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A Cruiser's Guide to the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway Virginia - Miami  

A Milemarker Guide to The (Atlantic) Intracoastal Waterway (ICW)

(Author unknown)


The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway extends from Norfolk to Miami. It is a protected route that allows vessels with less than about six feet of draft and up to 65 feet of vertical height to avoid going outside. Albemarle Sound, Pamlico Sound and the Neuse River in North Carolina can be rough; otherwise, the route consists of rivers, creeks and manmade cuts and is quite sheltered.  This page describes the Virginia – Miami Atlantic ICW.


Virginia and North Carolina


MILE -3.9             VA - LAFAYETTE RIVER

Anchor just off the channel and in the vicinity of the yacht club. You should find about 10' of water.


Much-used anchorage just beyond R"36" southbound, adjoining ICW channel. Good holding but can become choppy from wakes. A good starting point or layover for the bridge restrictions of Norfolk & Suffolk.


Dismal Swamp Canal Route



If you take the Dismal Swamp Canal -- and you should if your draft is less than about six feet -- this is a good, free tie-up spot with water and shore side heads. You can also anchor in the canal at night, as the locks do not open then and no traffic passes through in darkness. Show an anchor light anyway. In season, there is a raft all the way across the channel! No services, but a gas station right beside the lock at the south end of the Dismal. Hurricane tie-ups at dolphins outside Deep Creek and South Mills locks or inside at bulkheads. There are tie-ups north of lock at South Mills to wooden poles along east side. Great wall along west side, but nothing to tie to. The locks open only four times per day; the first is 08:30 and the last is 15:30. Immediately south of Deep Creek lock is a small, free dock with space for two or three boats. It is quiet and a short walk to the bridge and across to a Food Lion supermarket. Another free dock is on the left. It is a bit noisier. You can leave early because you do not have to wait for the first bridge opening of the day.


Behind # 13 at Goat Island is a pretty spot with good holding.


The charm of this town is in the residents, whose Rose Buddies present flowers to the ladies and greets all with a wine and cheese party at 5 p.m. Restaurants and marina facilities are on the waterfront and it is less than two miles to shopping. Free 48-hour slips (no water or electricity) can accommodate 15-20 boats. To starboard, just south of the bridge, are transient slips with power - very reasonable, rented by the accounting firm by the docks - more sheltered in a SE blow, when the whole area gets rough. NOTE: Elizabeth City Twin Highway Bridge opens on demand except from 07:00 - 09:00 and 16:00 - 18:00, when it opens only at 07:30, 08:30, 16:30 and 17:30.


Virginia Cut Route (Flipper's Route)



It does not get more convenient than this, but there is little privacy. Stores are close by and there is tie-up space at the town bulkhead.


Reported 6 feet and quiet, just off ICW at mouth of creek. Deeper water inside the creek. The superb anchorage has a tricky entrance. Best water is halfway between the ICW Marker 46 (leave to port entering) and the tip of the point on the right side of the creek, which actually looks like an island of marsh grass. There are pipe stakes in between with no colors. When we were there, we left one to port and one to starboard, but who knows if they will be there next time.


No anchorage, but several marinas, and some are better than others are. Call other cruisers to check.


Just N of Buck Island in 7 - 8 feet, near G "153" (stay clear of the 5-foot shoal) is the closest anchorage to the north end of Albemarle Sound. Not scenic, but functional.


Well-protected anchorages just north of Albemarle Sound. At G "163" with 8-10 feet MLW. Go 265 degrees to the funnel leading into the creek; you will not actually see the anchorage until you're in it, but it opens into a wide space with 9-10 feet MLW and good holding. Distinguishing landmark is the brown, low land void of trees to N of the entrance. About 1/2 mile before entrance, look for a large yellow commercial float to starboard.


Virginia Cut and Dismal Swamp routes join on Albemarle Sound



Anchor just at the mouth of the river or swing south past the first bend.

MILE 100              NC - ALLIGATOR RIVER

In expected heavy weather from the west, there is good holding on the western shore between Newport News Point and the Discontinued Spoil Area. Expect some tide surge.

MILE 101              NC - ALLIGATOR RIVER

In southeasterlies, the Eastern Shore area between Swan Creek gives some shelter. Enter just below G "37" and note that it is limited to medium draft vessels.


