Off to Miami

Off to Miami!

Of course, a cruise ship passes us as we sail in.

We never leave Florida and go to the Bahamas without first spending time sailing Biscayne Bay and enjoying “The Grove” and Miami Beach! I have said many times that Biscayne Bay is the second-best sailing and cruising area on the entire USA East coast after Block Island Sound which to us is #1. So, after departing Stuart Florida, our first destination is always Miami. Many people pass right on by this dream sailing area on their race for Marathon Key or Key West.  We love boating around this area! Upon arrival at Government Cut we were met with a cruise ship heading out. But first our route…

Stuart to West Palm

We ran down the ICW inside on the waterway from Stuart to Peck Lake, to Hobe Sound to West Palm Beach where we always head south one bridge past the inlet and anchor between the bridges. West Palm Beach is a dream spot to anchor, except for the reversing current and some boat traffic. We spent a few days here and enjoyed the famous ROCCO TACOS. 

Queue Up to Depart for Miami

We left the town and moved up to the Lake Worth inlet where we anchored just inside the inlet and to the south. This spot is perfect for heading out the inlet at 0500, which is zero-dark-hundred. Being anchored here makes it so much easier to simply get up, brew some coffee and up anchor and set your main sail to a double reefed main and go. This Lake Worth Inlet is short and very easy to navigate. This was a first-time run of the inlet for our buddy boat, 35 JUST DUCKY and it was simple. Still very nerve-racking when you have never done this, but it was a great day.

0500 the view out the galley port

Before nightfall, Steve Job’s yacht motored on by with a route to the Bahamas as the weather was fantastic.  We were planning a direct run to Miami where we could wait for the next weather window to cross on the FULL MOON on March 7th, 2023.

Our Buddy Boat, 35 JUST DUCKY with Steve Job’s Yacht, Lake Worth Inlet

The OFFSHORE run to Miami

Heading out to sea at 0500 it is DARK, and there was no horizon except for the city lights to the shore to the west. That was comforting as we simply headed out the inlet and, at the 35-40 foot water depth past the jetty, we turned south and pointed towards south Florida.  Within an hour and a half,  0630 the sun rose and we had a spectacular day of motor sailing down the coast.

Sunrise is always a joy at sea. This one was great as well.

Hello South Florida

By keeping the beach to starboard and staying close in the 30-40 foot or less water depth, we avoided a south-flowing counter current to the north-flowing Gulfstream and picked up 1/2 a knot of speed closer to shore.

Motor Sailing because the winds were calm, 5-8 knots

Hello MIAMI Inlet, (Government Cut)

Arriving at the inlet we were early with the ebb tide coming out and the east winds blowing in so you know about wind against current. YUP, it was crazy rough going in. Then add to this the insane 50-60 foot sport fishing boats doing 30knots as they pass you on port then another on starboard and they hit your beam with their 4 foot waves, your boat is going midship cleat to midship cleat water to water. Plus all items below deck have now hit the cabin sole and your boat is trashed. Yup, welcome to Miami. Oh yes, add in a cruise ship and this is typical.

Cruise Ship coming out as we are going in

South Beach Hotels and condos as we navigate the inlet

Fishermans Channel to the left

You are not allowed to enter the main channel due to the cruise ships, so you have to turn into Fishermans Channel to the south. This takes you by all the container ships and their cranes busy loading and offloading the containers. Look at the size of these ships!!!!

Miami in the distance as we pass the container ship terminal
19 across and 10 high, that is ON TOP of the deck. There are more below the deck. These are tractor-trailer boxes, and containers. It is how all imports arrive in the USA!!! No, we do not own a single ship. We just allow them to use our many ports in USA. ????

Biscayne Bay Fun #1 BOCA CHITA

With our first anchorage off Virginia Cay and watching the Miami City lights come on, it was a very peaceful night. After a few yacht services at Crandon and a tour of Dinner Key, it was off to Boca Chita for a night. Linda and Mahlon wanted to see this island, part of Key Biscayne National Park and the beautiful building that is NOT a lighthouse. It is a simulated lighthouse built by Honeywell because he could.  Lucky for us a park ranger/tour guide was there and we all got to climb up the lighthouse and take a tour. We really enjoyed our time at Boca Chita.

Hayden, Radeen, Mahlon, Linda atop Boca Chita Lighthouse
Our two Island Packet 35s at the Boca Chita park

Our hero sails by, Jeffrey and family

While we were running south for Boca Chita, our dear friend Jeffrey Cardenas and his family were sailing south to Key West on their new catamaran! So, we all decided to meet up at Boca Chita and enjoy a bottle of bubbly to celebrate their new yacht. We followed Jeffrey for the past few years as he solo circumnavigated the globe on his Island Packet 460 named FLYING FISH! We first met him in person a year ago in St. Croix.  His blog is a fascinating and a wonderful read. Jeffry is the best of the best writers. Please see his worldwide stories here

Flying Fish Sail

Hayden, Jeffrey, Ginny, Radeen, Mahlon, Lilly and Linda. This is a lifetime photo here. What are the chances of this?

Good Bye Boca Chita, you are one special place

Sailing out of Boca Chita, I am reminded of the many, many fun times we have shared with great friends here. Thank you, Honeywell. Thank you, National Park Service.

Next….Miami Beach…OH NO!

From here, we sailed back up to Dinner Key where we enjoyed “THE GROVE” and then…..oh yes….then we moved over to Miami Beach. Well, that is the subject of the next post update, as I try to catch up on this blog……

Meanwhile, please see my menu link for all the great places to explore in the Biscayne Bay area.

Follow us on Facebook, it is public and it is free. No need to be a Facebook Member! It is just another web page to read….. Thank you. Leave us a message as they are emailed directly to us.

