Posted by Claiborne | Posted on 09-21-2009
Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings
Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings
You almost have to think of Awendaw Creek as two different bodies of waters. First, there is the southwesterly branch, which is followed by the AICW for several miles, southwest of marker #50. Then, there is the seaward branch, south of marker #50, and bypassed by the Waterway. This latter stream can make for a good overnight anchorage, but, over the years, we have received reports from some cruisers who have found shallow depths here. Clearly, as you will see below, Captain Kent did not have that problem!
We spent an enjoyable night anchored in Awendaw Creek last night with two other sailboats. We entered Awendaw Creek at R48 on the north side of the creek to avoid clearly visible shoaling to the south side of the entrance. The tide was high when we approached and anchored and almost to peak when we left the next morning. Carina, our 34-foot sailboat, draws 4-1/2 feet and had no problem. Terrain is open marshland. Even the no-seeums weren’t horrible
We entered the creek on a high tide, avoiding the visible shoaled area on the south side of the entrance. We anchored in about 15 feet, surrounded by unprotected marshlands. It was a beautiful, quiet anchorage when we were there. The no-seeums hardly showed up. We left on a rising tide the next morning with no problems. Carina, a 34-foot sailboat, draws 4-1/2′. Read the tides, keep your eyes open when you enter and leave and enjoy the anchorage.
Due to persistent shoaling, in early 2011 we designated the Waterway south of McClellanville to Awendaw Creek, as an “ICW Problem Stretch.” As before, we recommend passage at mid or high tide. Capt. Schmidt confirms that shoaling still persists in this area.
As you know, there are problems here.
Today, Jan. 11 starting at mile 430, beacon 35 depth drops to as low as 4 feet and is consistently 5 feet. Found two boats aground at beacon 40. It was 1330, dead low tide, new moon with prediction of -0.7 feet. By beacon 42 it was back to the normal 9-10 feet.
Your advice to pass at mid to high rising tide is correct, but time and mother nature put us there at the wrong time. But we made it. I draw 3′-9″ so I slowly passed the grounded vessels.
Went thru this area on January 6 2013 and saw 8.1′ at mid-tide. Be cautious in this area.
Captains Gregory and Mary Yount
We are glad to hear that Tolers Cove Marina is taking transients. In the past, this service seemed uncertain.
Watch out for entrance depths when approaching the back side of Tolers Cove, where you will find all their docks. Between dredging cycles, depths here can get thin.
I stay[ed] at a small marina, Toler’s Cove Marina, tucked in off the ICW just south of the Ben Sawyer Bridge. It is home to a number of sport fishing boats but they do have room for transients. One of the best things about this marina is there is no current to deal with. The only drawback is they have no restroom or showers at the present time. I found the location to be ideal. It is only about a mile from Sullivan’s Island where I walked to Poe’s Restaurant for one of their famous burgers. About 1.5 miles in the other direction are a couple of grocery stores, West Marine, and number of local restaurants. If you need transportation, the marina manager, Kevin, can arrange it for you. Great spot!
Inlet Creek makes off from the northern banks of the AICW, north (really east) of the Waterway’s intersection with Charleston Harbor, and is surrounded by marsh grass shores. We have always found the mainland branch of Inlet Creek to be an acceptable anchorage, and a good place to wait for daylight or fair weather to make good our entry into Charleston Harbor at Sullivans Island.
We got chased off the water on 4/25/2013 by fast approaching thunderstorms and severe weather warnings broadcast on the VHF. It was 15h30, just off celestial low at Ben Sawyer Bridge. We considered hiding at Toler’s Cove Marina, which has been a friendly stop for us in the past, but instead, we decided on Inlet Creek. The entrance is shoal to the south side, but center-line and north side depths carried 16′ – 17′ at approximately 1+ on tide. low water. We went in to about 200 yds from the shoal at the back of the creek, and dropped the hook in 13′, with a tidal range of 9′. We laid out 130′ of rode, and did not set out a second anchor. We had adequate swing room for our 40′ Sanctuary. We were later joined by a large sailing catamaran, greater LOA than ours, who also did not set out a second anchor. The holding was fine; no problems with the 35kt t’storm gusts we got. There were no small, fast fishing boat wakes, and the wind protection was “salt marsh average.” Sunset and sunrise were spectacular.
Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary
Statute Mile 457 – can someone who has stayed here recently give a report on Isle of Palms Marina, near AICW marker #117? Did you try the on-site restaurant? How did you find the bill of fare?
I live at Wild Dunes and eat at Morgans Creek Grill at the Isle of Palms marina quite often. They do a very good job with fresh seafood. Happy hour is 4 to 7 week days as long as you sit at the bar, either on the first floor or upstairs. Appetizers are half price and beers, wine and cocktails are reduced price. The mussels (only available on the first floor) are to die for.
In season they have an oyster roast on Saturday afternoons in November, December. Usually have music on weekends. Good Spot.
Philip W. Mullins (Phil)
On 4/30/13, as part of a South Carolina Wish List, we posed the following question:
Statute Mile 451.5 – anyone anchored on Whiteside Creek, off the AICW’s northwestern banks, north of marker #97? What depths did you find? Was the lee of the surrounding shores good enough to afford you a comfortable evening?
Anchored there 4/25/13. Went in at low tide. Had 14′ all the way in. Anchored before where chart shows 11′ (another boat anchored at that spot). Had storm but no holding problems. Gave anchorage 4 stars. Creek is much narrower than looks at high tide but depth was 14′ from bank to bank when tide is out.
As part of a 4/30/13 South Carolina Wish List, we posed the following question:
Statute Mile 415.5 – who has anchored on the waters of Minim Creek, south of AICW marker #4? Did you find sufficient swing room and depths here? Would you recommend this anchorage to fellow cruisers?
We anchored in 8 feet at mid tide. There is plenty of swing room for a 41ft cat proably enough for a 50 ft monohull. We anchored seaward.
We anchored on the western branch of Minim Creek, just past the dock. There was plenty of swing room and good protection from fetch. Very quiet area, so remote that no lights could be seen at night. Our kind of anchorage. It was a good stop for us to stage for a morning arrival at the Georgetown Public Docks, so we could visit the town during our day-only free stay.
Glen and Jill Moore
DeFever 40 Last Dance
On 4/30/13, as part of a South Carolina Wish List, we posed the following queastion:
Statute Mile 430 – Who has visited McClellanville, SC lately? Did you find the shallow MLW depths on the southern section of Jeremy Creek that we reported a few months ago? Did you dock at Leland Oil Company’s recently upgraded piers? What were you overall impressions of this marina and McClellanville in general? Did you dine ashore? Did you find McClellanville as picturesque as ever?
We stayed at the Leland oil Co. We draw 5’3 and made it in and out following their directions. The town was quaint, not much there, but a peaceful stop over.
Having cruised through the waters referred to below, between the AICW’s southerly exit from Winyah Bay, and the crossing at North Santee River, for well over thirty years now, I can wholeheartedly second Captain Hartsell’s recommendation. This portion of the Waterway is bounded by vast grass marshes which stretch back to higher, well wooded banks. You can see all sorts of bird life along this stretch, in addition to the “eagles” mentioned below.
As Spring is now in full swing, the northern migration is beginning. I’d like to share a place that I have found along the South Carolina ICW for spotting Eagles. Beginning at the North Santee River and ending at Winyah Bay I have found the largest concentration of Eagles, seeing as many as 12 Eagles on one trip along this portion of the ICW. They are often sitting on a branch high in the tallest pine trees along the banks but I have seen them flying and landing along the shoreline as well. For those of you doing the loop this year, I envy you. It is a magical trip, Enjoy!
Extreme tidal ranges have been the norm for the last year, giving not only lower, but also higher, than charted depths. Seeing highs and lows a foot or more off the charted numbers has been common. Navigating the constantly changing depths in the Waterway channels is part of the challenge (fun?) of staying off the bottom, even in normal depth conditions. Our advice has always been: follow the markers and do not depend entirely on the magenta line on your chart or chartplotter.