Opposite Deep Point in 7 feet. Decent shelter and holding (used by tugs and barges as well as pleasure craft). One ICW veteran called this his "favorite anchorage," perhaps because he often got shaken up in Albemarle Sound en route.


For northerly protection, anchor north of R46. It is far enough away from ICW that wakes are not a problem.


Some guides and cruisers recommend this and others do not, saying it is unprotected in any weather and has marginal holding. One says they have had no problem anchoring (have done it 3 times), the water seems deeper than the chart says. With a 4 1/2' draft, they went much farther in and anchored just offshore for Northerly protection.


Anchor north of the Marsh in 9 - 15 feet with good shelter from waves but not wind. Good holding. Enter between R "24" and G "23" A wooded, scenic favorite, and two miles south of the Wilkerson high bridge.

MILE 136              NC - BELHAVEN

Nice town with historic houses, friendly people, excellent shopping facilities and a couple of pretty good restaurants. Best to take a slip where the breakwater will give shelter, as the anchorage is not so good. Golf carts licensed for streets are available at marinas for shopping trips. Why can not all states do this?

MILE 136              NC - PUNGO CREEK

Attractive, spacious, sheltered, 7-8 feet of water and about 2 miles from Belhaven by dinghy. Holding may be poor.

MILE 153              NC - EASTHAM CREEK

Anchor in the creek in 7 feet with good shelter but fishermen and local boat traffic, or just off the ICW in 10 feet opposite Store Pt.

MILE 159              NC - GALE CREEK

Convenient to north entrance to Bay River, with good holding and wave protection in about 7 feet.

MILE 174              NC - BROAD CREEK

Enter marked channel and anchor. The deep area NW of #3 is popular but anywhere past there is OK. Traps may be thick in season. The area between Brown Creek and Gideon Creek are also popular for those wishing to go farther in.

MILE 181              NC - ORIENTAL

Probably the sailing center of North Carolina, with fine facilities in town and hospitality. In Oriental harbor, anchor between R "8" and the 45' bridge (sailboats) or above the bridge off Dewey Point (motorboats). Not deep water and holding is marginal in mud; two anchors recommended. If you arrive early, you may find free space at the town dock. If you have a short mast, proceed through that bridge and up the creek on the left (Green's Creek). Well protected anchorage, especially farther up (1/4 to 1/2 mi.) Whittaker Creek has three marinas, two of which have some transient slips, two repair yards, a sailing school and lots of private docks but there is not really any room to anchor. If the anchorage is full, some will anchor outside the breakwater in the lee of the village when wind is calm or from the North.


Very pleasant spot with 7-foot depths, attractive shoreline, good shelter, good holding and plenty of room. Enter at Qk Fl "9" and proceed in 7' MLW. A favorite before tackling a potentially nasty Neuse River northbound. There is a dinghy-accessible shrimp processing plant where you can buy shrimp directly from the sorting line.

MILE 185              NC - NEW BERN

This is a side trip up the Neuse River. It is located off the ICW by some 14 miles, but worth it if you have the time. There are a couple marinas and an anchorage area.

MILE 204              NC - BEAUFORT (say "boh-fert")

Major boating center, especially for sailing cruisers and the downtown waterfront has become very commercial, with rental moorings. First good access to Atlantic Ocean south of Norfolk, so worldwide range of hailing ports to be seen on transoms. At the "back door," enter Town Creek BETWEEN G "1" and G "7" as one marks the creek and the other the channel to the bridge. More popular (but rougher) anchorage is at the town front, and a dinghy dock is there. If you use chain or double anchors to prevent swinging into the breakwater, anchorage in Taylor Creek are possible on the southern shore or upstream at the fish plant. CAUTION: Do not anchor near the center of the channel; a 100' fish-processing ship uses it before daylight and in early evening. Traveling south in late fall, you will probably notice a moderating in temperatures about this point. Cape Hatteras seems to be a dividing line for climate.


Marks are not easy to see, and do not mistake the newer "3B" for "4A"

Mile 210               NC - SPOONER'S CREEK

Beautiful anchorage among homes. Anchor past the marina in about 5 feet. Entrance has a range but I have bumped there at low tide. Channel is shoaling badly. I was hard aground at mid-tide going in and out. Will not try again until it gets dredged. Do not expect any help from the locals. Too bad because it is a nice place.


