News & Events for Chesapeake Bay

Yes - you can sail on the ICW – Sail to the Sun ICW Rally update

Date Posted: 2015-11-18
Source: Waterway Guide Cruising Editor

Gypsy-WInd-Rally-Sail.jpgThe most fun on the ICW continues to sail south, as the Sail to the Sun ICW Rally keeps moving on its way to Miami.

Our last update was in Charleston, and the group had a great time there exploring this historic city, dining out, and enjoying a BBQ night put on by Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina. Lots of great BBQ, music and fun times, and new friendships with fellow sailors also going south.

We timed our departure from the marina to coincide with slack high water, making our morning departure an easy one in an area known for strong currents that can quickly ruin even the best dockings. 

Plus, we got an unexpected bonus - a high energy ride all the way to Steamboat Creek, with lots of current behind us. Most of us shut down our motors and sailed, enjoying the day and proving yet again that you can sail on the ICW.

Steamboat Creek is one of the nicer South Carolina anchorages, and we made the most of it, relaxing in the warm afternoon sunshine - since we got there so quickly, we had lots of time available to enjoy ourselves.

Rally-Nature.jpgThe following day followed the same pattern - favorable current, good winds and an early start that took us to one of my favourite stops - Beaufort, SC. The Downtown Marina of Beaufort was jammed with boats heading south, but Rick Griffin’s crew shoehorned us all into place with their usual skill. 

Dockhands Steve and Troy even had me back into the dock, against the current, something my boat isn’t known to do well in slack conditions much less strong currents...and with their help, I aced it! Yowza!

And special thanks to Mandy and Rick for all of their first class efforts to assist us – it is hugely appreciated.

The Rallyers quickly set about discovering Beaufort for themselves, from the restaurants, to the horse drawn carriage rides, to the historical plantation tours, re-assembling in the evening for dinner at Panini's On The Waterfront, and yet more tasty BBQ at Q on Bay the next evening.

Rally-Marker.jpgWe also had the pleasure of the crew of S/V Déja Vu, who were finally able to join the Rally after being delayed in Canada by personal business. A special welcome to Tony and Christine - good to have you with us finally.

Leaving Beaufort, our good luck (or was it skill in planning?) finally ran out and we had the tide against us. But! The winds were once again in our favor: Every boat on the river was sailing, and with gusts in excess of 20 knots at times, speeds of 7 and 8 knots were seen – and this against the tide. S/V Departure and I even sailed through Hilton Head, just for the fun of it, and out into Calibogue Sound. 

Our destination, for those going to anchor, was Bull Creek, with those going to a dock heading into Harbour Town Yacht Basin

Tonight, while those of us anchoring listen to the rain on our decks, the marina group is feasting at The Crazy Crab on Hilton Head Island....

Tomorrow, the Sail to the Sun ICW Rally will regroup in Savannah to explore this beautiful area.

Follow us and be part of the fun, here at's Sail to the Sun Rally section, or on the Sail to the Sun Facebook page – and follow the movement of the fleet via Wally’s Delorme Inreach satellite tracker at

We look forward to hearing from you also - if you have questions about the Sail to the Sun ICW Rally, or the ICW, or cruising in general, post them on our Facebook page and we’ll get back to you. The group would love to hear from you.

Rallyers-Pirate.jpgBetter still - join us for next year’s Sail to the Sun ICW Rally and be a part of the most fun on the ICW!

Other Sail to the Sun ICW Rally updates: 

Special thanks to the many other sponsors and vendors making the Sail to the Sun ICW Rally such a success:

The Deltaville Maritime Museum
The Table at Wilton
Fishing Bay Marina
Deltaville Yachting Center
Dozier’s Regatta Point
Norton Yacht Sales and Marine Services
Norview Marina
Bluewater Yachting Center
Dismal Swamp Welcome Center
Elizabeth City Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
Albemarle Plantation and Marina
River Forest Manor and Marina
Town of Belhaven Chamber of Commerce
Spoon River Restaurant
The Tavern at Jack’s Neck
Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association

View location on the Waterway Guide Explorer

Provided by National Weather Service
Wind Speed

Deltaville, VA
Current Conditions

Change my location