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The Salty Southeast
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Archive For: SC – 4 – Belle Isle to Sullivans Island

  • Shoaling Reported North of Charleston, AICW Statute Mile 457

    This shoaling is just north of the Isle of Palms Connector Bridge. Earlier reports had advised staying in the center of the channel, except as advised at marker #117A.

    Severe shoaling reported in the vicinity of Winyah Bay-Charleston Harbor DBN 117A
    (LLNR 34510.5), reported depth at 3.5 ft in the channel. Chart 11518

    Check your charts… make adjustments and be watchful
    Jim Lowry

    We just went through there this morning (at high tide) [3/25/11] without any problems. Didn’t see less than 10ft
    Harriet Levine Hardy

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Daybeacon #117A

  • AICW Shoaling Reported North of Charleston (Near Statute Mile 459)

    This report centers on a section of the AICW north of the Ben Sawyer Bridge and is similar to earlier reports of shoaling between Statute Miles 455 and 465.


    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Shoaling N of Ben Sawyer Bridge

    Click Here To View An Earlier Report on this Area

  • Three Votes for Awendaw Creek Anchorage, AICW Statute Mile 436

    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.

    Leaving Georgetown, SC heading to Charleston on 1/14/11 we found a great anchorage off Marker 48A to the port side heading south in Awendaw Creek. Great width, depth for larger boats. Protected from all directions except easterly. We anchored in and around back side. Our ICW cruising guide show anchorage near mouth of creek, there is plenty of depth to go up and around. You can find 8ft, behind point, and 25ft. in the inlet opening, with plenty of swing room for our 43ft. Shannon so one can anchor where they are most comfortable.
    Susan and Bob Dawson

    We anchored in Awendaw Creek two nights ago and found it to be an excellent anchorage. The straight shot in showed no less than 19 feet (the charted shoal at the mouth seems to be non-existent). Once you go around the hook to the left, it shallows to 9-12 feet with lots of swinging room. Room for at least 20 boats. Compared notes with folks who did Graham Creek, I would vote for Awendaw.
    Allen and Judy Ames

    Awendaw Creek Anchorage…..we also anchored there just last evening and it was perfect! The waters were calm and no winds. And the hook set every easily! Plenty of room. Will surely return there when heading back up north.
    Ed and Eva Higginson aboard S/V “Makai”

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Awendaw Creek

  • Shoaling Reported in Graham Creek Anchorage, Good Depths in Price Creek, AICW Statute Miles 439 and 448

    Graham Creek cuts the southeastern shores of the AICW near marker #64. Price Creek makes into the Waterway’s southeastern banks, southwest of marker #84.
    Note that other fellow cruisers have found better depths here during 2009 – 2010. We would very much appreciate hearing from others who have anchored, or attempted to anchor here, and discover what depths you discovered. If this describes you, please click the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below, and share your information.

    Attempted to enter Graham Creek on Thanksgiving based upon the 6′ levels posted; forget it – 4.4 to 4.6 was what I saw at the entrance; went aground was able to get off thanks goodness and move on to Price Creek which was absolutely beautiful and deep – 12 – 15′
    Captain Pat Kenefick

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Anchorage Directory Listing For Graham Creek Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Graham Creek Anchorage

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Anchorage Directory Listing For Price Creek

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Price Creek

  • Dewees Creek Anchorage – Captain Jane Reports (Statute Mile 455)

    Sunset at Dewees Creek

    Here’s another superb story from our fearless roving reporter, Captain Jane Tigar. Her story below concerns anchoring on Dewees Creek, This somewhat complicated, but undeniably anchor rich complex of creeks intersects the AICW south of marker #109. As Captain Jane notes, there are seaward and land-side branches of Dewees Creek. The western arm, in particular has many possibly havens, including on on charted Long Creek.