Barely 5 feet at entrance (favor south side) but 7 feet inside. Only room for 2-3 boats and fighter jets roar overhead but good shelter.

MILE 245              NC - MILE HAMMOCK

Poor holding reported by some (although a MAX, a big CQR and a Delta anchor worked just fine for others) and the only place to stop in the long stretch through Camp Lejeune. About 5-6 feet at entrance. Sometimes has lots of helicopter noise. Rarely closed to pleasure craft (during Marine Corps landing exercises), but plan an alternate just in case. Because of the tendency to shoal at the entrance, I go in at full throttle. Make sure that your anchor is set well.


Watch for shoaling and cross-currents where the ICW crosses the New River Inlet.


Deeper water to Stbd., near the reeds when heading in (south side of the channel), not the north side which appears bold. Anchor carefully, perhaps with two hooks (some report marginal holding) behind coastal barrier islands and S of bridge in 10 feet. Plenty of room, but complex currents and fast powerboat traffic, even after dark. Sleep to sounds of ocean surf. Avoid on weekends and holidays. Daymarks have been shifted and renumbered since the 1996 hurricane and subsequent re-dredging.


Sheltered from waves and off the waterway, but unmarked sharp shoaling from 12 feet to 3 feet in middle of harbor near "4". Ask for advice on Channel 16 from locals, who are helpful. Very busy area on weekends and holidays, with small powerboats and PWCs everywhere.

MILE 295              NC - SNOW'S CUT

The current here is swift; time your passage to catch an ebb (southbound).


Recently rebuilt and improved, dredged to 5 feet in the channel (but shoaled to 2-3 feet by Spring 1998), several transient slips, and a nice facility ashore.

MILE 308              NC - BALD HEAD ISLAND

No anchorage, but a nice modern marina at the Cape Fear River entrance with floating docks and a restaurant. Golf carts to rent for exploring the island, which is worth a visit.

MILE 309              NC - SOUTHPORT MARINA

One-half mile south of G "1" upon re-entering the ICW from the Cape Fear River. Fuel, nice slips and a parts/maintenance facility.

MILE 310              NC - DUTCHMAN CREEK

Near Southport, a town that gets good reports from several cruisers. Enter at center channel to avoid shoaling on either shore; the entire entry is somewhat shallow, so approach slowly and watch the tide to avoid being trapped inside at low tide. Anchor near mouth of creek in 12 feet or farther up. May have mosquitoes, but otherwise a fine spot.

MILE 311              NC - UNNAMED GUNKHOLE

This is not for deep draft boats. Just south of R8, turn north and pass over a submerged dam and beyond the signs saying that boats can not enter. At low water, we read no less than 6' at the entrance, though we did follow directions from a boat that had sounded their way in and recommended that we hold far to port upon entering, and far to starboard when we got past the submerged dam. We had no less than 8' the rest of the way in. We anchored in 9' of water, far beyond the boat ramp that is well used by locals.


Have your camera ready for this relic. Occasional commercial/government vessels will force openings besides the scheduled hourly ones, so do not hesitate to move up early.

South Carolina


Some like the anchorage on the ocean side of the ICW intersection in 13-15 feet (Le Point). Also possible to anchor or go to marina on the Calabash side and get a ride to one of the many seafood restaurants that makes the town notable. Stay to port on the way in, shoal to Stbd. seems more permanent than most.


One of the "must" stops on the Waterway, just south of the two-mile Rock Pile section. This attractive shopping center with restaurants, theaters and a variety of stores adjoins the ICW, an airport and the main highway. Free dockage at the 1000' floating dock for two nights and rafting is encouraged, but try to avoid on weekends. No electricity or fuel. A shoal extends into the ICW from the north end of the pier, so do not cut in too soon. Please, NO WAKE when you pass. No longer has water available. I call this the most expensive free dockage in the world but would not miss it.