Georgetown SC to Charleston

This is an easy section of the ICW, Georgetown SC to Charleston SC, with your biggest challenge being the Ben Sawyer Bridge and the Charleston harbor current. After a lovely few days walking the town of Georgetown and buying shrimp at the coop, and taking in the many beautiful homes on self-guided walking tours, we decided to move on. Again, we have no schedule, no agenda, just working our way south to the warmth of Florida. Of course, our near-term goal is to be in Stuart Florida for the best Thanksgiving on the waterway, but other than that, no rush at all.

Anchored in the Georgetown SC harbor is a joy. We have been stopping here since 2008!
Obe of the sunset rewards of this harbor.

Shrimp and Grits…..ahhh

Radeen is a great boat chief and she loves to cook, so when in “low country” you always buy some shrimp.  In Georgetown, there is a local fish coop where the fishermen dock and sell directly to the public. Large shrimp with the heads off costs $7.00/lb! We bought two lbs and steamed some for a chilled shrimp cocktail and then Radeen made some wonderful shrimp and grits for a mid-afternoon meal. What a joy…..

Happy Radeen cooking up some Shrimp & Grits in Georgetown.
The presentation…soooo good.

Walking Tours of Georgetown, SC

With the many rice plantations and then indigo plantations nearby, this was a very prosperous town. Add in the deep water harbor and the close ocean access one can easily imagine the many colonial ships docked here in the early 1700s. The town’s museum is amazing and has been here for decades. The visitor’s center has a free self-guided walking tour of over 50 homes. These homes are within blocks of the harbor and we always walk the town and study the architecture of these beautiful colonial homes. Here are two beautiful examples.

Georgetown, SC Colonial Homes
Gas lanterns light the front door. This is my favorite.

Moving on to Whiteside Creek

Departing Georgetown, takes you back into the ICW for a simple two-day run to the next dream stop of Charleston, SC. Day one is about a 40+ nm run to a remote creek called Whiteside creek.  These long and deep (15-20 ft) creeks run into the salt marshes and wind their way back off the ICW. With four Island Packets running together, this creek was a perfect stop for our fleet.  We easily arrived by sunset and anchored for the night. The current will ebb and flood in and out of the creek, and your boat will always bow into the current. Your anchor may be under your stern with the anchor chain going aft, but that is the way it is in a fast-flowing creek. Not a problem at all, just something to get used to,

Sun set as seen from Whiteside Creek
High tide as told by the salt marsh grasses and the small finger of water off the main channel.

Charleston in Sight….YES!

The next morning we planned our short run to make the Ben Sawyer Bridge opening at 10 am, then once thru there it is a quick 45 min run up the Cooper River to the Charleston Maritime Center. The challenge to docking in the fast currents of Charleston is to time your docking at slack tide. Today for our docking this was at 11 am and we hit it right on. I have seen many yachts crash into other yachts when trying to dock in these currents. It is something to take seriously. 

One of the photos we always try to capture is the view of the Ravenel Bridge from just after the Ben Swayer Bridge. This always raises excitement because that is a landmark of current-day Charleston.  When we see this bridge over the horizon we know we are near one of our all-time favorite stops. Charleston South Carolina. 

The famed Ben Sawyer Swing Bridge
THERE SHE IS…..the Ravenel Bridge….ahhhh Charleston is near.

Docked at the Maritime Center

Many boaters will arrive in Charleston and dock over on the Ashley River to the west at the MEGA DOCK. but, those that know the city and where all the action is will dock on the Cooper River to the East. This places you directly on East Bay Street where you want to be. From the Maritime Center, you are a few blocks from Harris Teeter grocery store and all the fine restaurants and markets on East Bay Street. You are an easy walk a few blocks into the College of Charleston where you will then intersect King Street for a fun walk past all the amazing shops. This will lead you down to Market street where you turn east and take in all the local vendors and maybe even a horse-drawn carriage ride.  Charleston, what a joy to discover and re-discover. We always book one week here and have for over ten years. We love this town. This is a must-stop location on the ICW.

Our fleet of 5 Island Packets docked at the Maritime Center, all but one have never been here before!
Our first of many walks into town, Each day we walked over 15,000 steps. You Gotta Love CHS!
The centerpiece of the College of Charleston
The lobby of Charleston Place, someday we will spend a day here!
The typical side porches of a Charleston Home

The next post will show more of Charleston….

Thank you again, for sailing along with Team Island Spirit. with this being our 11th year of running south, we still love this activity. As long as the boat systems are running well, life is good. So far, lucky for us, all systems are running well. Imagine, after a full summer of tearing apart the entire motor and drive train, along with Autopilot, radar, B&G network, and the windlass, we simply then took off. Today, we feel relieved that all systems are performing well. Lucky we are and we know it.
In the words of Neil Young….LONG MAY YOU RUN…..

Please Follow and Like our Public Facebook Page here…

Your comments are emailed directly to us and we will reply via email. thank you


Portsmouth VA to Georgetown SC

The ICW, Intracoastal Waterway from Mile Marker Zero to Georgetown SC is so diverse and so interesting. We never get bored with this trip due to the many changes in the waterway from place to place.  This diversity is the true beauty and joy of this run. Again, this is our 11th run south (we think, as we are losing track) but still, it is a real joy. It is even more fun with a fleet of Island Packet Owners and lifetime friends, Jeff & Sharon on 420 Lucille. At various times, we have been joined by RuthAnn & Larry of 37 Cambiar, Linda & Mahlon of 35 Just Ducky and Rose & Mark of Painkiller. Presented here are the best photos along the way as we moved into the ICW.

Departing Mile Zero

The famous GILMERTON BRIDGE at Norfolk. This is a combination railroad bridge and a highway bridge. This bridge is one hour from Portsmouth and it is your first challenge. The large vertical lifts are the structure to lift up the highway bridge. The bridge is restricted from 0630 ( which is oh dark hundred) until 0830 when they provide the first lift. With that schedule, you leave Portsmouth at 0730 and plan to arrive here for the 0830 openings. As we experienced, there might be a train coming that causes the RR bridge to lower and now you need to wait on the train. Eventually the two bridges open and off you all go heading south into the waterway.

