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    • Pomeranz Report: Missing ICW R184, Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff, SC AICW Problem Stretch Mile 517


      Our thanks to Hank Pomeranz of Coastal Yacht Care in Southport, NC for this Local Notice report. This lighted buoy is on the west side of the southern entrance to the Cutoff. See also Jim Healy’s recent report on this Problem Stretch.

      Today’s District 7 LNM 45/18 confirms multiple reports I’ve received that R184 (at the Southern end of the Cutoff ) is missing. Despite dredging in this area, MLW depths from 5’ to 8’ MLW are being reported between G185 and what was R184. General guidance is to favor green side.
      Hank

      And this from Tom Hale:

      Well now we know! As we exited we were calling depths to a boat drawing 6 feet behind us. We were driving to the best depths we could see on the Sonar Charts, and certainly found that that “deep” water was not a very wide channel. We found a bit over 7 corrected to MLLW. It would be very easy to pass through there “in the visual center of the channel” and see only 5 feet.
      Thank you!
      Cheers,
      Tom

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

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    • Healy Report: Mount Pleasant, SC to Beaufort, SC, AICW Statute Miles 465-536.5


      Experienced cruisers, Jim and Peg Healy, continue to generously share their observations and advice as they make their way south for the winter. Thank you Jim and Peg! Fenwick Cut slices through a narrow neck of Fenwick Island and connects the Ashepoo River with the Stono, north of the infamous Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff, a Cruisers Net Problem Stretch.

      Today is Saturday, 10/27/2018. Sanctuary and crew traveled 75 StM from Mount Pleasant, SC to Beaufort, SC. High tide in the region was right around 12h00.

      The Dredge Tenacious is working at the northern entry to the Dawho River. The Dredge answers on VHF 13 and VHF 65. The Dredge DOES NOT monitor VHF 16, which was a severe surprise and consternation to a lot of pleasure craft today, who nevertheless continued valiantly to try to raise him on VHF 16. Approach the dredge slowly, and follow his directions. Don’t forget to thank him for his work, which of course is to our benefit!

      We entered Watts Cut at the McKinley-Washington bridge at 11h30. The minimum we saw in the cut was 13.7′ at +7.7′ on the tide. That makes the control depth (13.7 – 7.7) = 6.0 ft at MLLW. We followed the visual center of the cut except I cut the corner at Green 135. DO NOT cut the corners. Where I was, I would have had a problem of the muddy sort at low tide.

      We entered Fenwick Cut at about 12h30. The tide station at Edisto Beach was reporting +5.6′. We saw 12.4′ in the cut, so control depth was (12.4 – 5.6) = 6.8 ft. Southbound, we saw red lateral R162 on a piling. The chart shows a red R162A on a piling and a floating R162B. There is a piling there for R162A, but no dayboard is present. We did not see a floating Red nun there, either. Net is, come down the S. Edisto river, and turn into the center of the cut. There is shoaling along both shorelines, so don’t cut the corners. Line up and go through along the visual center.

      The Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff is in two halves. Southbound, we entered the northern half at 12h45, with the tide station in that cut showing +6.2. Depths were in the range of 17 feet, so I didn’t pay much attention there. The southern half was dredged in the spring of 2018. There was severe shoaling at the junction of the Cut with the Coosaw River. We cleared that area at 13h00, with the tide at +5.8. We saw 11.9′ depths in the visual center of the entrance between G164 and R185, so the control depth would be (11.9 – 5.8) = 6.1 ft. I guess I would say the spring dredging helped at the junction of the Coosaw river, but did not do much to otherwise deepen the southern half of the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cut. At least most boats don’t have to do the St. Helena Sound route at this time.

      We’re just coming off full moon. We faced strong 2.5 kt ahead currents on and off all day, and particularly up-stream on the Coosaw River. That made for a tedious slog up the river. But at the divide at Brickyard Creek on the Beaufort River, we picked up speed and did very well for those last 8 miles into Beaufort. These strong flood and ebb currents will affect slow boats.

