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The Salty Southeast
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Cowen Creek Anchorage

Statute Mile: 544.5
Lat/Lon: near 32 22.556 North/080 37.977 West
Location: on the waters of Cowen Creek, immediately southwest of this stream’s juncture with Distant Island Creek
Minimum Depth: 15+ foot depths, but you must negotiate several unmarked shoals between Beaufort River and the anchorage to maintains these soundings
Swing Room: sufficient room for vessels as large as 50 feet
Foul Weather Shelter: Good, but open to strong southwesterly winds


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Comments from the Cruisers' Net Community (5)

  1. Rapid Roy -  May 20, 2013 - 1:53 pm

    Hey Claiborne:
    I really like your anchoring guides. However, I think you have some flaws in the entry you have for Cowen Creek. (Mile 544.5 on the Beaufort River, between Beaufort SC and Hilton Head). I’d like to suggest some corrections on this one.
    1). I think it’s misleading to talk about “negotiating several unmarked shoals”. Yes, if you’re coming from the north, you must go far enough south to clear Cowen spit. If you watch your chartplotter, the entrance to Cowen Creek is wide and deep with NO UNMARKED SHOALS. Take a look at the wider area chart, and this should be self-evident. From the south, it’s a no-brainer. Coming from the north, you’re in good shape if you go far enough south to go around the south side of the old range light charted at 32 degrees 20.12N, 80 degrees 39.34W. Do that, and it’s a wide and deep water entrance with no issues.
    2). Your little anchor symbol on the chart photo is way upstream in the creek. Yes, it gets narrower up there, but it’s all protected and nearly always flat water once you’re in the creek. Most cruising boats don’t go that far up to anchor. I’ve seen 3 or 4 cruising boats anchored in the area 32 degrees 21.64N, 80 degrees 38.89W. ( Middle of the creek, abeam of the “o” in “Cowen Cr” label on the chart.)
    3). Optionally… there’s another anchorage area for someone who really wants a “Hurricane Hole”. It’s the straight stretch of the creek, t32 degrees 22.99N, 80degrees 38.54W. There is deep water all the way there so it allows even a sailboat to reach these areas, going past private docks on Distant Island and around a double set of bends. It is really protected. .
    FYI… ( my credentials for sharing this…) I’m a full time live-aboard cruiser, and spend half of my time living in the Beaufort area and half time cruising on a 38′ sailboat. Cowen Creek is a nice, nearby wilderness anchorage, a few minutes away from the marina. It’s where I take “visitors” when they come to visit my wife and I, and they want to spend a night on the sailboat anchored out. (Smile!).
    Rapid Roy
    S/V “Gideon”

  2. Rapid Roy -  May 6, 2013 - 10:25 am

    Yes, this is a lovely anchorage, highly recommended. It’s a large open area, especially attractive for larger vessels or those wanting plenty of swinging room. It’s well protected with land on 270 degrees, and a shallow sand bar across the open south side. The entrance doesn’t have channel markers, but it’s plenty wide and deep and doesn’t offer any navigation problems.
    Most boats anchor in the wide part of the creek, just beyond the entrance. There are 8′ tides, so there will be a reversing current. If there is really severe weather coming, you can proceed further up the creek to a three way split. Take the branch on your left into Distant Island Creek, and it will continue around to another anchorage area that is a local “hurricane hole”.
    Rapid Roy, S/V “Gideon”

  3. Capt Bob/ALLEZ -  May 3, 2013 - 2:01 pm

    Just followed the Chart Plotter and watched the depth sounder and had plenty of room between the charted shoals. Followed our bread crumb trail out thenext day. Good water depth for our 5 ft draft and real good mud holdingground. Enjoyed our stay at Lat 32 Deg 21.498 N Lon 081 Deg 38.527 W7 ft under the keel. Plenty of swing room. Good anchorage.
    Capt Bob/ALLEZ

  4. s/v Skye -  May 2, 2013 - 3:25 pm

    We anchored there on 4/18/13. We and buddy boat anchored about 2 miles upstream along the south shore, just above the small island on the north side. Friends anchored 1/2 mile further up-stream in the south leg. No one had any problems with shoaling. We were well protected from the east wind and expected potection from the forecast south wind. By morning the south wind made the anchorage a bit rolly but quite acceptable. I would probably go a bit further upstream into the south leg for better protection.
    s/v Skye

  5. Dick Litchfield -  May 24, 2010 - 11:29 am

    We attempted to anchor here on 4/24/10. The evening’s predicted wind direction and strength nixed all possible anchorages except one in Cowen Creek. We ran some distance up the creek and tried anchoring in 10′ of water in the lee of some trees on shore. Our Rocna anchor set quickly, but failed to hold in the “fluff” mud bottom. After several attempts to find good holding, we abandoned the anchorage and headed for Port Royal Landing about 8 miles away.

    Other spots in the creek may work better in better weather conditions. However, distance in and out along with our experience puts Cowen Creek on our “Not Here” list.


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