Thursday, December 15, 2011

So What’s This Icy “W” Thing, Anyway?

Posted: October 11, 1:35 pm | (permalink) | (0 comments)

I’ve been negligent – I need to put this trip in a bit of context for you. The “icy W” is the acronym for Intra-Coastal Waterway. It’s a collection of rivers and bays, linked by man-made canals. You can travel on relatively sheltered inland waters, all the way from Annapolis to Miami, almost 1200 miles, and never have to go out on the ocean. Handy for smaller boats, for bad weather, and for less seaworthy commercial vessels like barges. It’s quite varied and interesting. And on several occasions, we’ve noticed that it can be quite boisterous sailing – it may not be the ocean, but some days its quite big enough for me! (Actually, its official name on the Corps of Engineers website is Atlantic Intracoastal Water Way (AIWW), because there’s also a waterway of similar concept along the Gulf coast.) aiww east coast map[photo – the ICW, map from Army Corps of Engineers]

On the natural river and bay portions of the ICW, we can sail if the winds are from the correct direction. For the linking canals, or when the winds don’t cooperate, we motor. We motor at about 6 knots or a shade less, or about 7 mph – about the speed that my marathon runner friends Kari and Heather and Don and Althea run. What we do in a day, you could do in an hour by car. And what we do in a month, you could do in an hour by plane. So it will take 20 to 25 days, traveling 6 to 8 hours a day, for us to make the trip to Florida via the ICW this autumn. But when we get there, we’ll have our home and almost all of our possessions with us. And we’ll be warm. And we’ll have had, I’m sure, lots of adventures to write about.

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