      Jim

      Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary, currently at Charlotte Harbor, Punta Gorda, FL
      Monk 36 Hull #132
      MMSI #367042570
      AGLCA #3767
      MTOA #3436

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Fenwick Cut

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    • Healy Report: Good News on Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff, AICW Problem Stretch Mile 517


      Our thanks to Jim Healy for this good news report from Ashepoo-Coosaw Problem Stretch which can be a very shallow spot between dredgings. Regarding Jim’s reference to the St Helena Route, see /?p=141157">Good Depths. For more of Jim’s report, see Mt. Pleasant to Beaufort.

      The Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff is in two halves. Southbound, we entered the northern half at 12h45, with the tide station in that cut showing +6.2. Depths were in the range of 17 feet, so I didn’t pay much attention there. The southern half was dredged in the spring of 2018. There was severe shoaling at the junction of the Cut with the Coosaw River. We cleared that area at 13h00, with the tide at +5.8. We saw 11.9′ depths in the visual center of the entrance between G164 and R185, so the control depth would be (11.9 – 5.8) = 6.1 ft. I guess I would say the spring dredging helped at the junction of the Coosaw river, but did not do much to otherwise deepen the southern half of the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cut. At least most boats don’t have to do the St. Helena Sound route at this time.

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

      Comments from Cruisers (2)

      1. Richard Ross -  November 9, 2018 - 6:45 pm

        I can confirm that Jim Healy is correct. The CoosawAshapoo cut is now six feet MLW

        Reply to Richard
      2. CARL REITZ -  November 8, 2018 - 10:51 am

        Presume Jim was talking about the green 185 daymark and flashing red 184 when he used "G164 and R185".

        Also via Hank Pomeranz on 10-31-2018 two vessels reported that the 184 was missing.

        Reply to CARL
    • Pomeranz Report: Dredging Underway in Dawho River, AICW Statute Mile 480-518


      This dredging is welcome news as Cruisers Net has had reports of shallow water encountered near the eastern end of the Waterway’s passage through South Carolina’s Dawho River between the North and South Edisto Rivers. Our thanks to Hank Pomeranz of Carolina Yacht Care for this report and passing advice.

      I just spoke with Goodloe Marine who is currently dredging portions of the ICW between MM 480 – 518. They are currently dredging in the Dawho River just south of the N. Edisto River between G111 and G117 at around MM 497. The dredge is Tenacious and should be hailed by name on Ch 16. Currently, pass the dredge on the red side as the pipeline is on the green side. This may change so always pass on the diamonds as usual. Tenacious should be on station for another couple of weeks.
      Hank

      See also Sherer Report on the Dawho River

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Dawho River

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    • A Good Ride from Beaufort to Isle of Palms, SC, AICW Statute Mile 536-459

      The Downtown Marina Of Beaufort, SC, 1006 Bay Street Beaufort, SC 29902 (843) 524-4422 or Marker #239 on ICW
      Isle of Palms Marina is located on the east side of the Intracoastal Waterway, northeast of Charleston at Mile 456.5 and south of ICW Marker 116. 50 41st Avenue

      77 Miles in one day – that is definitely a good day’s run, especially through the numerous shallow spots in that stretch. Such tidal luck may be a once in a lifetime occurrence! And that fact that both Downtown Marina of Beaufort and Isle of Palms Marina of Charleston are CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS had a lot to do with it! Well done Phillip.

      Left Beaufort South Carolina two hours after low tide from the downtown Marina and caught the incoming tide up the Beaufort River it continued through the Coosaw back into the Waterway and all the way back to Isle of Palms. Could not believe it. 42-foot sail and we averaged 6.6 knots. Saw 7.5 and 8.10 several times. Never had a head current. Could not believe it. Please pass this along to the Northbound Cruisers this spring.

