Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: North Carolina
Thanked 225 Times in 224 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Re: Pensacola, Florida to Oriental, NC
Leaving Pensacola, there were two of us on the boat, and it was very helpful. We sailed or motorsailed in light, variable winds. My crew left in Stuart. Itís good to have 2 people while going through the locks, but we saw a guy on a 32 to 35 foot boat handling the locks by himself. They allow that. The main reason I took the ICW was lack of crew and insufficient experience single handing this boat. But I also wanted to see it. And sure enough, there is plenty to see along the way. Beautiful scenery and lots of wildlife. From manatees and dolphins to all kinds of birds. Some stretches were breathtaking while others were kind of boring. Here again, draft was a big issue. Lots of shallow places, at times less than 5 feet, especially during low tide passages. Very tricky navigation, too. Maps donít always reflect current conditions. You really need to learn how to read the meandering channels, avoiding shallows. Yes, I have run aground. Two or three times. Fortunately, I was able to pull myself off using the current and engine. The low tide passages were really, really challenging. Traffic is a challenge as well. Some of the big power boats will throw a four foot wake behind them, even when they do slow down. But mostly they donít.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.