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The Salty Southeast
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Archive For: SC – 7 – Dawho River to Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff

  • Uncharted Markers/Shoals on AICW/Ashepoo River, Statute Mile 512

    Click for Chartview

    Even the latest chartplotters cannot keep up with aids to navigation added to mark shoaling, and it can be confusing to approach a marker that often just does not make sense when looking at the chart. Thanks to Capt. Butler for bringing these uncharted markers to our attention!

    New red nun 166 in Ashepoo River to mark shoal and the QR168 where you make the hard turn to port for the cutoff. Also noticed a new G175 in place of the range in Rock Creek.
    Karen Butler

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Ashepoo River

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Marker #175

  • Don’t Even Think About Anchoring In The Charted “Oxbow” Off the AICW/Dawho River (Statute Mile 500) – Captains Mark and Diana Report

    On the Water GuidebooksI well remember one delightful October afternoon in 1983 when we came cruising along the AICW’s run through South Carolina’s Dawho River. This stream, along with a man-made canal, serves to connect the AICW between the North and South Edisto Rivers.
    Anyway, we were on our initial research trip, seeking out anchorages for the first edition of my “Cruising Guide to Coastal South Carolina and Georgia.” As I always still do to this day before beginning on-site research of new waters, I had poured over (in this case) chart 11518, looking for good anchorage possibilities. And here, hard by marker #128, were several charted oxbows which NOAA reported as having 6 to 12 foot depths.
    Well, like Diana and Mark, we arrived, THANK GOODNESS, at MLW. Imagine my astonishment when our first look inside all three oxbows revealed nothing but MUD!!!! To say the least, we warned everyone away from these potential traps and cheats in the pages of “CGSC-GA!”
    A check of the very latest version of chart 11518 on the Cruisers’ Net’s “Chart View” module, shows that NOAA is FINALLY showing no depth on the northeastern oxbow at MLW, but is still erroneously promising some MLW depths in the south side oxbow, which is the subject of Mark and Diana’s article below (see chartlet at right – click to open a Chart View page centered on the oxbow in question). It only took NOAA 29 years to correct 1/3 of their error. Need I say more about my opinion of the NOAA charting folks.
    So, if you seek to safely drop the hook on the Dawho River section of the South Carolina AICW, please continue cruising west, pass under the Dawho – Edisto Island Bridge, and give Fishing Creek along the northerly banks a try. Even this body of water has a TRICKY entrance. Follow the link below to learn how safe entry can be achieved!

    Check Out the MUD!

    Hi Claiborne,
    No names mentioned here … but someone asked us about anchoring in the oxbow off Dawho River R128.
    We told them: In a word, DON’T !!!
    As you well know, the closest tide station, Dawho Bridge, has an STR (Spring Tidal Range) of 7.2 feet, which can make a lot of South Carolina and Georgia bad ideas seem like good ones … especially when NOAA charts the oxbow at 7 feet low water.
    [See depth-annotated track and NOAA chart screenshot below.]
    We’ve heard people chatting about this possibility before, so on our last pass northbound (two months ago), we just happened to be passing R128 near low tide.
    As you can see in the chart screenshot and accompanying photo, there is plenty of water in the ICW channel but EVERYTHING dries out in the oxbow.
    Again, no recommendation being made here. Just sharing data. Captains are responsible for their own decisions and outcome.
    Best and see you On the Water,
    Captains Mark & Diana Doyle

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Oxbow Off the AICW/Dawho River

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

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

  • Report on South Edisto/AICW Anchorage, AICW Statute Mile 504.5

    South Edisto/AICW Anchorage is south of Charleston on the waters of the South Edisto just above Watts Cut, in the body of the hairpin turn that swerves back to the west.

    We anchored here over the 11 ft mark on the chart and found the charted depths to be accurate. The anchor grabbed quickly and held through the night despite a 30 mph blow at 2:00 am.
    Max Miller

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of South Edisto Anchorage

  • More on Shoaling in AICW – Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff Problem Stretch (Statute Mile 515)

    With his 6.25 ft draft, Capt. Pascal keeps a very sharp eye on the Waterway’s trouble spots and we can rely on the accuracy of his reports and the depths recorded here coincide with earlier reports of 5.8 feet at dead low in this perennial “AICW Problem Stretch” south of Charleston, SC. Penny’s report of Jan 23 suggests that the channel is shifting with the renewed shoaling.