      This trip usually takes us two days but on this occasion it took 10 hours.
      Phillip Mullins

      Click Here To View the South Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Downtown Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Downtown Marina of Beaufort

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

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    • Healy Report: Isle of Palms to Port Royal Landing, SC, AICW Statute Miles 457-539


      The Downtown Marina Of Beaufort, SC, 1006 Bay Street Beaufort, SC 29902 (843) 524-4422 or Marker #239 on ICW
      Boaters are our business and our only business. We are located directly on the ICW, and offer Exceptional Lowcountry facilities and hospitality. The Beaufort/Port Royal area is a beautiful and histori

      This leg of Peg and Jim Healy’s voyage through South Carolina takes them through Charleston Harbor and south to Beaufort, home of CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS, Downtown Marina and Port Royal Landing. The infamous Ashepoo-Coosaw Cut at Mile 517 is a Problem Stretch notorious for shoaling and channel shifting. And, as always, Cruisers’ Net is grateful to these experienced cruisers for sharing their observations and advice.

      Sanctuary and crew cruised from Mt. Pleasant, Isle of Palms, to Beaufort, Port Royal Landing, on 10/18/2017.

      Mt. Pleasant Range – The area from StM 460.0 to 460.5 is shoaling. We passed this area mid-channel at about 07h10, near high tide (+6.0), and saw 11.5 feet of water. The control depth would be 5-1/2 feet at low tide, less on a celestial low.

      Dawho River, North Creek, Watts Cut – We transited this area between 11h50 and 12h15 (+3.0 –> +2.7 ft) and saw areas at 8.5 ft. The control depth for this area is about 5.5 feet at low tide, less on a celestial low.

      Ashepoo-Coosaw Cut – This cut is in two parts; the north section that connects the Ashepoo River and Rock Creek and the South section that connects Rock Creek to the Coosaw River. The North cut is not a concern at this time. We transited the South section at 13h15, 1-1/4 hours before low tide (+0.5 ft). Favor “G181,” the outside radius of the curve there, and then favor red at the entrance, floating R”184.” Do not cut the corners here; follow the centerline of the cut out into the deeper water of the Coosaw River. There is a 5-1/2 ft sandpile at the entrance. We slowed for our passage, and never saw less than 5-1/2 ft.

      Hope this is useful.
      Jim

      Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary, currently at Rock Creek, Pasadena, MD
      http://gilwellbear.wordpress.com
      Monk 36 Hull #132
      MMSI #367042570
      AGLCA #3767
      MTOA #3436

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the AICW/Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff Problem Stretch

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

      Click Here To View the South Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Downtown Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Downtown Marina of Beaufort

      Click Here To View the South Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Port Royal Landing Marina

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    • Shelters Open for SC Barrier Island Evacuees

      From scemd.org

      You will need to bring these items with you to any emergency shelter:

      • Personal identification, Prescription and emergency medications, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, important documents and other comfort items.
      • It’s also important not to forget items for children, such as diapers, formula and toys, and other items for family members who have unique needs
      • If you have a restrictive diet, you will need to bring your own food for meals.
      CountyShelter NameAddressStatusPet Friendly
      ColletonColleton County Middle School1379 Tuskegee Airmen DriveOPEN 
      JasperRidgeland High-Junior-Elementary Complex250 Jaguar TrailOPEN 
      RichlandDent Middle School2721 Decker BlvdOPEN 

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    • Bob and Ann Sherer Report on the Dawho River, AICW Statute Mile 497


      For several years Cruisers’ Net has had reports of shallow water encountered near the eastern end of the Waterway’s passage through South Carolina’s Dawho River between the North and South Edisto Rivers. Our thanks to authors Bob and Ann Sherer for sharing their observations on the erroneous magenta line in this section. The Sherers have just released the 2017 edition of their ICW Cruising Guide, see /166170.

