where we go off to see the world, sailing on other people's boats
Driving the Ditch
We call Adjima our 'Canal Cat' because she loves to come and sit in the cockpit when we're going through canals. It's usually not too windy and not too bumpy and she can sit and watch the sights. She's had lots of cockpit time in the last week as we make our way down the ICW south of Norfolk. The IntraCoastal Waterway, is also known as 'the ditch' or 'going inside' as opposed to going off shore or 'outside'. It's a series of rivers and canals or land cuts, all connected and usually just inside of the barrier islands along the coast. When the weather isn't good to go outside, like this past week, when we had strong winds from the south, it's a busy place. Not too much sailing to be had, but lots to look at. We're now in the middle of the mass exodus of cruising boats making their way to warmer climes and the canals and anchorages are full. As usual, it's a very, very social group. It's fun to get out the binoculars as we come into an anchorage and see who we've met before and who's our next victim.
Getting into the Virginia and North Carolina water system is interesting because the water is brown. It's pretty clear, just brown from all the tannins in the water from the decaying plant materials. It looks like root beer foam as the power boats go by. It also gives boats that spend a lot of time here a very distinctive 'mustache' on the hull.
Don't go where the birds are standing.
The ICW is prone to shoaling, due to the many, many creeks and ocean entrances with all their currents and tides. Some places more than others, as in the picture. I like that they've even installed a parking meter so they can make money off the many boats that end up stranded here.