In the “good old days,” cruisers could continue southbound on the AICW all the way to marker #35, and then cut directly southeast on the Gallants Channel,thereby cruising past Town Creek, under the Grayden Paul Bridge, and thence to Taylor Creek and the primary downtown Beaufort, NC waterfront. DO NOT TRY THIS ROUTE NOW UNLESS YOU ARE PILOTING A CANOE!
For many years now, the northwestern tip of the Gallants Channel, where it intersects the Waterway at #35, has shoaled in completely. Thus, southbound AICW craft, bent on a visit to Beaufort, must abandon the Waterway between markers #29 and #30, and run the marked Russel Slue Channel, until intersecting the Gallants Channel southwest of marker #7.
Below Captains Chuck Baier and Susan Landry, owners of Beach House Publications, publishers of “The Great Book of Anchorages,” (http://www.tgboa.com) provide an in-depth review of the Russell Slue – Gallants Channel route to Beaufort. THANKS CHUCK AND SUSAN!
Before getting on to Susan and Chuck’s article, let’s just quickly note another alternative passage to cruise from the AICW to Taylor Creek and the Beaufort waterfront. There is an unnamed (at least on the chart, though the locals call it the “Bulkhead Channel”) channel that leads from Beaufort Inlet to Taylor Creek. This is the deeper and easier to follow of the two routes to Beaufort, discussed here, and it should be your choice if your vessel draw more than 5 1/2 feet. We should also note this Beaufort Inlet to Taylor Creek route is much more convenient for northbound AICW vessels, but, by going out of your way just a bit, any vessel navigating the Waterway, or entering from the briny blue by way of Beaufort Inlet, can make use of this passage!
Edenton, North Carolina by Chuck Baier and Susan Landry
We came down the ICW from Core Creek and took Russell Slough to Gallants Channel. We found the channel well marked and plenty of depth. The lowest water in Russel Slough that we saw was at the 7 foot spot marked on the chart, but we found 11 feet and this was at low tide. In Gallants Channel we found 9 feet MLW at green “7″ where it meets Russell Slough. The rest of the channel depths run from 15 to over 20 feet and near the bridge we found depths in the 20 to 30 feet range. The bridge opens on the hour and half hour. Chuck and Susan,
Trawler Beach House