, Lily & Mike)

Stop 33: Cocoa, Florida on the dock at the Cocoa Village Marina
Filled a week doing numerous boat projects and with fun visits from old friends (Tom & Linda) and new (Will & Susan).

Stop 34: Vero Beach, Florida on a mooring
"Velcro Beach" lived up to its nickname.  Our last extended stay to install solar panels and  finish up the boat work. We had great visits from friends on S/V Refuge, family (Dad & Marion), and the Galbreaths, who are good friends from back home (link).  Spent an hour live on the air with local radio personality Rhett Palmer.

Stop 35: North Palm Beach, Florida at anchor
A quick stay at the north end of Lake Worth.  A much quieter part of the lake than the wild and crazy Peanut Island area right in the heart of Palm Beach.
Stop 36: Delray Beach, Florida on the dock at Delray Beach Municipal Marina
Finished some business and boat prep in this quaint marina right alongside the vibrant town.

Stop 37: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida at anchor in Lake Sylvia
Didn't stray from the boat during our short stay here, other than to swim.

Stop 38: Miami, Florida on a mooring in the Dinner Key anchorage
Rocked and rolled at this wide open and crowded mooring field on Biscayne Bay.  Took in the sights of Coconut Grove and readied for our crossing.  Then waited and waited and waited for the right weather.  In the meanwhile, we had loads of fun with old friends on s/v Quartet and s/v Millie and new friends on s/v Palantir and s/v Shambala.

Stop 39: No Name Harbor, Florida at anchor
We anchored in this protected spot on the east side of Biscayne Bay to stage for our crossing to the Bahamas.  A short motor through the channel will get us into the Atlantic for our straight shot to Bimini.  We plan to leave tomorrow morning at 3AM.

bob said...

Safe sailing! Have a good crossing...