Hi – wanted to report general shoaling in the stretch from just south of the South Santee River and extending down to Price Creek, past marker 80. We just ran it at low water, and did not see 9′ anywhere in that entire stretch; the average depth was 7.5 to 8′, and running a narrow zigzag centered on the channel showed the deepest water to be in the center and shoaling (mostly) slowly toward the edges. The variation in depth is small, with no bars that I saw. Extreme caution is recommended.
Also note that it doesn’t get a whole lot better after Price Creek: the depths come up very slowly, until suddenly going completely schizophrenic just past Dewees Island: up to 35′ as you cross the rivers and the inlets, instantly dropping to 7′ or 8′ as you come up on the other side (silting in.)
Our contact at the US Army Corps of Engineers has just forwarded copies of an official USACOE survey of depths on Jeremy Creek taken 11/19/12. Take a look at the first three lines of soundings north of the stream’s mouth, in the enlargement of the survey below. You will quickly see why we have designated this posting as “Important” and have set an SSECN Navigation Alert for these waters.
All depths shown on this survey are corrected for Mean Low Water. So, a quick glance will show you that, at low tide, you might be cruising through as little as 2.0 to 2.6 feet depths, RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CHANNEL! Fortunately, channel depths improve farther upstream.
However, until and if dredging can be accomplished on the southern portion of Jeremy Creek, entrance and exit at times near low water will be relegated strictly to shallow draft vessels!
Now, why is this such a big deal. Well, Jeremy Creek provides the only water access to the charming village of McClellanville, South Carolina, and its recently improved marina, Leland Oil Company. The shoal depths at the entrance to Jeremy Creek are going to be a real obstacle to visiting both this marina and the adjoining community.
Fortunately, there is a 5.5 to 6 foot tidal range in this region, so most cruising craft will be able to navigate southern Jeremy Creek near the time of high tide. Of course, having to time your travel around the tides can be a major inconvenience to cruisers.
A telephone conversation with the dockmaster at Leland Marine on 12/28/12 confirmed the surveyed shallow depths, and we were told that deeper draft boats are indeed having to play the tides when entering and leaving. On the other hand, the dockmaster said he had accommodated several boats this fall season with 5-foot draft, but clearly, these vessels did not arrive or leave at low water.
The dockmaster went on to say that everyone in McClellanville is hoping that the USACOE will dredge Jeremy Creek this year, but he has not heard of any definite plans to do so. Let’s hope this dredging happens soon!
In the meantime, ALL mariners bent on a visit to McClellanville and/or Leland Oil Company, NEED TO TAKE THIS INFORMATION INTO ACCOUNT!
We are pleased and honored to report that the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net has dedicated friends at the various Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters who work hard to keep the cruising community informed about newly developing problems on the AICW. And, that is just what Captain Mike Verdolini has done by forwarding the official November, 2012 AICW depth survey pictured below.
Take a gander at the NOAA chartlet to the right, and you will quickly see that the survey in question centers on the Waterway, north of Charleston Harbor and the Ben Sawyer Bridge, between Inlet Creek’s northeastern mouth and Swinton Creek.
Take a look at the image below, and study the recorded, MLLW corrected soundings along the AICW’s southern/southeastern flank, between Inlet Creek’s northeastern mouth and Swinton Creek. Look at those 0.8, 1.1 and 2.5 foot (etc.) soundings. Think the Waterway may have a shoaling problem here?
Also, notice that this thin water along the AICW’s southern flank continues to a point well east and northeast of marker #117A!
For at least a year now, we have had these water designated as an SSECN Navigation Alert. Now, however, with this official USACOE information in hand, we are going to upgrade the difficulty of these waters to an “AICW Problem Stretch.”
ALL cruisers should proceed with the greatest caution through this section of the Waterway, preferably at mid to high tide, and favor the northern side of the channel somewhat.