      Hi Larry,
      I wrote an article about a 5.5 MLW route through the shallows of the east entrance into the Dawho River, a notoriously shallow area of the ICW south of Charleston. It’s also where the magenta line can lead you astray as far as finding the deepest water. The article might be of interest to your readers so I’ve included a link if you think that’s the best way of presenting the information.

      Here’s the link to the article:
      http://fleetwing.blogspot.com/2017/08/dawho-river-beware-magenta-line.html

      Thanks, Bob Sherer
      aka Bob423

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Dawho River

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    • Depth Report from Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff, AICW Problem Stretch Mile 517


      Our thanks to Captain Hospodar for this report which is good news for all 5ft+ keels through this Problem Stretch. However, last year, 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 /?p=141157. Be sure to click the ARGUS option at the top of the ChartView page.

      My wife Pat and I traveled through the Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff into the Coosaw River on 10/25/16 one hour and 40 minutes after low water, staying wide of G “177” then traveling through the middle of the waterway and then slightly favoring the northwestern side of the channel between R “184” and G “185”, we found no less than 7 ½ feet of water throughout the area.
      Captain George Hospodar

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the AICW/Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff Problem Stretch

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

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    • Shoaling Extending Southeast at Combahee Light, St. Helena Sound, AICW Alternate Route


      Cruisers wishing to avoid the regularly shoaling Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff by using the alternative route (/?p=145074 and /145808) downsteam in St. Helena Sound to the Combahee Bank, then northwestward upstream on the Ashepoo River to rejoin the ICW, will want to pay close attention to depths as you round the Combahee Bank Light.

      SOUTH CAROLINA – ST HELENA SOUND: Shoaling
      Shoaling has been reported extending from Combahee Bank Light (LLNR 4040 [32°28.0631N / 080°26.0629W, 32.467719 / -80.434381]) approximately 1NM in a southeast direction. Depths are reported between 5-15ft at Mean Low Water, while Chart # 11517 shows between 22-25ft. Mariners are advised to transit the area with extreme caution. Chart 11517 LNM 28/16

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    • Captain Jim Healy Discusses the Waterway from Charleston to St. Augustine

      Longtime cruiser and SSECN Contributing Editor, Captain Jim Healy, shares his knowledge and experience in these observations on this portion of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. Thank you Jim!

      The entire region from Charleston to St. Augustine has high tidal ranges, ranging from 5′ at St. Augustine to as much as 9′ in Savannah/Beaufort/Charleston.  Those high tidal ranges create swift tidal currents, and especially for first-times, docking is easiest in the 1/2 hour before and after slack.
      There are many areas of shallow water in the region.  The very best resource for current data on low water and caution areas is available via www.activecaptain.com.  Two other  websites that all ICW travelers should know about are www.waterwayguide.com and www.cruisersnet.net.  I’m sure you are familiar with the Waterway Guide book series.  The “Salty Southeast Cruiser’s Net” (SSECN) is  really a boating group.  It was founded by Claiborne Young.  After Claiborne’s untimely loss, the group continued in operation.  The Cruiser’s Net website specializes on the US Southeast.  There is some duplication of material between the WWG site and the SSECN site, but there is unique value to both.  Both are excellent resources for fuel prices, marinas and anchorages.  These websites would make a good sidebar for any ICW article.  Two of these websites require registration – SSECN does not – and all three are free, and all are very useful to ICW boaters.  Both WWG and SSECN also have smart phone apps that duplicate and augment website information and are very useful on small-format devices.
      There are some generalizations that apply to the region, including the stretch from Georgetown, SC all the way south to below Fernandina Beach.  In some of those areas, boats drawing more than 4′ will want to consider not traveling at low tide; especially celestial low tides.  The Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) is responsible for dredging the ICW.  USACE is funded by state congressional delegations.  In recent years, the money congress allocates to dredging has been diverted to “more pressing needs,” and so many areas of the ICW are shoaling, and in fact, the ICW resource is slowly being lost; well, allowed to die, really, by congress.  There is a not-for-profit called the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association.  The Executive Director is Brad Pickel; bpickel@seahavenconsulting.com.  That would make another sidebar for any article on the ICW.  There are some local knowledge bypasses around some shoal areas.  All of the cruising sites above can provide additional detail.
      Renting a car in any of these venues greatly expands what a boating visitor can see and do.  Some, but not all, marinas have courtesy cars.  Generally they can’t be used for long periods, but they are useful for re-provisioning when needed.
      Hope this helps.
      Jim
      Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary, currently at Ft. Myers, FL