    I found shoaling to have worsened significantly over the summer in the southern section between the Coosaw and Rock creek. I follow the exact same path and found depths to be almost 2 ft shallower than back in May. I had planned to arrive with 3′ of tides remaining and ended up squeaking by with just a ft under the wheels (6.25 draft). This is definitely a play-the-tide stretch for most and close to Lil Mud River level.
    Everything else so far is pretty much unchanged since spring.
    Here are my notes:
    MM516 Ashepoo Coosaw Southern section, 6′ to 7′ MLW most of the way but some 4.5 to 5′ MLW spots just north of R184. This is down almost 2′ from this spring on the same line. Make sure you come in or exit the southern end of the cut at an angle as shown on the charts (by R184/G195).
    A new can G177 has been added by the FL G 177 to mark the shoal.
    Note that the northern section of the cut off bet R166 and R172 is no problem, over 12′ MLW.
    Capt. Pascal Gademer

    Cruising News:
    Just came through the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff roughly two hours after high tide, +5.8’, and the lowest depth readings were 10.8’, suggesting there would be only 5’ at low. Looks like severe shoaling; suggest transiting with this in mind.
    So far, in our transit south this year from Sandy Hook to Delray Beach, this is the first serious shoaling we encountered.
    Mike Horowitz aboard ALTAIR

    Just came through the Ashepoo Coosaw cutoff 3 times in the last 6 weeks. At the southern end near the Coosaw river, I saw 6 ft. at dead low tide. Favour the red side going south.
    The other two times I came through at mid tide rising and had no trouble. My vessel draws 5 ft. Hope this helps.
    Phil Mullins

    Just cleared the Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff 1 hour after high tide with a 5 ft draft. Lowest water reported was 12 ft. near red 184. The new green can 177A is off station. Currently in the grass about 100 feet south of green day marker 177.
    Dick White aboard M/V Emerald Lady

    These updated reports are pretty accurate except showing even more shoaling as green markers 169 and 177 are standing in grass with 20-30 feet of sand/mud on the bank at just before low tide. Depth sounder went off more times than I care to count. stay exactly between R 184 and G 185 then hug south bank to avoid extending shoal just after before heading to R 186. Favoring red as mentioned in another report put us in the mud for a quick thrill.
    Penny aboard Penelope

    Click Here To View Another Recent Report from This Trouble Spot.

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

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

  • Log of the Palmetto Moon: Isle of Palms to Port Royal

    Palmetto Moon with Jim, Su and Lazy Cat Alex have just traveled from Georgetown, SC To Brunswick, Ga. Palmetto Moon cruises at 8.5 MPH and draws 4.5 ft. Here are the issues and observations of their travels:

    2-Isle of Palms (MM-456.9) to Port Royal Landing (MM-539.5) We left 2.5 hours before low tide.
    In the White Point area (MM-495-500) at low tide
    Between R-110 and G-121 center of channel;
    At G-111 – G-113 we saw 4 feet under us
    At G-115 – G-117 we saw 3.5 feet under us
    Running at just above Idle Speed stirred up a lot of mud/sand through most of the area from G-111 G-119
    This info is what we experienced in our travels. As always you are the captain of your vessel and should use this as info only. Safe travels.
    Palmetto Moon

  • Good Report from the AICW’s Run Through Dawho River, Statute Mile 497

    We have had reports of shallow water encountered near the eastern end of the AICW’s traversal of South Carolina’s Dawho River, between the North and South Edisto Rivers, and we established a “Navigation Alert” for the waters just east of this position this past spring. We’re glad to hear that Carl had no problems here.

    I came through here 8/24/11 at dead low tide and had 7.5 feet of water off Marker 115.
    Skipper Carl

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position on the AICW/Dawho River

  • Report on Depths in Watts Cut, AICW Statute Mile 503

    Watts Cut is a straight, narrow AICW channel that connects the South Edisto River with the Dawho River south of Charleston.

    On the way back, we came thru this area at dead low tide. I draw 5 ft. in a 42 ft. sail, we took it very slow through Watts Cut, just south of the Dawho R. Bridge. We favored the red side and found 8 ft. of water. After the bridge, we had plenty of water until we hit the last turn and it went to 7 ft. Again, dead low water.
    Philip W. Mullins aboard S/V Katash, Isle of Palms, SC

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Watts Cut

  • Updates on N. Edisto/Dawho/AICW Intersection, Statute Mile 497

    This area of AICW shoaling and navigation alerts occurs southwest of marker #108 where the Waterway exits the Wadmalaw River into the Dawho River.