The Gilmerton Bridge, Norfolk VA

On to Coinjock vs the Dismal Swamp

We used to run the beautiful Dismal Swamp, but with the convenience of Coinjock with fuel, water, and pump out at each slip, we have started to run the VA Cut and go that route. Plus who can resist a PRIME RIB dinner and a class of Red Wine? Not me. But the first stop on the way to Coinjock is the town of Great Bridge. Due to speed, time and distance, you really can’t easily make it from Gilmerton to Coinjock in one day. You can, but you will arrive late in the day 5-6 pm and who wants to do that? So, you stop on the free docks at Great Bridge and enjoy the town.  The Great Bridge lock is simply a lock to hold the brackish waters of the river, back from the saltwater of Norfolk. It does not change in elevation very much, so there is only one lock on this VA Cut vs. two locks on the Dismal.

Locked up in the Great Bridge Lock, Radeen is a happy GrL….
Leaving Great Bridge in the morning with the sunrise
HELLO COINJOCK and their wonderful restaurant where I had another Prime Rib meal…This is our team

Cross the Scary Albemarle Sound

The next leg takes you on a sail across the 14 miles of the famed Albemarle Sound. It is shallow and with a strong wind, it can be rough. Like 1-2-3 foot waves! YIKES, and many people are always concerned about this crossing. With many crossings, we have never had a bad crossing, Usually, we can sail across, and this day we had a dream sail. We fley the code zero and deployed it on a wing on wing set. Unreal.

Sailing the Code Zero on wing on wing, a first-time experiment. I do have a pole and could even add that.

Alligators and Pungo River Canal 

The anchorage at Deep Point, the stopping point before running the 22nm canal, is always a sunset paradise. Arriving about 1-2 hours before sunset, we all anchored in the 6-8 foot waters along with many other boats running south. Then at sunset, there it was again, the famed Deep Point beautiful sunset. For me….schedule the tugboat pushing a pile driver for sunset….perfect….thank you!

Tugboat at Deep Point sunset, perfect

The next day, we had to wait out the fog and by 9 am it lifted and we could see the canal, and off we all went into the beautiful 22 nm canal where you might see turtles, eagles, deer, bears, egrets, and osprey, all of which I saw none. A first for us. I still enjoyed the reflections of the morning light and the peacefulness of this run. I like these long canals, you can’t go wrong with your navigating, just stay in the middle 🙂

Reflections on the Pungo/Alligator River canal
With the sun on the port bow, I captured this cool shadow to starboard as we head southbound….

Dream Sail Across the Neuse 

We spent the night on the anchor in Belhaven and had a great walk around town. The next day we had a surprise sailing day. None of us anticipated this, and we all started out with a motor and a jib, only to discover 12-15 knots on the beam, so up went the mainsails as well. Now we had a race! Everyone out on the water was racing down the river to cross the Neuse River and it was incredible. One of the best sailing days on the ICW ever. This rarely happens. What a joy this was. Of course Big Momma 420 LUCILLE blew us all away, and the 35 Just Ducky and Island Spirit and 37 Cambia tried to sail with her. NO WAY, not possible. What a fun day! This photo will make the 20th edition of my IPYOA sailing calendar.

420 LUCILLE and 35 JUST DUCKY sailing down the Neuse River in 15 knots.

A new SOUTH RIVER anchorage

Thanks to IP owners Jim and Lynn, local to this area, they told us about South River. We needed a place to wait out one day as the strong SW winds of 20-25 were blowing down on the coast at Beaufort NC. We did not want to run that, so we decided to wait a day on anchor.  So into the South River off the Neuse, we diverted, and what a joy that was. Thank you. We stays an extra day there and waited out the winds. It worked out great. Of course with a lay day, that brought out the baker on Island Spirit and we made our first batch of coconut cranberry scones. See for my recipe.

Scones, wonderful homemade scones, Island Spirit baking
On anchor waiting out the 20-25 SW winds down in Beaufort
IPYOA custom coffee mug with our own baked scones….yum yum

Cold in the Mornings

It has not been that cold this year, and our lowest inside boat temp has been 49f. Usually, by mid-day, it is up to 60-65f, but at nighttime when the sun goes down, it gets cold fast.  This is our usual gear in the morning…ha ha ha

Hayden with his proud Drexel hoodie and Radeen with her cute homemade knitted hat by friend Kate of 350 Eilean and two fleece tops.

We Reach Wrightsville Beach, a fav.

The first beach that we can access to walk and go shelling is Wrightsville Beach, NC. This town is an all-time favorite of ours. We always take an extra day here to enjoy the beach, walk the town, access some great places to eat, and simply slow down. This town is so active, people are walking, jogging and working out all the time. It is a college town with UNC nearby, but it is also a very wealthy town with really beautiful homes and docks on the harbor, The harbor is near perfection with easy access from the ICW and also a class-A ocean inlet. You can not get better than this. Wrightsville Beach, is a dream. PS: This day, Radeen and I walked 15,500 steps, 7.5 miles…ahhhhh

We hit the beach with 37 CAMBIA, Larry and Ruth Ann to go shelling. Always a must do
The walk of 1-2 miles up the beach takes you to the cool photo spot of the fishing pier
Our first shelling success. These shells I sent home to our neighborhood children for a Halloween treat.

Southport Friends, Bill, and Trish

We all spent 5 winters together in the Florida Keys and Bahamas. Boating friends are lifetime friends, and this was yet another example. We have not seen each other for years, but it was like we just left. Bill and Trish build a custom cool home in Southport and someday we will drop anchor or dock at the Fish Camp and Provisioning company and walk up and see this. But with time and distance, we passed on that and docked at St James. So, they drove down and we had a great night together on Island Spirit just like in old times. Thanks for the gifts, you two are too kind.

