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.
In South Africa doing lots of boat stuff. Departure north from Cape Town around December 15th. Arrival in the Caribbean around the beginning of February, after 5300 miles or so.