Cruising South -- What To Expect Along The Icw / Edition 1

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Overview

Joan Healy starting her boating endeavors with a small canoe and it soon turned into a long time love affair with boats and boating.
Like most of us, she started in a small boat and learned along the way, finally achieving her long time dream of liveaboard cruising.
Joan has written this highly illustrated book to help the first time Snow Birds understand the ICW and what to expect from this diverse, ever changing boater's highway to the south.
This is not a cruising guide book. You will not find listings of the best anchorages, lovely restaurants or fancy marinas. In these pages you will find what it will be like to make the trip the first time. You will learn what to expect, what you will see, and often, what you should avoid.
If you are considering this trip for the first time or the twentieth, you own it to yourself to read Cruising South.
About The Author:
Joan Healy didn't come from a long line of boaters. No one in her immediate family owned a boat, so her boating experience was minimal and confined to invitations from friends. It wasn't until her youngest child was in high school that she and her husband purchased a canoe and a true love affair began.
When she and her husband purchased a sailboat, there was more to learn. Joan took classes in sailing, and as her knowledge grew, so did her enjoyment. Soon she was teaching both seamanship, piloting and enjoying every spare moment aboard.
This is her first nautical book, and with it she hopes to share some of the knowledge she has gained during her years of cruising the ICW from the Erie Barge Canal to Palm Beach, Florida.
Author Comments: Don't deny it, because I know better. Time and time again you've whispered to yourself, "Someday I'll go cruising." The words just tumble out. Before I owned a boat, I said it almost daily.
At the time I had no knowledge of seamanship and never imagined it could happen, but over the years I acquired both a boat and some fundamental boating education. I continued to dream and envision turning the dream into reality. As the improbable turned into the distinctly possible, I still harbored doubts about the feasibility of such a venture. I asked myself, "Will I enjoy cruising? Can I adapt to living on a boat?" The eventual answer was yes.
Your first cruise is unique. Anticipation builds as you prepare for what is an unknown. All the sights and events become priceless experiences as you make the journey.
I viewed the water in a whole new way when it became my neighborhood. Water surrounds and supports you. It's your traveling companion as well as your means of transit. Its color changes daily, alternating between pale tints and deep shades of blue. I ran through brilliant blues that sparkled like diamonds, deep dark blues where no reflections looked back, foamy white tops breaking over blue-green, and brackish water that resembled cheap burgundy. Water can be comforting or threatening, forcing you to harness yourself to the boat as it fights you every step of the way.
I began to connect to nature, almost hypnotized when pelicans folded back their wings and dove from 30 feet to catch dinner. Dolphins played catch-me-if-you can. They always won.
Life slows down, and you have time to think and reflect. Deadlines and clocks are left behind. There are no schedules to keep or phones to answer. You begin to live by your own rhythms. The only sound you hear is the lapping of waves, the same sound heard by the earliest mariners.
Each day is golden. The view of New York's skyline from a sailboat surpassed any postcard. Swans swam to the back of our boat for handouts when we anchored near Solomons Island in Maryland. Interspersed between the cities and towns on the Intracoastal Waterway, all we saw were wild grasses, trees and pristine land. Our cruises have graced us with a view of America unattainable by those who roar down the Interstate.
If you're one of those rarefied souls who say, "I'd love to go cruising someday, but doubt it could ever happen." I hope this book will convince you otherwise.
If you can dream it, you can do it.
—Joan Healy
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781892216380
  • Publisher: Bristol Fashion Publications
  • Publication date: 9/5/2000
  • Edition description: Comb Bound
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 152
  • Product dimensions: 0.35 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 5.50 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

How Long Did It Take?

One of the first questions most people ask when I tell them we took our boat from Buffalo, N.Y., to Florida is, "How long did it take?" The questioner mirrors a culture where time is golden, but we never had a rigid schedule. The cruise was more about the journey, not the destination. We'd decided in advance that if we liked an area, we'd stay as long as we pleased. Thus, the answer was, "As long as we wanted."

I tend to think in terms of how long it took to arrive at the point we considered a trip like this. If someone had asked me when we first started, I would have to say many years ago when I bought a canoe for my husband, Paul. That was the first vessel we owned and we enjoyed it immensely. We were introduced to a feeling of calm and silence that can be perceived only on the water. An idea was instilled in our minds, even though we didn't realize it at the time. After owning a canoe, we thought a sailboat was our destiny as we longed for something bigger to enable us to explore larger bodies of water.

Nonetheless, we were neophytes. We smiled and tried to look knowledgeable as the salesmen told us this boat had a furling system, despite the fact we didn't have a clue what that was. A boom vang sounded downright dangerous to me. Our false show of knowledge didn't fool anyone; the best piece of advice we received was to take a sailing class.

When we couldn't be on the water, we continued to take classes. In addition to basic boating and rules of the road, we learned piloting and navigation. We were learning continually and even beginning to feel we knew what we were doing.

Many people say if you can sail on Lake Erie with its short choppy waves, you can sail anywhere. I don't know how true that is, but Lake Erie can kick up some serious storms with little or no warning because it's the shallowest of the Great Lakes. We weathered our share, and our confidence in ourselves and our boat grew. Not only did we become better sailors, we did what all sailors eventually do: we bought a bigger boat, a Niagara 31. She is ours.

One day as our time on the water would soon end for the season, Paul said, "Let's keep the boat in next year and go to Florida."I was flabbergasted but as I thought about it, I realized we could. It was decided, and the serious planning began.


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Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter One
How Long Did It Take?

Chapter Two
We Made Lists

Chapter Three
A Pleasure Cruise?

Chapter Four
The Erie Canal

Chapter Five
The Hudson River & Three Days on the Ocean

Chapter Six
Cape May, Delaware Bay, The C&D Canal & The Chesapeake Bay

Chapter Seven
Follow the Magenta Line

Chapter Eight
South Carolina and Georgia
Chapter Nine
Welcome to Florida

Chapter Ten
Getting Ready to Go Home

Appendix One
Suppliers & Manufacturers

Appendix Two
Tools & Supplies

Appendix Three
Glossary

Books by BFP, Inc.

About The Author
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