MILE 376              WACCAMAW RIVER

We rode out a nasty northeasterly blow in this pretty spot behind the small island across from Fl G "29" and had excellent protection in 14 feet of water. Buoy your anchor with a tripline on the Waccamaw, as there are lots of underwater logs. There are lots of other fine possibilities along this wild and beautiful river, especially close to some of the little islands. Time your run to catch a favorable current, which runs strongly.

MILE 382              PRINCE CREEK

This meander of the Waccamaw is gorgeous.

MILE 396              BUTLER ISLAND

A natural wildlife scenic area with at least two nesting eagle families is behind Butler island; there is good holding in 20-28 feet but use an anchor tripline near the island. Well protected from east through south.

MILE 403              GEORGETOWN

You can anchor off the waterfront or live more easily by going to one of the marinas in this nice little town. Stay a day, have breakfast at the local cafe, and visit with the friendly folks. Great place for kids at Halloween - merchant's dress up and hand out candies, hundreds of volunteers make it a safe adventure, right next to the waterfront. No block ice available, though.

MILE 415              MINIM CREEK

A fairly good spot to spend a night. We found enough water with a draft of six feet.

MILE 418              NORTH SANTEE RIVER

Plenty of room NW of Fl R "18" in 13-19 feet.

MILE 420              SOUTH SANTEE RIVER

A lovely spot for sunsets, complete with alligators, so do not let the cat go swimming. Can be buggy. Anchor either E or W of the ICW route.

MILE 430              MCLELLANVILLE

Good cheap fuel at the Texaco sign. No anchorage in the harbor, which is busy with commercial shrimpers.


Serious shoaling of channel. Do not cut close to markers.

MILE 436              HARBOR RIVER

Some anchor just off the waterway in 23 feet, but others recommend going farther toward the ocean to the 8-foot area.

MILE 448              PRICE CREEK

Good holding. A staging area for the restricted Ben Sawyer bridge, about two hours away at seven knots.

MILE 454              LONG CREEK

Easy entrance and good holding. You are in a marsh area so no wind protection, but good water protection.

MILE 455              DEWEE CREEK

See for miles across the grassy marshes in this beautiful place. As in other places with strong tidal currents, try to pick a spot where the wind blows across the creek, not in line with it, to avoid a wind-against-current fiasco.

MILE 461              INLET CREEK

N of waterway at "G119" in about 11ft. Only one mile north of the Ben Sawyer bridge. Good place for catching morning bridge opening.

MILE 462              BEN SAWYER BRIDGE

Monitor VHF 13 and check the morning and evening opening restrictions. The marina just south of the bridge is convenient and friendly while you wait for repairs to the bridge mechanism. Inlet Creek at Mile 461 is a good layover point north of the Ben Sawyer. Watch for shoaling for about a mile north of the bridge.


Good anchorage in the Ashley River is adjacent to the USCG, before the Municipal Marina and to port, next to the 55' bridge at the marina. Holding is good, but current is swift. Both Ashley and Municipal marinas have dinghy docks, and there is a courtesy car for slip-holders at Ashley marina. Charleston is our most favorite port-of-call. We generally spend three days there, taking in the scenery, visiting the shops, and eating in some of the splendid restaurants, which are in abundance. The ICW enters on to the ASHLEY RIVER with the ASHLEY MARINA and CITY MARINA directly across the channel. Be extra careful docking here at anything other than slack water. The currents are fierce. Make sure to check which way your boat is being set before making your approach to the dock. Always dock bow into the current, which can run up to 4 kts on the ebb.

MILE 471              WAPPOO CREEK

15 feet of water if you stay close to the main shore behind this marshy island (approach from N only) just south of the drawbridge. Strong current but good shelter from wind. Purple martins keep the bug population under control. The bridge is restricted 0630-09:00 on weekdays.


The water really rips through between Wappoo Creek and the Stono River; expect five knots. Try to hit this spot with a favorable current and do give a call on VHF 13 and 16 before entering; it is hazardous to meet another vessel here. Turbulent water has taken a toll on the sides of the cut, with homes on the shore trying their best to hold their real estate.

MILE 472              STONO RIVER

Anchor between ICW and Buzzard's Roost marina. Plenty of room.

MILE 488              CHURCH CREEK

East of "G77" is a long stretch suitable for anchoring. Little protection from wind. Boats on Waterway Net have reported using this anchorage in 1998.

