With more time on my hands than usual I thought it would be productive to go back to some of the pictures from the trip south and see if there are any that might add color and interesting content. Also I want to add some more information about Seabright's systems but that will be in a different section and aimed at those would have a more technical orientation.
http://www.fleetlanding.net/. Good food and and interesting setting are always a good antidote to logistical headaches. I had shrimp and grits again, yum.
When boaters go south most use the ICW in some form or fashion. As we have mentioned in previous posts there are many challenges associated with traveling south on the ICW. Shoaling or skinny water, bridges and no wake zones are a few of the common irritations.
However when the weather is bad there is no real alternative. Many folks will jump outside and travel offshore. There are some clear advantages if the weather and sea conditions are good: generally good water depths no bridges or no wake zones. Some will "jump outside" in the morning and back through an inlet in the evening, while some will travel overnight for a day or many days. If you need to make time this is the way to go. Last summer we traveled north from Fernandina Beach http://www.fbfl.us/index.aspx?nid=166 to Georgetown SC http://georgetownlandingmarina.com/about 226 nm trip that took a bit over 24 hrs but we avoided the worst of the shoaling problems in Ga. Often traveling outside may take longer because the distance including the travel from the inlet going out and the inlet going in. So in total there may not be any great savings, just the aggravation of the inconveniences of the ICW. As a result it is not uncommon to hear many complaints about the ICW and often referred to in many less flattering ways such as the ditch. Many people will run outside and look to skip as much of the ICW, focused on getting to wherever the destination is.
So for all of its many issues and problems I really like the ICW. Having dissed the ICW and extolled the virtues of running outside, let me explain. Traveling down the ICW is one of the most fascinating trips that can take you off the beaten path and give you a feel for what this country was like before the great land developments of the past 50 years. Sure, you see big cities and occasional high end development but you see the waterway as it has existed for hundreds of years. Here is a sampling;
Sometimes there is such a remote felling that you feel civilization is far removed and this is more of a wilderness than a city just around the bend. Sometimes we would go hours without seeing a soul or any hint of human activity.
Another interesting aspect are the colorful homes that are dotted along the way!
Along the way we have enjoyed the company of good friends.
And as always we enjoyed our time headed south. There is never a dull moment.