A trip down the Intracoastal Waterway is the trip of dreams for thousands of cruisers, the goal of a lifetime. But for many of those boaters, familiar only with their own home waters, the thousand-mile journey is full of mystery and potential dangers, as well as beauty and excitement.
The new ICW Planning Guide, now in its second year, understands those concerns and walks boaters carefully and clearly through the process, from Mile 0 at Portsmouth, Va., to the ICW’s end at Key West, Fla. and up the Gulf ICW to Anclote Key near Tarpon Springs. The guide teaches boaters the skills they will need along the way, like the right way to request a bridge opening, how to transit a lock. There are also plenty of tips and tricks for a painless trip, such learning the Art of the Slow Pass, and how to find the deepest part of the channel by reading the shape of the land. The guide also explains how to plan each day’s cruise, gauging bridge openings, optimum times for negotiating the ICW’s notorious shallow spots and reaching a good marina or anchorage at the end of the day.
In the reference section of the guide, readers will find lots of mileage and inlet maps as well as photos, charts, schedules and clearances for every bridge—fixed and opening—along the way. Finally, readers will be able to find marinas along the way with the included facilities guide.
There is no other ICW planning guide. This is an invaluable one-of-a-kind companion to making those cruising dreams come true.