MILE 495              TOOGOODOO CREEK

Enter approximately 1/4 mile south of R "102" and stay close to the north shore after avoiding the shoal at the ICW junction. Watch your chart closely. Go beyond the bend for good holding and protection from weather in about 20' water.

MILE 496              TOM POINT CREEK

This whole area is deserted, but this creek is downright spooky. Excellent depth, holding and shelter, and you might as well be on the moon. I called a ham on the radio just to hear a voice from outside.

MILE 497              STEAMBOAT CREEK

Turn south at R "110" and then make a wide swing to avoid the shoal at R "2" in the creek. Good holding and shelter.

Mile 501.5           FISHING CREEK

1/2 mile south of Dawho River Bridge, turn at Red l32, anchor in about 20 feet MHW. Tidal range here is about 8 feet, so expect strong current (we had about 2 knots much of the time). Grasses, no trees, but not much fetch from any direction.

MILE 512              ASHEPOO RIVER

High banks with trees make this pretty. 17 feet of water close to the N shore.


Shoaling to six feet or less at MLW reported between markers 184 and 186

MILE 530              BRICKYARD CREEK

About 8-10 feet at MLW behind the small island in this meander. Visually nice, but aurally impaired by jets from nearby Parris Island airbase. Can be buggy, too. Tide range is about 7 feet.

MILE 536              BEAUFORT (say "byoofert")

The anchorage off the waterfront is imperfect and the town is interesting to explore, so this is a good place to stop at a marina. Real stores are close by, the architecture is lovely, and lots of movies are shot here. Or, southbound, turn at the bridge, favor the starboard side, and go up Factory Creek. Farther up the creek, the passage turns toward the north and becomes much wider, allowing room for swinging on the hook in less current. Ladies Island Marina is "dingy friendly". Groceries, booze, laundry, and bank are in easy walking distance. BEAUFORT is definitely worth a stop. Its historical homes, tree-lined streets, and Old South ambience are absolutely charming. You have your choice of two marinas, PORT ROYAL LANDING, MM 539, or the city's BEAUFORT MARINA, MM 536. I have stayed at both. My choice would be the city's. Convenient to everything, and gracious people. Leaving Beaufort, you are going to feel like you are back to going in circles again, and you are. Frequently, you will be heading South while you are trying to go North.

MILE 544              CHOWEN/COWEN CREEK

Up creek about 2 mi. north of QFL light at mouth of creek in 12 feet SE of grassy island. Very good holding but protection poor. Rode out Hurricane Kate here on 21 Nov 85.


Enter only from N, and anchor in 10-11 foot depths among tiny islands. Beautiful anchorage. Note the 6-foot tide range and strong current.

MILE 557              ELBA ISLAND CUT,

MM 577, which is the passage between Bird Island and the Savannah River. It is only a short distance across, but watch your drift, the current can run up to 4 kts on the ebb. You are getting close to HILTON HEAD ISLAND. The best place to fuel for many miles is the RV RESORT & YACHT CLUB, roughly MM 557, at ICW marker 20. They may allow you to stay overnight, also at a reasonable price. After fueling, if you want a great experience go to WINDMILL HARBOUR. You will enter through a lock into a basin lined with beautiful homes acting as backdrops for boats of all sizes tied up along the various seawalls. Dinner at the Yacht Club, which is open to marina guests, is a memorable experience. The decor is Southern elegance, and the food superb. I have wondered what would happen to the slip rental charges that accumulated if you got caught inside the locks, and you wanted to leave and could not, either due to bad weather or because the gates would not open.


A bail-out anchorage to port (southbound) at Ferry Point near G "1" and about one mile south of the high bridge. Somewhat narrow but good holding in 14'-17' MLW.

MILE 565              BULL CREEK

It is easier to anchor in the 8-13 foot section above the bend than in the deeper water downstream. Good holding and adequate swinging room. Friendly local shrimpers.


