Intracoastal Waterway Southbound ICW

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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

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6 Replies to “Intracoastal Waterway Southbound ICW”

    1. Wonderful!!! Thanks for all the detailed info, as always.
      We will spend one more winter on the Sea of Cortez, then pack up our little Pacific Seacraft Flicka 20 and bring her to the ICW. We plan to go south from the Chesapeake in the fall of 2023.
      Our IP will stay in Puget Sound/Salish Sea until…2024?

  1. Haden and Radeen,
    I have been following you for years and I love hearing about how you handle your boat, which is exactly the same as ours. I have learned many techniques and maintenance procedures from your posts.
    However, I no longer participate on Facebook or twitter.
    Would you please open an account on Truth Social and Rumble so that I can keep up with your activities and procedures?
    Thank you,
    Marilyn Hellmuth

  2. Excellent summary for MA to FL !! Deb and I will follow along too…..especially since we sold Shawnee. So our snowbird voyages will be on line and OPB.

    I suggest adding Fort Pierce FL as a stop southbound. The city marina is right downtown, just inside inlet. Lots of good restaurants and shops right there. Every Saturday morning a large farmers market, with music, and gift tents as well. Or Harbortown marina (part of Safe Harbor Marinas) just north of the inlet – good fuel dock, a large heated swimming pool, restaurant at the marina, and Publix market just a short walk. Also Shearwater Yacht yard there for repairs. Harbortown is rebuilding their slips with large floating docks. So limited space for a few years(?)
    Enjoy the journey. Safe travels.

  3. Wonderful outline and info. Thanks for sharing! Dick and I will be arm-chair following along as we sold Midnight Sun this Summer. The new owners kept the name and hailing port. They are heading South – you may see them in the Chesapeake in about a week or so if you are still there.

  4. Oh my God Hayden my head is spinning with so many memories! I feel like I’m looking back and reading my journals! How can I ever explain how much I miss Plan Sea even after 8 months traveling in Plan D! Have a wonderful trip. Loretta

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