Sailing the ICW

Moderator: GreenLake

Postby TIM WEBB » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:25 pm

Way cool!

Hey Chris: while you were stuck at work, I was playing hookey and doing a little day cruise down around Ponce Inlet. Crossing the pass reminded me alot of the FL 120! I know you're more down towards Melbourne, but have you ever sailed the ICW up this way? I know we talked a bit about doing some ICW cruising, and with prevailing easterlies, I don't see any reason why one couldn't do the whole thing from Jax to Miami? Not that we would, but I see a whole bunch of potential starting/stopping points between say, Daytona and Sebastian?

Anyone else interested? FL 120 - East Coast edition?
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Postby ChrisB » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:36 am

Tim,

I have sailed up that way but not in a long time. When I was a teenager, we cruised up the ICW to Jax, then down the St. Johns River about as far as Green Cove Springs. The St. Johns is on my list of places to revisit.

Daytona to Sebastian has some nice sailing areas. Dozens of spoil islands to camp on or anchor in the lee of. I'd be up for a cruise there anytime. Its also on my list to pick a nice day an go out Ft. Pierce Inlet and do some ocean sailing.
Chris B.
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Postby talbot » Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:36 pm

Nice. And once I got there, I found all these videos from Brazil of some fast cruising. Getting cold up here, and the boat is off the lake. But maybe just one more trip....
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Postby TIM WEBB » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:41 pm

Chris, there's a really cool Spring event called The Mug Race, in March I think. One day cruise, starts in Palatka and goes up to Jax on the St. Johns. I'm thinking of entering next year. You game?

I've checked out the ICW from DAB to SEB on Google Earth, and on all of those spoil islands I see a little green tree icon. Does that mean they are Park Service property? Are they all "legal" to camp on? Or would it be "stealth mode"? I like the "anchoring in the lee" idea better anyway, and have been kicking around some ideas to make it so I can sleep aboard. One of the most promising is a trampoline/boom tent arrangement across the cockpit, but not quite sure how to accomplish it yet.

On my little cruise around Ponce Inlet last week, it was SO tempting to just point the bow out the pass, but with the storms brewing and the daylight fading, I thought the better of it!
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Postby talbot » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:33 am

Isn't there some rule on the forum that prohibits people in tropical climates from talking publically about sailing trips after the rest of us have pulled our boats for the season?
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Postby TIM WEBB » Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:22 pm

Certainly not! If anything, I'd think you "seasonal sailors" would want to live vicariously through our "Winter" adventures?
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Postby brucybaby » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:00 pm

We do!, we do! ...very grateful for the stories and vids, and keepin' the dream alive. Tomorrow it'll be 62 degs, another fall sailing window opens up :) in the mitten state. No shorts 'n T-shirts, but the colors are beautiful....and the end is near :(
Bruce
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Postby TIM WEBB » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:57 pm

In some ways, our "season" is just starting ...
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Postby ChrisB » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:42 am

@Tim Webb,

Mug Race hmmmmm ??? Sounds intersting. I'm going to look into that and see if my calendar will allow it.

Regarding the spoil islands, they are public land and "leave no trace" camping is allowed on any island not designated as a "conservation" island. Only a couple of the islands in South Brevard county are so designated so most are available for camping on or anchoring in the lee of if you desire to sleep aboard. There are two launch ramps in south Brevard close to the islands. There is also a marina that has dry storage where you can park you car and trailer for a fee if you are nervous about leaving it in the launch ramp parking lot for a weekend.

Is Ponce Inlet doable in a DS ?? I seem to recall it has fairly swift tidal flow (like Sebastian). I know Port Canaveral and Ft. Pierce are wide and deep so you could actually buck the tide flow with decent aux power.

-Chris
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Postby ChrisB » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:44 am

@Tim Webb,

Forgot to mention, the spoil island project has a website. Check it out:

http://spoilislandproject.org/
Chris B.
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Postby TIM WEBB » Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:55 pm

Thx 4 the info Chris - yeah, I figured the rules were about the same as they are up in the panhandle ICW ...

Judging by that website, looks like only a handful of the spoil islands are "conservation islands". Are they well marked as such on/from the water?

Ponce Inlet is doable, but yes, there is a strong tidal flow. The tide was just starting to come in as I went by, so there wasn't much current just then. Still, it's a tricky, funky place to sail around in. Lots of shallows and twisty, curvy narrow passages that aren't well marked (the channel is to the West).

If you look at it on Google, I launched from the ramp on S Peninsula Dr, right next to Lighthouse Landing, just South of the lighthouse. Disappearing Island is the one South of there, right across from the Coast Guard station. The actual ICW channel goes around all that ...

For me, this would be the ideal place to start a trip down the ICW. 25 miles the first day puts you at the crossover canal N of KSC, another 25 or so puts you at Cocoa (I have a friend there who would put us up for the night), and another 20 or so to Melbourne ... ?
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Postby ChrisB » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:31 am

The one island I rountinely sail by that is designated as "Conservation" is not marked that I have seen. Can't speak for the others in the area.

I like the route you've picked out. Too bad we are not doing that this week. It would have been a dandy downhill ride with these strong northeasterlies. Does the launch ramp at Lighthouse Landing allow multi-day parking? If they don't, it looks like the City of Edgewater has a public ramp at Riverside & Park Avenue on the mainland side. What would we do with the boats if we stayed with your friend in Cocoa? Sounds like a cool cruise.
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Postby TIM WEBB » Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:08 pm

I'll have to check with the city of Ponce Inlet about the parking. There are no signs that say you can't park multi day, only ones that say that on weekends and holidays, only cars with trailers are allowed.

My friend lives in a condo beachside, just south of Port Canaveral. We know some of the folks at the Port Canaveral Yacht Club (I used to crew on a C&C 115 there), and we could probably get slips overnight. We'd have to go through the locks tho, but that might be kinda cool!

Unfortunately, I won't be taking the Red Witch anywhere any time soon, as my car's transmission went out yesterday ... :cry:
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Postby ChrisB » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:45 am

Tim,

Sorry to hear about the transmission. That does put the kibosh on your sailing plans. Let me know when you're back on the road and up to try a "pre-Fl-120" cruise.
Chris B.
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Postby brucybaby » Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:10 am

Tim, bummer about the transm. PT right? I had an '03 PT. I absolutely loved that car. Fortunately I bought the 7/100K Chrysler gold warranty on it. Head gaskets, transm, control arms etc, etc, etc, would have cost me TONS! The car was self destructing. Unfortunately the head gasket went out again in 2011 while my son had it up at school and took the engine with it (6 mos out of warranty, of course). Hope things work out for you and you're able to get on the water ASAP.
Bruce
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Ray Twp., MI
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