Port Credit Marine Survey
& Yacht Delivery
Society of Accredite Marine Surveyors
|Primer For First Timers Heading South On
Toronto - Dry Tortugas - Bahamas
|I have tried to break these tips (many of
them learned the hard way) into logical
however there are some overlaps where
issues fall under two categories.DO NOT run the canals or the ICW at night
! This was so obvious to me that I never
thought to include it in my narrative however
a recent presentation by an "experienced"
cruiser recounting his (mis)adventures in
night running parts of the NY State Canals
at night made me realize the importance of
this caveat. Don't do it, this is dangerous.
The further south you get the faster and
earlier it gets dark. This is why we plan
on anchoring by 1500hrs. This gives us time
to get to our alternative anchorage if the
first one doesn't work out for some reason.
Lockmasters on the Erie Canal System tell me that 350 to 450 Canadian boats pass through the locks on the way south each year. For those of you planning to join the migration for the first time I offer the following suggestions that may ease the learning curve.
Almost everything you read about the ICW talks about the Norfolk, VA to Miami, FL section but in truth you can cruise inside with only short outside runs from Duluth Minnesota through the Great Lakes, down the east coast all the way to Texas.
Although all of my suggestions are based on personal experience, I must add that some experienced cruisers disagree with some of my opinions. There's more than one way to catch a lobster. Think it over and make your own decisions.
Anyone can successfully manage this voyage if you think of it as nothing more than a long series of daytrips. The longest open water passage between Toronto and the Bahamas is from Toronto to Oswego and although the tips may look intimidating to the novice cruiser, they, like the voyage itself are simple enough if taken one step at a time. The only guarantee on this trip is that it will not be what you thought.
|1.||.||The Boat as long as it runs and floats|
|2.||.||Power & Sail Differences . not as much as you would think|
|3.||.||Boat Preparation, Spares & Maintenance the Boy Scouts got it right.|
|4.||.||Preferred Equipment hot tubs and DVD players not really.|
|5.||.||Power Management and I dont mean the admiral.|
|6.||.||Ground Tackle & how to use it and were not talking football|
|7.||.||Mooring Balls & Docks free and otherwise.|
|8.||.||Dinghies the family car.|
|9.||.||Reading the Water its in Greek.|
|10.||.||Marks on the Charts what you see may not be what you get.|
|11.||.||Navigation Equipment and why chart plotters can be dangerous|
|12.||.||Maps, Charts and Guides some are great, some are no more than glossy ads.|
|13.||.||Weather, Wind & Waves the second thing you better get right.|
|14.||.||Communications WiFi to satellite phones.|
|15.||.||Provisions & Free Supplements lobster, conch, mahi, blue fish, oysters etc.|
|16.||.||Entertainment aside from anchoring antics.|
|17.||.||Cost just like Disney World, a plan for every budget.|
|18.||The Three G's Guess !|