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Old 10-12-2015, 05:46 AM   #1
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Winter time on the ICW

We are leaving our slip in Herrington Harbour just south of Annapolis this week and heading south on the ICW to Tampa our home. We have no schedule and no real agenda.

Having no cold weather cruising experience I am looking for advice on traveling the ICW this winter. I am familiar with the hazards and know how to get the latest info, so I'm mainly interested in cold wx cruising on the ICW.

The boat is in good shape mechanically and we have 2 reverse cycle air conditioners - Marine Airr units. I believe these units will provide heat down to about 40 deg water temp.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-12-2015, 06:28 AM   #2
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Will be traveling South in November also. My plan includes adding a couple of electric heaters just in case one of my reverse cycle units or the water pump has an issue. Also will bring an electric blanket, my wife won't be with me. Seriously, even if you don't need the electric blanket to sleep, turn it on an hour before bed time, it's nice to crawl into a warm bed.

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Old 10-12-2015, 06:51 AM   #3
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I'm sitting here at Norfolk Naval Shipyard watching the southbound parade of boats entering the ICW. All I need is popcorn! Some really impressive vsls.
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Old 10-12-2015, 06:57 AM   #4
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Wish you were watching mine go by. Hopefully within a month.

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Old 10-12-2015, 07:22 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Sailor of Fortune View Post
I'm sitting here at Norfolk Naval Shipyard watching the southbound parade of boats entering the ICW. All I need is popcorn! Some really impressive vsls.
Are you at the free docks on the Portsmith VA side? We stayed on the northern free dock last summer northbound and may again southbound if it's not too busy. Will probably visit Smithfield before getting to the Norfolk area.
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Old 10-12-2015, 07:36 AM   #6
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Can you give us some idea of when you plan to be where? Once in Georgia the weather shouldn't be much of a factor apart from mid Jan through end of Feb.
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Old 10-12-2015, 07:48 AM   #7
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I'm sitting here at Norfolk Naval Shipyard watching the southbound parade of boats entering the ICW. All I need is popcorn! Some really impressive vsls.
I worked in Southport NC for years and would spend my off time on the waterfront watching the wagon train South. I loved it and wished one day to be doing that very same thing. I'm not heading South this year but staying in the carolinas. We have been in Fl for two years and loved it. This is great weather to travel the ICW. I made the mistake of doing it in September and it was very hot. I wont do that again. Anchoring out on a 60 degree night with the windows open cant be beat.
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Old 10-12-2015, 07:55 AM   #8
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Beautiful Nordhavn 46 "Mosey on" passing us now, unfortunately we are not allowed to take pictures or even have camera phones on this job. We were issued camera disabled flip phones.
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Old 10-12-2015, 08:04 AM   #9
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Wouldn't think you'd have any issues other than normal boating, Tim. We play here in the Chesapeake right up through Veteran's Day at least and usually closer to Thanksgiving... and the only difference is I put the reverse-cycles on "heat" and we throw a light blanket on the berth.


Given that you're going south, earlier, I wouldn't expect you'd notice much of any difference.


(Remembering, though, that you're likely more closely attuned to FL temps...)


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Old 10-12-2015, 08:24 AM   #10
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I have traveled south from Virginia as late as Christmas and never had any issues. Sometime some ice on the deck, but nothing to worry about.
Enjoy the trip.


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Old 10-12-2015, 08:42 AM   #11
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Capt. Tim, I left Baltimore Dec.10,2004 headed for St. Augustine. Our reverse cycle heat units worked to keep us toasty. The main problem you will probably run into is in the northern section some marinas with have turned off the water on the dock. We loved cruising at that time because of the lack of traffic. The other problem is the days are noticeably shorter.
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Old 10-12-2015, 08:45 AM   #12
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Greetings,
Set out one morning and the first swing bridge we came to was frozen closed. Had to stand by for the sun to warm up the roadway/mechanism. Somewhere mid NC in March of this year as I recall.
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Old 10-12-2015, 08:57 AM   #13
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I have gone south in winter, Jan and Feb real winter.

Very different as many fuel stops or marinas are long closed.

The bridge tenders need a 12 G salute cannon to wake or tune up the VHF.

If there is no skim ice its not a bad trip, plenty of room to anchor , but its real QUIET!
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:02 AM   #14
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We left Annapolis Thanksgiving day and arrived Houma Louisiana Feb. 7 friends recommended a Mr Heater portable gas unit which came in handy on extra cold mornings or a supplement till the boats heaters warmed things up. We never ran it unattended, or after going to bed, CO monitors on board too.
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:07 AM   #15
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This isn't winter, and the weather outlook is good. Mid 70's forecast for next week here in far eastern NC. We once ran into some colder weather in Georgia in late November but nothing that challenged the boat's reverse cycle heating. It's a great time to be making the trip and you will have plenty of company. All the crud that washed down the rivers will be fairly cleared out by the time you're down here, just keep a lookout as always and check the LNMs for missing and off station markers.
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Old 10-12-2015, 12:36 PM   #16
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Howdy Tim. Good to see y'all are out there enjoying yourselves!! I think about y'all all the time and hope all is well!!!
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Old 10-12-2015, 12:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
This isn't winter, and the weather outlook is good. Mid 70's forecast for next week here in far eastern NC. All the crud that washed down the rivers will be fairly cleared out by the time you're down here, just keep a lookout as always and check the LNMs for missing and off station markers.
Weather looks good for the rest of the week, highs only in the mid 60's but sunny weather, I can get use to that. I generally check Southeast Cruisers for the latest hazards and Active Captain too.

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Howdy Tim. Good to see y'all are out there enjoying yourselves!! I think about y'all all the time and hope all is well!!!
Thanks John, feels a little weird being retired - I'm sure I'll get use to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonstruck View Post
Capt. Tim, I left Baltimore Dec.10,2004 headed for St. Augustine. Our reverse cycle heat units worked to keep us toasty. The main problem you will probably run into is in the northern section some marinas with have turned off the water on the dock. We loved cruising at that time because of the lack of traffic. The other problem is the days are noticeably shorter.
Days definitely shorter and will take that into account. We cruise slow mostly at 7 kts so generally do about 50 miles or less a day. Hey I'm retired.
We should be south enough not to worry about frozen water at marina's, but maybe not if we're having too much fun.
Really looking forward to the leaves changing on the Chessie. Will probably hang around until they're all done.
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Old 10-12-2015, 01:23 PM   #18
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I'm anxious to get going. Currently in Tampa tiding up a few things before our months long trip south. Wife is driving the dog to my sisters house in NC, sadly our 8 yo golden is too old to go this year. I'll meet her at the airport in D.C. I'll be flying up from Tampa on Wednesday with our cat. The cat did great last year, but I think he will miss the dog.
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Old 10-12-2015, 01:26 PM   #19
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We have an enclosed bridge.
I carry one of those small quartz cube heaters on board. In the early mornings before the sun warms up the bridge I turn that on some days.
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Old 10-12-2015, 01:34 PM   #20
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We are cruising south right now. Will be at Solomons on the hook tonight. Sandy Point tomorrow, Atlantic Yacht Basin on Wednesday. Having done this trip to FL a number of times, we use the reverse cycle ac and the Mr. Heater is a great extra source of heat. Highly recommend it. Hail Magic if you see us.
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