MILE 583              THUNDERBOLT

This famous, large, aging marina (Palmer Johnson) is geared to megayacht repair but is friendly to small craft and has full facilities and services, including daily newspaper and an email line. Excellent restaurant 1/4 mile walk from yard. It is the most convenient waterfront to Savannah, which is well worth a taxi ride to see. Visit Factor's Walk there, a restored warehouse district with stone streets and buildings. Do not be intimidated by the name or the size of the facilities. Sally, the Dockmaster, makes the little guy feel at home. They have a great ship's store where you can buy a PJ shirt at a reasonable price, and make like you own a big one. There are a number of reasonably priced decent restaurants just down the way from them. Their fuel prices are reported to be pretty good, but if you can hang on for a while, try and do so, for a really great fueling stop at Hilton Head.

MILE 584              HERB RIVER

Watch the shoals at the entrance. Good anchorage inside in 13-19 feet MLW. Grasses on one side (and many birds), and very nice houses on the other. It is easy to see what the tide is doing, because the 10-foot watermarks on the dock pilings show, and every dock has a section of floating dock connected by a gangplank that goes up and down with the tides.

MILE 590              ISLE OF HOPE

Attractive old houses, adequate anchorage among yacht club moorings.

MILE 595              MOON RIVER

Is not very wide, and four feet deep inside. I grounded here in style, one day.


It is part of the well-known LANDINGS development, a very upscale residential community, about 15 miles from Savannah by car. Be sure to watch out for the shoal at their G 5 mark. Give it a wide berth to the port. They used to be a Boat US Marina, give 25% discounts, and the third day free. You have use of the various club houses for dinner, and can make arrangements to golf. IMHO, the food does not measurer up to the surroundings.


Watch the route (wrong side of the green mark) at the S end of Hell Gate and stay away from the shoals where the ICW goes through the Middle Marsh. It is essential to use the range to stay out of trouble.

MILE 606              REDBIRD CREEK

Upon entering Florida Passage, this spot has good holding in 12' - 20'. Go just beyond the first bend for increased protection.


Abundant space in deep (10' to 40') water with good holding. Tugs with barges "on the head" sometimes lay over by nosing the barges in just east of R "102". Pleasant and wooded in Cane Patch Creek adjacent to Pine Island.

MILE 613              BIG TOM CREEK SE of "FLG 105"

Go in one mile, past the bend, or in the first leg in 10-12 feet. Kilkenny Creek, which is just across the waterway, is much deeper. Reversing currents. Marsh.

MILE 614              KILKENNY CREEK

A much-used marina (fuel available) with a sizable shrimp fleet is approximately one mile upstream from R "106" and there is an anchorage just beyond.

MILE 630              WAHOO RIVER

Go up about 1.5 miles and anchor among the trees in a pretty place with good protection and ample water depth.

MILE 643              CRESCENT RIVER

An attractive place west of the ICW, among the endless miles of marshes that look much like Midwestern grain fields. Nice spot right up past the shrimp boats. Very friendly folks ashore there; you can buy shrimp in season. Strong currents, as usual for this area.


Do not run straight from one red stake to the next at the north end of Old teakettle Creek. Favor the southeast shore and steer in wide, sweeping curves to avoid the shoals.


With 15' to nearly 40' of water, here you can find good protection and good holding. Avoid the shoal off Mary Creek and proceed beyond the bend. Another favorite. Grasses all around and lots of bends in the creek so not much fetch.

MILE 666              WALLY'S LEG

Not a great spot, but trees give some shelter from the NE. Bahamian moor suggested, as current reverses strongly. (Molly B)


A nice detour with good anchorage, this river is navigable from G "220" to just before the high bridge at St. Simons Island (G "241"). Fort Frederica National Memorial, from the Revolutionary War, is a "must see" place that can be reached by dinghy. The stretch between the fort and the next turn, southbound, is especially scenic. Anchor here behind the stand of trees for protection from easterly storms. Watch for the granddaddy of all alligators, a permanent resident, as you enter from the north at G "229".

MILE 679              BRUNSWICK

Spent hurricane Gordon here. It is a working port, but you can find a place to set the hook.

MILE 684.5          JEKYLL ISLAND

No anchorage nearby, but Jekyll Harbor Marina has fuel, a restaurant, a pool and bicycling on paths around the entire island. JEKYLL ISLAND HISTORIC MARINA, MM 683, was closed last October. You will have already passed JEKYLL HARBOR MARINA'S floating docks. If you do want to stop to see the sights of Old World splendor, the ISLAND CLUB is certainly worth a visit, but it works better if you are Southbound. At your cruising speed, you should be able to make it to PALMER- JOHNSON, MM 583, If you are traveling through here at low tide, it looks worse than it is. You should have about 8 ft at MLW.