    Even if you think you’d rather be in a marina, this is an anchorage that could change your mind. There are at least four separate anchoring areas — and that’s without going up the creek and exploring — and there’s plenty of room to maneuver.
    First, you have two options, West off the AICW or East off the AICW. We did not personally explore the Eastern option but observed a large sailing catamaran take the turn, go past the ferry dock at Dewees Island and drop the hook pretty much exactly as Skipper Bob suggests. She was still there in the morning where we’d last spied her — so we presume it was a good spot. From the Waterway, this Eastern choice appears a little less picturesque than the Western option and you do have Gray Aggie taking people back and forth to Isle of Palms, a feature that is neither a plus nor minus in my book.
    We chose West just because it looked pretty. We found lots of deep water, just as charted — even the numbers we thought were typos such as a 71 which we were sure would be 17 were accurate. Had you been listening in on us, you would have heard us both say, with great surprise: Nope, it’s really 71!
    The Western option offers you at least three obvious choices without wandering far off the AICW — you can go straight ahead (which we did), take a port turn or take a starboard turn, each to what appear to be fine anchoring spots. Going straight ahead, we found that the depths drop to 20 and just past the first creek arm to port, we found depths of mid- to high teens — perfect for anchoring. There is so much room here, we felt very comfortable, even if a parade of boats were to join us as Isle of Palms Marina and some in Charleston, too, were full. As it turned out, only four vessels joined us for the night. One right near us in the main section of the creek as you can see in the sunset photograph. Another chose the slender arm that heads South. Two other boats took the first turn to North.
    It was a breezy night and we found holding excellent. The currents aligned us for a splendid sunset and in the morning conveniently spun us so we faced east for an equally splendid sunrise coming up over the ocean as we reentered the AICW.
    It doesn’t get better than this.
    Captain Jane
    S/V Lady Jane

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Anchorage Directory Listing For Dewees Creek Anchorages

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Dewees Creek

  • More Shallow Depths South of McClellanville at AICW Statute Mile 431

    As you approach the southside of McClellanville on the AICW, please heed earlier advice to favor the red side, especially in the stretch between markers 37 and 38. Please open the links below for more information and a Chart View of this area.

    After anchoring in the South Santee River we headed for Isle of Palms yesterday morning ( 11/5/2010 )… we traversed the McClellanville stretch 2 hours after high tide (falling) all seemed well in the middle of the channel until we sited depths in the 5 foot range in 3 different places through that run … all in mid-channel … had our water tanks been full, we’d have grounded for sure.

    Transited the area today about 2 hours before low tide. While we did see the occasional 8′ or 7.9 we saw nothing approaching 5′ while following the channel. The channel does indeed favor the red in general (that is, it is NOT in the center of the water) but it was quite possible to transit in relatively low water.
    Captain Leigh

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the “Alert” Section of the AICW South of McClellanville, SC Where The Shallow Water Described Above Was Encountered

    Click Here To View An Earlier Posting on this Area

  • Alarming Depths on Clark Creek (near St. M. 429.5)

    Just across the AICW from Jeremy Creek, which provides access to the charming village of McClellanville, SC, cruisers can (BUT DON’T), cruise through Five Fathom Creek and Clark Creek, on the way an uncertain (to say the least) inlet east of Sandy Point. I have NOT recommended this seaward cut since since the channel was shifted from Sandy Point to Clark Creek. Some years ago, I sounded only 3 to 4 feet in this poor excuse for a channel amidst braking waves. We retreated in all haste.
    Now, below, no less an entity than the US Army Corps of Engineers has provided the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net with the latest depth survey of this errant passage. Just take a gander at the mid-channel depths in the creek’s turn to the south, southeast, southeast of marker #6. Anybody want to tangle with these shallows in a very confused seaway. I think not!
    ALL cruisers should avoid the (so-called) Clark Creek inlet without exception!!!!

  • Warning on Dewees Inlet north of Charleston, SC

    Between the Winyah Bay Entrance south of the AICW from Georgetown, SC and the Charleston, SC harbor entrance, there is really no safe inlet and Dewees Inlet carries this emphatic warning from Claiborne: WARN ANYONE OFF FROM USING THIS INLET. THERE IS NO CHANNEL TO SPEAK OF AND TO SAY IT’S TREACHEROUS IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT. IT COULD BE DEADLY!!!

    We are headed back off-shore to the south – Charleston, but would prefer Isle of Palms as it takes about two hours off the trip… if we can get in through Dewees Inlet. Charts show no marked channel to the outside but inside the water is charted deep (no channel markers), tides run 5+ feet and there are some tempting areas that may not be shoaled up. Does anyone know if this passage can be made safely with a ~6 ft. draw at HT? Thanks
    Captain Ric

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window Showing the Location of Dewees Inlet

  • Good News/Bad News about Minim Creek Anchorage (Statute Mile 415.5)

    Minim Creek Anchorage lies west of flashing red maker #4 at the southern end of the AICW/ Estherville/Minim Creek Canal in 6-6 1/2 feet of water with swinging room for a 40-footer. Thank goodness, the winged varmints are seasonal – hopefully!

    Great anchorage except the mosquitoes were killer this past weekend.
    Captain Tracy Hellman

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Anchorages Directory Listing For Minim Creek Anchorage

  • Advice for Anchoring in the N. Santee River Seaward Waters (Statute Mile 417.5)

    There two anchorages in the seaward intersection of the North Santee and the AICW, one right by the Waterway at marker #16 and one northwest of marker #18. If you can avoid reported shoaling at the mouth of the south branch, just south of marker #16, Captain Hellman suggests dropping your hook farther to the east.

