On April 28th 2015 we had a one way plane ride to Ft. Lauderdale for our first trip on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) bringing the boat up to Boston where it will normally be docked. I intermittently took pictures trying to document our trip. This was in general a leisurely trip where we often were at our next port of call by early afternoon. I started to realize that we could make a lot more progress on the ICW once we got up to Palm Beach and Lake Worth. There are a lot fewer no wake zones due to marinas or manatees. At the first of May some of the regulations concerning Manatee speed zones change so that you can go faster in the ICW channel. We did have one mechanical issue and a tropical storm that slowed our progress. More on this later.
April 28, 2015
First stop (Mile Marker [MM] 1065): Downtown Ft. Lauderdale to get groceries and supplies for the trip north. See my previous post for pictures of downtown Ft. Lauderdale.
April 29, 2015
Stop Two (MM 987): April 29th was at Stuart, Florida on the St. Lucie River at Sunset Bay Marina. Unfortunately I did not take any pictures.
April 30, 2015
Stop Three (MM 918): Melbourne, Florida - below are several pictures of the marina.
|Dock at Melbourne Harbor Marina|
|Our boat just beyond the sailboat - stern in.|
|Looking out of Melbourne Harbor toward the ICW.|
May 1, 2015
We left Melbourne Harbor heading for New Smyrna Beach FL. Below are some pictures on the way showing typical houses and docks on the ICW. Notice that there are no floating docks. Most boats are raised out of the water to avoid the wakes of boats on the ICW and to prevent grass growing on the bottom in the warm waters of Florida.
In the photo below there is a typical ICW marker a green square with an number in the middle in this case "71". If you look at the chart the mile marker is 855 which is 855 statue miles south of the beginning of the ICW in Portsmouth/Norfolk VA. This means this picture was taken along the stretch of the ICW just south of New Smyrna Beach on the Indian River at Bittersweet Cove.
|Pat driving while I took a break.|
|Pat staying on course in the Indian River.|
Stop Four (MM 845): We've arrived at New Smyrna Beach, FL at New Smyrna Marina.
|Docks at New Smyrna Beach Marina|
|All hooked up with power, water and lines at New Smyrna Beach Marina.|
May 2, 2015
Before we left New Smyrna Beach since it was Saturday there was a farmer's market located at the park behind an old Spanish Fort Castillo de San Marcos. This Fort overlooked the marina and the ICW. We bought our breakfast and lunch breads and pastries in the market.
|We bought our breakfast rolls and bread here.|
|Farmer's Market at New Smyrna Beach FL.|
May 2, 2015
Stop Five (MM 778): St. Augustine, FL at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina. Again I did not take any pictures
May 3, 2015
Stop Six (MM 716) : Fernandina Beach, FL
We arrived Sunday afternoon at the tail end of the yearly shrimp festival held at Fernandina Beach. The boats were on parade and we got in the middle of the parade getting to the dock. I think our boat was blessed along with the rest of the fleet. All the boats were decorated as part of a contest.
Downtown Fernandina Beach was loaded with vendors selling anything you could imagine. All the restaurants had a special shrimp menu. Unfortunately I didn't take the camera up to town because I had no idea of the size of the event.
|A couple of the larger shrimp boats at the dock|
|View of Fernandina Harbor Marina with the town in the background.|
May 4, 2015
Stop Seven (MM 675): Brunswick, GA we are here to meet cousin Linda and her companion Ken. We docked at the Brunswick Landing Marina next to the Gracie E. I did not take any pictures as it was not the prettiest part of town but the diesel prices were the best on the trip.
Going through Georgia ICW was not originally planned as I preferred an outside route (meaning out to the Atlantic). Instead of going outside starting at St. Simons Inlet (after leaving Brunswick) and then returning to the ICW at Port Royal Inlet we stayed on the ICW through Georgia. Tropical storm Ana was starting to form just north of the Bahamas which caused the seas to build to the 2'-4' range with the expectation that the seas would continue grow. With the tide being high mid-morning it made it easy to deal with the shallow areas of the ICW in Georgia. We did not see any debris and with the tide high and few slow areas we were able to do 22 knots (25 mph) most of the way. There were lots of twists and turns of the ICW but the Sabre takes the corners nicely and it was like water skiing on virtually flat calm water. Before you knew it we were through Hell's Gate (the worst area) and on to Isle of Hope for the night.
May 5, 2015
Stop Eight (MM 590): Isle of Hope, GA - This was a bonus as we made it through the shallow areas of Georgia including Hell's Gate at high tide. For lunch we walked to a restaurant and a waitress drove us back to the marina. For dinner the marina had loaner cars so we were able to go into town to eat and explore the area. We ate at a new Tapas restaurant. No pictures taken here.
May 6, 2015
Stop Nine (MM 535): Beaufort, SC - Downtown Marina of Beaufort. Beaufort has a nice marina and waterfront park with plenty of places to eat. No pictures on this stop but many pleasant memories from a walking tour we took of this beautiful area made for movies.