Hayden, Trish, Radeen and Bill, next time, bring the guitar!

The Wealth of Myrtle Beach, insane

We always can’t wait to push thru Myrtle Beach, because the waterway has been abused with concrete walls and mega homes on the waterway where t-topper boats can’t really go anywhere. So what is the point? It is a crazy contrast to what will follow, the historic Socccatee bridge and the Waccamaw River Forest. Here are a few homes in this area……

An original home between the “NEW” look at me, see me mega homes….
Someone has way too much money and knows a mason!
This shack is only 14,500 sq feet and is for sale at $7,500,000.00, Pocket change!

Finally Waccamaw River Valley

The way it used to be…..before Myrtle Beach was built….

Hayden and Radeen

A happy healthy selfie as we push down the river valley

Georgetown, SC Reached

This is another town we always anchor off and spend a few days. There is Rice Museum and the Fish Co-op along with a fun waterfront and nice shops on the main street. Within a mile walk is a CVS and Piggly Wiggly and more.  Welcome to Georgetown SC. We are two days from Charleston SC where we will be halfway to Florida. We are so grateful to be here….thanks for sailing along

Island Spirit on anchor off Georgetown, SC
Sunset Georgetown SC

Please also follow and like our public Facebook page where we post more often there as well. Thanks for sharing in our sailing adventures and joy.

Chesapeake Bay to ICW Mile 0

This is our 22nd season on Island Spirit and it has NOT become old or boring. This is also our 20+th run on the ICW, 10 south and 10 north, and it is just as much fun as when we first ran this in 2009. We are excited to share this run with our longtime buddy boat  svLUCILLE, Jeff and Sharon. We departed Rock Hall, MD Oct 6th, and anchored out in our home creek of Swan Creek. From there, we made our normal Chesapeake Bay run of Rock Hall to Solomons, then Solomons to Deltaville, then Deltaville to Willoughby Bay, then on to Portsmouth at ICW Mile Marker Zero.  Each of these days is about 50 miles, taking 8+ hours to run. At the end of each day, we anchor, take hot showers and make a nice meal or go out with buddies. I have taken so many photos, as that is my hobby, and here are some of the best with captions to show the joy of this adventure…..

Photos of Rock Hall MD to ICW Mile Zero

We departed and the first milestone is passing under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge at Annapolis MD.
Always a very fun photo
It is cold, we are layered up. 52f coldest at night in the bunk!
Full cockpit enclosure we count as a top three item: Radar, Autopilot, Enclosure
Sailing wing on wing in 20+ knots, we lost the mainsail outhaul shackle. Here you can see the mainsail forward is off its outhaul
We had to spin around into the wind and drop the mainsail into the stack pack. Then we sail on with Jib only.
The sun is bright and the water sparkles with reflections.
We arrive Deltaville, VA and it is a party at the Tap Room and Raw Bar meeting up with Island Packet friends Jeff, Sharon and Ty. (Sadly, the photo with Stu and Chuck did not turn out.)
Leaving Deltaville, we are still working on the autopilot issues. Here you can see we commissioned the digital compass with a slow 360-degree turn.
Anchored out in Willoughby Bay is always a great spot to rest and enjoy, Here is the sunrise that morning.
The reward for a completed Bay run is always the town of Portsmouth VA. Docking right on Water Steet and High Street, we have it all to ourselves….until….
Full Moon Rise over Portsmouth
Our fleet of Island Packet Yachts take over the basin, 35 JUST DUCKY and 37 CAMBIAR
Island Spirit with her 14 territory / country flags flying
Team 37 CAMBIAR arrived, Larry and Ruth Ann
Island Spirit looking festive
35 JUST DUCKY, Mahlon and Linda
The #1 venue on the ICW, the Commodore Movie Theater
Required Selfie with Jeff and Sharon
South of Portsmouth the Great Bridge single lock keeps the saltwater to the north and the brackish waters to the south
Another cool place to dock up is the town of Great Bridge, where we enjoyed the Great Bridge Battlefield Museum. We always stop here as it then makes a nice run to Coinjock.

There we are….

As you can see, this first week of running south has been full of wonderful stops shared with great boating friends. This is the beauty of the ICW and the many stops along the waterway. The diversity of towns versus remote anchorages mixed in with wonderful colonial history presents a very educational and adventurous time.  Thank you for sailing along!

Please LIKE and FOLLOW our public Facebook Page

We publish nearly live happenings and photos to our public Facebook page and you do not even have to be a Facebook user, just an internet user. So, if you have internet, then please take a scroll thur this page as well here.

Season #22 BEGINS

With a ton of work behind us, after the summer of refit, we have finally untied the dock lines Thursday at Oct 6th, 2022 at 1900 hrs. Out to the creek we went and dropped the hook. Our 22nd season on Island Spirit has begun. The goal is southbound to Florida, then the Bahamas, and back to the Caribbean Sea where the water if indigo blue and the beaches are pristine. Can’t wait. For now, it is a 20-day run south to Stuart Florida for Thanksgiving. 

Here is our post from our PUBLIC Facebook page, please follow and like our page.

FOLLOW and LIKE here:

Our Car the AB Dinghy

Team Island Spirit is on the launch pad, and as soon as this Noreaster storm dies down and the flooding and high winds and wave die down, we are SOUTHBOUND. For now, here is an interesting post about our CAR, the 10′-6″ AB Dinghy with the 15 hp Yamaha 2 stroke that does 22 knots!  This will get us to shore for the next 7 months!

Here is a direct link to the post on our public Facebook Page.

Here is a direct link to the post on our public Facebook Page.


Intracoastal Waterway Southbound ICW

Provided here is a simple outline of the popular stops and the common offshore legs for running the ICW southbound from Maryland, Chesapeake Bay to Miami Florida, and Biscayne Bay.

