Cruising

SAIL's 2014 Snowbird Rally down the ICW

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Join SAIL on our 2014 Snowbird Rally down the ICW. After a Halloween party kick-off in Hampton, VA, Wally Moran, longtime ICW cruiser and SAIL's Contributing Editor, will lead the troops on a journey south. We'll stop for potlucks and parties along the way and end in Miami, FL, just in time for you to stay there or head to the islands for the winter.

WHEN: October 31, 2014-December 2014

COST: $750 (includes pre-rally seminar and prep material, guide down the ICW, daily weather and routing reports and more!)

Registration is now open! Click here

 

2014 Snowbird Rally Itinerary
All dates are tentative and are subject to change.

 

Hampton, Virginia
Depart Nov. 1
Mile Marker -8

We’ll kick off our Rally with a Halloween party at the Hampton Public Piers, so bring your spookiest costume and food and beverages to share. If you arrive early, check out the Hampton auction house, the Virginia Air and Space Museum, and the history museum. Don’t forget to stock up on provisions and, if necessary, use the courtesy van to hit West Marine for last minute supplies.

In-between stops:
• Belhaven, North Carolina (town-wide ICW birthplace celebration)
• Oriental, North Carolina

 

Beaufort, North Carolina
Arrive: TBD
Mile Marker 201

At Beaufort Town Docks, we’ll grill and picnic together either dockside or in a nearby park and gazebo. The North Carolina Maritime Museum will be displaying its famous Black Beard Pirate ship and artifact exhibit.

 

 

--OR--

Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
Arrive: TBD
Mile Marker 283

Seapath Yacht Club offers plenty of amenities such as courtesy cars, grocery stores, propane refills, and on-site shops and restaurants. Plus, there’s an anchorage nearby if you’d prefer to moor. One night, we’ll throw a cruiser party. We’ll spend two days here to give you all the time you need to shop at Mayfaire Town Center.

 

 

In-between stops:
• Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
• Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
• Southport, North Carolina
• Little River, South Carolina
• Bucksport, North Carolina
• Georgetown, South Carolina

 

Charleston, South Carolina
Arrive Nov. 12
Mile Marker 469

We’ll gather at the Charleston Maritime Center (CMC) for a potluck bash held in a private room overlooking the harbor. The CMC is close to historic downtown, which has an aquarium, plenty of sites, shopping plazas and restaurants, and Patriots Point, where we can tour the USS Yorktown, submarines, the Vietnam Support Base and plenty more.

 

 

Beaufort, South Carolina
Arrive Nov. 19
Mile Marker 536

Beaufort is known for its southern charm, and the locals are thrilled to host us. At Downtown Marina, they'll help sailors acquire provisions and coordinate events while we’re there. We’ll enjoy a party, private outdoor dinner and live band that night at one of the town’s signature waterfront plantation homes.

In-between stops:
• Harbortown, South Carolina
• Isle of Hope, Georgia

 

St. Mary's, Georgia
Arrive Mid-November
Mile Marker 712

There is plenty to see at St. Mary’s. Test your film knowledge at the Film Museum, bird watch on the Colonial Coast Birding Trail or see the beauty of the town by going on a Tram tour. Sailors can also explore the oak canopies, various wildlife and beautiful beaches of nearby Cumberland Island, the largest of George’s barrier islands. We’ll join the Cruisers' Thanksgiving Potluck—an annual tradition at St. Mary's—to celebrate the holiday.

 

In-between stops:
• Fenandina Beach, Florida
• St. Johns River – Anchorage, Florida
• St. Augustine, Florida
• Daytona, Florida

 

Titusville, Florida
Mile Marker 878

Cruisers will meet at the Municipal Marina, where we have a 10% discount on fuel and docking and mooring rates. There are plenty of exciting sites to see, such as the Playa Linda Beach and the Kennedy Space Center, both of which require only a short van ride from the marina. There’s also Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, home to over 1,500 species of plants and animals, and historic downtown Titusville has multiple arts and crafts stores, a riverside park and restaurants. 

 

In-between stops:
• Melbourne, Florida
• Vero Beach, Florida
• Stuart, Florida
• Palm Beach, Florida
• Boca Raton, Florida
• Fort Lauderdale, Florida
• Miami Beach, Florida

 

Miami, Florida
Arrive Dec. 14
No Name Harbor, Bill Baggs State Park
Mile Marker 1095

Our final stop offers all the resources and activities of a state park, including some amenities. You can anchor here overnight ($20 per night) if you want to explore Miami or the park. We’ll wrap up the rally with an award ceremony, barbeque and other festivities. 


 


 

Wally Moran, a SAIL Magazine Contributing Editor, is an acknowledged expert on heading south, having traveled from his home waters of Georgian Bay in Lake Huron, through the Erie Canal and on to the ICW for more than ten years. Writing and blogging as he goes, he is constantly looking for tips to make the trip better, easier and more enjoyable for his readers. Along with his tips and techniques, he has up-to-date information on ICW hazards, shoaling and anchorages and how best to deal with them. He also knows every free dock between Norfolk and Miami and will happily share that information with ICW rally participants. Follow his ICW blog here.

 

 

Photos courtesy of TripAdvisor and floridastateparks.org

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