Thursday, November 24, 2011

Intracoastal Waterway (ICW)

The Intracoastal Waterway is a 3,000-mile (4,800-km) waterway along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. Some lengths consist of natural inlets, salt-water rivers, bays, and sounds; others are artificial canals. It provides a navigable route along its length without many of the hazards of travel on the open sea.

We have concluded our fourth trip in a year between south Florida and the Chesapeake Bay on the ICW.  We do go on the “outside” some, especially around the shoaled waters of Georgia when weather permits.   Our first trip was last fall when we took Serenity south before crossing to the Bahamas for the winter.  In early summer, we delivered Serenity back to the Chesapeake to meet her new owners.  Then we rushed back to Florida to take possession of MOTIVATOR and moved her north to the Chesapeake.  Now we are back in Florida getting ready to head south through the Islands.
While we are ready for a change of pace, we must admit the ICW can be beautiful and interesting.

Many of the cities along the ICW are beautiful:
St. Augustine, FL
Even the smaller ones have their charm:

The ICW varies from relatively untouched scenic beauty:

To heavy industry:

And, iconic government facilities:

What we enjoy seeing is all of the varied uses of the ICW.  Of course there are the other cruising boats.  This one had a couple with two young children.  They were using a lead line to sound their way into the anchorage.

Other cruisers do not have to use a lead line.

The number of Canadian cruisers is surprising.

When we were departing Wilmington, NC we had to dodge swimmers preparing for a triathlon.

Paddle boarding seems to becoming more popular.

Watching for kayakers can be a concern.  This lady was taking her Pug for a ride.

Meeting a large barge on the ICW always gets your attention.

Just north of Myrtle Beach in a section affectionately called “the rock pile” we ended up holding position for about a half hour while this Coast Guard boat replaced the green day marker.

On other sections of the ICW we have had to time our approach as ferries cross our route.

Also, there are various styles of fishing boats.

In certain sections of the ICW you see military ships:

And, the boats guarding them:

Just when you think you have seen it all

The ICW has more to offer:

Coast Guard practicing water recoveries in South Carolina:

Hope this doesn’t catch on:

We are currently in Stuart, Florida where we will stay until after Thanksgiving while preparing to cross to the Islands.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?
Signs, by The 5 Man Electrical Band
With our previous boat, Serenity, wake was not much of a problem.  MOTIVATOR on the other hand can toss a respectable wake at cruise speed.  All along the ICW are signs concerning the speed of vessels and their wake.  Some of the markers are official:

Some are not so official:
Most of the official no wake signs are highly visible and their concerns are apparent:
Other times the signs are hidden and easy to miss:

There does not seem to be an official standard for the sign placement or the associated rules:

Many of the unofficial signs are attached to private docks extending into the ICW:

Not sure if this home owner meant the sign for us or his neighbor’s go-fast with the two Yamaha 250 horse engines:

The private docks with “NO WAKE” signs are reminiscent of people that buy houses next to airports then complain about jet noise.
But, not everyone complains about our wake:
These guys like to follow along behind us and grab the fish that are churned up by our wake.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bath, NC

Founded in 1696, Bath is the oldest town in North Carolina.  In 1723, Beaufort County’s first courthouse was built, and the town was considered the first capital of the Colony.

Bath also boasts having the first public library in the Colony.

The town is dotted with historical markers on about every street.
The Palmer-Marsh House

The Floating Theater marker was adjacent to the town’s free dock (72 hour limit).

No water or electricity, but the price was right.

One of Bath’s more notorious citizens was Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard.  Now the name of one of Bath’s two eateries, Blackbeards serves great New Jersey style pizza.  Nephew Mark steered us there for a great dinner and visit.
The little town is filled with historic structures.

And, friendly people.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Charm City


Baltimore, pronounced bawl-mer by the locals, is also known as Charm City and The City of Firsts.  Below are just a few of Baltimore’s more important firsts.

1792 - First water company chartered in the United States - Baltimore Water Company
1796 - First sugar refinery in the U.S. - founded by Garts and Leypoldt
1803 - First electric refrigerator- invented by Thomas Moore
1819 - First gaslight company in the country- Gas Light Company of Baltimore
1820 - First canning of oysters- by Thomas Kennett
1828 - First American umbrella factory - William Beehler
1830 - First coal burning steam locomotive built - Tom Thumb
1848 - First ice cream freezer - patented by W. G. Young
1869 - First candy factory to produce licorice - J.S. Young Company
1892 - First Ouija board - invented and patented by Isaac and William Fuld

They were good!

Ryleigh’s Oyster in Federal Hill is one of our favorite restaurants.  You know it has to be good, because they post crabbing regulations on the bathroom doors.

Not forgetting its maritime history, Baltimore is home to many historic ships and attracts others. 
A visit by the U.S.C.G. cutter Eagle

Great duty if you can get it
We couldn’t wait for them to open her up for tourists.

And, have our photo ops.
Yep, it’s 4:00 PM
At noon and 4:00 PM the USS Constellation fires its cannon.
Scared others too
Right down the dock are the Lightship Chesapeake and the USS Torsk.

While we were there, one of the last two Liberty Ships, SS John W. Brown pulled into Fells Point.

Also in the mix are:
Single wheel paddle boats

Twin paddle wheel boat

Coast Guard Buoy Tender CGC James Rankin

Roll on, roll off ships


And, the harbor cruise boat, the Annapolitan II
The Annapolitan II was a great neighbor the three weeks we were in Baltimore.  They even gave us a couple of rides around the harbor.

Captain Jerry
We stayed to for Pollie and Haeden’s birthday celebration.

And, Trawler Fest

Then it was time for MOTIVATOR to think about moving south for the winter.

After a quick stop in Herrington Harbour North to grab a few things out of storage, we anchored in the Solomons and then in the Indian River.
Great anchorage

Then we departed the Chesapeake Bay and pulled into Norfolk passing the occasional war ship.