The Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, is a 3000-mile waterway system that runs the length of the eastern United States along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It’s partially made up of natural rivers, inlets and creeks and where natural waterways didn’t exist, artificial canals and locks were dug, providing a way for boats to pass from Canada to Florida without ever having to go out onto the ocean.
There are some challenges that accompany traveling on the ICW in a keelboat, though, which may include running aground in low tide (some channels are only 5 feet), dealing with restricted bridge openings, shoaling in unexpected places and sketchy anchorage entrances. But it’s a unique experience to see the geography change as drastically as it does between New York and Florida.
And though it’s difficult to completely capture the experience of traveling 1500 miles on the ICW, hopefully this photo essay will give you a little insight into what the journey looked like for us.