WE ARE SEEKING INPUT FROM THE CRUISING COMMUNITY CONCERNING THIS NEW AICW PROBLEM STRETCH! If you have traversed these waters recently, PLEASE send us your soundings and impressions. You can simply follow the “Click Here to Submit Cruising News” button/link found on the upper right of this and all (except Chart View) SSECN pages, or send your data directly to CruiserNet@triad.twcbc.com.
Located halfway between Georgetown and Charleston, SC, Awendaw Creek has been successfully accessed for anchoring by several recent cruisers. On the south side of the Waterway, Awendaw Creek is best approached through its northern entrance which is due south of marker #48 and just west of marker #47 in Harbor River.
Anchored here on 10/1/2012-all positive comments on this anchorage are true. Went in at 1 hour before low tide and never had less than 8′ and mostly double digits in the anchorage. “No-seeum’s” came out at sundown but an “Off” coil kept them to a minimum.
Capt. Pat Carter
Oct 10 we anchored at Awendaw Creek turned the corner in charted 13 feet but saw 16 feet, surprisingly very quiet night even though it appears to be wide open.
From earlier reports and as Captain Bell confirms, the water gets thin between AICW markers #111 and #119, north of the Waterway’s entrance into Charleston Harbor. While not yet designated an SSECN Problem Stretch, we have established a Navigation Alert for these waters and caution should be exercised through the AICW channel past the Isle of Palms.
Three days ago we had to wait for one hour past low water, which was “0″ tide, to pass between 117A and 119. Our sailboat has a five foot draft. We made two slow attempts to pass but ran aground mid channel and west or land side of mid channel. NOTE: while we waited for an hour past low tide we made an attempt to bypass the low spot by going around the Atlantic side loop. The chart shows deep water, which there is until you are 100 yards from 119, then there is a shoal that is less than four feet. So back to 117A you go.
Here’s another excellent report from our strategic partners, Captains Mark and Diana Doyle, owners and originator of On The Water Chart Guides. This article concerns Leland Oil Company Marina, located on the waters of Jeremy Creek at McClellanville, SC. This facility lies about half-way between Winyah Bay and Charleston Harbor.
As has been previously reported here on the Cruisers’ Net, and made clear once again below by Captains Diana and Mark, McClellanville Oil Co. Marina may just be “the” most improved facility in the SC Low Country. Even so, no-one will ever mistake this place for Pier 66, or Morehead City Yacht Basin, BUT with things as they now stand, we can recommend a stop here for those who want to experience a last, little piece of South Carolina Low Country, small town, charm!
Diana and I were through McClellanville last month and thought you’d like an update on what Dwayne’s up to at Leland Oil.
ICW veterans have long known about the shrimp boat docks at McClellanville, SC (STM 430.0).
In the past, you’d trade beer to raft up for the night In the tiny harbor of Jeremy Creek. But, of course, you’d have to stay up with the shrimpers to drink the beer … and then untangle your boat at oh-dark-thirty so they could get off to work and you could catch a few hours of sleep before moving on.
Now there is a more “civilized” alternative. Last year, Dwayne Merritt at Leland Oil put in floating docks to provide a place for recreational boats to tie up for the night, allowing them to keep their beer … and get some sleep.
We recently stayed at Leland Oil and saw first-hand the new floating docks. Very nice! And Dwayne continues to make this facility more welcoming to cruising sail and power boats.
McClellanville is worth a saunter, a quiet village of well-kept houses clustered on a few blocks near the shrimp docks. With its small streets, lack of traffic, and friendly residents, walking the town feels like going back a few decades.
There is one stop in town, the local seafood restaurant, T.W. Graham. In true small-town style, it has abbreviated hours but is worth the wait. FRESH-FRESH seafood!
Best and see you On the Water,
Captains Mark & Diana Doyle
Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Leland Oil Co. Marina
Perhaps the #1 advantage of being Survice Enginnering’s ARGUS Project’s strategic web partner, is that the SSECN is the FIRST to receive shallow water updates from the various ARGUS volunteer research vessels traveling Southeastern USA coastal waters. And, that’s just what’s happened here!
