Author Topic: ICW 2016  (Read 11153 times)

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Ed Criscuolo

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ICW 2016
« on: April 03, 2016, 08:10:28 am »
Well, I thought I'd get the forum rolling with this post.

Joan and I are planning to take Dolce Vita down the ICW this fall to Florida.  We will then "jump off" from just South of Miami to Bimini, Bahamas, spending as much as 3 months making a big loop through the Bahamas, including Nassau, the Exumas, Eleuthera, the Abacos, and Grand Bahama. In the spring we will cross back to Florida and make our way back up the ICW to the Chesapeake.

Our general timetable is to head South from the Patapsco on Oct 1, and spend about 6 weeks getting to Florida.  We're leaving a little earlier than is usual in order to stay as much ahead of the cold as possible, and don't plan to do an excessive amount of sightseeing on the way down for the same reason.  We'll plan on doing that on the return trip North in the Spring, where the longer we dawdle, the warmer it gets!

We would seriously love to have some "buddy boats" on the way down, so anyone who is interested should please let us know.
@(^.^)@. Ed
1977 P-323 #42 "Dolce Vita"
with rebuilt Atomic-4

Bob Morrow

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Re: ICW 2016
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2016, 07:12:41 pm »
Ed,  I know we talked about it at the brunch, but I thought I'd reply to your post to make it official. Also I wanted to play around with the new website to see how it worked. I would like to be one of those "buddy boats" if I get all the work done on my boat that needs done before I go on a long trip like that. Mostly creature comforts, nothing affecting seaworthiness. In fact the boat could make the trip fine without me, as long as I could steer by remote control from a video screen like a drone. As far as timing, I've always heard its best to start south of Annapolis either a week before the boat show (October 6 to October 10 this year I believe) or two weeks afterward, to avoid competing for slips &/or anchorage space with all the OTHER snowbirds heading south after stopping at the boat show on the way down. Bob Morrow

Susan Jones

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Re: ICW 2016
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2016, 07:32:25 am »
Hi Ed, I've been reading several posts on the Sailing & Cruising Facebook page regarding anchorage issues in Florida. I'm curious how this will affect boaters hoping to go to the Bahamas. I am also interested in how you prepare for your trip--I hope you guys will consider a blog or either keeping us updated on this forum as you prepare for the great launch! It was great meeting you yesterday! We are anxious to learn what we can!  Susan

Susan Jones

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Re: ICW 2016
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2016, 07:41:28 am »
Hi Ed, I found your website!! Just had to dig a little deeper!  ;D

Ed Criscuolo

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ICW 2016 - Boat Preparations
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2016, 11:46:09 am »
Just a little update on our preparations.

I've completed two of the four major boat projects we want to have done before we leave.  Dolce Vita's engine now has a 125 amp alternator, controlled by a Balmar MC-612 smart regulator.  This gets us several benefits:

  • Will minimize the daily engine run time needed to recharge the batteries while at anchor in the islands
  • Has a "float" mode which will keep it from overcharging the batteries during the long motor runs on the ICW
  • Although the 125 amp alternator only puts out about 60 amps on our engine (due to the low RPMs), it runs cooler because its loafing at half its capacity

We also now have a pair of 100 Watt solar panels mounted over the bimini, and a Midnite Solar "KID" MPPT smart controller to make maximum use of them in charging the batteries. http://www.midnitesolar.com/productPhoto.php?product_ID=531&productCatName=Charge%20Controllers%20-%20KID&productCat_ID=43&sortOrder=2&act=p

I'm hoping that this, plus the wind generator we already have, will further minimize, if not eliminate, the need to run the engine to recharge while at anchor for an extended period.

So, now I'm off on my next project: Beef up the insulation on our icebox/refrigerator so the compressor doesn't run so much and consume so much power.
@(^.^)@. Ed
1977 P-323 #42 "Dolce Vita"
with rebuilt Atomic-4

Ron Harbin

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Re: ICW 2016
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2016, 08:52:22 am »
I have spent a lot of time weighing the different alternatives for keeping batteries charged.  I have concluded that doing what you did is probably makes the most sense.  But it is one I have not yet opted for because of the expense.  I do have a new (older model) wind generator that I have never installed.  And I have 3 solar panels that I love and use regularly.  My P31-2 has a 16hp Yanmar with a 55 amp alternator.  Although the alternator only puts out about half that at normal motoring speeds, I do usually run the engine for at least an hour on most days and it does seem to give the batteries a pretty healthy charge - so I'm living with what I have for now.  Please let us know how you make out (engine load, battery charging, etc.).

Regarding the fridge, one of the things I did on my previous boat was to cut a piece of rigid foam that I covered with some shelf paper and just sat it on top of the ice box lid area.  It was very easy to do and almost doubled the time ice would last in the ice box.  Of course, it had to be moved every time you got in the ice box but there are many hours in a day and night that you don't need access. 

Ed Criscuolo

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Re: ICW 2016
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2016, 01:23:50 pm »
Yes, we have had a sheet of 1" insulation that we place over the entire countertop where the icebox is for several years.  My wife stitched a felt cover for it to protect it and provide a better air-seal against the countertop.  It's amazing how cold the countertop is underneath it when we move it for access.

