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Old 03-04-2013, 10:53 PM   #1
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North East, MD to Southport, NC

We just bought a boat in North East, MD. Planning on taking it through the intercostal waterways, anything I should know or locking dams I should look out for?
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:28 PM   #2
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We just bought a boat in North East, MD. Planning on taking it through the intercostal waterways, anything I should know or locking dams I should look out for?
If you take the Virginia Cut route there is one lock at Great Bridge, VA. Usually only a 2 or 3' lift or fall. It is a piece of cake. If the Dismas Swamp route there are two locks. One at either end. Nothing to worry about. Just check the hours of operation. Probably the trickiest thing to navigate is the entrance to the Alligator River after crossing the Albemarle Sound. Study the charts there, and for the whole trip for that matter.

One tricky thing to watch out for is the bouy changes as you come out of the Pungo/Alligator Canal into the Pungo River and as you come out of Snows Cut into the Cape Fear River. Remember you go by the gold triangles and squares not the bouy or marker colors.

Get the charts and study up. Watch the weather on the Albemarle and the Neuse.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:53 PM   #3
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Greetings,
Watch out for crab pots in the sounds, flotsam in the Dismal Swamp Canal and get tow insurance. Have fun.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:01 AM   #4
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If uncertain at any point of the transit, call SeaTow for local knowledge...they are usually very helpful.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:24 AM   #5
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Good advice from the others. Watch the weather coming down the Cape Fear River. Wind against tide can get ugly.

And go the Dismal Swamp route if you have the time and don't mind going slow. The visitors center and Elizabeth City are great places to stop.

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Old 03-05-2013, 10:15 AM   #6
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Become familiar with the ActiveCaptain website...
https://activecaptain.com/X.php

Any buy a good Cruising guide....I use the Waterway Guide as a backup to ActiveCaptain and I finally have someone that actually reads along as we are travelling to reinforce/amplify trouble or fun spts that I have passed before.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:30 AM   #7
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Active Captain is a great resource.

Here is one that has many problem spots called out on the ICW. Look back through the postings, and put a sticky note on your charts of what to watch out for.

Cruiser's Net

The Atlantic ICW is a varied route that will take you through many types of water. It requires full attention. Remember to look behind as well as ahead. Narrow channels are easily strayed from.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:06 AM   #8
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There are several good crusing guides covering the Intracoastal Waterway. I would assume that once you get the boat home you will continue to cruise the ICW so it makes good sense to buy one or two of them and then just study the areas where you plan to travel.

https://activecaptain.com/X.php is also great resource, especially if you have Internet access from your moving boat.

And yes, there are some locks and other places that you should be aware of and ready to deal with.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deancrenshaw55 View Post
We just bought a boat in North East, MD. Planning on taking it through the intercostal waterways, anything I should know or locking dams I should look out for?
We bought our boat in Solomon's Md April 2010 and cruised south to the Neuse River. Our trip was smooth.

Notables:
1. The Chesapeake Bay is deep and a generally smooth ride. It's wide and feels really pretty big.
2. I would have taken more pictures looking back.
3. Be alert for ships in Norfolk. Goes without saying I guess.
4. Bridges open through Norfolk on the half hour but around rush hour they might stay shut for 2 hours. Schedule particularly for the Gilmerton Bridge which does this. Most others not so strict. Also sometimes for no apparent reason they shut a bridge for maintenance. Well, there is a reason- old bridges.
5. Albemarle Sound can be unpleasant if the wind is just right. About an hour to cross at 8 knots in good weather.
6. Coming out of the Bay River can be unpleasant from time to time.
7. They will firmly remind you to wear your life vests at the Norfolk lock.

What's the boat and engine configuration? What's your crushing speed?

I envy you the trip! Good luck.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:10 PM   #10
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............. The Chesapeake Bay is deep and a generally smooth ride. ............
Well, it's deep in the middle but there are some really shallow spots that extend further from shore than you would expect. Of course, they are shown on the charts so if you're using paper or electronic charts you should be able to avoid them.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:09 PM   #11
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Ooops. CRUISING speed. Not Crushing speed.

Oh, yeah, staring at your depth finder should be a religious ritual. But if you're in Southport, you already know that.

Especially around the Alligator River entrance which is quite goofy.
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