"Doing the Ditch"

Sailfish Marina
ICW St. Mile marker 987
Latitude:  27 09.656 N
Longitude:  080 11.709 W

Mariner Cay
Stuart, FL
Mile marker 987
Latitude: 27° 9.35' N
Longitude: 80° 11.75' W

Fort Pierce City Marina
ICW St Mile marker 966
Latitude: 27° 27.03' N
Longitude: 80° 19.32' W

Vero Beach City Marina
ICW St. Mile marker 952
Latitude:  27°39.44' N
Longitude:  80°22.21' W
Vero City Marina is located at marker number 139
(mile 952) just north of the Merrill Barber Bridge.

Loggerhead Club and Marina
Latitude:  32.79653° N
Longitude:  79.75765° W

Melbourne Harbor Marina
located just south of the Melbourne Causeway, at
Channel Marker 6 on ICW just 16 miles north of the
Sebastian Inlet.
Latitude:  28.077946 N
Longitude:  80.6 W

Cape Canaveral, FL
Cape Marina
Latitude:  28 40613 N
Longitude:  80.62493 W

New Smryna
Smyrna Beach City Marina
ICW St. Mile marker 846
at flashing red "38" northwest of the Harris Saxon
Latitude:  29 01.6 N
Longitude:  80 55.2 W

Daytona Marina and Boat Works
ICW St Mile marker 831
Latitude:  29.20186° N
Longitude:  81.01444° W

Caribbean Jack's
Loggerhead Marina
ICW St. Mile marker 828
Latitude:  29.22577 N
Longitude:  81.02161 W

St. Augustine
River's Edge Marina
2 miles from ICW St. Mile marker 780
on the San Sebastian River.
Location of Hurricane Patties Tiki Bar & Restaurant
and West Marine across street nearby.

Jekyll Harbor Marina
Jekyll Island, GA
Mile marker 684
Latitude: 31° 2.8' N
Longitude: 81° 25.32' W

Tybee Island
Tybee Island Marina
Latitude: 32'00"48.00" N
Longitude: 80'52'59.50" W

Savanna Harbor Marina
We didn't give any information on this one,
because they charge $5 per foot and $6 per foot
on holidays for overnight docking.
So we don't even buy their fuel.

Savanna - Sail Harbor Marina
This one fits our frugal budget at $1.25 per foot.
Deep Water, Easy Access, 500 Yards from ICW
Sail Harbor is on Turner Creek, right around the
corner from the Wilmington River.

Brunswick Landing Marina
ICW St. Mile marker 679
Latitude: 31° 9.21' N
Longitude: 81° 29.91' W
Full-Service, Well Marked Channel
walk to Downtown Brunswick Shops.

Isle of Hope Marina
Savannah, GA
Mile marker 590
Latitude:  31° 58' 78" N
Longitude:  81° 03' 35" W

Thunderbolt Marine
Savannah, GA
Mile marker 583
Green 35 on Wilmington River
Latitude: 32°01.48' N
Longitude: 81°02.85' W

Savannah Bend Marina
Thunderbolt, GA
Mile marker 582
Latitude: 32° 2.12' N
Longitude 81° 2.68' W

Harbour Town Yacht Basin Hilton Head Island
Mile marker 565    
Latitude: N 32° 08’ 20”
Longitude: W 80° 48’ 40”

Hilton Head Harbor Marina
Hilton Head, SC
Mile Marker 557

Edisto Marina
Edisto Island, SC
Mile marker 511
Latitude: 32° 29.64' N
Longitude: 80° 20.42' W

Bohicket Marina
John's Island, SC
just south (or before) ICW St.
Mile marker 497
From ICW red day marker 110 you turn into the
North Edisto River just south of marker 497.
Latitude: 32.6015° N
Longitude: 80.162° W

Charleston City Marina
ICW St Mile marker 469.5
Latitude: 32.7785° N
Longitude: 79.949° W

Georgetown Landing Marina
ICW St. Mile marker 403
Latitude: 33°21'54.27" N
Longitude: 79° 16' 12" W

Harborwalk Marina
ICW Red Day Marker 40  
Located on the Sampit River, only a boardwalk away
from Georgetown's Historic District,
great food & shopping. A safe harbor from bad