    It’s best if you go around the bend and get away from ICW traffic. Good Anchorage!
    Captain Tracy Hellman

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Anchorages Directory Listing For North Santee River Seaside Anchorages

  • Continued Reports of AICW Skinny Water at Statute Mile 431 (south of McClellanville)

    As you approach the southside of McClellanville on the AICW, please heed the advice given below, especially in the stretch between markers 37 and 38. Please open the links below for more information and a Chart View of this area.

    Submitted on 2010/06/14 at 12:16pm
    Hit the McClellanville area in early afternoon Saturday, June 12 near low tide. A 44 ft power boat was aground on the green side between markers 37 and 38. Hang near the red side as I had no problem there.
    Capt Jim J.

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the “Alert” Section of the AICW South of McClellanville, SC Where The Shallow Water Described Above Was Encountered

  • Report on AICW Depths at Ben Sawyer Bridge (Statute Mile 462.2)

    This section of the AICW just north of Charleston remains somewhat of a problem – or a mystery – depending on your luck passing through. Conflicting reports of shallow water, unlike Captain Pascal’s experience, only add to the growing mystique of the newly rebuilt Ben Sawyer Bridge. Check out the links below for information on this area.

    Submitted on 2010/06/14 at 12:28pm
    Came through northbound with a 6 1/4 draft late May, this section was dredged last year but you must stay on the centerline. IF you do, you will have plenty of water (8′ MLW)… do not favor either side.
    Same further north, just north of Isle of Palm and the marinas, after the turn to port. Plenty deep on centerline, shoals up quickly on either side on the edge of some of the cuts.
    Captain Pascal

    I run a 22′ Grady and have seen depths as shallow 4.5′ and as deep 5.5′ at MLW during the last 5 weeks. Be sure and check your tide tables for this area as any minus low tide means extra attention to depth!
    Captain Pascal is correct in that any deviation from centerline means shallow quick, but i have never seen 8′ MLW on the strectch between Ben Sawyer and IOP connector. I get nervous wih my draft much less anything with 3-4′.
    Captain Farley

    Click Here To View a Previous Posting on AICW Depths Near the Ben Sawyer Bridge

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of An Earlier Grounding N of Ben Sawyer Bridge

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Bridge Directory Listing For Ben Sawyer Bridge

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Bridge Directory Listing For Isle of Palms Bridge

  • Another Report of AICW Shoaling N of Ben Sawyer Bridge at c. Statute Mile 460.5

    Even being “on their toes” didn’t prevent Laura and crew from confirming the shoaling that’s occurring in this stretch of the AICW. Slow and Easy is still the by-word as you travel to or from the north side of the Ben Sawyer Bridge. Check the Chart View of this area in the previous posting linked below.

    Submitted on 2010/06/10 at 8:03am
    After reading the above we were on our toes going thru this area. We were towards the red side between Inlet Creek and Swinton Creek and ran aground in 5.5 ft of water at MLW.
    We were able to motor our way thru the mud to get off heading back towards the center of the channel.

    Click Here To View A Previous Posting For Shoaling N of Ben Sawyer Bridge

  • Report of Shoaling N of Ben Sawyer Bridge (Statute Mile 462)

    Here is valuable information and advice from Larry Shick aboard his Valiant 42 about the AICW just north of Charleston:

    As we were entering Charleston Harbor from the S, we got a VHF call from a skipper from one of the towboat companies (sorry, I can’t remember which, or I’d give credit) warning of shoaling between the Ben Sawyer Bridge (MM 462) to the Isle of Palms Bridge (MM 459). His advice was to avoid the green side (which does not mean favoring the red side). According to his report, this is a new (last several months) problem.
    We went through at MLW and “touched bottom” (6′ draft) at 32-47.3N 079-48.3W, which is a bit N of the channel according to the e-charts, but by turning SW we were able to proceed immediately.
    As a reminder, the Ben Sawyer bridge is passable only on its N side. After several weeks of swing bridges, I made the assumption that both sides of the swing were available, and was saved from ignominy at the last moment by the bridge operator. Also, the operator’s VHF was *very* faint: even when we were just below her cupola we could barely hear her.
    Captain Larry Shick aboard S/V Moira

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Grounding N of Ben Sawyer Bridge

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Bridge Directory Listing For Ben Sawyer Bridge

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Bridge Directory Listing For Isle of Palms Bridge

  • A Sleepless Night in Whiteside Creek Anchorage (Statute Mile 451.5)

    Others have experienced uncomfortable evenings in Whiteside Creek due to current and wind, so I am not surprised at the report that follows.
    This stream pierces the western shores of the AICW north of Charleston, and northeast of marker #96

