Tuesday, November 23, 2010

We are in the ICW

The Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) is a water passage that begins in Norfolk, VA and ends in Key West, FL.  It is an inland waterway, providing boats who don't want to go "off shore" in the Ocean (namely around Cape Hattaras, the "Graveyard of the Atlantic") another option to enjoy heading south in the relative safety of protected water.

Yesterday we entered the ICW in Norfolk, VA and started on our merry way when we realized two things:
1)  We didn't know where we were going (the Maptech cruising guide* we have is totally useless) and thus,
2)  We needed a better cruising guide...STAT.

So we turned around and headed back to Norfolk to find the famed "Skipper Bob's" cruising guide to the ICW (on the suggestion of many of our cruising friends).  Holy heck are we glad we did!  We really would have been in for it had we not (Bullet: Dodged!).  Bridge schedules, anchorages, warnings, updates, town listings, amenities...all sorts of great info in this little book.

We have also heard that you are guaranteed to run aground in this "safe" waterway - so we thought ahead and bought Boat US Towing Insurance.  It was $150, but if we were to get a tow without insurance it could cost us upwards of 2K, so we figured better be safe than sorry.  The math was just too compelling.  Look at us - all grown up and prepared!

ICW - bring it!**

Brittany & Scott

*A cruising guide is like a "Lonely Planet" for the water.
**Just kidding!!!


Anonymous said...

OK this is my third comment. The ICW goes all the way to texas. Way past florida. I think it comes out in corpus crusti.

Windtraveler said...

Well, yes Anonymous - you are correct. However, the ICW consists of three NON-CONTIGUOUS sections...I guess if you want to get technical, we are on the "Atlantic ICW" which goes from Norfolk to Key West. But you cannot go from Norfolk to Brownsville, TX (where it begins in TX) in one shot. They do not interconnect.

Lisa said...

That tow service is good, but (since you are guaranteed to run aground :-)) probably better refresh your memory on the difference between "tow" and "salvage". Enquiring minds--and insurance companies--want to know! I think the most recent Boat U.S. magazine even has an article about it.

DanAndJaye said...

Now we're busted - you've discovered the source of so many of our cruising tips and insights. ;)

Laura and Hans said...

What a huge coincidence, I just ordered 3 of Skipper Bob's books this morning!! This fall we entered the ICW at Norfolk with absolutely no idea of what lie ahead but boy did we ever learn fast. We already had Boat US towing insurance and it really is a smart move. We watched a boat run aground and heard many others in the same predicament over the VHF. Unfortunately we sprang a leak in Charleston, SC and had to leave our girl on the hard for repairs. We will head back down right after Christmas to resume our trip south. I tried very hard to document our voyage in the ICW if you want to take a look at our blog (Dudley's Marina in Swansboro, NC charged .75/foot and offered a courtesy van for shopping!!) I only wish I'd had Skipper Bob's books at the beginning of our trip.

Last Paradise said...

When you go through NC look out for Last Paradise! *sniff*

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