Re: Annapolis, MD to South FL on ICW & Outside
The distance between Moorehead/Beaufort NC and Charleston SC is shorter on the ICW than going outside, when you consider the long 'slogs' in and out of the inlets. So, if its blowing stink on the outside, the ICW may be much quicker for that section; and, there arent as many bascule/lift bridges on that portion of the ICW to delay your travel if youre only traveling during daylight. In that section, if you carefully plan your stops (using Skipper Bob's ICW guide, etc.) you can usually make 60-70+ statute miles per day at that time of year.
The area to go outside when possible, is from Charleston SC to Fernandina, as the ICW in that section greatly meanders with lots of twists and turns and which has lots of shallow/thin sections, especially in Georgia. Overwhelmingly, the distance between those two points is much much shorter on the outside. Once you get down to Fernandina you'll probably be in the 'easterlies' so you can straight-line sail either inside on the long straight Florida 'rivers' behind the shoreline, or outside.
Travel on the ICW during that time of year requires the use of an 'electronic' fly-bat --- for the 'green heads' and stable flies, zillions of them; 'zap' them as you go and simply shovel the immense piles of dead bodies overboard at the end of the day.