Wacca Wache Marina Murrells Inlet
ICW St. Mile marker 383
33° 33.73' N
79° 5.12' W

Osprey Marina Myrtle Beach
ICW St. Mile marker 373
Latitude: 33° 40.85' N
Longitude 79° 2.51' W

United States Naval Hospital
Beaufort, SC
Latitude: N 32° 39' 20"
Longitude: W 80° 68' 51"
(Docks & Doctors, plus Pharmacy)
Beaufort Memorial Hospital,
Latitude: 32° 25' 1" N
Longitude: 80° 41' 16" W
(Docks & Docs, plus Pharmacy)

Anchors Away Boatyard
Hampstead, NC
Mile marker 264
Latitude: 34° 24.41' N
Longitude 77° 36.25' W

Downtown Marina of Beaufort
(at $1.75 per foot, we love this place too.)
ICW at St. Mile marker 239
Latitude 32° 25' 49" N
Longitude 80° 40' 29" W
Within a short walking distance of a number of
memorable restaurants.

Dudley's Marina
Swansboro, NC
Mile marker 227
Latitude 34° 40.78' n
Longitude: 77° 6.65' W

Beaufort Docks Marina
ICW at St. Mile marker 201
Latitude 34° 42' 57" N
Longitude -76° 39' 48" W

Beaufort Docks
Beaufort, NC
Mile marker 200.9
Latitude: N 34° 42.94'
Longitude: W 76° 39.84'

Moores Marine Yacht Center
Beaufort, NC
Mile marker 197
Longitude: N 34° 48.29'
Latitude: W 76° 40.82'

R.E. Mayo Co. Marina
Hobucken, NC
Mile marker 157.3
Latitude: 35° 14.51' N
Longitude: 76° 35.43' W

Coinjock Marina
Coinjock, NC
Mile marker 50
Coinjock Marina & Restaurant has been one of our   
longtime favorites. Great service, great "home
cooked" food. Even their potato chips are home
made, and their shrimp is as good as it gets.  
Latitude:  N 36 20.950'
Longitude:  W 075 56.917'

Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center
South Mills, NC
Mile marker 28
Latitude: N 36° 30.44'
Longitude: W 76° 21.33'

Atlantic Yacht Basin,
Chesapeake Bay
Mile marker 12
Dismal Swamp Canal  
Latitude 36° 43' 12"  
Longitude -76° 14' 4"  
Great place for repairs, fuel, laundry, overnight stop,
walking distance to groceries, dining, and stores.
From Wrightsville Beach it is 72-miles to
Landing, (also known as Credit Card Landing)
On the Cape Fear River, the current will run with you
and it is an easy 11 knots.

Ocean Marine Yacht Center
Portsmouth, VA
Mile marker 0.6
Elizabeth River
Latitude:  N 36 49.900'
Longitude:  W 076 17.760'
just 1/2-mile south of mile marker zero on the
Intracoastal Waterway.

Norfolk, VA = ICW St. Mile marker 0
Waterside Marina
Latitude: N 37.00132°
Longitude: W 76.31419°
ICW St. Mile 0, Buoy 36

The Yacht Basin  
Annapolis, MD
Latitude:  N 38 58.483'
Longitude:  W 076 29.083'

Annapolis City Marina
Annapolis, MD
Latitude:  N 38 58.350'
Longitude:  W 076 29.017'

Campbells Boatyard
Jack's Point Oxford, MD
Latitude: 38.688437° N
Longitude: 76.167777° W

Anchorage Marina
Baltimore, MD
Latitude: 39° 16' 77" N
Longitude: 76° 34' 96" W

Bohemia Bay Yacht Harbour
Chesapeake City, MD
Bohemia River, 1 mile south of C&D Canal  
Latitude: 39° 29.1' N
Longitude 75° 53.5' W
This is your last stop before entering the C & D
Canal and there is
no stopping in the Canal.

C & D Canal
Chesapeake and Delaware Canal
N 39°33.8'
W 75°32.8'
The 14-mile long C & D Canal crosses the northern
Delaware/Maryland peninsula, and its eastern
mouth is at Reedy Point, Delaware, on the Delaware
River, with its western mouth at Chesapeake City,
Maryland, on Chesapeake Bay.

