End of the ICW


Approaching Tidewater Marina in Portsmouth

We reached our goal of Norfolk. Actually we are docked in Portsmouth across the river. There are many things to see in this area, but with only a day left Paul and Sharon chose to see the battleship Wisconsin before we took them to the Norfolk airport.


All of us with the Wisconsin and Sue inside the Wisconsin

We are docked at Tidewater Yacht Marina at mile 0 on the ICW. With our late start and many delays along the way, this is as far north as we will go this season. In about a week we will turn and head south. We will not have any month or more stays like we did coming up, so we won’t need to push it. We can stay a few days anywhere that seems interesting.

We’ll be back here next year when we do the loop, but would hope to be here by early May. There is not what you could call an ICW north of here so there are no more mile markers. What we do have is Chesapeake bay. While not the open ocean, it is really big, being 5 to 20 miles wide by about 180 miles long, and has to be traveled in decent weather.

Our next year plan is to continue northward by traveling all the way to the Chesapeake’s north end. Here we would enter the Chesapeake and Delaware canal, aka. “Back Creek”, which crosses near the top of Delaware into Delaware bay. Here we could turn north and visit Philadelphia, but we would go south for 50 miles to Cape May and the southern end of New Jersey.


Carrier seen on the way in to Portsmouth (Norfolk)

At Cap May a New Jersey intracoastal waterway starts that is traversable by a boat with our 4’8” draft, but we would be at the ragged edge of what is recommended, would have to travel at mid to high tide and would still crunch the bottom a number of times. Even this intracoastal must come out to the Atlantic for the last 20 mile run to New York harbor. I think we, along with nearly everyone else, will just run the 110 miles from Cap May to New York harbor on the Atlantic. We would just wait for the right weather window and do it in a long day, with the option of ducking into several harbors along the way if something came up. I think our boat is fine in up to 3 foot seas. We could survive in higher, but I’m guessing it would not be comfortable.

In the meantime, we are an hour’s drive from Williamsburg. Sue and I have not been there since early in our marriage 40 years ago. We’ll see that and other things in this area. While next year is the Great Loop, we’re hoping the year after will be spent in the Chesapeake. It will take more than one boating season just to see that.


One thought on “End of the ICW

  1. Pingback: Travel to Norfolk | Jack & Sue

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