The Captain's Post...

Guest Post by Larry McCullough

It is said “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”, or in our case the single rotation of the screw (that’s nautical talk for propeller for you land lovers). We accomplished that first step with the completion of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIW or often referred to as the ICW).

The AIW starts in Norfolk Va, Mile Marker 0, and ends in Key West FL. 1243. We went as far south as Marathon FL at Mile Marker 1193 and finished in Norfolk last Wednesday May 15th.

As Jamie has posted, I have thought about this trip for at least 30 years and the trip has grown from just doing the AIW to continuing up the Hudson River to the Erie Canal, the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River, Ohio River, and eventually to the Gulf at Mobile Bay.

But that is just one part of the trip of hopefully bringing the boat back on it’s own bottom (too big for a truck, shipping is only other option) via the Panama Canal.

Yes, the trip has to be looked at in single steps (segments) or it is far to daunting.

Out on the last leg of the ICW at 6:00AM to catch a bridge opening. Really cold but gorgeous.

Out on the last leg of the ICW at 6:00AM to catch a bridge opening. Really cold but gorgeous.

Waiting for the North Landing bridge with all our ICW friends. Only one opening left and then it is closed for maintenance for 8 hours.

Waiting for the North Landing bridge with all our ICW friends. Only one opening left and then it is closed for maintenance for 8 hours.

Only opening one side.

Only opening one side.

Looking back over the stern.

Looking back over the stern.

You think things might calm down but they do not. This barge was huge and filling most of the narrow channel.

You think things might calm down but they do not. This barge was huge and filling most of the narrow channel.

Yes, another barge and please notice the hazards on each side. Tree trunks ready to puncture your hull. No room for error.

Yes, another barge and please notice the hazards on each side. Tree trunks ready to puncture your hull. No room for error.

A sweet railroad bridge. They remain open unless a train is coming along.

A sweet railroad bridge. They remain open unless a train is coming along.

Waiting in line for the lock.

Waiting in line for the lock.

We made the lock entrance. This cruise ship had precedence over all the pleasure craft so we were happy to squeak in.

We made the lock entrance. This cruise ship had precedence over all the pleasure craft so we were happy to squeak in.

Looking back over the stern as the gates on the lock close.

Looking back over the stern as the gates on the lock close.

As we exit the lock there again is not much room for error.

As we exit the lock there again is not much room for error.

The first official ICW sign I have seen and we have traveled over 1,000 miles on it as of today!

The first official ICW sign I have seen and we have traveled over 1,000 miles on it as of today!

I had to include this different ‘elevator bridge’. This was the first we had been under and we are almost to Norfolk, VA.

I had to include this different ‘elevator bridge’. This was the first we had been under and we are almost to Norfolk, VA.

Norfolk is all about ships and ship building and maintenance.

Norfolk is all about ships and ship building and maintenance.

Tied up and so happy to be at MILE 0 at Norfolk, VA! Photo courtesy of Larry McCullough

Tied up and so happy to be at MILE 0 at Norfolk, VA! Photo courtesy of Larry McCullough

My model may not look excited…but truly he is…

My model may not look excited…but truly he is…

THE ICW from Marathon, FL (MILE 1193) & The Bluffs (MILE 1008) to Norfolk, VA (MILE 0). The first chapter is behind us…so many more to come…

THE ICW from Marathon, FL (MILE 1193) & The Bluffs (MILE 1008) to Norfolk, VA (MILE 0). The first chapter is behind us…so many more to come…