Now, it isn’t exactly a surprise that the ARGUS equipment aboard M/V Elixir has just reported finding less than optimum depths along the path of the AICW south of McClellanville, South Carolina. After all, the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net declared these waters as an “AICW Problem Stretch” several years ago! However, it’s certainly nice for ARGUS to verify this data, and even to pin-point the shallowest spots!
Take a look at the first graphic below, and note the color coded ARGUS “solution sets” along the track of the AICW immediately southwest of marker #37. This stretch of the AICW lies just southwest of Jeremy Creek and McClellanville. As you can see, Elixir discovered some 6-foot MLW depths right along the mid-width of the AICW channel. Still enough for most vessels, but definitely getting on the thin side:
And, then we have a second set of ARGUS soundings (“solution sets”) depicted in the graphic below, just a small hop farther to the southwest (northeast of marker #40). Again, LOTS of 6-foot MLW depths noted here:
PLEASE NOTE that these depths (“solution sets”) are so NEW, they are NOT yet depicted on the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net Chart View “ARGUS Layer.” That will be corrected on our next update from Survice Engineering, due to be received soon. However, we thought this data was so interesting, it was worth calling to the attention of the cruising community even before this update is received and processed!
We understand from many sources that Leland Oil Company Marina, under a new owner, is making big improvements, including new floating docks, to this very affordable facility – long a source of good fuel prices. We hear, too, that the owner will take time to drive you to nearby stores. Also note that if you have never visited the backwater village of McClellanville, SC, you owe it to yourself to stop here and at least take in the community. It’s like stepping into a time machine that transports you to what most of the Low Country must have looked like 50 years ago. Try it, you might just like it!
We haven’t been there since Leland Oil Company began the renovation. Jeremy Creek was being dredged during our last visit, and we were extremely happy with the rumor
that there was a possibility of a dock in progress. We own six acres on Drayton Lane, immediately across from ‘Gussie’s’ house, and the church which is on the grounds of the slave cemetery. (This church was turned on its foundation during Hurricane Hugo in 1989) McClellanville is on the Historic Registry for those who may not be aware; and the two restaurants in our small little town can compete with any 5 Star restaurant around. Plus, the seating is a lot more comfortable.
We are full-time cruisers and are proud of McClellanville for its citizens caring enough to progress slowly without spoiling its heritage. Since cruisers and McClellanville share a lot in common, we look forward to taking our sv Gypsysails into Jeremy Creek with the first opportunity that prevails.
Thank you Leland Oil Company, we will be sure to share with as many cruisers as we can, because they appreciate communities like ours.
Ginger & Maury Thompson
We stayed at Leland Oil in McClellanville on 16th May 2012 on our 50′ Benetau with a 6′ draft. The entrance to the the creek was a little shallow but no real problem (a foot above low). At the dock during a normal low tide we still had 6″ on the bottom. Plenty of space on the new dock easy tie up and departure. The fishing boats all respected the no wake which made for a very pleasant quiet nights sleep, we will visit again.
Back in April (2012), we published several reports from fellow cruisers detailing the very welcome new, floating docks at McClellanville, South Carolina’s Leland Oil Company (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=81422 and http://cruisersnet.net/?p=85795). I had always wanted to recommend stopping in McClellanville, as this idyllic village is a real throwback to yesteryear, with its moss shrouded lanes, and quaint homes that look as if they just stepped out of the early 1900′s. However, until these new docks were added, the roughness of Leland Oil Company’s dockage facilities were a real trade-off against the community’s other charms. Now, while no-one will ever mistake this facility for Fort Lauderdale’s “Pier 66,” we can recommend a stop here!
Just a few minutes ago, the dockmaster at Leland Oil Company transmitted a series of photos detailing his new docks, You can see one to the right. Follow the photo gallery link below to check out the rest!