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    • Report from Fenwick Cut, AICW Statute Mile 511


      Fenwick Cut slices through a narrow neck of Fenwick Island and connects the Ashepoo River with the Stono, north of the infamous Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff which Captain Healy wisely avoided by taking the alternate route east around Combahee Bank in St. Helena Sound, see /?p=145808. The alternate route adds about 5 statute miles to your route.

      Fenwick Cut, northbound at 09h10 DST 4/27/2015:

      8.6 ft observed today, mid-channel, south entrance
      +1.8 ft tide level per Garmin chart plotter almanac, therefore
      6.8 ft MLLW control depth transiting the cut

      Jim
      Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Fenwick Cut

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    • Good Depths Reported at Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff, AICW Problem Stretch Mile 517


      Skipper Hale’s passage is what we can all hope for through this Problem Stretch. However, as recent as this past October (/?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 /?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′
      Cheers,
      Tom Hale
      Northbound on the ICW
      Charleston SC

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the AICW/Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff Problem Stretch

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

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    • Detailed Report on Ashepoo-Coosaw Alternate, AICW Statute Mile 517


      Once again we are indebted to Captains Mark and Diana Doyle for this excellent report from the alternative route to Ashepoo-Coosaw Cut-off which is a perennial shoaling spot. As the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cut-off has silted in further, we have had several reports of the use of an alternate route to by-pass the shoaling, see /?p=145074. For a chart of Ashepoo-Coosaw Cut-off, scroll northwest on the chartview and don’t forget to check Argus from the top bar to see the shoaling.

      Hi Larry,
      Diana and I ran the alternative route out into St. Helena Sound and around the Ashepoo Coosaw Cut-Off the other day … and found deep water all of the way.
      For those interested in evaluating the option to avoid this ICW Trouble Spot [Ashepoo-Coosaw Cut-off], here’s a depth-annotated track and survey report:

      Ashepoo Coosaw Cut-Off Alternative: St. Helena Sound Route

      Diana and I transited the Ashepoo Coosaw Cut-Off Alternative on November 22nd, 2014 with about two-thirds tide and falling. (Small-scale overview, screenshot at upper right.)
      The (northern) relevant tide station, Seabrook, has a Spring Tidal Range (STR) of 7.3 feet and our height of tide was 4.5 above MLLW.
      Our plan was to run a southerly course, along the deeper charted waters west of Fenwick Island, through the marshes west of the Otter Islands, and into St. Helena Sound to round Combahee Bank and then proceed northwesterly up the Coosaw River to rejoin the ICW near R186 and STM 519.

      A few observations on this alternative route:
      1. The alternative route is longer than the preferred ICW Magenta Line route but avoids the Ashepoo Coosaw Cut-Off ICW Trouble Spot. At lower water stages, some cruisers may wish to evaluate this option.
      2. There are few significant navaids to follow for this alternative route. The route is fairly well charted, but unaided.
      3. St. Helena Sound can often be `boisterous’ and busy with shrimping traffic.
      4. We experienced water depths of no less than 16 feet (11.5 feet adjusted for MLLW) on the transit. The lowest water was along Fenwick Island, then deepening into the 20s and 30s, and even 40s, 50s, and 60s for the St. Helena Sound and Coosaw River portions.
      5. Note that we chose to move farther easterly of the extending shoals at Combahee Bank than some other reports have advised. There are varying reports of success, although also noting substantially less water, by splitting the charted dayboard on Combahee Bank and the charted 15-foot shoal. Shrimpers and other locals have reported substantially more water eastward of the 15-foot pocket, which we experienced during our depth survey (see primary screenshot to right).