Summit North Marina
C & D Canal
Latitude: 39.5469° N
Longitude: 75.7033° W
This is the first Marina on the Delaware side when
you leave the C & D Canal.

Delaware City Marina
Delaware City, DE
Latitude:  N 39 34.350'
Longitude:  W 075 35.400'

Utsch's Marina
Cape May, NJ
NJICW, Cape May Harbor
Mile Marker: 114 Local Marker: 16
Latitude:  N 38 57.033'
Longitude:  W 074 54.267'

South Jersey Marina
Cape May Harbor
Latitude: 38.95060° N
Longitude: 74.90854° W

Glimmerglass Marina
Manasquan, NJ
Latitude: 40° 6.68' N
Longitude: 74° 2.62' W

Note: Manasquan, NJ is considered to be the
"unofficial" end of the ICW. From Manasquan, NJ
you must either hopscotch your way around the
Jersey shoreline (west) of Staten Island, or cruise
across New York Harbor (between Staten Island &
Long Island) to reach the Hudson River.

Kammerman's Atlantic City Marina
Atlantic City
Latitude:  N 39 22.580'
Longitude:  W 074 25.430'

Marina on the Bay
Sandy Hook Bay, NJ
Latitude: 40 24' 24.00"N
Longitude: 73 59' 19.00"W

Sandy Hook Bay
Sandy Hook Bay, NJ
Latitude: 40° 24' 61" N
Longitude: 74° 00' 04" W

Liberty Landing Marina
Lower Hudson River, NJ
From the Hudson at green can #1, head west into
the Morris Canal. On your port side you will see the
decommissioned light ship Winter Quarter, also
known as the “Big Red Boat” which serves as the
marina office. The fuel dock is also on your port
side. You can hail the marina on channel 72 for

Hudson River Entrance
Latitude: 40° 41' 29" N
Longitude: 74° 02' 28" W

West Point
on the Hudson River
Latitude: 41° 22' 47" N
Longitude: 73° 57' 18" W

Troy Dock
Latitude:  N 42 44.069'
Longitude:  W 073 41.372'

Troy, NY
Entrance to Erie Canal Lock #2
Latitude: 42° 47' 34" N
Longitude: 73° 40' 90" W
ICW Destinations
GPS & Channel Markers
( listed in South to North order of direction )
The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) or "The
Ditch" as many refer to it is generally considered
to start in
Norfolk, VA. That's right - and therefore
unofficially to the Florida Keys. Above Norfolk,
you have the Chesapeake Bay & Delaware River
(the C&D) canal that will get you safely to New
Jersey, and then it's a hop, skip and jump into
New York's Harbor, a float by Lady Liberty, and
You can boat the full length of the ICW with little
fear of getting lost.  There are signs to follow,
rules and guidelines, still it is common sense, (not
secrets) that will make your journey successful.

As a "Great Looper" the ICW provides an inland
protected passage for all of us voyaging from the
Okeechobee Waterway at Stuart, FL, to the
Hudson RIver where it is a beautiful 134 miles to
the Erie Canal.
It is really easier then it appears.  All you need to
remember is that all the channel Day markers that
mark you way on the ICW, have those little reflective
yellow square on the green marker, and a yellow
reflective triangle on the red marker.

The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (ICW or AICW)
display these yellow symbols (decals) to distinguish
them from other Day markers that mark other
channels. Yellow triangles indicate aids should be
passed by keeping them on your left (or Port).
Yellow squares indicate aids should be passed by
keeping them on your starboard (right) side of your  
vessel.  A yellow horizontal band provides no lateral
information, but simply identifies aids as marking
the ICW.

