ICW cruising expert dies from traffic-accident injuries

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Those who travel the Intracoastal Waterway lost one of the great authorities on ICW cruising with the untimely death of Claiborne Young in a traffic accident in North Carolina during the weekend.

Young, 63, died Saturday of injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident.

A lifelong cruiser of the ICW from Virginia to the Florida Keys, Young lectured on and authored multiple cruising guides about the waterway and created a newsletter and website, Salty Southeast Cruisers ’Net, devoted to the lifestyle.

“Since 1983 my life has been consumed as a cruising guide author. I love it because you never know what’s around the next bend,” Young told The News Observer in 2013.

“I can’t imagine retiring,” he said. “It’s fascinating what we do, meeting so many interesting people and visiting so many interesting places. … I’ve got to cover a lot of water in a short period of time.”

His wife, Karen, died in October and Young recently described one of their final conversations to PassageMaker magazine.

“She urged me to get another boat after she was gone. I didn’t want to hear about life after Karen then and immediately moved on to other topics,” Young wrote.

His staff at the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net website — an invention of Young’s that he created when he doubted the future of print — were bereft.

“Claiborne was Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net, and like a giant tsunami, his death has left the staff adrift in a sea of unknowns. We will continue to function as best as possible until the future of SSECN can be determined,” Larry Dormini wrote on the site.