ICW MM 0 Recap

The Intracoastal Waterway is over 1100 miles long and runs from Norfolk, VA to Miami, FL. We left Miami at the beginning of June and did both outside hops and Intracoastal jaunts. It took us nearly 3 months - including 1 month in Charleston where we left the boat to visit family.
Here is a map of our route so far - this map is also on the right sidebar.

Matt's ICW Recap

Fernandina Beach
Favorite stops: Ocracoke, Cape Lookout, and Fernandina Beach.

Lessons learned: Enjoy the stops as much as the trip. Nothing beats a small, boater friendly town!

Best moments: Clamming and crabbing in Ocracoke (minus the eating of the crabs, which was disgusting!). Shelling in Cape Lookout.

Worst moments: Eating the crabs. Oh, and every time the dinghy engine dies again it’s the worst day of my life.

How the trip met expectations: Going as expected. We have (fortunately, knock on wood, I probably shouldn’t say this out loud) spent far less time fixing boat problems than I thought we would.

What were you worried about, and how have those worries panned out?
Hastings being hot, miserable and difficult, but in the end he seems to be enjoying the trip as much as we are! He has become the Master of finding the shadiest place with the best breeze on the boat.

What should you have been worried about? Lucy being hot. She really melts down sometimes! But then she takes off all her clothes, so it’s not really a problem for me.

How is the boat meeting expectations? Exceeding all expectations.

Lucy's ICW Recap

Favorite stops:
  • Miami, baby!
  • Ocracoke
  • Cape Lookout
  • Fernandina Beach
Best Moments:
Stars over Ocracoke Lighthouse
  • Watching the stars over Ocracoke lighthouse
  • Paddle boarding the Key Biscayne Bight sandbar
  • Horses on the beach at Cape Lookout
  • Having dolphins stay with us on ocean passages
  • Problem solving - figuring out daily issues: engines, how to hang the wind scoop, etc. For the most part, we like making things work - if it’s not a Yamaha 15HP 2 stroke.
  • Clamming with friends
Worst moments:
  • Watching the storm over Ocracoke from the dinghy dock, not being aboard - seeing our neighbors a-cropper on the sand bar.
  • I find it a little concerning that we haven’t had any major issues, or wanted to sell the boat and get jobs. We haven’t dragged or run aground, or broken any limbs. Seems like a lot of people have rather dramatic and terrible times; is it coming? Or do we just get to skip that bit?
How the trip met expectations:

  • My only expectation was to not be at work and not drive 3 hours a day on I-95. So, let’s say it’s winning!!!
What I was worried about:

  • Provisioning. It’s much easier than I thought it would be. We’ve done an average on one big grocery run a month. The Boat Galley Cookbook has really helped us with recipes and ideas. We’ve been loving our Omnia stovetop oven and refuse to turn the actual oven on.
  • Hurricanes. Still worried about that!
  • Being bored - haven’t been bored for a second!
  • Figuring out the next stop and whether we’d like every stop: We figure out stops day by day, and even then often change our minds depending on weather and “feelings”. I don’t have to like every stop, and every stop has some sort of redeeming quality, even if it’s just for entertainment factor.
What I should have been worried about: The dinghy engine and Matt’s hate for it. Maybe I should watch some videos and become an outboard expert.

Hastings Recap

Favorite stops: Ocracoke, Fernandina Beach, every time we are at a marina

Lessons learned: My humans are weird, and need a lot of help. It’s pretty exhausting looking after them.

Best moments: Daily walks in Ocracoke, all the ladies that loved me in Fernandina Beach, clamming.

Worst moments:  Being stuck on the boat for days on end, sailing into the wind

How the trip met expectations: I didn’t know we were going on a trip. Will it ever end?

What were you worried about, and how have those worries panned out? I didn’t know enough to be worried.

What should you have been worried about? I should have been worried about my dinghy, and finding places to land it every day. They’re determined to find new ways to traumatize me, but I don’t even mind thunderstorms any more. If bad things are coming, I’m just resigned to them.

How the boat is meeting expectations: It's got a lot of good places to nap and I have pretty good access to cooking and eating surfaces, which is a big plus. Needs more A/C and fridge space and fewer stairs.
Ruff Life!
What other questions do you have for us? Let me know in the comments! 

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  1. I just got a copy of The Boat Galley cookbook. Seems like it's going to be a great addition to the library. I still really want an Omnia but can't quite convince myself to buy one.

    1. Stay tuned then! Matt's working up a whole "Ode to the Omnia" post coming soon!!

      The Boat Galley has become our go-to daily reference! It's great!

  2. Wow, those blue cushions in the cockpit look extremely comfortable (if they aren't taken yet). Is that what they look like these day? Awesome. Don't worry too much about things that might happen, based on what happens to other people. If you 1) are very responsible boat owners, fixing every issue that comes along, whenever it comes along, and 2) are responsible cruisers, checking weather and charts, you will do fine. Barring some bad luck, most horror stories are from boaters who don't know what they are doing, or postpone important issues too long. Glad you have been enjoying the ICW! In our eight years, we never had a crazy storm at sea or were too inconvenienced with massive things breaking, while many other cruisers we know had to deal with much worse. Diligence... :-)

    1. The blue seats are our folding extra seats- usually we use them on the foreword deck.
      Good to know you never had a crazy storm at sea! Being prepared and not getting lazy is key- since I wrote this post 10 days ago we did drag in a thunderstorm - but it was totally our fault for not putting enough scope out. (We were a long way from other boats or shore so the 100 ft drag didn't do any harm). But now we know not to get too lazy!


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