The one downside of it that we've found is that it tends to promote condensation on the countertop underneath it, which in turn swells the wood trim on the icebox lid, making it very hard to remove and replace.
@(^.^)@. Ed
1977 P-323 #42 "Dolce Vita"
with rebuilt Atomic-4

Ed Criscuolo

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Re: ICW 2016
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2016, 10:51:29 pm »
Well, only 6 weeks left till departure, and I'm busily trying to re-insulate our icebox/fridge from the inside.  I'd love to hear from anyone else who has done this approach.
@(^.^)@. Ed
1977 P-323 #42 "Dolce Vita"
with rebuilt Atomic-4

Ed Criscuolo

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Re: ICW 2016
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2016, 12:02:30 pm »
We're down to 12 days to departure, and I'm getting a bit frantic with preparations!

Icebox reinsulation project is complete and tested.  Not quite as big an improvement as I'd hoped, but still much better than it was.

I've started a blog to capture our trip preparations and progress:

http://sv-dolce-vita.blogspot.com/

We're planning on having a raftup on our first day out (Sat Oct 1) on the Rhode River, up in round bay over near the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) property on the west side.  Would love to see some Pearsons there, so if you're free that weekend, hop in your boat and come on down!
@(^.^)@. Ed
1977 P-323 #42 "Dolce Vita"
with rebuilt Atomic-4

Ron Harbin

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Re: ICW 2016
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2016, 02:24:48 pm »
Ed and Joan
Here's wishing you safe travels, calm seas, and following winds.  I'm sure you ARE a bit anxious about your departure.  I'm sorry I won't be able to make the send off raft-up but I'm leaving for Kansas the day before (by car).  Thanks for the blog and the link.  I'll be following your travels.
Ron

Ed Criscuolo

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Re: ICW 2016
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2016, 01:26:41 pm »
Well, with three solid days of rain in the forecast, we've decided to
postpone our departure until Monday Oct 3. This will give us
one clear day (Sunday) to do the final loading of the boat.

There's no point in starting out with everything soaked!

At last check this morning, the Dismal Swamp Canal was still closed due to high water, although the Army Corp of Engineers did manage to get out the four boats that were trapped there since the closing.

http://www.waterwayguide.com/nav-alert/4-6549/dismal-swamp-canal-and-atlantic-intracoastal-south-of-great-bridge-closed-due-to-high-water-update
« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 01:36:37 pm by Ed Criscuolo »
@(^.^)@. Ed
1977 P-323 #42 "Dolce Vita"
with rebuilt Atomic-4

Ed Criscuolo

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Re: ICW 2016
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2016, 01:59:15 am »
Guys,

I'm becoming increasingly concerned about hurricane Matthew. Chris Parker's marine weather service (to which I subscribe), says that the track northward is very uncertain, and could encompass anything from a landfall in SC to missing the east coast entirely and grazing the west side of Bermuda.

As a result, he's recommending that boats in the Virginia and Delmarva region should seek secure locations by the evening of Wed Oct 5.

Since we're now planning on leaving on Monday Oct 3, our first three night's stops were looking like Galesville, Solomons, and Sandy point (off the Wicomico) on Wed.

But winds are predicted to be NE or NNE Wednesday, and this is bad for anchoring at Sandy point, as there is too much fetch to the NE.

I'm considering just holing up at Spring Cove in Solomons for a few days if this scenario looks likely, but also wonder if there are any good anchorages near Sandy Point that are protected on the NE. I looked at Ellyson Cove inside of Smith Point, but the entrance looks a little hairy.

I welcome suggestions or recommendations.
@(^.^)@. Ed
1977 P-323 #42 "Dolce Vita"
with rebuilt Atomic-4

Ed Criscuolo

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Re: ICW 2016
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2016, 12:00:18 pm »
Due to hurricane Matthew, we have postponed our departure.  Details on the Oct 2 post on the blog:

http://sv-dolce-vita.blogspot.com/

EDIT:

I just noticed that my trip blog didn't have the "Follow by Email" gadget on it.  No wonder my stats kept showing 0 followers! :eek:

I think I've fixed the template now and added the correct gadget.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2016, 10:53:04 pm by Ed Criscuolo »
@(^.^)@. Ed
1977 P-323 #42 "Dolce Vita"
with rebuilt Atomic-4

Ed Criscuolo

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Re: ICW 2016
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2016, 09:52:03 am »
Its now 11 days past our planned departure date, and we're still stuck at our home dock. :(

First it was a cold front that delayed us a couple of days.

Then it was Matthew that held us off almost a whole week.

Finally, when we're "cleared for takeoff", our credit card gets hacked, and we have to wait another three days to get a replacement! And that's with extra-cost "expedited" service!

The promised card delivery was supposed to be yesterday. Can you guess? No card...

And now, both the Dismal Swamp and the Virginia Cut legs of the ICW are closed due to post-Matthew high water and damage! This trip is really getting off to poor start!

Hopefully, we're getting all of our bad karma out of the way now!  I hope so...
__________________
@(^.^)@. Ed
1977 P-323 #42 "Dolce Vita"
with rebuilt Atomic-4

Bob Morrow

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Re: ICW 2016
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2016, 11:34:07 am »
Ed, I really feel bad for you and Joan. At this rate maybe my boat WILL be ready to
Go along with you, before you get the chance to start out. Bob Morrow