    The USCG was spotting several new, green buoys in the area of markers 111-113 this morning as we transited the area. We never saw less than 10′ (at MLW datum).
    Capt. Larry Shick

    Just had a short voyage to Beaufort, SC with my yacht club, the Wild Dunes Yacht Club. Went offshore from Charleston and came in the N. Edisto River and traveled up it to Steamboat Creek. We left the next morning and entered the ICW where the N. Edisto and Dawho Rivers meet. As usual, very thin water at the first two green markers, but after you make the turn, the water gets deeper and no problem from there on through the bridge. The tide was mid tide rising.
    Philip W. Mullins aboard S/V Katash, Isle of Palms, SC

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at the AICW/N. Edisto/Dawho Intersection

  • Rock Creek Anchorage (Statute Mile 516)

    We have finally been able to confirm the Rock Creek soundings reported by Captain Ted Jones below, and many earlier contributors to the Cruisers’ Net. Once deep Rock Creek has shoaled badly, south of the stream’s first turn to the northeast, north of the it’s intersection with the AICW. Favor the eastern banks in order to stay clear of the correctly charted shoal making out from lower Rock Creek’s westerly banks.

    ICW mile 515 ~ Rock Creek. The chart shows a narrow creek well protected from the NW by tall trees and deep water (except on the west side at the entrance) for much further than we wanted to go. However, the depth sounder indicated otherwise, and as we were turning around we grounded. It was near low tide, and we were able to back off easily and find deeper water (but nothing like the soundings of 22 feet) closer to the entrance, where we dropped anchor for the night.
    Buttoned up to conserve what heat we had left, we heard the sound of an engine nearby, and I stuck my head out of the hatch in time to see a Pearson yawl go steaming by headed for the spot where we grounded. I yelled, but he didn’t hear me. I watched unable to affect the inevitable outcome as I Gotta Go ground to a halt 50 yards astern of us. We talked on VHF, and I told him where the deeper water was. The skipper, who appeared to be along, said he was not concerned as the tide was flooding. Later, we could see that he had gotten off and anchored south of us closer to the ICW where the chart indicated — and we had confirmed — 7.5 feet.
    Ted Jones

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

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

  • Dawho River Shoaling (near Statute Mile 497)

    Captain Bob Poovey has thoughtfully provided us with reports on several AICW problem stretches along the South Carolina and Georgia portion of the Waterway. This particular segment deals with the AICW’s run through the eastern end of Dawho River. This stream connects the Waterway between the North Edisto and South Edisto Rivers.
    While Captain Poovey found no shoaling along this stretch, others most certainly have, and we actually have two navigation alerts in place for this stretch of the AICW. We, as well as your fellow cruisers, would love to hear what soundings you observed while cruising through these waters. Please click the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below, and share your information.

    Came through this area heading south on Saturday, Oct 23 at 10:30 AM (45 minutes prior to high tide), We had received a report from the Coast Guard earlier in the day concerning “heavy shoaling” at this location near marker Red “110”. Did not observe this and found 22 ft. adjacent to this marker. Further south depths varied from 13 ft. to 17 ft. ending at Green “117.” Lowest reading came adjacent to Green “111” at 12.8 ft. This is no significant change from my last three trips through this area.
    Captain Bob Poovey

    I went north through there from Beaufort, SC to Charleston in mid September and back through there obout Oct.1. You will have more trouble at MM 497, between R110 and G111, as you enter Dahoo River. You want to stay north of the charted deep water, it isn’t there now. We had trouble finding any deep water going north. As we came south, at dead low water, there was a tug boat ahead of us, figured he knew his way through there, and watched him go aground in the charted deep water, found out he drew about 5′. WONDERLAND was following us, they draw 4′ 6″. We went through that area further to the right in about 8′ of water. Turned out the tug was from Norfolk, VA and had never been through this part of the ICW, he followed us the rest of the way!
    Captain Chuck Gorgan aboard Odyssee

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the “Navigation Alert” Section of AICW/Dawho River

    Click Here To Read An Earlier Posting about AICW/Dawho River

    Click Here To Read Another Earlier Posting about AICW/Dawho River

  • Another AICW Grounding at the Intersection of N. Edisto/Dawho Rivers (Statute Mile 497)

    Another cruiser shares his experience, and the advice of TowBoat US, concerning a troublesome stretch of shoaling waters.

