Friday, December 6, 2013

A Day on the ICW

We spend many days traveling the Intracoastal Waterway. This is an inside passage that allows protection from the big winds and waves of the North Atlantic ocean. It can be challenging with heavy currents, big tidal swings, lots of boat traffic and bridges.

Here are some pics of our trip from Daytona to Titusville.

We got an early start before dawn but with enough light in the sky to navigate. We were rewarded with a beautiful sunrise.

There are "high bridges" that are fixed. Most are supposed to be at least 65' vertical clearance at high tide. This is good as Freedom needs about 63' (more is preferable).

Here is a picture of a gage on the bridge to help determine clearance. Heights vary with
tide and winds. High winds can drive water to higher levels giving less clearance. This one showed about 64'. 

This is a Bascule Bridge. It is much too low for us to get under. We call the bridge tender on the VHF radio and request an opening. Some will open on demand. Others have a schedule. This one opens every 20 minutes when requested.

Timing for the bridges is crucial. If you arrive too early you have to jockey around waiting. This can be difficult with current pushing you towards the bridge, especially if there are multiple boats waiting with you.

It was an easy day of travel. We arrived in Titusville in time to visit with our friends from Old Rosie, Ben and Jane.