Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Transiting the Gulf ICW

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    29

    Default Transiting the Gulf ICW

    I recently completed a trip from Galveston, TX through the Gulf ICW to Ft. Meyer Florida, across the Okeechobee waterway and north to Fernandina Beach. Until a few months beforehand I didn't even know that the ditch existed in this part of the world. It was an interesting experience, but not one that I think I would care to repeat. It was nice to be able to say I did it, but not that enjoyable. It was unusual going from Galveston to New Orleans as I was the only pleasure boat. All others were lone tugs or tugs pushing a "six pack". I did learn a lot of interesting lingo on the VHF. I was wondering if anyone else has had a better time transiting this area? Or perhaps a different trip that was interesting?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Saint Helena Island, SC
    Posts
    9,596

    Default Re: Transiting the Gulf ICW

    There are some pretty parts of that coastline, but the western end ain’t it.
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    1,418

    Default Re: Transiting the Gulf ICW

    There are at least 2 groups on FB dedicated to the ICW you might be interested in joining. Most of the comments seem to be about where is it shoveling, however everything under the sun is possible for discussion.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Huntsville, AL
    Posts
    5,632

    Default Re: Transiting the Gulf ICW

    I transited the ICW going west starting from before Fernandino Beach on around to Sanibel. Then I followed the west coast about a mile off shore, coming in at night instead of the GICW due to the number of bridges. After Tarpon Springs I crossed the open ocean to Apalachicola. Then I took the GICW to Mobile Bay and headed north.

    I was nervous about crossing the open ocean but it proved to be very smooth, which allowed me to sleep at night in short intervals. I heard sonic booms from the fighter jet training going on.

    I spent exactly the entire month of August from one end of Florida to the other and even saw the Space Shuttle launch from a distance. It was pretty danged hot but otherwise quite enjoyable.

    http://www.willmarsh3.net/bc/index.html

    The main goal was to get my boat to Guntersville, AL so I could use it.
    Will

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Blue Hill, ME
    Posts
    1,010

    Default Re: Transiting the Gulf ICW

    I sailed (mostly motored) the ditch from Norfolk to Ft Myers back in the 80's eventually settling there. For 10 years we lived 20 miles east of Ft Myers on the ICW and transited that waterway several times. Anchoring in oxbows, riding the many locks up and down, visiting the backwater towns along the way, deciding to take the Lake O rim canal or risk a straight crossing (doesn't take much wind to kick up a nasty chop) make for an interesting cruise.
    Steve B
    Sjogin IIIa
    PAYTON 13' Pea Pod

    RIVUS 16' Melonseed


    "If a man must be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most." E. B. White

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Too far inland.
    Posts
    9,565

    Default Re: Transiting the Gulf ICW

    I didn't even know there was a ditch around the gulf.

    What sort of boat were you on for the trip?
    No adversary is worse than bad advice.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Sound Beach, NY
    Posts
    3,729

    Default Re: Transiting the Gulf ICW

    I've done the Atlantic ICW from Norfolk to Ft Lauderdale. Georgia and the Carolinas have some wild and beautiful sections, as well as charming small towns.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    28,015

    Default Re: Transiting the Gulf ICW

    I've done a bit around Ft. Myers to Port Charlotte. Not what I'd call exciting, but pretty well marked. It gets shallow real fast once out of the channel!

    I almost had my son-in-law convinced to do the trip from the Caloosahtchee through to the other side, but he wimped out. I thought it'd be fun - he didn't think so...
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Transiting the Gulf ICW

    Quote Originally Posted by Figment View Post
    I didn't even know there was a ditch around the gulf.

    What sort of boat were you on for the trip?
    Power boat with a 3'10" draft, but the ditch can accommodate at least 6 feet maybe more. Until I needed to make the trip I was unaware of the Gulf ICW too. I was originally considering crossing the Gulf but conventional wisdom recommends against it unless your hull or air draft are too great. Except for a 140NM stretch from Tarpon springs Florida to Carrabelle, you can stay in the ditch from Norfolk, VA to Brownsville, TX. If you use the C & D Canal you can actually stay inside from Cape May NJ to TX.
    Last edited by Boatbum; 04-11-2019 at 12:24 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Transiting the Gulf ICW

    Quote Originally Posted by SBrookman View Post
    I sailed (mostly motored) the ditch from Norfolk to Ft Myers back in the 80's eventually settling there. For 10 years we lived 20 miles east of Ft Myers on the ICW and transited that waterway several times. Anchoring in oxbows, riding the many locks up and down, visiting the backwater towns along the way, deciding to take the Lake O rim canal or risk a straight crossing (doesn't take much wind to kick up a nasty chop) make for an interesting cruise.

    I went across Lake O. The conditions were marginal but manageable. Just a bit of a chop. The rim was questionable due to bridge work and the restrictions it brought plus I was on a tight timeline so I really needed to work with the most efficient routes. I stayed in Ft Meyer for the night and really enjoyed it - nice town

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Transiting the Gulf ICW

    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    I've done the Atlantic ICW from Norfolk to Ft Lauderdale. Georgia and the Carolinas have some wild and beautiful sections, as well as charming small towns.

    I stayed out as much as I could through GA and SC as they say that it has silted in badly and also it meanders a lot which slows down progress. I thought it was beautiful in NC. Most of the Gulf feels like you are in the Bayou's of Louisiana. Lots of very muddy water with Gators, Tug Boats, Barges a,d cypress trees covered in moss.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •