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Old 07-30-2007
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Points of interest on the ICW

Hello All,
My wife and I will be cruising south from oriental NC in late October, we would like to get some comments on things to see on the way south. We have two sons aged 9 and 10 , our boat draws 6.5 and we are headed south to the Caribb for six months. We need to stop somwhere to get some equipment including a dinghy and motor , as well as have a marine electrician have a look at some wiring that is a bit suspect.
All comments welcome. KC
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Old 07-30-2007
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wish i could help. sounds interesting and fun, keep us posted! and happy sails!
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sorry i forgot to this link if you dont already have it
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Old 07-30-2007
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As to the electrical work, I would recommend Deaton's, right here in Oriental. Good people to work with, and that takes care of the "problem" before you start your trip. I would also suggest you get the dinghy and motor before leaving.

Hopefully, you have a membership with TowBoatUS or Sea-Tow, as your draft suggests you'll need them at some point. There were areas where I was concerned about depth and I only draw 4' 6". If you don't have a membership, get one, and get the unlimited. The first time you use it it will more than pay for itself.

As to stops along the ICW, can't really help much there, as I tried to stay offshore as much as possible, and, what is interesting to me, may not be to you.

On the hard at Deaton's Yacht Service, Oriental, NC
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Charleston, SC; Morgan Island (Monkey Island), SC; Beaufort, SC; Hilton Head Island, SC; Daufuskie Island, SC; Savannah, GA. The last isn't on the ICW, but just a few miles north. Might want to go outside around Georgia with your 6.5' draft, as the depths get sketchy through there.
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Old 07-30-2007
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I definately agree with PBzeer... take care of everything that is "a bit suspect" before you leave. Oriental is probably the best place to do this ... Deatons... Sailcraft... you've got options which might not be available to you once you get underway. Same goes for finding a dinghy and engine... There are probably more available around Oriental.

Good luck! Have a safe voyage. I would be curious as to what you find on the way too so keep us posted.
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Old 07-30-2007
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kmclarke,

One spot you should not miss is Cumberland Island. Spend a day or two there. There's a beautiful walk around the south end of the island and you'll certainly see the wild horses. Good anchorage and dinghy dock. As far as equipment and boat work, get it all done before you take off. It is very difficult to buy major stuff and get work done unless you're in a marina and most cruisers avoid marinas like the plague.
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Surf this site too... www.activecaptain.com

Not a commercial site. Full of input directly from cruisers.
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Let me first say that 6.5 is an almost impossible draft to go down the waterway with in a number of places so you need to make plans to go offshore and have the necessary inlet charts (Doyles guide to SE US Inlets is excellent.)
You should have all your electrical problems fixed before the trip starts and your dinghy and motor should be on board as you will need it along the way unless you are going to pull into a marina each night. From Oriental you have about a 3 week trip and figure $1.75 a foot/night at a minimum + electric. You have Beaufort/Morehead City close by and I would think you can get anything done you need there before the trip. I encourage you to make sure your fuel TANKS are clean and that you have plenty of Racors on board and that you have key engine spares on board for the trip. Breakdowns often occur in places where there isn't a convenient parts depot but you can usually find a competent diesel mechanic if you've got the necessary parts.
As to the neat spots to visit along the way I will second Vasco's top spot of Cumberland Island...amazing place. Since you come from a charming little town on the ICW...some of the other small towns along the way probably won't be that interesting to you so I would suggest a stop in Charleston and Savannah (Thunderbolt GA on the ICW hs buses into Savannah) as these cities are a treat and full of history and things to do.

You should note that the ICW in late October and November can get very cold and you may be more interested in making southward progress than stopping to enjoy the sights.
I assume you are planning to head down the Thorny Path to the Caribe but note that you will have a difficult time making Eastward progress until the spring which is when you plan to head back. Allow a LOT of time for passagemaking and holing up in anchorages in your planning....or just explore the BAHAMAS!
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"We need to stop somwhere to get some equipment including a dinghy and motor ,"
Big ticket items, better to shop competitively for them either on the internet (and have them delivered) or at least price them competitively and then get a local dealer to approach that price. Especially with the motor--you want to break it in and make sure it is working correctly before you start out, or you may wind up waiting a week someplace to get it fixed. (Even new things can break.)

Or, you may want to shop around for a good used dink & motor, they are less of theft target. Take serious steps to permanently mark it, and to secure it, because a dink that breaks away or is stolen is a royal PITA.
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