On 9/1/09, as part of a “South Carolina Wish List,” I posed the following question:
25. Has anyone experienced the fierce tidal currents running through Wappoo Creek and Elliot Cut? The AICW uses this partially man-made passage to run between the Ashley and Stono Rivers. What did you do to minimize the effects of these swiftly moving waters?
Have taken S/V Nisus thru Elliott’s Cut many times, normally I just close my eyes and gun it! 🙂
Seriously, the best way if going South try to time it for a rising tide, hold her in the middle and try to keep your speed as fast and steady as possible. Do the same if heading North except on a falling tide.
“Oh, dolce far niente!”
Elliot Cut, if you are a MY and the tide is running hard towards you, suggest not following any sailboat, as they will going much slower than you will want to travel. Wait outside the cut and give the sailboat time. Next time, I will adjust my trip to start Elliot Cut a high slack tide.
MY COMPROMISE ( 2004 Carver 366)
Elliott Cut and Wappoo Creek. If we hit the tides wrong it is just slow going but didn’t seem to move my cat around too much.
S/V Chez Nous
If you have a low powered sailboat, best to wait for a tide change to go through the Elliot Cut – the current can regularly reach 5 knots. But if you have enough power it’s really no big deal. Incidentally during the War of Independence, British battleships, moored out at sea off the Stono River, decided to try to take Charleston by surprise from the rear (like the Japanese did in Singapore many years later) . They built several long boats carrying 100 soldiers each and one night with muffled oars they silently rowed through Elliot Cut and successfuly took command for two years or so – before finally being chucked out by that dreadful fellow the Swamp Fox. ( I comment as an Englishman 🙂
Subject: Elliot Cut at SM 472.2 Southbound
Cruising News: I strongly suggest that southbound boaters with an incoming tide and northbound boaters with an ebb tide be extra alert for Securitee calls regarding the passage through the .4 mile cut. Current can exceed 5 knots. Southbound you will not see northbound trafic until just before you enter the cut. If you get into the cut and then realize that a northbound barge has the cut blocked you will have a difficult time getting turned around and out of the way. If you are in an under powered sailboat it may not be possible. I urge you to make a sucuritee call of your own on Ch 16 and Ch13 and request opposing trafic to contact you. We did, heard nothing, but within five minutes of passing through the cut we were facing a northbound barge. The situation could have been entirely different.
Dave on GB 46 At Last