I think that parts of the ICW are fine, but it is not sailing. Might be a good idea to stay inside to miss Hatteras - which means you get to do one of the nicer bits of the ICW. Other than that, just pick your spots. Lots of opportunities to sail. The Gulf Stream is a long way offshore most of the way down. Even off Florida you should have a couple of miles. As for eddies and the like, sometimes they will help and sometimes hinder - such is life. I think some of the posters need to get out sailing a bit more. Maybe it is a winter thing.
Finished the circumnavigation in early February in Grenada. Have to work on a book project for the next several months so the boat will be waiting for next year.