!!!! PDF doc here
ICW Run w-Offshore Op

The ICW Run w/Offshore Ops

Team Island Spirit outline presents the various stops we normally use, plus I have integrated the many offshore options to go out in the ocean. Ocean runs are usually overnight and can be 12-24-36 hours. It all depends on the weather and the run. Here is the basic outline down the coast MD to FL.

Miles are Statute Miles: M

SOUTHBOUND, Starting in Rock Hall, MD

  1. Solomons Island off Zahnisers Marina
  2. Deltaville, VA, Jackson Creek
  3. Hampton or Willoughby Bay
  4. M 0 Portsmouth, VA, South Ferry Basin
  5. M 12 Great Bridge
  6. M 50 Coinjock
  7. M 102 Deep Point, Alligator River
  8. M 158 R.E. Mayo Shrimp Dock or Bonner Bay?
  9. M 188 Cedar Creek, or Oriental
    • M 197 Jarrett Bay Boat Works FUEL STOP
  10. M 200 Beaufort, NC (+ 10nm to Cape Lookout)
    • #1 OFFSHORE OP
      Cape Lookout to Wrightsville Beach 64 NM Or
      Cape Lookout to Charleston SC 205 NM 
  11. M 228 Swansboro or M 244 Mile Hammock Bay, NC
  12. M 283 Wrightsville Beach. NC or
    M 295 Carolina Beach, NC
  13. M 309 Southport, NC or Dutchman Creek or
    M 315 St. James Plantation Marina

    • #2 OFFSHORE OP
      Southport to Charleston 122 NM 
  14. M 355 Barefoot Landing Marina
  15. M 381 Waccamaw River, Bull Creek
  16. M 403 Georgetown, SC
  17. M 451 Whiteside Creek, SC
  18. Target #1:
    • Charleston Maritime Center, Mile 464
      Docking at slack tide only, anchor off aircraft carrier and wait
    • #3 OFFSHORE OP…
      Charleston to Fl/GA line, Fernandina Beach, FL 160 NM or
      Charleston to St Augustine 190 NM 
  19. M 513 Ashepoo River
  20. M 537 Beaufort, SC
    • #4 OFFSHORE OP….
      Beaufort, SC to FL/GA line Fernandina Beach FL 122 NM or
      Beaufort SC to St. Augustine 152 NM
    • Port Royal Sea Buoy is 21nm from Beaufort SC, this is a 4+ hour run to sea!NOTE: We skip Georgia with this run!
  1. M 717 Fernandina Beach, FL
  2. M 735 Ft George, FL
  3. M 778 Augustine, FL
    • #5 OFFSHORE OP….
      Augustine to Ft. Pierce FL 161 NM 
  4. M 832 Daytona, FL
  5. M 878 Titusville, FL
  6. M 898 Cocoa, FL
  7. M 952 Vero Beach City Marina, Fuel Stop
  8. M 966 Ft. Pierce, FL
  9. TARGET #2:
    • Stuart, FL SUNSET BAY MARINA, Mile 989+6 
  10. M 1000 Hobe Sound, FL
  11. M 1022 West Palm Beach, FL
    • #6 OFFSHORE OP…
      West Palm Beach, FL to Miami 66 NM 
  12. M 1065 Lake Sylvia, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    1. #7 OFFSHORE OP/Req. @55ft
      Julia Tuttle Bridge @55 ft
      Lauderdale to Miami 26 NM 
  13. M 1088 South Beach Miami, FL
  14. TARGET #3:
    Dinner Key, Coconut Grove, Mile 1095
    Crandon State Park Fuel Dock is the best


The Run SOUTH to Florida, to Miami, and Biscayne Bay is a boating goal that many dream of accomplishing. It is far easier than expected. We now have found our favorite places after many years of making this run:

  1. Portsmouth South Ferry basin, Commodore Movie Theater
  2. Charleston Maritime Center, because it is on the correct side of town, no mega dock for us!
  3. Augustine, is always a must-stay place
  4. Vero Beach City Marina, a mooring field where you can live forever
  5. Stuart, Fl, where the #1 Marina, SUNSET BAY MARINA is located. This is a dream, our base
  6. Biscayne Bay, Florida. Base here off Coconut Grove / Dinner Key Marina area. Then learn how to access South Beach and the many anchorages and beaches. Sail Sail Sail every day! Enjoy the beaches as well.
  7. The Florida Keys….no thank you, as there are not many beaches, no great harbors other than Marathon! So, after 5 winters in the Keys, we no longer go there. We stay up in Biscayne Bay and sail and swim and enjoy a great area as we prepare for the run to the Bahamas and south.

For Team Island Spirit, we have run the ICW 20 times, plus we have spent 8 winters in the Exumas and 4 winters in the Caribbean Sea. We have 4 summers in Maine and 10 summers in New England based in Block Island, RI. We have owned our Island Packet 35 since 2001 and estimate 40,000 nm under her keel. We really enjoy this lifestyle and today, we are making our 5th Caribbean Sea plans now. We will see you out here: and #svIslandSpirit on social

!!!! PDF doc here
ICW Run w-Offshore Op

West Palm Beach Aground then onto Miami

We made ourselves leave Stuart, Florida, and that is a very difficult task to do! Down the ICW we went for two days to West Palm Beach, Florida. The ICW is a real dream as it is calm, easy, and very safe. Our first night we dropped the anchor where we usually do, at the south end of Hobe Sound right off Tiger Woods’ home. No call from Tiger, so we did not stop in. We simply enjoyed our first night on anchor since Nov 15th and it was now Jan 10th! Our boat was running great, which is always a concern after a yacht sits because the best thing for any boat is to keep it moving and to push it hard.  Island Spirit was back in action with all systems running well.

Hobe Sound, near Jupiter, Florida is a dream location

Arriving West Palm Beach, the 1%er area

We are always amazed at the enormous wealth of so many people as we arrive in the West Palm Beach area. Massive waterfront homes have even larger yachts that block the view from the house. These houses are probably second or third homes. The owners might only be here a few weeks a year. The rest of the time, the landscapers and property manager all take care of the estate.

