Posted by Claiborne Young | 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
Cruisers’ Net has posted reports of shoaling in this Problem Stretch (which the ACOE terms as “behind Breach Inlet”) for months now. (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=120335). And we are once again greatly indebted to Captains Susan Landry and Chuck Baier, owners of Beach House Publications, publishers of “The Great Book of Anchorages,” (http://www.tgboa.com) for providing the superb, in-depth article below. THANKS CHUCK AND SUSAN! Please read on!
Claiborne, We transited the ICW from Dewees Creek past the Ben Sawyer Bridge at 0830 this morning, November 7, 2013. Here are the depths that we found. First, we did study the Corps of Engineers most recent survey to determine on which side of the channel the deepest water could be found. It appeared to us that favoring the red side would be best, and that is what we did. We are southbound, so take that into consideration for the report.
All depths reported would be at low tide for today. Before the Ben Sawyer at red “118″ we found 8.2 feet at about 30 feet off the marker. The depths increased to 10 feet as we approached Swinton Creek. Very near the crossing at Swinton Creek the depths were 6 feet. Here is a situation where many may get confused. The currents at Swinton Creek and several other crossing of the ICW near inlets are very strong cross currents. As we crossed the creek we were set immediately off to starboard and pushed out of the channel due to the incoming tide. Fortunately the depths as we crossed these creeks were 17 to 20 feet where the current has scoured them out. But if running on autopilot, the course would not be corrected enough to get the boat back into the channel before hitting shoal waters. We have also found that if set by current, looking ahead will give us a false sense of still being in the channel. But if we look behind us, it becomes very apparent the we have been pushed far out of the channel. We recommend hand steering through this stretch and looking forward as well as behind to determine where the boat is. The speed and direction of these strong currents will depend on whether the tides are incoming or outgoing and how strong the currents are at that particular
time. Now back to the depths.
Approaching green “117″ the signboard is missing and the piling only is sticking about 6 feet out of the water and angled toward the channel. Passing Swinton Creek we found depths of 7 feet, then dropping to 6 feet. As we approached first opening to Breach Inlet, the depths were 5.8, then 5.3, then 4.5. At the intersection of Breach Inlet, the depths were 12 feet with very a strong cross current. Beyond that point to the second crossing at Breach Inlet we saw depths of 10 to 12 feet until we reached Inlet Creek where we briefly had 6 feet. The depths came back to 10-12 feet, which
continued until the Ben Sawyer Bridge. Beyond Ben sawyer we never saw anything less than 12 feet.
As you can see, there is one very shallow area at low tide in the 4- to 5-foot range, so boats with deeper drafts will need to transit at higher tides. With tides in the 5- to 6-foot range for this area, that allows plenty of depths for deeper drafts. We hope this will help all of those that transit this section of the waterway after us. We will keep you posted on any other issues we find.
Chuck and Susan. Trawler Beach House
The Great Book Of Anchorages <http://www.tgboa.com/>
Navigation Notices <http://www.marinalife.com/
Trawler Beach House <http://trawler-beach-house.
Voyages of Sea Trek <http://sea-trek.blogspot.com/
Toler’s Cove Marina guards the Waterway’s northwestern shore southwest of the Sullivan’s Island swing bridge.
We pulled in here after a long day southbound on the ICW. They were full, but the staff was very helpful and tied us up at the fuel dock. Easy in, easy out. Good, convenient stop.
We have been receiving AICW shallow water reports for time out of mind, centered on the Waterway channel south and west of McClellanville, South Carolina, to Awendaw Creek. And, in early 2011, we designated the area as an “ICW Problem Stretch.” As before, we recommend passage at mid or high tide and Capt. Powers confirms that recommendation with his observations. For the most recent survey of this area, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=123112
Transited McClellanville mm 430-435 area today- 2- 2.5 hrs after low water. No temp markers. Lowest water observed 8.0 ft
Mike Powers S/V Second Flight
SOUTH CAROLINA-AICW-WINYAH BAY CHARLESTON HARBOR: Severe Shoaling.