May 7, 2015
Stop Ten (MM470): Charleston, SC - Charleston City Marina. We arrived mid afternoon in the pouring rain which made docking a little more challenging but it went well. We were glad we had our full rain gear with pants and rain jackets. Because of all the rain we didn't venture far from the marina. We had visited Charleston before and spent a lot more time in the city on that previous visit. Below are the pictures of the marina and our boat docked at the "Mega dock". These were taken with a lot more sun the next morning before we left. We didn't leave that early as we were waiting for high tide to get through one of the shallowest areas of the ICW in the Isle of Palms area. Fortunately high tide was nicely timed and we had no trouble but I would not want to go through there at anywhere near low tide.
|The end of the Mega Dock as we left.|
May 8, 2015
Stop Eleven (MM 403): Georgetown, SC. We ended up staying at the Harborwalk Marina for 5 more nights than I had planned (six nights total). There were two issues, one was tropical storm Ana which made landfall the next day just north of us on May 9th. We would have stayed for a total of 3 nights because of Ana.
Tropical Storm Ana was the earliest tropical cyclone on record to make landfall in the United States. An atypical pre-season system, Ana was the first tropical storm of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season. It developed as a subtropical cyclone from a non-tropical low north of the Bahamas,
and intensified to attain peak winds of 60 mph (95 km/h) before
transitioning into a fully tropical cyclone early on May 9. Sustained in
part by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, Ana made landfall along the northeast coast of South Carolina
early the next morning, becoming the earliest U.S. landfalling system
on record. Overall, damage from the storm was minor. Heavy rainfall and
gusty winds affected parts of the Carolinas, and some vulnerable beaches
endured coastal flooding and several feet of beach erosion.
The second issue was water in the bilge. To make a long story short I found a raw water (sea water used for cooling) leak in a mixing elbow. Fortunately the boat was still under warranty but I discovered this Friday night on Mother's Day weekend so nothing happened until Monday. Thanks to great customer service from Glen at Sabre Yachts replacement parts were shipped overnight (45 pounds worth) from Ft. Lauderdale and were installed by Wednesday May 13th and we left Georgetown the morning of May 14th. The marina was very near downtown so while there we visited an historical house, went through the Rice Museum and ate at many of the restaurants in town. Too near the marina was a great ice cream and chocolatier shop - we visited it many times.
|Our dock at Harborwalk Marina|
|Each day the boats around us would change.|
|We met the Jensens and had drinks on their boat Jackets II.|
|Some of the ominous clouds from TS Ana.|
|A view of the harbor walk and condos with our boat in the foreground.|
May 14-15, 2015
Stop Twelve (MM 309): Southport, NC - Southport Marina. We stayed two nights here to enjoy the sites of this beautiful town. Many TV shows and movies have been filmed here. The downtown water tower is iconic and is seen in TV shows like Under the Dome among others. Unfortunately with a reasonable walk to the main street I did not take my camera. During the spring and fall Hank Pomeranz, a retired Navy meteorologist, gives daily briefings on the local weather, sea conditions and discussions of issues on the ICW including the latest information on shoaling. We attended one of his informative lectures.
May 16, 2015
Stop Thirteen (MM 229): Swansboro, NC - Caspers Marina. Interesting little town.
May 17, 2015
Stop Fourteen (MM 182): Oriental, NC - Oriental Marina & Inn.
May 18, 2015
Stop Fifteen (MM 135): Belhaven, NC - River Forest Marina
May 19, 2015
Stop sixteen: (MM 50): Coinjock, NC - Coinjock Marina. Right on the ICW with a nice restaurant but nothing else.
May 20-22, 2015
Stop seventeen (MM 0): Portsmouth/Norfolk, VA - Tidewater Marina in Portsmouth, VA
|Navy Destroyer being turned around while being serviced at the Norfolk Navy Shipyard.|
While starting our self-guided walking tour of the historic district of Portsmouth we met a History Professor from the College of William and Mary. He invited us into his house (the second house on the walking tour) which had been in his family from its beginning. His family had connections with the Navy Yard at Norfolk and the Navy over six generations. He, himself, was a former Naval Intelligence Officer. He ended up spending two and a half hours walking us around the historical homes shown below. It was a fascinating tour, he was full of inside scoop on these houses and their owner's background.
We took a Virginia State run ferry to the Norfolk side of the Elizabeth River to view the Mexican Navy Tall Ship ARM Cuauhtémoc and the Battleship Wisconsin.
|Battleship Wisconsin at Norfork, VA|
May 23, 2015
Stop eighteen: Ocean City MD - Sunset Marina
May 24, 2015
Stop nineteen: Atlantic City, MD - Farley State Marina at the Golden Nugget.
May 25, 2014
Stop twenty: City Island, Bronx, NY - South Minneford Yacht Club
Below are my quick pictures out the window of the boat. Trying to beat the tides in Hell's Gate. Didn't make it but rip currents were manageable. Below shows our first view of the Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center.
|Lower Manhattan - Freedom Tower (One World Trade Center)|
|Poor picture of the Statue of Liberty|
|Starting up the East River we viewed The United Nations buildings.|
|Queensboro Bridge on the East River|
May 26, 2015
Stop twenty-one: Jamestown, RI - Conanicut Marina
Visited with our good friends the Rughs who are now living on the island.
Stop twenty-two: Quincy, MA - Marina Bay
This is our home based marina. Finally made it home after 30 days on the water! Our boat "Miss Fortune" (named by the previous owner) proved to be a most fortunate vessel for our journey.