Remember the saying "
Red, Right, Return"? On
the Atlantic and Gulf ICW - for navigational
you are always returning South from New
Jersey to Brownsville, Texas.
Understanding & Identifying
ICW Mile Markers
Some of our favorite ICW stops are:
Norfolk and Portsmouth
Waterside Marina is the only marina on the
Intracoastal Waterway within two blocks of a first
class Shopping Mall.
Thanks to the Elizabeth River ferry, events and
services on both sides of the river are accessible
from all Norfolk and Portsmouth marinas and
The ferry operates seven days a week, crosses twice
an hour, takes bicycles, and is only $1 (50¢ for
seniors). The ferry stops at three locations:
Waterside Marina in Norfolk, and North Landing and
High Street Landing in Portsmouth. In Norfolk, the
Norfolk Electric Transit (NET) runs a free circuit of the
downtown area every few minutes. Additionally, there
is a free public dinghy dock at Waterside Marina.
Virginia -- Linger in the Hampton Roads area before
you begin the trip. A tie up at, for example, Bluewater
Yachting Center in Hampton, VA, puts you within
easy reach of Virginia's historic triangle of
Williamsburg/Jamestown, Yorktown, and Hampton
North Carolina -- Beaufort has marinas, limited
anchorage, and nearby beaches. At Beaufort Town
Docks in the heart of this old seafaring village, you
can see wild horses on a barrier island across the
channel. Elizabeth City (reach it by taking the very
worthwhile diversion of the Dismal Swamp Canal)
has limited free tie-ups and "Rose Buddies" who
bring visitors flowers, and welcome. The
Southport/Wilmington/Bald Head Island area has
quaint villages, Bald Head Island Marina with great
beach access, and Wilmington Marine Center for
protected access to the charming historical city of
Hobucken, NC
Hobucken is one of our favorites stops. In fact, we
simply don't pass it up. It will be yours too, especially
if you like shrimp.  This is a great place to stop and
experience firsthand a working shrimp dock. The
commercial facilities at R.E. Mayo welcome transient
boaters and offer frugal prices and great protection.
The area is wooded and quiet. The R.E. Mayo Co.
Marina is located at:
Latitude: 35° 14.51' N
Longitude: 76° 35.43' W
ICW: mile marker 157.3
South Carolina -- Charleston, with marinas and
limited anchorage, is famous for its culture, history,
and restaurants. You'll pass Fort Sumpter where the
War Between the States began.
Georgia -- Cumberland Island has anchorages and a
wilderness preserve, including oft-deserted beaches,
at its southern end. The herds of wild horses that run
along the beaches are an awesome sight to see,
especially from your boat.
Florida -- St. Augustine is the oldest permanent
European settlement in the U.S. Its fort, Spanish
architecture, shops and restaurants make a
fascinating stop. We love River's Edge Marina
because Hurricane Patties is next door and shopping
is nearby (short easy walk to West Marine).
Ft. Lauderdale, called the Yachting Capital of the
World, has 300 miles of navigable waterway with
over 42,000 registered boats and 109,000 people
working full time in the marine industry. With so many
businesses offering boating goods and services, you
can get anything you need for good prices.
Anchorage is limited and marinas are often full, but
here is a special tip:
The Ft. Lauderdale City Supervisor, Jamie Hart, will
help you find a slip if you can't find one. The city
operates three marinas, and all have reasonable
rates.  Need an over-night space and can't find one?
Call Jamie at 800 385 3625.
Keep to Starboard
Keep to Port
The red & green Day markers are dual purpose
markers, meaning they are marking a channel.
Only these markers that have the yellow square
and yellow triangle mark the ICW. Stay between
the Day markers with the yellow square and
triangle - and you can't get lost. (Pay close
attention: if you follow red & green day markers
without the yellow triangle or square decals, you
may end up headed out to the open sea.)
Dayboards are the most common navigational aid
along the Waterway. Look for dayboards in three
forms: mounted on a single piling, on a dolphin (a
collection of strapped, teepee-like pilings), or on a
larger piling structure. The type of mounting has no
navigational significance.

The dayboards are conventional, with
triangular red
dayboards marked with even numbers,
square green dayboards marked with odd

The numbers on the dayboards typically increase or
decrease one-by-one. It’s a good habit to keep track
of the numbers, searching for the next number in the
sequence. However, the dayboard numbers do not
continue for the entire route of the Intracoastal
Waterway; the numbers would be too large.
Sequences stop and start over, often at an inlet
junction or other geographic feature.

In addition, some aids are lit. A good rule of thumb
is: if an aid is lit, it’s lit for a reason. Lighted aids are
much more expensive to build and maintain. Heed lit
aids and think about why they are lit.

