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Old 03-27-2017, 05:56 PM   #1
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Finding Anchoring Spots, How do you do it?

Gonna be moving our new GB 42 north from Port Canaveral, FL to Norfolk VA in April/May time frame. Probably in 2 steps, Up to Myrtle beach in April, and Myrtle beach to Norfolk in May.

I have always spent my nights in a marina when on the ICW, but really want to try anchoring some nights. I have anchoring experience sailing in the Keys, so it is not the mechanics of anchoring, but the best way to find anchoring spots along the way.

What system do you use to find your anchoring spots?

Thanks in advance for all the help everyone has provided in our boat search.

-Kurt
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Old 03-27-2017, 06:12 PM   #2
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Active Captain or just find a protected area off the channel and drop your hook
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Old 03-27-2017, 06:19 PM   #3
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Active Captain or just find a protected area off the channel and drop your hook
Yup.
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Old 03-27-2017, 06:32 PM   #4
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In that area, Waterways guide. Also just look for marked anchorages on your charts.
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Old 03-27-2017, 06:38 PM   #5
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I understand Skipper Bob is a worthwhile resource for the ICW mile by mile.
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Old 03-27-2017, 06:46 PM   #6
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And just a little bit of advice, Kurt, based upon a lot of trips up and down that ditch.

1. Don't pick just one anchoring spot to stop for the night. Pick at least two, because it is not much fun trying to navigate around in a very crowded anchorage.

2. Pick an anchoring spot which will get you there early. You want to be completely anchored in time to have a sundowner while you watch the sun go down.

3. Invite some of your neighbors over to have a glass of wine (or whatever). You'd be surprised how many lifelong friends you meet that way. Some of them sailboaters.
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Old 03-27-2017, 06:47 PM   #7
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With my limited experience I took the navigation chart, looked at some coves or bays, checked the depth to anchor in shallow water, but not too shallow that I would risk to go aground and keep note of them. I also check the satellite view on google map to ensure I will not anchor in front of the windows of a big nice house, for the owner peace and certainly for my own peace as seek solitude when I am at anchor more than anything else.
The day I want to anchor I check the wind forecast to ensure the spot I choose will offer protection from the forecast wind.
I also found some spot by passing by and see some boat anchored.

First night at the anchor was a bit stressful as it was not only the first night but also the first time I dropped the anchor so I was waking up every 2h to check that I was still in place. But this stopped when I pulled the anchor with pain and saw this heavy thick mud on it, I understood I would not move an inch when anchoring in that bay

L.
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Old 03-27-2017, 07:32 PM   #8
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Active Captain for me. Waterway Guide and other cruising guides as well. You might find some on your own, but it's likely that the good ones are already on Active Captain or the books.
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Old 03-27-2017, 07:41 PM   #9
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The best I found is the Great Book of Anchorages. Several in the series covering the east coast. https://www.tgboa.com/
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Old 03-27-2017, 07:42 PM   #10
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Skipper Bob and Active Captain are great resources. The Waterway Guide in some areas is very helpful. And then figure out how far you want to run that day, the timing of any bridges and enjoy the trip.
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Old 03-27-2017, 08:10 PM   #11
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I surf on Navamatics and before that I surfed on my chart plotter .. and before that on charts. Much faster and easier on the i-pad and Navamatics. I surf for the anchorage of the night all day if need be. Of course I do have a general idea where I'm going and often know exactly where I'm going.
But I zoom in to look at all the elements of the anchorage but mostly the bottom. I wish there were more notes on bottom types as usually you don't know unless there's some of the bottom on the anchor in the morning.
But pouring over what passes for charts these days is the way to find anchorages.
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Old 03-27-2017, 08:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou_tribal View Post
With my limited experience I took the navigation chart, looked at some coves or bays, checked the depth to anchor in shallow water, but not too shallow that I would risk to go aground and keep note of them. I also check the satellite view on google map to ensure I will not anchor in front of the windows of a big nice house, for the owner peace and certainly for my own peace as seek solitude when I am at anchor more than anything else.
The day I want to anchor I check the wind forecast to ensure the spot I choose will offer protection from the forecast wind.
I also found some spot by passing by and see some boat anchored.

First night at the anchor was a bit stressful as it was not only the first night but also the first time I dropped the anchor so I was waking up every 2h to check that I was still in place. But this stopped when I pulled the anchor with pain and saw this heavy thick mud on it, I understood I would not move an inch when anchoring in that bay

L.
I tend to follow Lou's concept.

Deep enough water far enough away from a channel that will give me protection from the forecast wind.

I find about 50 percent of the published anchorages OK, but there are so many even better spots given the forecast winds I usually find my own anchorage spot.

The places with no tidal current are easy, but as I become more trusting of my groucd tackle, even creeks with good tidal currents aren't as worry some anymore.

I find what a lot of boaters say about current and depth to be only as accurate as their limited post or writing is. Especially depth because a few meters right or left can be much different. Also, most boaters greatly exaggerate current.
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Old 03-27-2017, 08:34 PM   #13
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Another thought about the tide...don't forget to factor in the 7-8 foot tides you can get around GA. Also, look at the lay-out of any crab traps in your anchor swing room. Those can foul your rode or wrap on your prop.
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Old 03-28-2017, 09:57 PM   #14
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Active Captain or just find a protected area off the channel and drop your hook
Active Captain, best invention since canned beer!
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Old 03-29-2017, 04:16 AM   #15
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Since the difference between a good anchorage and a bad one is often related to the weather that's the first chart to study. Next would be the nautical chart for the cruise area as it relates to the wind and tides. Third would be active captain. The problem with active captain is that it is crowd sourced data as opposed to survey data which is datum referenced. Even survey data can be problematic during king and spring cycles if you are draft challenged. So in summary trust and verify all three.
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Old 03-29-2017, 05:21 AM   #16
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Mostly Active Captain, some Waterway Guide, some from friends, and a few from just looking at the charts. Keep a log or map of the anchorages you've been in. Ideally having one every 10 to 20 miles on the ICW, that you have verified, would be nice. As others have mentioned, most anchorages improve or degrade based on wind speed and direction. I use the Intellicast.com weather app for the nearest city to predict winds over night. Seems to work real well.

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Old 03-29-2017, 06:34 AM   #17
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Adding that when you leave the channel for an anchorage, do so at idle speed! When you find the chart wrong then with some luck no damage happens
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Old 03-29-2017, 06:42 AM   #18
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The guides are a good start. And they can be a good start for where not to anchor.

Because most people seem to only anchor where a guide has suggested. So those anchorages fill up first.

As others have noted, use the charts to find your own spots that might be less crowded.
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Old 03-29-2017, 06:47 AM   #19
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Good point...in just 4 years the charts between my chartplotter (which are just 4 year old raster charts from NOAA) and their new ones on my laptop for behind Cumberland Island, GA were significsnt.

The newer ones seemed right on and had me in 20 feet of water while the old ones had me in very shallow water and vice versa.

This was not isolated but for much of the time from the sub base to Jeckyll Island.

So be careful with even chart data....I have to go back and look up the soundings data for dates and see how current the 2 sets were just for grins.
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Old 03-29-2017, 08:14 AM   #20
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The best I found is the Great Book of Anchorages. Several in the series covering the east coast. https://www.tgboa.com/
We have used the Hampton Roads and Virgina to Florida Keys book. With a dog onboard and wanting to get to shore, it has a lot of good info such as shore access, holding, wind protection plus a comments section. We paid less than $25.

https://www.tgboa.com/images/ICW-cover.jpg
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