Freeport to Offat’s Bayou via the ICW

For our return home from Freeport the guys had decided to take the ICW back instead of sailing offshore again.  Although it looks longer on the charts Andy assured me that it would be a much shorter trip. Regardless, I’d never been in the ICW, so I was excited to see new things.

After taking a few pictures of Bridge Harbor Yacht Club for our destination review, and talking a bit with the owner we had a quick breakfast and cast off the lines.  As we started to motor down the ICW I could see it was going to be a long day of easy driving, and we agreed to do a one-hour rotations at the helm.

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Hypokampus followed close behind.

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A lot of the ICW is natural wetlands. The path is slow and winding, and there are a lot of birds and animals to see.

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We got waked by a few inconsiderate motorboats, but 90% of the boats slowed down for us and were very considerate. The barges were slow moving, and easy to see well in advance.

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The ICW is joined on the sides in several places by large shallow lakes.  They look inviting, but anyone drafting more than 2ft would do well to stay in the ICW.

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With the wind behind us we made much better time to Offats than we had expected. Coming in at around six and a half hours the ICW turned out to be twice as fast as sailing a straight line offshore — something I never would have guessed from the charts.

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After coming into Pelican’s Rest Marina a little earlier than expected we had some time to enjoy the amenities. We all went up to the pool to cool off and grab a margarita from the patio bar. After taking a brief look at the prices on the snack menu we decided the free food on our boat was looking pretty appetizing. We grilled up some brats on Gimme Shelter and had some of Jayne’s famous sangria.

All in all I can’t wait for my next trip down the ICW. There is so much to see.

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