MILE 696              BRICKHILL RIVER

The north entrance at R "40" is very deep. Watch the first bend and stay in the middle; the chart is accurate and the river navigable for the next nine miles, with wild horses and mansions you can visit ashore. Drop the hook just south of Hawkins Creek (20'-30' deep) adjacent to one of many backpacker campgrounds or anchor in 13 feet (low tide) about 1/4 mile north of landing at Plum Hill Plantation. This house built by Carnegie for one of his kids is a bit shabby now, but well worth a visit. Some say the south entrance is tricky for deep-draft boats, but others report it is straightforward, with 20+ feet of water.

MILE 702              DELAROCHE CREEK

SW of "R58", 0.3 mi. from waterway near creek.

MILE 706              ST. MARYS

Located on the St. Marys River. Anchor off the marina and dinghy in. Nice little town. One cruiser liked the town, but not the marina. There is no place to buy groceries and no courtesy transportation.

MILE 708              KINGS BAY

Note that the mark colors reverse as you enter Kings Bay. Stay just outside the channel to avoid confrontations with nuclear submarines.


Now famous for the JFK Jr. wedding. Excellent anchorage just off the National Seashore wharf in about 11 feet MLW (go east and then north from R "40", favoring the eastern shore). Dinghy to pier and walk through the woods trails and across to the ocean. Gorgeous place to lie over for a day.



Rough anchorage and limited water depth at marina (be sure to stay on the outside of the floating dock) but an interesting, friendly old town that is worth a visit.

721         Kingsley Creek Rail Road Bridge

Vert. Cl. - RR5'; Restricted Period - none; Regulated Hours - closes w/oncoming train. The FERNANDINA HARBOUR MARINA, MM 721, DOES NOT take reservations so try and plan your arrival for no later than 1630. I always fuel at FLORIDA PETROLEUM'S COMMERCIAL DOCK at MM 717. They also have a few slips for rent. You can save maybe 10 cents per gallon, but if you are buying only a few 100 gallons, the bother may not be worth the extra effort.


Shifting shoals and frequent mark changes make the mouth of Amelia River a very treacherous place. Get local advice on VHF.

MILE 735              FORT GEORGE RIVER

Anchor Bahamian-style in narrow but deep water along the southern shore between R "2" and G "5" (the channel is inactive but show a light). Dinghy over to Kingsley Plantation and its wildlife refuge for an interesting tour.


This is a side trip up the St. Johns River. It is a protected anchorage and there is a West Marine close by.


Handy little anchorage in 20 feet MLW to E of small island with easy entrance. Bahamian moor will keep you in the center.


Watch carefully for big ships here. They move fast and the current squirts you out of the ICW suddenly into a blind curve of the commercial channel.

MILE 765              PINE ISLAND

Enter at G "25" and anchor in 10' - 12' in good holding. Attractive and convenient anchorage in the bight with some wind protection from trees. Narrow sections call for two anchors.

MILE 778              ST. AUGUSTINE

Hospitable, touristy and plenty of fun with many restaurants and lots to see (especially the Lightner Museum and the Castillo de San Marcos) within walking distance of the waterfront. One cruiser found less than four feet just outside the municipal marina slips at low tide; you can have dinghy access to the marina from the anchorage for $6 per day. Exposed anchorage on either side of the Bridge of Lions. Be careful near the inlet, where currents are strong.


Probably the trickiest place on the Waterway, where strong currents shift the channel faster than the Coast Guard can move the markers. Get local advice from St. Augustine Sea Tow on VHF; just ask "How is Matanzas?" and they will brief you.

MILE 796              MARINELAND

Florida's original "Look it the fish" attraction is a nice stop, with a good little marina. Excellent for kids, too.

MILE 809              OLD CEMENT PLANT

Turn west between G11 and G13. A great spot, especially in bad weather, but do not block the Sea Ray docks. No less than 8¹ depth all the way in at low water. Not particularly beauteous but we saw herons and other shore birds.

