Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Journeying North to Chesapeake Bay

Simple Life underway on the ICW
photo by Tricia Wehmer
     One of the FAQ's from our blog followers has been, "How do you guys manage to continue this migration year after year?" We sail offshore along the Atlantic seaboard whenever weather and seas cooperate which is also exhausting and not always feasible. This season Tropical Storm Ana had everyone running for cover. We sought refuge in the Stono River in Charleston, SC. "Don't you find it grueling?" The answer is, yes it is arduous if a plan of action isn't in place. One method that is primarily dictated by just how exhausted we become is stopping every few days to rest, recover and enjoy our anchorage area. A few days ago, we had a day of shore leave in Wrightsville Beach where we walked a couple of miles along the beach and enjoyed the funky beach town and a dinner ashore at Tower 7 a Mexican restaurant with surfer inspired decor.    
Simple Life on the Intracoastal Waterway
photo by Tricia Wehmer


     While underway on the ICW we use every available piece of information to plan our day. Now that we are back in the States mornings begins with coffee and Chris Parker's live Atlantic Coast weather forecast via SSB HF radio at 8:00 AM. Most of the time we're well underway at sunrise while monitoring his forecast in the northern latitudes. We also check VHF forecasts and weather apps such as Wind Alert.

An anchorage in the low country of South Carolina
Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge
      When transiting the ICW we rely upon numerous resources. Our favorite being Skipper Bob's Anchorages Along the ICW I am fastidious about jotting notes in the publication with valuable information we've gleaned over the years. The margins are filled with tidbits on grocery shopping opportunities, laundry access, WifI hotspots, the best places to purchase fresh shrimp right off the boats and most importantly, notorious shoaled areas from lack of government dredging funds. I also augment the Skipper Bob publication with Mark S. Doyle's iBook publication AnchorGuide for the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) Volumes 1 and 2

This little buck decided not to cross our bow in the
Alligator Pungo Canal in North Carolina
     Recently, quite a buzz surrounding the Active Captain software program has proliferated among those who travel the waterway. Boaters can join the site allowing them to read and submit comments pertaining to shoaled areas, marina reviews, lift bridge schedules, fuel and marina prices along with virtually any issue arising during an ICW transit. This free website has enabled us to travel without grounding this season due to updated information on problem areas. Do we still stress even though we have access to an array of information. Of course we do. Though, sometimes it feels like information overload, but shoals shift and that's a fact of Waterway life.
Sunrise at Deep Point anchorage in the Alligator River, NC

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