|Notice how far inland
the ICW takes you.
|Fact is, the ICW
is a very well protected
and safe journey.
The ICW is a great place to learn all about safe boating.
In addition to the sights and sounds, there are plenty of waterfront restaurants and
Marinas along the way. However, you have to make it all the way to St. Augustine,
Fla., before you reach Hurricane Patty's (next to the River's Edge Marina on the San
Sebastian river) which is our very favorite stop for eats on the entire Florida section of
Favorite stops include: Hurricane Patty's in Florida; the Isle of Palms Marina, Wacca
Wache Marina, and Lady's Island Marina, all in South Carolina;Washington City
Docks, Ocracoke, and Elizabeth City, in North Carolina. From Wacca Wache Marina,
you can take your dinghy or rent a car and visit Pawley's Island.
At Beaufort, if you pass under Lady's Island Bridge, and go to Lady's Island Marina,
about 100 feet or so from the Marina you will come to a real hole in the wall (dive
looking) bar called the "Fillin' Station". This is one place where looks are deceiving. At
happy hour every day, they serve up the best eats for the dollar of any place on the
entire Great Loop. Here, you will find cheap drinks and a cheap meal that will
absolutely blow your mind. The meal changes every day.
The year it was a great (fresh homemade) "hamburger & hot-dog" day. For $3.00,
(yes, only $3.00) cooked over a wood fired grill, we had one of the best burgers in the
world together with one mighty fine (big-thick) hot dog. Both come with your choice
of all the fixin's plus potato salad and beans - and it was all for only $3.00. It was
such good eats at such a great price we had to stay an extra day & night just to go
back and see what the "Steak Night" was like. The "Steak Night" meal is $6.00 but it
was a steak with all the sides you would expect to pay $26.00 for at Longhorn's or
Outback Steakhouse. There are many little "jewels" like these that are hidden along
your route around the Great Loop.
In addition to commercial traffic, the ICW is used extensively by recreational
boaters, so you will not be alone on the ICW.
On the east coast, some of the traffic in fall and spring is by snowbirds who
regularly move south in winter and north in summer. The waterway is also used when
the ocean is too rough to travel on. Numerous inlets connect the Atlantic and the Gulf
of Mexico with the Intracoastal Waterway. The Intracoastal Waterway from Fort
Myers to Longboat Key is a favorite destination for visiting sailors and fishermen alike.
The waters from Fort Myers through Pine Island Sound and Charlotte Harbor have
to be one of the most diverse boating and fishing locations anywhere in the world.
Pine Island Sound is bounded on the west by Sanibel, Captiva and North Captiva
Sanibel Island is one of my favorite (can't pass by) stops on the entire Great Loop.
About the time I leave Carrabelle, all I can think of is the meal waiting for me at "The
Timbers" Restaurant on Sanibel Island.
Hundreds of islands dot the Sound; redfish, snook, pompano and speckled trout
delight the patient angler. To the east, Pine Island's mangrove shorelines, tidal creeks
and oyster bars are hard to resist and exploring Matlacha, Pineland and Bokeelia will
reward you with a taste of the real Florida, where Calusa Indians farmed and fished
1,000 years ago.
All in all, the Atlantic ICW will take you safely 1,266 miles up the East Coast. Along
the way, you have 'a boat load' of interesting places to stop and visit as you pass along
some of the most wonderful (and constantly) changing landscapes in America. From
multi-million dollar mansions to seaside shacks, and from salt grass marshes to
Cypress trees, you will see America the beautiful like you will never see it from the
|Take a close look at the map, and you will see just how
protected and safe this voyage really is. That blue line you
see on the map indicates the Intracoastal Waterway route.
As you can see, 'you are inland'. In some areas, the ICW
will take a surprisingly 'far' distance inland.
|For Loopers . . . The ICW is our "Route 66" on the Water.
|The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway has long been known as the 'safe inside route' for Loopers to go
north and Snowbirds to go south along the east coast without going out into the ocean. Taking the ICW is
much like a Loopers 'Route 66'. It takes us along a very scenic, historic and beautiful inside route along the
Atlantic shore line. In over 1,200 miles, from Florida to New Jersey, the scenery changes from beautiful pristine
beaches with gin clear waters through the Carolina's Salt Grass and even a 'Dismal Swamp' that might remind
you of Bogie & McCall's journey on the African Queen. From Vistas to Antebellum homes, Civil War Colonial
mansions complete with widow walks and giant porches, and on to sprawling modern day beach homes, you
will see tantalizing waterfront shacks and shanties of all ages.
For sure, if you keep your speed slow, pay attention to the channel markers and the tidal ebb & flow, with a
good anchoring system your voyage - this 'Route 66' will be an absolutely awesome experience and incredibly
safe, secure and exciting adventure.
|© 2013 - Find your Anchor - All Rights Reserved
| John 14:2 - "In my Father's house are many mansions . . ."
I hope mine is a boat!
- Capt John
|The Intracoastal Waterways. . . Otherwise known as "The Ditch".
|The beautiful Waccama River is part of the Atlantic ICW
All along the way, you will find plenty of interesting, necessary and convenient places to stop. With only a couple of exceptions, you will
find whatever you need from provisions to Marinas and safe anchorages about every 40 to 50 miles apart. In addition it is very easy to plan
your weekend stops near a Church of your choosing. I've never had a problem finding a Church to attend within easy walking distance, and
many have postings on the Marina's Bulletin Board offering to pick you up and drop you off.
Both the Gulf and Atlantic ICW are busy routes with lots of things to do and see along the way. So much so, you will want to plan ahead and
do some research on the places you want to stay and linger.
|Anchorage in Chesapeake Bay
| I never understood why some people think 'Christians' are all stone faced fuddy duddies that never laugh, never smile and never have any fun. My Dad
(as example) was a full time Baptist Missionary and fact is, he was having fun all day long every day. I mean fun in the form of the Energizer Bunny just going
and going and going. However, just as most people do with their Cellphones today, my Dad's Bible was always within his reach. There was never a question
that he didn't know exactly where it was if it wasn't in his hand.
In Colossians, the Bible tells us "whatever we do in word or deed, do in the name of the Lord". Ya know, when you think about it, that's about as simple
as it gets. That is just a matter of making sure our activities are not sinful - and that brings me to the point I want to make:
If we just live a good life of Christian example, we never know who is watching, who is listening and who we might influence along the way. In my life,
I had the very fortunate experience of having four such friends tell me how my influence through the years changed their life. To this day I don't I did or what
I might of said: but it is a serious awakening to realize our words and actions can have such an impact on someone.
Kindness goes a long way, and it is such a simple and easy thing to do. . . This voyage gives you daily opportunities to show kindness to dozens of
people you otherwise would never have the opportunity to meet.