MILE 829              DAYTONA BEACH

Halifax Harbor Marina gets my vote as the best on the Waterway. Protected, friendly, conveniently located and well run. Seven Seas Marina is perfect for do-it-yourself work and has a little restaurant where cruisers gather. Anchorage on either side of the old (now gone) Seabreeze bridge. Talk to the helpful bridge tenders to avoid the construction areas.


Turn east between R10 and R12 and find sandy beaches (to take your dog ashore) and 10-14 feet of water. There is very little boat traffic here. It is part of the Ponce de Leon Inlet, which is too shallow for deep draft boats.


Good anchorage behind the island and the town is a short row away. Since the 1997 routing of the ICW through Sheepshead Cut, there is limited space (perhaps 5-10 boats) on either side of the channel, and the restricted space calls for double anchors to limit swing.

MILE 862              MOSQUITO LAGOON

Anchor east of Green #19 in charted 7'. Calm nights only!

MILE 878              TITUSVILLE

Anchor between G "1" and the swing bridge in settled weather, or go south of the bridge on the eastern side near the causeway if it is blowing from the north.


You can anchor in the lee of the causeways at all the high bridges in event of heavy weather. Check charts for water depths.

MILE 885              ADDISON POINT

Either side of bridge to east of channel. Have watched shuttle launches from here.

MILE 897              COCOA

Anchor off the channel and as close in as is comfortable. There is a terrific, old-time hardware store in Cocoa.


Go east to Dragon Point just before the Eau Gallie Causeway (SR 518) to a very protected anchorage in the Banana River. Anchor on the west side of the channel either at the mouth (closer to the stores) or by the bridge (closer to the marina) in 10' to 18' depths. You can also anchor above the Mathis bridge. Indian Harbor Marina has a dinghy ramp and several shopping malls are about one mile away.

MILE 945              INDIAN RIVER

Jones Fruit Dock is $10/night... no electric, heads, or showers but lots of just-picked oranges and grapefruit to buy (cheap). Depth at the dock is barely 6'.

MILE 952              VERO BEACH

No anchoring, but the mooring prices are reasonable. Free shuttle bus service may be available.

MILE 966              FABER COVE

Follow the marked channel to the east. It is just south of the Fort Pierce inlet. Anchor either just past buoy #7 or go all the way into the cove, depending on the weather.

MILE 987              STUART

Nice spot to spend a couple days. A park and stores are close by the anchorage.

MILE 992              PECK'S LAKE

Good spot to dinghy ashore, located just east of ICW. The beach is just a short walk over the dunes. Turn east just south of #19 and steer 60 degrees into deep water. The anchorage area is bigger than the charts indicate.


This is a popular place but there is plenty of room. A dinghy landing is at the small bridge north of the anchorage and stores are close by, including a West Marine.. NOTE: The N. Palm Beach City commission has passed an ordinance requiring all boaters using the Little Lake Worth anchorage off Old Port Cove to buy a 5 day pass if anchoring more than 24 hours (YACHT-L, 5/1/98).

MILE 1020            LAKE WORTH INLET

Many good anchorage off Palm Beach western shore.

MILE 1031            LANTANA

Anchor SW of bridge. Good over-night anchorage.

MILE 1048            LAKE BOCA RATON

Anchor in the north end where there is more water.


SW side of bridge has moorings provided by city at $10 per night. City docks on NE side of bridge are 36 cents per foot off-season, including water and electricity. There is a dinghy dock servicing the moorings to the SW of the Las Olas Bridge. The Municipal docks to the NE of the bridge have been completely renovated, and now offer full facilities (except fuel) including showers, laundry, pump-out, etc. Fuel is available 2 miles south at the 17th Street Causeway Bridge - Bahia Mar, Pier 66, and Lauderdale Marinas. Overnight anchorage is available at Lake Sylvia, about 1 mi. South of Las Olas. West Marine offers a free shuttle to their store, located at US1 and S.R. 84. Shopping, with bus service, is located within 2 miles west on Las Olas.

MILE 1070            HOLLYWOOD

We moved into the cut and found plenty of water and plenty of protection.


Channel on north side of Rickenbacker bridge leads to anchorage. Go past marina on right and then go right into Marine Stadium waters. Anchor between small island and stadium. Crowded on weekends

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