Skipper Hale’s passage is what we can all hope for through this Problem Stretch. However, as recent as this past October (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=145007), depths of less than 5ft were reported via ARGUS readings at the south end of the Cut. Tidal range is 5-7ft here and is certainly a factor in deciding to take the Cutoff or use the longer alternate route, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=141157. Be sure to click the ARGUS option at the top of the ChartView page.
Ashpoo Coosaw cut off. We are north bound and arrived at the south end 1.5 hour after low water. We were carrying +1.5′ as we entered. The lowest we saw was just inside G185 we had over 6 feet but we might have been too far to the right. At G177 we had 20 feet of water. Clearly it is quite dependent on where you are, and there were times we were hunting a bit to find the best water. 30 or 40 feet to either side of our track could have been quite different,I think you can still take 4″ draft through at low water. There were three trawlers ahead of us the largest one was 50 feet and she was almost half an hour head of us. I think this passage is doable for most of the tidal cycle. Certainly the 4 hours before high water and 2-3 hours after high water. A sailboat half an hour behind us followed our track and instructions. They saw nothing less than 8.5′
Northbound on the ICW