    I came through that area (Day Mark 110 at White Point) going south in April and hit there at low tide. I grounded where it says there should be 12 feet. I called Tow Boat US to see if they had and tricks about how to get through there. Their advice was to anchor,  eat lunch, and wait until the tide came up!! Turned out to be excellent advice. When returning north in May, I made sure to pass through there at high tide and no problem.
    Capt. Sykes DeHart

    Click Here To View an Earlier Posting on a Grounding at the Intersection of N Edisto and Dawho Rivers

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Intersection of N Edisto and Dawho Rivers

  • More Details on a Recent Shoaling at AICW/North Edisto River/Dawho River Intersection (Statute Mile 497)

    Captain Larry Shick shares more details of his recent grounding at the intersection of N. Edisto and Dawho Rivers:

    Further on my earlier experience:
    I think we hit the shoal amidships at the Lat/Lon given. It was difficult to tell in the muddy water, but it appeared that one could transit the intersection either (a) *VERY* close to (within 200′ of) marker 110 or (b) as we eventually did traveling due East at 32-37.5N. By then we were at +2′ tide and after getting unstuck we saw no less than 7′.
    Larry Shick aboard S/V Moira

    Click Here To View the Original Posting on a Grounding at the Intersection of N Edisto and Dawho Rivers

  • Another Report of Shoaling at the N. Edisto and Dawho Rivers Intersection (Statute Mile 497)

    We’ve received a number of reliable reports of shoaling in the N. Edisto/Dawho Rivers intersection and now Larry Shick provides us with a specific location of his grounding near White Point (See Chart View link below). Slow and easy is the caution for this section.

    The intersection of N Edisto River and the Dawho River (SM 497) in SC has been a problem in the past. E.g. there is a note in my copy of Skipper Bob (10th edition) about shoaling to the effect that “the bottom no longer resembles the chart!” I can vouch for that. We’re aground at 32-37.556N 080-16.750W where my chart shows we should have had over 12′ at the time we ran aground at about +1′ tide.
    Captain Larry Shick aboard Moira, a Valiant 42

    Click Here To View An Earlier Post on N Edisto/ Dawho River Intersection

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Intersection of N Edisto and Dawho Rivers

  • Good Depths Observed on the AICW/Dawho River (Near Statute Mile 498)

    If MY Charmer drawing 6 1/4 feet can get through this area, we all can!

    I went thru the Dawhoo river near high tide and it looks like shoaling on the northern end has not gotten worst. On the ICW line, the shallowest spots were 8′ MLW in the bend between R116 and R112 and a number of 7 1/2’s MLW between G111 and R110, again on the magenta line.
    Captain Pascal aboard MY Charmer, 70′ Johnson, 6 1/4 draft

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of The Dawho River Section of the AICW Described Above

  • Rock Creek Anchorages (Statute Mile 516)

    I used to recommend the anchorages on Rock Creek (on the AICW’s path between the Ashepoo and Coosaw Rivers) right and left. Then, about a year ago, we had a series of postings here on the Net, to the effect that a shoal had pretty much cut off easy access to the upstream havens I used to recommend. In Captain Jean’s superb report below, it looks as if she has found the way to avoid these shallows. and drop the hook safely on Rock Creek. That’s good news indeed, because if you are a cruiser who cherishes the feeling that every turn of the screw or puff of wind carries you a bit farther from the maddening crowd, the Rock Creek anchorages are for you. Just be SURE to follow Captain Jean’s navigational advice below when accessing these havens!

    We anchored here 4-12-10 and remembered we had been here previously when the water suddenly got thin near the turn to the northeast (the last time we spent time on that shoal waiting for the tide to turn.) This time a quick turn to the west got us into 17 feet of water and once around the corner had no problem getting to where the creek turns north west and anchored there. Had a quiet night and no problem getting out in the morning. Just have to stay on the correct side of the creek!
    Jean Thomason

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s South Carolina Anchorage Directory Listing For Rock Creek

  • Latest on the Ashepoo – Coosaw Cutoff (near Statute Mile 515)

    Captain Lipton is responding below to an earlier report here on the Net, which described marker #186 as “missing.” Clearly, that problem has now been corrected, and it looks as if, at least so far, the 2009 dredging is holding depths on this perinneal “problem section” of the South Carolina AICW.

