Wednesday, November 25, 2015


We have left Norfolk and are on our way down the ICW, the Intrecostal Waterway affectionately known as "The Ditch".  This waterway officially stretches from Massachusetts to Florida, but when most people refer to the ICW, they are talking about the part from Norfolk VA to Miami, FL. The picture is where Mile Zero is and the end is at Mile 1,095 in Miami.  The Army Corp. of Engineers made the waterway.  In some areas it just needs to dredge, in order to deepen the path, but in others like the Dismal Swamp, and the Virginia Cut, they dug a ditch to connect already existing waterways. There will be a lot of motoring along the ICW, but we will get to see an area of the U.S. that few get to see. We are thinking we will probably travel most of it's length, there is only one bridge in Florida we can't get under, the others are either tall enough or they open. They can either pivot, swing or just go up in the middle, there are 130 bridges and I think we have encountered every kind so far. The main highway bridges only open on the hour or half hour, some open on demand, and we have gone through one lock.  
                       Look closely, you will see the ice that formed overnight!!

Our insurance company is a little off the mark, it won't let us go below Cape Hatteras, in North Carolina, until Dec. 1. We are about 100 miles north of their now and today we woke up to ice on the waterway, and the temperature was 4 degrees Celcius in the cabin. Surely hurricanes won't appear when the air temperature is at the freezing mark!!! There was a big system that came through from the north and the cold air is here for a few days,  Barry checked the weather and on Thursday it is supposed to be 70 degrees Farenheit or about 19 C., a southerly must be headed this way.  
We really enjoyed our time at the Rebel Marina and would recommend it to anyone in the area.  We paid $1/ft/ night and they had a great kitchen area.  I took advantage of it and baked my Christmas cakes using their propane for the 3 hour cooking time needed.  It is a small Marina, family run, they don't advertise, word of mouth makes it certain they only get the type of people they want in their.  We used their courtesy car to get boat bits and groceries and they even had a loaner GPS to help negotiate the freeways. 

Sailing Info.

We are using "The Intracoastal Waterway, Norfolk to Miami, A Cockpit Cruising Handbook" by Jan and Bill Moeller. It is a small guide with few pictures and has references to bridges, anchorages and marinas by the mile number along the waterway. 

Portsmouth   36*50.1 N  X  76*17.8 W
We tied up for free at the High Landing, no reservations, first come, first serve. 
Ferry service across to Norfolk stops here. 
Grocery store about 3km away. 

Great Bridge Town Dock  36*43.2 N  X  76*14.4 W
We tied up for free. Garbage disposal available.
24 hour mooring allowed. Fuel and groceries within 1/2 mile. 

Mile 28.8 below Red Marker 42  36*36.4 N  X  76*03.4 W
Anchored just outside the channel. Great holding, no wind
No services, out in the middle of nowhere.