Along the Intracoastal Waterway, a lit aid calls
attention to an important junction, turn, or hazard. In
addition, the light's characteristics (color and rhythm)
have significance. A colored light has lateral
significance. For example, a flashing green light of a
certain pattern calls your attention to keeping the aid
on the appropriate side of your vessel. A quick
flashing light typically identifies a turn requiring an
abrupt, rather than a gradual, course change

Mile Markers:
Beginning at Norfolk, Virginia, and ending in
Brownsville, Texas. As are the Inland Rivers and
Great Lakes, the Intracoastal Waterway is measured
in statute miles, NOT nautical miles.

These are the same mile measures (1 statute mile =
5,280 feet) used on land. However, since most
vessels measure their speed in knots, or nautical
miles per hour, statute miles can be confusing when
estimating travel time.  Personally however, we never
worry about it. 10 knots = 11.5 MPH, and that's close
enough for me of one day's travel.

The statute mile convention is firmly entrenched, with
"st" or "stm" markers shown on both NOAA and
USACE charts. Along much of the Waterway, the
statute miles are marked with ICW mile marker
boards. These small signs, when available, are white
with black lettering. They may be attached to a
dayboard, piling, tree, or even painted on a rock!
Buoy R36, known to Great Loopers as "Mile Zero,"
welcomes you to the unofficial start of the ICW. All
mileage, from here to Key West, is measured from
this location at Hospital Point in Portsmouth, Norfolk,
VA at:
latitude: 37.00132° N
longitude: 76.31419° W
Our top East Coast Gunkholes:
Tybee Island, GA
Morgan Island, SC
Dismal Swamp, VA
Wye River, MD
Muddy Creek, MD
Hudson River, NY

Day 1: Enter Chesapeake Bay
Day 2: Chesapeake City to Philadelphia
Day 3: Philadelphia to Cape May
Day 4: Cape May to Atlantic City
Day 5: Atlantic City to Sandy Hook
Day 6: Sandy Hook to between Staten Island and
Long Island and into the Hudson River.

This route allows you to avoid overnight passages on
the ocean or combine some offshore time with day
sails.  If you are uncomfortable with sailing the coast
at night, this is the route for you.

The 14-mile long C&D Canal connects Chesapeake
Bay with Delaware Bay and cuts about 300 miles off
the trip from the northern Chesapeake to the Atlantic
Ocean and other Eastern cities. It is one of the few
fully sea-level shipping canals in the world.  

The C&D Canal is a sea-level waterway that extends
from Delaware River at Reedy Point, Delaware to
Chesapeake City, Md. The Reedy Point entrance is
51 miles above the Delaware Capes. Reedy Point,
on the north side of the Delaware entrance, is jettied
and is marked by a light; the jetty on the south side is
similarly marked.

Note – The system of marking the channel with
buoys and lights is from each entrance and reverses
at Chesapeake City.

Navigation regulations:
Speed  - Speed is strictly monitored. No vessel in
the waterway should be speeding or crowding  
alongside another vessel. Vessels of all types, are
required to travel at all times at a very safe speed
throughout the canal and its approaches.
Right-of-way - All vessels proceeding with the
current shall have the right-of-way over those
proceeding against the current. All small pleasure
craft shall relinquish the right-of-way to deeper draft
vessels, which have a limited maneuvering ability
due to their draft and size.
No stopping in canal - Vessels will not be
permitted to stop or anchor in the ship channel.
No Sailing - Sailboats transiting the canal by are
not permitted to be under sail between Reedy Point
and Welch Point. They must use a motor.
An anchorage basin is provided on the south side of
the canal, opposite Chesapeake City.The entrance
to the basin is subject to periodic shoaling. In July
2005, depths of 9 to 9.8 feet were in the entrance;
thence depths of 3.4 to 12 feet were inside the wharf
on the west side of the basin.
The mean range of tide is 5.5 feet at the Delaware
River end of the canal and 2.7 feet at Chesapeake
City. High and low waters in Delaware River are
about 2 hours later than in Elk River. (Tide tables)
The current velocity is 2.6 knots on the flood and 2.1
knots on the ebb at the Reedy Point bridge,and
about 2 knots at the Chesapeake City bridge.The
flood sets eastward and the ebb westward. (See the
Tidal Current Tables for daily predictions for
Chesapeake City.) Storms may increase these
velocities to 3.0 knots or more;at such times, tows
usually have difficulty in making headway against the

