A number of years ago I was invited to take a trip down the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW), located on the eastern coast of the United States. The Intercoastal is comprised of waterways including rivers, bays and sounds that are inter-connected with locks and canals, and in some locations the open ocean.

My wife’s brother had been a sailor for years and he always wanted to make this voyage. Since he was moving to the Gulf Coast of Florida, this was the perfect time to cast off the dock lines and shove off. And I got to be first mate, cook, assistant navigator, and deck hand.

We met many interesting people along the way who were all heading south for various reasons. A number of folks were sailing the ICW and retiring to points south, and others were making the trip just because they could.

Some individuals were in sailboats or small powerboats and others were in mega-sized yachts. Our boat was 33 feet long which was adequate for the trip. Although, we felt rather puny compared to the military vessels, freighters, and cruise ships we passed by.

We ate and slept onboard, except for one night when we found a marina that served family style meals. We met up with a lot of the boaters we had been seeing along the way, and hung out together for hours telling stories about experiences and sights of our adventure.

The journey started in the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, and 11 days and close to 1200 nautical miles later, we pulled up to the dock in Florida.

This is an ocean going tugboat I photographed in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, which is really like a small ocean. I was especially drawn to the the colorful paint on the boat with the background of blue sky and water.


  1. June 27, 2012 at 9:24 am

    And did you add any “green” to the mix? hehe Nice shot 🙂

  2. June 27, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Nope…ain’t no green out there!

  3. June 27, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Wonderful tones of blue colour… this is amazing photograph, I just whisper to her, take me too wherever you sail… Thank you dear David, love, nia

  4. June 27, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Thank you Nia, whenever I see a boat, that is exactly what I say and feel…I must have been a sailor in a past life.

  5. June 27, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Beautiful, David. I really like the colors of the tugboat against the blue color of the ocean and the sky.

  6. June 27, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    What an adventurous life you have! Good to go with the opportunity.It is a lovely shot with the colours and composition. More! More!

  7. June 27, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    I envy your ICW experience, David! A dream of hubby and mine is to do the ICW, hopefully at retirement. Love the shot of the tug, we see many of them as well as ships of all sizes up & down the CBay, there’s always 6-10 huge ships anchored on the Bay waiting to get into Baltimore to be unloaded. Those tugs can pack a powerful wake, sometimes with 8-10 feet high waves, can be scarey! But overalll, it is a peaceful world on the water, I never want to leave it…..unless a storm is brewing, lol.

    • June 28, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      I know what you mean about never wanting to leave the water! Don’t wait to do the ICW till you retire! Send me an e-mail and I’ll tell you why!!!

  8. Jo Woolf
    June 28, 2012 at 2:04 am

    That sounds like an amazing journey. Sounds as if you have a real attraction for the sea and boats of all sizes.

    • June 28, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      It sure was…I kept and hourly/daily log of the trip. My wife S transcribed it into a fancy journal and used hand calligraphy to write it. Way cool! Ocean, lakes, and rivers have a strong attraction for me…past life maybe. real short story…Wife and I we visiting a restores Hudson Bay Colony (trapper and hunter gathering place via canoe) near Thunder Bay Ontario and we both KNEW we were there hundreds of years ago. We knew what and where each building was and even knew how to get there without a map…spooky.

      • Jo Woolf
        June 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm

        Wow, that’s incredible. As if you were both meant to be there and re-discover it together. I’m glad you trust your intuition! It also sounds like a very precious log-book that you both created.

  9. Tricia Booker Photography
    June 28, 2012 at 4:18 am

    Wow, sounds like a fantastic experience! I used to sail on the bay as a child and have fun memories of that beautiful expansive water. Great photo; the colors really gel!

    • June 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm

      Aw man it sure was. Wish I had the space to tell the whole story. Tricia, you should get back out on the water…especially when it’s this hot!!! I love the paint on this tugger too!!

  10. June 28, 2012 at 6:19 am

    What lovely colours – and some wonderful memories.

    • June 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      It sure is colorful…easy to find at sea and at the dock! It was a voyage I will never forget. We saw amazing things. My brother in-law has most of the photos…if I could get them back I could do a series of posts about the trip

  11. June 30, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Sounds like a great experience. Great shot with nice vibrant colors!

    • July 1, 2012 at 11:44 am

      It sure was a great time…one I will always remember. If you ever have the opportunity to do something like that…do it!!! No question about it!!!

  12. July 1, 2012 at 1:31 am

    I know that would have been a very enjoyable trip. I was on the north of Moorhead City N.C. in the 60’s and loved it.

    • July 1, 2012 at 11:50 am

      It sure was…Moorhead City…I remember it well. We got pulled over by the water police for speeding. Apparently our version of no wake was different from theirs. Their version is basically let the current take you. I swear the policeman was a Jackie Gleason look alike…beige uniform and a stub cigar. Boys….we have a problem…

  13. July 12, 2012 at 11:30 am

    How cool is that! 🙂 I love boats and the sea 🙂

    • July 12, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      You and me both!!! I shall live next to these someday!!!

  1. July 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm

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