Rallies

The History of the ICW

by Wally Moran, Posted October 29, 2014
Those who transit the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) often talk about the strange sense of history they feel while plying its waters. At anchor, whether in St. Mary’s or St. Augustine, they say they can’t help but think of those who have come before them: the tugs and barges, the pirates and looters, the sailors, the soldiers.
For many, the denouement of the 2011 Caribbean 1500 rally took place in a crowded conference room in Hampton, Virginia, on Wednesday, November 9, two days after the rally’s original start date. The atmosphere in the room, as skippers gathered for what was expected to be the final weather briefing, was taut with expectation.
All the sailors who participated in the World Cruising Club’s (WCC) 2014 DelMarVa Rally this past June had one goal in common: start small, build big. At least that’s what Mark Johnson, skipper of Aisling, told me at the prize-giving ceremony afterward. 
On arriving at St. Georges, Bermuda, this past May to cover the 2012 ARC Europe rally, I quickly found there were four boats in particular that had already formed an unusually close bond.
Every year, nearly 50 cruising rallies take place around the globe. There are rallies that cross the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Gulf Stream and even the Indian Ocean, routes that circle the Baltic, the Delmarva Peninsula and the World.
This year as the ARC Europe fleet departed Bermuda, the Azores high was centered abnormally far north, near 46 degrees, blanketing the middle latitudes with light and variable winds...
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