    Submitted on 2010/05/24 at 11:06am
    We anchored here on 11/22/09. One sailboat was already anchored in the prime spot so we went around the 1st bend and attempted to anchor. After two unsuccessful attempts to get the Danforth to set, we moved back to the first leg of the creek and anchored just up stream of the other sailboat. Shortly afterward another sailboat anchored just off the other boat’s stern.
    It was raining and the wind was 15 gusting to 20 knots. This creek is totally exposed with nothing but marsh grass all around. After two failed anchor sets, my anxiety level about the anchorage was maxed out. It was getting dark so we were stuck with this place. One of those sleepless night anchorages.
    Captain Dick Litchfield

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Anchorages Directory Listing For Whiteside Creek Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Whiteside Creek

  • Isle of Palms Bridge Sometimes Has Less Than Charted 65-foot Clearance (Statute Mile 459)

    Hmmm, the clearance at this bridge could be a problem at times for sailcraft skippers piloting vessels with particularly tall masts. Read on!

    Subject: Isle of Palms fixed bridge clerance
    Cruising News: Be advised that the Isle of Palms fixed bridge at SM 458.9 had, according to the height guage, only 63 feet clearance at the morning high tide March 30 (full moon) and that was not the highest of the two high tides that day. We need 64 and waited for 65 by the guage. We did not test it for accuracy! Judging by the marking board scunge line, the 65 foot mark is often under water, rather than being only occasionally covered under exceptional tide and surge. All you tall rigs beware
    John and Joan

  • Leland Oil Company and McClellanville (Statute Mile 430)

    McClellanville remains one of the most charming ports of call in all of South Carolina, a coastline filled with charming ports of call. As for Leland Oil Company marina, it’s certainly considerably better than it was a few years ago, but don’t look for any posh accomodations.

    We stayed at Leland Oil Co. on January 7, 2010. What a beautiful location! Claiborne Young’s Cruising Guide to South Carolina and Georgia was what lured us in, and we agree, McClellanville is mystical and magical. Time has completely forgotten it, and that is a joy to experience. The Episcopal Church, overhung with Spanish Moss and live oaks, is spectacular. Don’t fail to go in.
    Leland Oil Co. is very friendly and most accommodating. The restroom is basic, but provides a shower and all other necessities. We will certainly Return on the return north to Norfolk.
    Norman Mason

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Leland Oil Company

  • Five Fathom Creek Anchorage ??? (Statute Mile 430)

    Back in 2007and 2008, we received some seemingly definite reports of a foul bottom and shallower than expected depths on the upstream portion of Five Fathom Creek, northeast of marker #20. For that reason, we removed these waters from our South Carolina Anchorage Directory. Now, as you will read below, Captain Thomason has had a much different and better experience dropping the hook here.
    Has anyone else tried to anchor on the upstream portion of Five Fathom Creek lately? If so, PLEASE tell us what you found. Either e-mail me at, or click on the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below.

    I don’t see Five Fathom Creek anchorage on the cruisers net list. We have anchored there (Upstream from the red 20 on Five Fathom Creek) several times, most recently on September 23. It’s fun to watch the shrimp fleet go by on Town Creek but no problem with wakes. As I recall, depth was about 10 feet MLW. Beautiful sunset!
    Jean Thomason
    Trawler DOVEKIE

    On November 23rd, 2009 we anchored in same spot as “Dovekie” (message above posted Sept.2009). No problems with depth – it was about 9 feet MLW (we draw 5′). We did not find a foul bottom – all clear on the anchor. Good holding for us even though we were swinging to the current. As with “Dovekie” watching the shrimp boats go by is very nice, they are quiet with very little wake.
    Beth Bauer, S/V Adagio

  • Whiteside Creek Anchorage (Statute Mile 451.5)

    Whiteside Creek lies just off the South Carolina AICW, several miles north of the Waterway’s intersection with Charleston Harbor. The marshy shores do not give the best of protection in really heavy weather, as noted below, but otherwise, this is a good overnight haven.

    We anchored here and also found the current a little challenging. There was a sailboat anchored in the 11′ sounding area so we went around the bend to the 13′ area. Two attempts to set our Danforth were unsuccessful. The wind, tide and rain didn’t help our efforts. We retreated to the area between the 38′ and 11′ soundings and were able to get a good anchor set. We too rode strangely with the wind/current situation. Northerly winds remained at 15+ with gusts so not much sleep that night. The Danforth held ok and was tough to unset. In all three sailboats rode out the evening here. In less windy conditions it would be a great spot to anchor.
    s/v Ninkasi

    Click Here To View the South Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Whiteside Creek

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