    I came through here yesterday. Depths were around 8 ft. about 2 hours before low tide. Of course, we’ve had a lot of rain lately. Also the 186 marker is CLEARLY there. Mounted nice and high on a pole. You can’t miss it now!
    Lois Lipton

  • Alligator Creek Anchorage (off the AICW/South Edisto River, Statute Mile 511.5)

    The South Edisto River/Alligator Creek anchorage, described below, is a bit open. You can not actually cruise into the creek, due to shallow depths, but rather, cruisers should drop the off its mouth (in the river). On the other hand, if the weather cooperates, this can be a great place to spend an evening.

    Dropped the hook off Alligator Creek on an ebbing tide, and glad I anchored off. There was no water in the creek at dead low tide. Watch your depth finder and guage how much water will be there at low tide before you drop the hook. Having said there, there is still a great deal room for boats that need 8 – 10 feet of water. Just don’t try the creek. Superb views, good mud bottom. My CQR held great in the currents. Just use the proper scope. Coming out the next morning, I decided to “eyeball” Fields Cut before entering, and was very glad I did. Two tugboats entered the cut, one pulling a dredge, the other a quarter mile of pipe. There was a sailboat at anchor at the edge of the ICW, and he got many blasts from the horn of the lead tug. The anchorage designated in the illustration is very clear, and is a great spot.
    HB Koerner

    Stayed here the night of 5-3-10. We entered from the southern end at low tide lowest we saw was 5.5 ft/ Holding was good and had plenty of swing room for our 55′ fdmy. The dolphins kept us company in the evening and in the morning there was a bald eagle standing on the shoreline. We would anchor here again.
    Captains Ron and Audrey aboard Lucky Girl

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

  • AICW Shoaling Reported at Intersection of North Edisto and Dawho River (near St. M. 497)

    The intersection of the Dawho, plus the eastern 1/3 of the AICW’s passage through the Dawho, has been infamous for shoaling, ever since I began researching the South Carolina poriton of the AICW, back in the 1980’s. There was some dredging done here in late 2008, and that is why these waters are not currently part of our “ICW Problem Stretches” list. That may have to change as this fall cruising progresses. Everyone please take maximum caution as you transit from the North Edisto to the Dawho, and everyone PLEASE send us more postings concerning the sounding you observe on these waters!

    Subject: shoaling
    Cruising News: Just an alert that at red marker 110 in SC going from Edisto into the Dawho River where the chart says 17ft of water on the SE side of the inlet near low tide there is NO water. We “discovered land” there and had to wait for tide to come back in….which we would have expected at low tide but did not expect in what was reported as 17 ft on the charts. It is also very shallow for a few miles south of that marker even inside the channel.
    Sami and Barry Shreve

    White Point (Dahwo/Edisto) MM497
    Some spots at 6 1/2 MLW between R110 and the two green cans G 111 and G113. Since we had plenty of tide, i tried looking on either side of centerline but didn’t find anything better than that. same between G115 and R116, following the ICW line towards G115.
    Miami, fl

  • Depths on AICW/Dawho River (near Statute Mile 498)

    On 9/1/09, as part of a “South Carolina Wish List,” I posed the following question:

    33. Has anyone encountered depth problems on the Dawho River portion of the AICW between markers #111 and #119? The Waterway uses the Dawho as a connector between the North and South Edisto Rivers. This stretch was dredged a few months ago, but shoals are sure to begin reappearing soon!

    Responses follow:

    Subject: North Edisto / Dawho River
    Cruising News: South bound we essentially followed our magenta line and had good depths throughout. The magenta favored the red side of the channel. We passed 10 yards off 112, 50 yards of 111 and 113, turned a little early before 115 and favored the red side with 20 yards off 116. Good water all the way.
    FL G 121 has southbound “12” sign missing. Easy to confuse until the green light is visible.
    Dave on GB 46 At Last

    Came thru S.C. area today [10/13/09] between buoys 110 – 120 at dead low water and never saw less than 7 feet. This should relax followers.

  • Rock Creek Anchorage (Statute Mile 516)

    On 9/1/09, as part of a “South Carolina Wish List,” I posed the following question:

    38. Has anyone anchored on the waters of Rock Creek, north of the ICW’s leaving of this stream via the southern half of the Ashepoo – Coosaw Cutoff? Did you find these waters as beautiful and idyllic as this writer?

    Responses follow:

    We anchored there Nov 2008 in company with two other cruisers and had a beautiful evening.
    James Lea
    S/V Estelle

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

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