      Again, no recommendation being made here. Just sharing data. Captains are responsible for their decisions and outcome.
      Best,
      Captains Mark & Diana Doyle
      m/v Semi-Local
      www.OnTheWaterChartGuides.org

      CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE:
      ashpoo2

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Combahee Bank

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    • Still Another Alternative to the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff, AICW Statute Mile 517

      We have had lots of discussion (/?p=141157) on bypassing Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff by heading southeast to Combahee Bank then northwest to return to the Waterway south of the Cutoff. Now Skipper Dammeyer offers another alternative by heading almost due west from Combahee Bank into Morgan River to SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Dataw Island Marina. Slipper Dammeyer and I had a chance to compare navigation notes this week just before he headed south from Charleston. If Dataw Island Marina is in your float plan, this is a logical choice of routes.

      Larry,
      Thanks for the encouragement to take the alternative to Ashepoo Coosaw cut. We arrived at Fenwick [Cut] about 2:30 or a couple of hours before low. We motored out and down the Ashepoo in calm seaway, went below the Combahee Bank and across St Helena Sound all the way to green 11 below pelican bank and found 25-30 ft of water to turn up Morgan Creek to Dataw Marina. Saving us from having to motor up the ICW and then crossing at Parrot Creek.
      Thanks again,
      Rick Dammeyer
      S/V Promise, Catalina 445, 5ft draft

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Combahee Bank

      Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Dataw Island Marina

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Dataw Island Marina

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    • Report from Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff, AICW Problem Stretch Mile 517


      This report comes to us from Dan and Jaye Lunsford’s log of their voyage through South Carolina, see /?p=145002. And, as reported by our good friends Mark and Diana Doyle: For those transiting South Carolina, Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff continues to be a problem area and carries LESS THAN 5 FEET MLLW. For an alternative to Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff, see /?p=134342

      SM 517 Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff: Stay at least a couple of boat lengths off G177 at the entry (“square the corner”) for 10′ MLLW. At the exit, R184 was reported destroyed; a new temporary drop aid (floating can) was placed there on Friday — we met the Coast Guard small boat that was doing the work on their way back. Slightly favor that NW side between R184 and G185, but time the tides if necessary, we saw 5′ MLLW here briefly.
      Dan Jaye Lunsford

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the AICW/Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff Problem Stretch

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    • A SC Waterway Mini-Guide from Little River Inlet to Beaufort, AICW Statute Miles 349-517

      Many thanks to Skippers Lunsford for providing very recent reports from six shoaling areas between Myrtle Beach and Beaufort. Three of these areas have been designated SSECN Problem Stretches and their descriptions are listed below.
      For a recent report on McClellanville, see /?p=144354
      For a 2013 ACOE survey of area north of Ben Sawyer Bridge, see /?p=125717
      For a 12/2013 report on Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff, see /?p=129101
      For an alternative to Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff, see /?p=134342

      Hi there. We just came through this area in the last week, a bit ahead of the pack, so thought we’d pass on what we found at the traditional trouble spots to help those who come behind us (a copy of what we posted on a couple of Facebook groups). Thanx for all you do.
      Dan and Jaye Lunsford

      SM 349-352 The Rockpile: This stretch has numerous rock ledges on the sides of the channel so its important to stay in the middle. Not quite as scary as it sounds, but its the first time on the journey that the ICW is anything but mud if you do make a mistake. The ledges are very easy to see at low tide, and there is plenty of water depth even at the lowest tide. On weekends it can be crowded with power boats who may want to pass you if you are a slower sailboat and there really isn’t a lot of room to move over.