Aviva – Yacht Length: 98 (323 ft) – Guests: 16 in 8 cabins (est) – Crew: 25 in 11 cabins (est) – Yacht Value: US$ 150 million: Joe Lewis a UK Billionaire with 200 companies!
Typical winter home with a little fishing boat.
Steve Wynn’s Yacht Name: Aquarius – Yacht Length: 92 m (302 ft) – Guests: 14 in 7 cabins (est.) – Crew: 30 in 15 cabins (est.) – Feadship – 2016 – Yacht Value: US$ 215 million

Yup, that is how the Billionaires roll with mega yachts, massive homes, tax write-offs, and wealth that they can’t even begin to spend.  Steve Wynn is worth 3 billion dollars and his yacht only cost him 215 million dollars. So let’s move some decimals around. $3,000,000,000 vs $215,000,000, what is that like to a normal person? Take off 5 zeros and you have $30,000 vs $2,150. So a person worth $30K buys a used car for $2K.  Or a person worth $300K buys a $21K car. NOT a big deal, right? It is all numbers. The super-rich should have much bigger toys, don’t you think?

Anchored in West Palm Beach, FL

We stopped in West Palm to hire a diver who would clean our prop and bottom before sailing off to Miami and then to the Bahamas. We had been sitting in Stuart for 2 months, so we expected the bottom to be dirty. The public dock at WPB is perfect for this. The diver walked down the dock, jumped in and an hour later he was finished. We left the dock to anchor out. What a great public day dock this is.

Waiting on the WPB dock for the diver, what a great town!

Martha and Robert connect

Boat Buddies from Massachusetts spend the winter in WPB and they drove over to the harbor to visit with us for the evening. Martha and Robert sail Island Packet 420 ENTROPY. Professor Rose is a Materials and Engineering Science expert at MIT. What an interesting couple and what lively conversations we always have, whenever and wherever we connect.

Martha and Robert Rose. Emeritus Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT

OH NO, We Found the OYSTER BAY

We were anchored a few days in West Palm with the winds blowing from the east the entire time. Of course, we were waiting for the front to arrive so we could sail south on the new wind from the Northwest. Well, that wind shift combined perfectly with the morning tidal change and poor Island Spirit spun 180 degrees around on her anchor and was pushed aground onto the well known OYSTER BAR. This shallow area is right off the Henry Flagler Museum home that we toured the day before and now we were nearly inside the building. This was the oddest experience as it was 0600 with the engine running, ready to pull up anchor and head out. Depth was showing 7 feet. Then all of a sudden, the new winds arrived and we swung 180 degrees on our anchor and onto this bar. When 20,000 lbs are moving sideways and slide onto a ledge that is sloped perfectly to let the boat lay over, it all happens very quickly. I nearly fell off as I was standing on the deck, wiping down the windshield and next we were leaning over 45 degrees. The side deck was nearly in the water. Here are a few photos.

On the WPB Oyster Bar in front of the Flagler Home
There was no way we were getting off of this until the tide came back up
Radeen on the side watching the tow boat

TowBoatUS to the rescue

We have paid for unlimited towing with TowBoat US for 18 years. This is the second time we have called for a tow. They knew the spot well, they told us to wait for the tide, but they would come out and see what they could do. With 600 hp they tried to budge us, but we would not move. Good thing as we were on hard surfaces. So they hooked up to our bow and they ran the engines “dredging” us out as the prop wash pushed material away from our bow. With my 55 lb Rocna and our strong Lofrans windlass, we tried to kedge and be pulled free. Not working. So, we agreed to simply wait. Deep water was 15 feet in front of us, 1/2 a boat length, but 20,000 lbs was aground. So we waited.

TowBoat US arrives on the scene, he knows this spot well
He hooked us and tried to budge us, but decided his best bet was to dredge and blow material away. They came back in 2 hrs and then pulled us off. Great job!

How did this happen?

We had East winds for days and all was fine, with the boat west of her anchor. That morning, new NW winds came in so the boat swung to the EAST and laid right up onto the bar. Now I see and it all makes sense to me.  Mitzi and Alane of the IP38 formerly named Holiday met us on the dock and warned us about that area, but we thought we were fine. The frustrating aspect is a local boat knew this would happen and said nothing UNTIL we were on the bar, THEN they dinghied over and said, “we wanted to warn you…but….” Oh well!

This is how wind and current swung us onto the bar

Free at Last, Off to Miami

Once we were pulled off the bar around noon, we moved down to the Lake Worth Inlet and decided that it was too late to set sail. So we dropped the anchor at the inlet and relaxed. We needed to start up the watermaker and this was a great place to do that. The next day we set sail for sea and made it to Miami and south to Biscayne Bay for sunset. Of course, we entered Government Cut at 1700 right when the cruise ships were coming out, how exciting. Then we passed a container ship and went into the ICW. After turning south passing Brickell Point, then motoring under the Rickenbacker Bridge , it was WELCOME to Biscayne Bay!  Anchor down, we watched the city lights come on and popped the bubbly. This is one of our happy places!.

A fun leg south using the Code Zero, sailing with Larry & Hera of IP32 THE DOVE
We entered Government Cut with several cruise ships going out
We also shared the channel with container ships, always so colorful
Welcome to Miami and Biscayne Bay, our happy place
Watching the city lights come on from anchor off Virginia Key
We popped some bubbly to celebrate -we love it here in Biscayne Bay!


Stuart FL Thanksgiving time

We arrived Stuart Florida on Nov 16th, 2018, planning to stay here thru Thanksgiving and then move south in prep for sailing back to the Caribbean Sea to resume out Caribbean adventures.  Sunset Bay Marina is our most favorite place to stay between Maine and Key West. Stuart is a dream town, the Marina is run with the best team, and the owners go far out of their way to make customer care #1.  We have never been anywhere where we feel more welcome. Add to this wonderful marina our good friends at Mack Sails and Mack Yacht Services, makes it a perfect place for us. We call it HOME!

