News & Events for Chesapeake Bay

The Sail to the Sun Rally is on its way!

Date Posted: 2015-10-22
Source: WG Staff

Sail-to-the-Sun-Logo-150.jpgIt's been perfect weather so far for the launch of the Sail to the Sun ICW Rally, sponsored by Waterway Guide and led by cruising writer Wally Moran. After a day of seminars, prep, and a little partying in Deltaville, the group shoved off yesterday for a smooth sail to Hampton VA, where the fleet safely tucked itself in at Bluewater Yachting Center – the first leg of the rally to Miami FL.

Rally-Belt-Line.jpgThis morning, the fleet headed out at first light to make the 9 a.m. Belt Line Railroad Bridge opening – which was quite the endeavor with nearly 70 boats waiting.

Dozens of boats were stacked up at Deep Creek Lock for its 11:00 a.m. lock-through for entering the lovely Dismal Swamp Canal. It took a couple lock-loads to do it, but all transited successfully. Now the rally members are settling in for a nice reception at the Welcome Center

Many fun waterway events and activities await this group of ICW cruisers as they travel south for warmer winter climes. Fleet Captain and well-known cruising writer, Wally Moran, notes that a great many marinas and communities are eager to support transients moving along the waterway: "We've received unsolicited offers to host the group from numerous locations, everything from welcome receptions to all-out dinners and entertainment. This is going to be a fabulous and fun trip for all!


"Waterway Guide's invaluable assistance in organizing many of these events has played a major part, as businesses and communities recognize the value which Waterway Guide provides to boaters, and brings to events of this nature.” 

Next stop will include a Elizabeth City Rose Buddies welcome with an opportunity to tour the Elizabeth II, a replica of a 16th Century ship which will be docked at the waterfront during the Sail to the Sun ICW Rally's stay.

The Rally then takes a brief detour off the ICW to Albemarle Plantation for a dinner and reception, then a big party in Belhaven NC, then another dinner with entertainment at River Dunes Marina – then off to Beaufort NC for Hallowe'en, and that could get spooky!

Moving further south, the historic Village of Cocoa, Florida, has events planned for the Rally group, including a dinner and reception, with transportation by water taxi. The streets will be closed for the Arts and Crafts Holiday Bazaar – approximately 200 tent vendors will be set up offer everything from handicrafts to fine art, not to mention food, music and a beer garden!

Several other events are being finalized, "but as you can see, it's going to be an eventful, fun-filled trip,” says Wally.

Wally-Rally-Boat.jpgOver the past few weeks, Wally has navigated north up the ICW from Florida and is about as current with the conditions as it's possible to be. Waterway Guide will be monitoring conditions as the Rally moves south, providing up-to-date information on the conditions – most important given the recent flooding experienced along the waterway.

The rally itinerary, boat profiles for many of the rally members, and lots of other information is available at: – you can also find this link at the top of the homepage and Cruising News pages.  

You can also follow the progress of the group by going to the 'where's Wally' page on Wally Moran's blog -

There's also a Sail to the Sun Rally Facebook Page!

  • Comment submitted by Bill Ellis - Tue, Oct 27th

    Be very aware of fixed bridge clearance heights in SC. We have a 63 foot mast plus antennas and went offshore from Southport, NC to St Mary's inlet due to reduced clearance...some bridges only offered 61 feet at dead low tide. We are currently anchored off Cumberland Island, GA and will continue southward over the weekend. Headed for Ft Lauderdale then over to Bimini, Exumas, etc for our 4th winter.

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