The ACOE of Charleston, South Carolina has reported the location of severe shoaling in the AICW South of McClellanville, South Carolina. This area of severe shoaling is most significant between and near Winyah Bay-Charleston Harbor Daybeacon 35A (LLNR 34237) and Winyah Bay-Charleston Harbor Daybeacon 37(LLNR 34240). Further information can be found on the ACOE Charleston website at http://www.sac.usace.army.mil/ The ACOE has no future plans for dredging due to budget restrictions. Mariners are advised to transit the area with extreme caution. Chart 11518 LNM 44/13
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. But, even after dark, Captain Scott found the way in. As a note, Charleston is about 35 statute miles south of Awendaw Creek.
Anchored out at Awendaw Creek last night on a trip from Charleston to Georgetown. Got in after dark and anchored up with no problem. A little recreational shrimping boat traffic until about 10 p.m. Beautiful evening. Surprisingly, you can still see the lights of Charleston from this far off.
Jeff and Gina Scott
The Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net has posted reports of shoaling in this Problem Stretch (which the ACOE terms as “behind Breach Inlet”) for months now. (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=120335). Our thanks to the US Army Corps of Engineers in Charleston, SC for providing SSECN with the newest (October, 2013) survey of this Problem Stretch. Once again, the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net is honored to be the FIRST means by which the US Army Corps of Engineers chose to get this critical information into the hands of the cruising community.
By looking closely at the area in the center of the survey, hard by Marker #117A opposite Swinton Creek, you can see MLWW corrected depths of AS LITTLE AS .2 FEET ON THE SOUTHERN (SOUTHEASTERN) TIER OF THE WATERWAY CHANNEL, and even the northern section, which has always been the deeper part, MLW soundings can run to only 4.2 ft depths.
Need we say it, cruisers piloting craft of almost any draft MUST time their passage of these waters for mid to high tide!
Our contact at the US Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District, has just forwarded the most recent (9/27/13) official USACOE survey of depths on Jeremy Creek. While depths have improved slightly over last December’s survey (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=103937), you can see that the center of the channel is c. 3.5ft. However, the survey does show that better depths – 4.9ft – are found on the starboard side of the channel when entering and channel depths improve farther upstream. All depths shown on this survey are corrected for Mean Low Water. 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 vessels with less than 5ft draft!
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 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.
Everyone in McClellanville is hoping that the USACOE will dredge Jeremy Creek soon, but, as of this writing, there are no 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 have been receiving AICW shallow water reports for time out of mind, centered on the Waterway channel south and west of McClellanville, South Carolina, to Awendaw Creek.
Now, our good friends, and SSECN strategic partners, Captains Mark and Diana Doyle, founders and owners of “On The Water ChartGuides” (http://www.onthewaterchartguides.com/), give us an updated, graphic report relaying what they discovered as they navigated through the Waterway south of McClellanville on 8/27/13.
NOTE THAT THE DOYLE’S SOUNDINGS WERE TAKEN NEAR HIGH TIDE, MEANING THAT YOU MUST SUBTRACT 4.7 FEET FROM THEIR SOUNDINGS TO DISCOVER WHAT MLW DEPTHS WOULD BE. As you will discover, there are a few spots southwest of marker #37 that would only carry as little as 5 to 5 1/2 feet at MLW!
Incidentally, Diana and Mark have just published a new edition of their immensely popular “ICW CruiseGuide.” Click on the book graphic to the above right for more details, and to place an order!
For the last year or two, the AICW channel north of Charleston, SC Harbor, between the Isle of Palms and Ben Sawyer Bridges, has been an SSECN designated “AICW Problem Stretch. Recently, these waters were the co-subject (along the Ashepoo – Coosaw Cutoff) of a joint call from the SSECN, the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association, and the South Carolina Marine Association, suggesting members of the cruising community contact the SC US Congressional delegation, and ask them to support a special appropriation to dredge these waters. (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=121335).
Now, our good friends, and SSECN strategic partners, Captains Mark and Diana Doyle, founders and owners of “On The Water ChartGuides” (http://www.onthewaterchartguides.com/), give us an updated, graphic report relaying what they discovered as they navigated through the Waterway north of Charleston on 8/27/13.
NOTE THAT THE DOYLE’S SOUNDINGS WERE TAKEN AT MID-TIDE, MEANING THAT YOU MUST SUBTRACT 2.3 FEET FROM THEIR SOUNDINGS TO DISCOVER WHAT MLW DEPTHS WOULD BE. As you will discover, there are a few spots southwest of the Swinton Creek intersection that would only carry as little as 3 feet at MLW!
