Greg954rr

Virginia to Tampa Bay on the ICW

15 posts in this topic

I'll start out by saying this was an awesome trip.!!!!!!  I'm in the military and have been stationed in the DC region for WAY TOO LONG and with my last set of orders, before I retire, I am being stationed at MacDill AFB, Tampa, FL for my final 3 years.  I got back from Afghanistan on 8 June and didn't have to report to the new job until 1 Aug, the house was already sold,  the new house is being built, and the house hold goods are in storage......now......how do i get the boat from Virginia to Tampa???   I'm gonna drive it!!!!!

So.....my daughter (8 yrs old) and I, wife was able to keep her job and telework so she wasn't able to take off 4 weeks, so for this trip it was me and my daughter on a daddy-daughter adventure.  We drove the cars from Virginia down to Bradenton, FL and two days later my daughter and I hopped on a flight and flew back to Virginia where a friend of ours picked us up and drove us to the boat. We arrived on 3 July and headed out from Deltaville, VA without no particular destination, other than Bradenton, FL in mind and almost an entire month to get there. 

Along the way we stopped in Morehead City, Myrtle Beach,  Charleston,  Hilton Head and a bunch of other really cool places.  We stayed several days in the more interesting locations to check out the sights and enjoy a few days of not boating or to wait on the weather to improve.  Fortunately, we had great weather with only the occasional rain storm passing by during the afternoons.  In total, the trip was 1423 miles over 22 days and we added an additional 73 hours to the engine, which performed flawlessly as did the boat.  We did venture out into the Atlantic and Gulf when the conditions were right and the distance between inlets wasn't too far.  Going across Florida and Lake Okeechobee was really cool as the lake was like glass the entire way and you couldn't tell where the lake ended and the sky began. 

The only drawback was that it was really hot and humid (it is July) so we didn't get a chance to stay out on the hook overnight.....no gen, so no A/C, but we did find some really nice marinas to stay in on Active Captain and they all had 30amp power to run the A/C!!!!.  I tried to find the "resort" type marinas with a pool, bar, restaurant, etc to make the time tied up to a dock more enjoyable.   Along the way we saw hundreds of dolphins,  birds, turtles, and lots of alligators and manatees once we got to Florida.  We toured an aircraft carrier a submarine, forts,  aquariums,  and other really cool places. While trying to find a spot to throw out the hook for lunch one day I turned off the ICW right by the Ponce De Loen inlet in Florida and was greeted by an incoming tide, blue water and a sandy bottom that I could clearly see in 6-8 feet down. We ended up swimming the rest of the day and diving on the anchor. 

Overall.....I give it two thumbs up!!!

 

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Man, what a trip.  Color me green...

We have friends near Bradenton; check out Motorworks Brewery if you like craft beers.  Very cool place, excellent beers.  Try the Carrot Cake if it's on tap.

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Fantastic! 

You sound like a good dad. Your kid will remember this special time for the rest of her life. What a great adventure and what a bunch of fun! I'm really envious. 

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Enjoyed reading your post.  Thanks for your military service as well!  We appreciate the sacrifices you and your family make for us!

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Greg,

Sounds like a great trip that we hope to do someday.  We currently boat in VA, and vacation near  you in Florida where we have done some boating, but need to do the whole trip in between.

Glad you had good weather and did all of your planning for going outside when you could.

Mike

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Wow what an adventure to share with your daughter!  Memories that will last a lifetime. Thanks for your service

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7 hours ago, osteodoc08 said:

What model boat did you do this with and pictures are always great. Sounds like you had an awesome time. 

2008 Sig 270.

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Wow--what an awesome trip.   My 6-year-old daughter and I sleep out on the boat about every other weekend, but right now I can only dream of something like this.  When she's grown, it'll be a memory you both cherish.

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14 hours ago, Greg954rr said:

2008 Sig 270.

Oh man. I've been wanting a 270 like nobody's business. How does it handle with the narrow beam? 

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Hey Greg, nice to see you are back in the USofA, and to see you back on the forums.

Nice trip, and a nice chunk of The Great Loop. You might want to continue the loop sometime after you retire in 3 years. You might want a bigger boat with a bit wider beam then ... but that is a small detail ... :)

Great to have you back!

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Sounds like a great time.  The Great Loop is definitely one of my bigger long term goals.  Do you guys think I can do it in a 21 h2o ???  JK.  I like to look at diesel trawler listings from time to time and daydream.  

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