      SM 430-435 McClellanville: Time the tides here if at all possible. If you’re really motivated you can tiptoe your way through; we saw 6′ MLLW, but so much simpler to just give it a couple of hours.

      SM 460 shoals before Ben Sawyer bridge: 4′ MLLW, so its really important to time the tides here. Favor the north side of the channel from before G117A to G119.

      SM 471 Wappoo Creek Bridge: This operator is REALLY a stickler for time; bridge is closed during rush hour opens every 1/2 hour during the middle of the day (check the complex operating schedule) but if you aren’t waiting at the bridge before the opening, the operator will not hold even a moment but will make you wait for the next one.

      SM 501-504 Watts Cut: Although not listed as a traditional trouble spot, there are numerous shoals to 6′ MLLW along this reach. In a slow sailboat it’s hard to time the tides to have water here, and also water at the next trouble spot.

      SM 517 Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff: Stay at least a couple of boat lengths off G177 at the entry (“square the corner”) for 10′ MLLW. At the exit, R184 was reported destroyed; a new temporary drop aid (floating can) was placed there on Friday — we met the Coast Guard small boat that was doing the work on their way back. Slightly favor that NW side between R184 and G185, but time the tides if necessary, we saw 5′ MLLW here briefly.

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the Waterway south of McClellanville to Awendaw Creek

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the AICW North of Ben Sawyer Bridge to Isle of Palms Bridge

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the AICW/Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff Problem Stretch

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

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    • More on the Alternative to AICW/Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff Tested, off Statute Mile 517


      An earlier report recommended an alternate route to the Ashepoo Cutoff, see /?p=134342. Skipper Ross also reports on this slightly longer, but deeper water, with a warning about the southeast end of Combahee Bank.

      Because we would have been at the Ashepoo Coosaw cut at low tide, we decided to take the alternate route out St Helena Sound before heading up the river beside Fenwick island. There is a spot where the chart is incorrect. Just off the ocean end of Combahee bank, there is a place charted as 21 to 22 ft deep. It is actually 10 ft at low tide. The rest of the charted depths are close to correct. Although this route is 5 miles farther, it is an excellent alternative to `The Cut’
      Richard Ross MV Chez Nous

      I second the above. You do not want to pass closer than 1/2 mile south of the Combahee Bank marker, and even then keep a wary eye on the depth sounder.
      A much less stressful alternative to the cutoff at less than high tide.
      Larry Shick

      I should have realized when we first published the initial message above from “Chez Nous” that these good people pilot an ARGUS research vessel. As you will see below, ARGUS project leader, John Hursey, forwarded us this very useful chartlet, showing the soundings taken by Chez Nous. Note the color change in the sounding circles at the two spots indicated by the red lines. This shows soundings around 10 feet were taken at these locations!

      Hi Claiborne,
      This just in from M/V Chez Nous, passing southeast of Combahee Bank in St. Helena Sound:
      Just off the ocean end of Combahee Bank, there is a place charted as21 to 22 ft deep. It is actually 10 ft at low tide.’
      John

      ashepoocoosawalternateargus

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Combahee Bank

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    • Alternative to AICW/Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff Tested, off Statute Mile 517


      In reponse to an earlier SSECN posting on an alternate to Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff (see /?p=120938), Captain Mullins and crew took the Round-your-elbow route into St. Helena Sound to avoid the Cutoff and did so successfully.

      On our trip south on an Ocean Alexander 58, 4 ft. draft, we determined that we were going to transit the Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff at low tide so we decided to turn left, heading south, after we passed through the cut at Fenwick Island. The Ashepoo river had 20 to 25 ft. of water in the middle and we followed it to the mouth, exited and went out in the St. Helena sound, turned north and bypassed the problem stretch all together. I would recommend this route for anyone with a 4 or 5 ft. or deeper draft heading into that area.

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Combahee Bank

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