YIKES!!!!!! We need to get these waters dredged NOW!!!!!
Incidentally, Diana and Mark are just about to publish a new edition of their immensely popular “ICW CruiseGuide.” Click on the book graphic to the above right for more details, and to place a pre-order!
Cruisers’ Net has posted reports of shoaling in this Problem Stretch (which the ACOE terms as “behind Breach Inlet”) for months now. (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=120335). The US Army Corps of Engineers in Charleston, SC has made dredging these stretches their #1 priority. Now, we just have to find some money/”supplemental appropriate” to get the job done!
SOUTH CAROLINA-AICW-WINYAH BAY – CHARLESTON HARBOR-ISLE OF PALMS-SULLIVANS ISLAND: Severe Shoaling
The ACOE of Charleston, South Carolina has reported the location of severe shoaling in the AICW between Charleston Harbor and Winyah Bay near Isle of Palms and Sullivans Island in South Carolina. An area of severe shoaling exists between Winyah Bay-Charleston Harbor Daybeacon 117A(LLNR 34510.5) and Winyah Bay-Charleston Harbor Daybeacon 119(LLNR 34520). Further information can be found on the ACOE Charleston website at http://www.sac.usace.army.mil/ The ACOE has no future plans for dredging due to budget restrictions. Mariners are advised to transit the area with extreme caution.
My neighbor in a Sportfish (5′ Draft) found the bottom at low tide last week near [the AICW channel running past] Isle of Palms.
Be safe and take care-
It’s no accident that the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association is pushing very hard to have this Problem Stretch dredged (which they term as “behind Breach Inlet”), and, along with the AICW’s passage through the Ashepoo – Coosaw Cutoff (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=5480 and http://cruisersnet.net/?p=119918), the US Army Corps of Engineers in Charleston, SC have made dredging these stretches their #1 priority. Now, we just have to find some money/”supplemental appropriate” to get the job done!
We traveled this section 8-2-2013 leaving McClellanville just as the tide started back up at the marina dock. Traveling on plane in an express cruiser we saw 8 to 11 ft under our hull most all the way. The last mile or so going into Isle of Palms I did see readings down to 5 and 6 ft. Keep in mind we traveled mid channel by the “sticks” paying no mind to any “pink lines ” on the chart plotter. Magneta lines can be a good guide but nothing beats eyes on the sticks and following the marked channel.
Recently renovated Leland Oil Company sits on the northern shores of Jeremy Creek, in the heart of McClellanville, hard by the stream’s charted turn to the west.
Like Captain Dick, we find McClellanville, to be one of the most delightful stops on the AICW, and, yet, it’s known to only a few cruisers. Stop for awhile and make the acquaintance of this village that time has forgotten. You won’t be sorry!
Came in to McClellanville to get out of the rain. The Leland Oil Company was empty as this is not the time that Cruisers go north. the attending Dock master, Rutledge, was wonderful. Loaned his truck to us to go to the diner for lovely fish/shrimp dinner. we were to leave the next morning but the radar showed nothing but big thunder storms. We decided to enjoy this lovely place for another day and do some engine oil change. Found a problem which led a series of folks that found the right guys to fix the situation. Such good and talented people in the small out of the way places. When I commented to the young man working on the problem I asked him how he learned to do these things his comment was “we are in the middle of nowhere so we have to know.”
I highly recommend this stop to all. floating docks are wonderful as well with the huge tides.
The AICW is shoaling badly along its southern and southeastern flank between the Ben Sawyer and Isle of Palms Bridges. MLW depths of as little as 2 feet have been noted by an official November, 2012 US Army Corps of Engineers survey.
From earlier reports and as Captain Mullins confirms, the water gets thin between AICW markers #111 and #119, north of the Waterway’s entrance into Charleston Harbor. These waters have been designated an SSECN Problem Stretch and caution should be exercised through the AICW channel past the Ben Sawyer Bridge and the Isle of Palms.
AICW abeam of Breech Inlet:
I’ve written about this area before but I am noticing an increasing number of sailboats aground during low tide. It is in the area where 3 creeks wash from Breach Inlet into the AICW. There are 2 green day marks north of the Ben Sawyer bridge and this bad stretch is shoaling between them. You can make it in a 5 ft. draft boat, but you must weave and bob a little to get through.
Philip W. Mullins (Phil)
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.
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.