Cruising the Atlantic ICW - day markers and signs will mark the channel and point the way for an amazing adventure along a well
protected passage for its entire length. On occasion, you will have to share it with Tugs and Bugs and Barges, Navy ships, and at Kings' Bay,
possibly even a Submarine. You will encounter Cruise Ships and more Shrimp boats than you can count, along with all sorts of crab fishermen and
commercial fishing vessels.
At times it will be hard to remember that we are the intruders here, as the entire ICW is free to recreational boaters. It is the commercial vessels that
pay their way (and ours). So, be nice to those guys and for sure, stay out of their way.
For Loopers, this is our "Route 66" and major waterway from St Lucie Inlet all the way to the Erie Canal. Along the way, you will discover some really
amazing things to do and see. By far, cruising the ICW is an adventure. In some areas, just when it really starts to bore you, along comes another
gem that makes the entire length of the ICW worth cruising all over again.
Safe boaters can rest assured that your entire voyage around America's Great Loop, it is all about safety. Being a safe boater is your primary
concern.
As long as you stay within the boundaries of the marked channel - it is surprisingly difficult to get into any real trouble on the ICW. For the
most part even if your boat sinks, it will be resting hard on the bottom before it disappears under the water, as most of the ICW is shallow.
For a safe boater, probably the very worst that can happen is running aground and suffering a lot of temporary embarrassment until the tide rises
again - a situation of which, most of us have experienced.
If you are worried about crossing that 73 mile stretch between Carrabelle and Steinhatchee on the Gulf of Mexico - don't be. Chances are by the
time you get to the Gulf of Mexico, you will have cruised across Pamlico Sound, Albemarle Sound, Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay, and the Great
Lakes. By the time you reach the Gulf, crossing it will be a piece of cake.
You are about to discover for yourself, the ICW is a great place to cruise.
What are your chances of getting lost?
Heading north when cruising the Loop in a counter
clockwise direction,
just remember - keep the red markers on
your left or Port. Keep the green ones on your right or starboard.
An easy way to remember this is to remember both the Atlantic
and Gulf ICWs will take you south all the way to Texas. When
cruising the ICW -
"Red right = return to Texas".  
ICW Red
Day Marker
ICW Green
Day Marker
Watch for the Yellow Stickers
Don't just get a good pair of binoculars.
Get a GREAT pair of binoculars.
Very Slim to Null . . .
With very few exceptions, it is almost impossible to get lost anywhere on America's Great Loop. That's even without your GPS. With your GPS - it has
to be as impossible to do as winning the Lottery.
Day Markers (those red and green signs on the waterways indicate channels. "ICW" day markers are the ones with the little yellow stickers on top.  
These yellow stickers indicate the ICW channel on both the Atlantic and Gulf ICW waterways for your entire journey. Just follow the Day Markers
with
the small yellow stickers
on top. It is the yellow stickers that indicate that you are indeed on the ICW.
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