Our typical sunsets as seen from HOME!

What we like about Sunset Bay Marina

We count this location as “HOME” and there are many reasons for this. First of all, the owners of this marina, Pam and Jay. go so far over the top, doing everything they can to make their customers feel at home. They provide a fully catered dinner for Thanksgiving, they set up a large screen and projector for movie night twice a month complete with lots of pizza. They host cocktail parties.  They added a beautiful coffee bar complete with wine and local craft beers! They fully support their management staff and make sure they have all they need. Next is the terrific marina staff. Everyone is so kind and so focused on customer service and on maintaining the property.  Sam manages his outstanding team so well, and everyone works together:  Matt, Nichole, Jason, Edward, and Dennis each do an amazing job.

Another reason we like it here is because of our host Terri who lives on an IP38 SAILBATICAL. Terri makes everyone feel at home here and we all lean on for local help and support.  The final reason we like Stuart is because of Mack Sails and Mack Yacht Services, Colin and Travis. These brothers and their parents have built a great business here and they have helped us refit our IP for Caribbean adventures and then they rebuilt our boat after hurricane damages. We really like working with Travis and Colin. This is our third year at Sunset Bay and we really feel it is the best run, best-built marina on the entire East Coast.

Sunset Set bay Marina at Sunset. Beautiful

Good Times at Sunset Bay with Friends

Delighted to share the good news that our host, Terri, has joined the Whiteaker Yacht Sales team. Terri holds a USCG 100-ton captain’s license and is an ASA sailing instructor, plus she is an English teacher at a public middle school.  Here we are with our “Welcome to the team, Terri!” photo with Ed and Debbie Whiteaker.

Our Stuart Fl team of Whiteaker Yacht Sales Brokers

Thanksgiving Day Reflection

Every day we take a walk around town via the Stuart boardwalk. Here is the Happy Thanksgiving Day photo we sent to Dr. Kevin Fox at the University of PA. Radeen and I owe her life to his breast cancer research. Dr. Fox cured Radeen of Stage 2B triple negative breast cancer in 2001.  It was during this very difficut time that we bought Island Spirit and set our sights on the dream of crusing. This is why we appreciate every single day to the fullest. Thank you, Dr. Kevin Fox!

Thanksgiving morning on our walk around the Stuart waterfront.

Thanksgiving at Sunset Bay

The owners, Pam and Jay, host a catered Thanksgiving Day meal for the marina guests. Black linen table cloths, hundreds of chairs and an endless buffet line had the staff working very hard to prepare for us.  What a joy to attend an event like this with our boat buddies at such a beautiful facility. I did not get many photos but here are two of the setup.

The guests bring all the side dishes and homemade desserts.[/caption

Island Packet 380 PLAN SEA transfer to new OWNERS!

While here at Sunset Bay Marina, we were fortunate that buyers discovered our listing of IP380 PLAN SEA. After promoting PLAN SEA for 18 months, a couple walked into the WYS office and almost immediately bought this MINT yacht without ever seeing one ad, one email, my photo album or even knowing much about Island Packet Yachts. Preston, the broker in the office that day, created the offer and we quickly negotiated the sale. We attended sea trial and survey in Palmetto, FL with the new owners, Kim and Charlene, and welcomed them to the Island Packet Yacht Owner’s community. Here are the happy photos of this day. It is never easy selling a yacht you love. We are happy as now everyone can move onto their next adventures. Jim and Loretta now have PLAN D, and have hit the roads for some southwest exploration and spring skiing in Utah. Congrats!

380 Plan Sea’s new owners, Kim and Charlene

Dear Friends in Florida

While at Stuart and while driving back and forth across the state of Florida for many reasons, we really enjoyed catching up with boating friends in each of the areas. We are so lucky to know so many diverse people and we treasure each and every friendship. Thank you all for making time to visit as we flew by…

We found dear friend WENDY to celebrate her birthday with Paul

Bob and Cast of IP370 SEA LION heading to the Caribbean

Super Star TINSLEY of YouTube fame IP27 Salty Abandon

At home with Tom and Lesa of IP35 PANACEA,

Yacht Broker Car

And finally, we had to rent cars during Nov and Dec as we drove back and forth to Whiteaker Yacht Sales looking at boats and working with customers. So, we rented this beautiful car which made driving much more fun.

That is a wrap

Our time here always flies by! Between yacht services, yacht sales, helping others and visiting with friends, we had lots to do and much to be thankful for as we live aboard in Stuart FL.

Beaufort SC to Stuart FL

Leaving Charleston Maritime Center, we usually run inside on the ICW to Beaufort SC. This takes two days and we will anchor our somewhere in the Stono Rover area and then make Beaufort SC the next day.  The tides in this area are 7 feet +/- 2 feet and you really have to watch the markers. Lucky for us, this was a calm peaceful run.

Welcome to Beaufort, South Carolina, another must stop town on the ICW.

Beaufort, SC

The main reason we stopped in this cute town was to visit with my cousin Randi who retired here since the last time we were here. We also wanted to catch up and see good friends Jeff and Marjorie, formerly of IP45 Far Niente. Like so many people say, cruising is all about the people you meet. We have kept in touch with many friends and family by stopping along our routes as we cruise. What a fun thing to do. (Apologies to those we missed by going offshore.)

Good friends Jeff and Marjorie connected with us for a fun night at the FISH CAMP

Look who we found? Randi and Chris, my cousin and his wife, who retired to Beaufort, SC to hunt and fish and golf 24/7. LOOK out deer, fish, and turf, Randi will clean UP!

It was really fun to show Randi and Chris our Island Packet 35 sailboat. Here is a selfie on the boat.