Special note on tides, currents, bridges & traffic:
Many boaters complain about EVERYTHING
regarding the C & D Canal, as well as the
Chesapeake Bay & Delaware River area. Most
complain because they simply do not have any idea
what to expect, (no planning or pre-voyage check
list).  The currents can be strong, however, they roll
(or flow) with the tide. So, you want to check your tide
information, and go with the tide (not against it).  In
addition, you want to avoid commercial traffic, and
occasionally announce your position on the VHF - but
don't expect a reply either from a ship's Pilot or a
Bridge operator. It is enough that they know your
location. Unless they see a model in a bikini on your
deck, they are not likely to make any response.
Beginning at the Lake Okeechobee Waterway outlet
to St Lucie on Florida's Atlantic side of the ICW, on
this page, we give you GPS and ICW Mile Markers,
on points north to the entrance of the Erie Canal at
Troy,NY on the Hudson RIver.
Voyaging north from St. Lucie, the States, Cities,
Marinas, & points of interest (to the left) are in exact
order of your travels along the ICW.  
This is a trick question.
There is no lock #1
(or lock #31) on the Erie Canal.
Lock #2 is the first Lock on the Erie Canal at the
entrance from the Hudson River.
Erie Canal Lock #2 is at:
Latitude: 42° 47' 34" N
Longitude: 73° 40' 90" W
Have you been through Lock #1
on the Erie Canal?
The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway
Around Baltimore and Annapolis, it is better to use
marinas than anchoring because of boat traffic and
convenience of access to the city.
Welcome to the Erie Canal !
From the outlet from Lake Okeechobee at Stuart, FL,
to the Erie Canal at Troy, NY on the Hudson, you will
have traveled by boat about 1,500 statute miles.  If
you do it in the fashion that we do - it makes for a
pretty wonderful 30 days of actually cruising, and
another 10 days playing tourist.    
Since our very first Coloring Book, we have all been taught to "stay in-between the lines".  
Once we mastered that concept with Crayons, we mastered it with pencils, pen & ink.
Soon after that came Drivers Education, and we mastered it in our automobiles. Now, we
are ready to master it with our boats.   
To navigate the ICW safely and successfully, all you need to do is stay between the lines
(the shore lines that is).  In addition, mile markers & signs are also provided, so you can't

We paid an average of $3.11 a gallon on our last
trip around and now (2012) we are averaging
$4.49 for gasoline.
the price of gas & diesel.    
It is, as we have always said however. . .  You
need to keep your boat as small as you can
comfortably live on, and as simple as you can.
Folks, I am now 64 years old, and in my life time, I
have never known gas to get cheaper over time. It
simply keeps going up.

Remember: When you pick your ride, you
pick your long-term cruising costs.
We get a lot of email
questions asking about
the price of marine fuel
along the Atlantic ICW,
Gulf ICW, and Inland  
rivers and waterways.
So here is the link:

Your boat does not need to be an expensive
Yacht to make this voyage. Most in fact (mine
included) are far from it.  
getting you safely and comfortably where you
want to go - and
not for the purpose of showing
the world how far they've come.
Yes, we all have our "dream boats", but, if I
bought my dream boat, I can tell you for sure, I
wouldn't be able to afford to go anywhere in it,
and that is the reality of most boaters.
So, don't "downsize" the dream, just downsize
the boat. It will only help you reach your dream
much sooner.
Atlantic ICW
Mile marker 0
Hurricane Patties
St. Augustine, FL
For great seafood, Hurricane Patties Tiki Bar &
Restaurant is
our very favorite stop on the entire
Atlantic ICW.  We've been there 4 times now and it
was just as wonderful the last 3 as it was the first.
is one of those places you will long remember.
Great food, great service, convenient docks, and
shopping nearby. After sampling a few appetizers, we
ordered most everything on the menu. Their oysters &
claims are wonderful. . . Bon appetite!
A Great Looper heading North on the Atlantic
ICW will keep red day markers and yellow
triangles to the left or Port side of the vessel.