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post #2 of Old 12-03-2005
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Slow Cruising South along the ICW

There are a couple things that might be helpful. First, Portsmouth/Norfolk, VA is the northernmost area that generally doesn''t freeze in winter so be sure and get south of that zone by winter months. Watch depths as there are MANY uncharted shallow areas - stay center of channel whenever possible. There are several "sounds" that can be extremely rough when the winds change - Albemarle in North Carolina is one such area - learn them and watch your weather. Take care after any rainfall - things you wouldn''t believe wash into the "ditch". Entire trees floating (or, sometimes submerged)are not uncommon. Traffic on the "ditch" can be interesting - some boaters understand courtesy and protocol and others just don''t - be watchful. Be ever watchful for crab pots - there is no rhime or reason to their placement and sometimes they can be found very close to the navigational channel. Other than that - enjoy the trip - but honestly, 6 months on the ICW may come to seem like a lifetime.
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