Beaufort SC Sunsets/Sunrises

When we are in Beaufort, SC,  I always see the most amazing sunrises lighting up this harbor. I take the best sunrise photos here every year. Take a look at these beautiful morning photos! WOW.

Beaufort SC sunrise on Island Spirit

Sunrise at Beaufort, SC

Sunrise on Island Spirit, Beaufort, SC

Beautiful Sunrise over Lady’s Island, SC as seen from Beaufort SC.

Offshore to Florida

Departing Beaufort SC we always run offshore. This requires running the Ebb current south 22 nm out Port Royal Sound to the sea buoy. Then turning south, we skip all of the Georgia ICW. At the GA/FL line we run in the St. Mary’s inlet and anchor off Fernandina. We were lucky to make this leg with great boat buddies. Laurie and Jim of IP350 KISMET….

Out to sea at Port Royal Sound and offshore to St. Mary’s inlet, FL.

Buddy boat IP350 KISMET sails out to sea at Port Royal with Island Spirit

This offshore run is always one of our favorites. It is a simple one-nighter where you make it to the sea buoy at late afternoon and then you arrive at the inlet in the morning. Beautiful sunsets and sunrises add to our enjoyment. Here is the sunset that night off Hilton Head, SC as we sailed south.

Offshore sailing sunsets are beautiful

ICW Fernandia to St. Augustine FL

We spent one quick day in Fernandina and then it was southbound on the ICW to Fort George National Park. Jim and Laurie told us about this really cool park, so we diverted up this side creek and anchored right off the park with them. What a fantastic place to take an audio tour and discover the fascinating history of The Kinglsley Plantation.

The Kingsley Plantation and Island Spirit as seen from our DJI Mavic Pro Drone

From Fort George, we next made St. Augustine, Florida, another wonderful city to stop and explore.  Heny Flagler made this one of his railroad stops and built a luxurious resort here in 1888. Now it is  Flagler College, a beautiful building to tour. There is more original Tiffany glass in this building than any where else in the world.

The Flagler College, St. Augustine

The Flagler College entrance, St. Augustine

The entrance foyer of the Flagler College, St. Augustine

St. Augustine Fun with Friends

While here in St. Augustine we had some amazing visits with dear friends. First off, one of my favorite students from my 34-year teaching career back on PA lives here and he wanted us to meet his son. What a joy this was! Thank you, Aaron, for making this happen!

We connected with Tina and Dr. Jon for a wonderful meal out on the town. Tina is the sister of our very dear friend back home, Anita.  They always make us feel so welcome when we visit.  Thank you, Tina and Jon!

Boat buddy Ceal linked up with at a local pub and we had time to catch up on all her happenings as she restores another yacht while living aboard. Ceal is an amazing sailor and we always enjoy our time with her. ( Sorry we missed mutual friends Bob and Jane of IP40 Voyaguer by only a few days.)

Our last day in St. Augustine we connected with our world traveling buddies on NEVERLAND, Cynthia and Jim. Here they are helping us with our scheme for a canal boat in Amsterdam and run it all thru Europe this upcoming summer. Look out, it may very well happen. We really admire these cruisers, they really know how to travel.

We also found our good friends on IP40 SAILIN SHOES, Tommy and Tracy as they arrived into town on their new to them IP 40. We helped Tommy and Tracy find their dream yacht and plan their retirement cruising dreams. What a joy now, after a year of work to be out here sailing and cruising with them. This is the best part of being a yacht broker with Whiteaker Yacht Sales. Radeen and I can help others buy their yacht and learn how to go off cruising. Tommy and Tracy are doing exactly that. Here we are together,  touring the National Park Castillo de San Marcos.

Vero Beach Buddies

After leaving St. Augustine, we made a required stop in Vero Beach where we toured the new home of Greg and Sharon. They are remodeling a really cool home in Vero Beach just a block off the beach. Sharon and Greg have the most creative and classiest taste when decorating. Their Island Packet 40 is the #1 most beautiful IP I have ever been on and their new home is turning out exactly the same way. Here is a picture of our pretty Ladies….

Sharon and Radeen out to dinner together is always fun with this team.

Our cruising mentor, Carey first took us south in 2011 and taught us how to enjoy Biscayne Bay and Coconut Grove. Then he taught us how to sail into the Bahamas and we all enjoyed the Abacos for several months. We caught up with Carie and Julie for a fun night out.

This is our mentor for cruising, Carey and Julie meet up in Vero

Off to Cocoa Village

Overall the years we have cruises south, our #1 best IP Friend and land support team has been Robert Wiley.  Every year we pass thru heading south or north, Bob is always there for us and he helps us with anything we need from moving cars north and south to picking up a new Samsung Tablet to sharing ice cream in the village.  Thank you Bob, we really appreciate your friendship and support:

Robert Wiley and Radeen and Hayden enjoy the ice cream parlor in Cocoa Village

The Final Push to Stuart FL

We departed Cocoa Village with our final push for STUART FLORIDA, our dream home away from home. This was another 4 day push down the ICW motoring in calm seas on the easy ICW. Here we are arriving OUR HAPPY PLACE…..STUART FLORIDA and Sunset Bay Marina.

Happy Hayden arriving his happy place Stuart, FL

Sunset Bay Marina at Sunset. So beautiful

Sunset Bay Marina, our Happy Place

This is our stopping point for Thanksgiving and Christmas, Sunset Bay Marina, Stuart Florida. WE LOVE THIS PLACE and we feel at home here. The marina is run so well. The facilities are perfect. The town is a dream, and our good friends of Mack Sails and Mack Yacht Services are here. Colin and Travis make us feel home here as well.

This blog post is a catch-up post as we are currently in Turks and Caicos and waiting for the weather to move onto USVI. We have been using Facebook as our live updates and you can follow us there at:

The Map of this Leg: Beaufort SC to Stuart FL

Departed Beaufort, SC Nov 3, 2018 and arrived Stuart, FL Nov 16, 2018