Skipper Winter does indeed complement an earlier posting by Jim and Peg Healy, http://cruisersnet.net/?p=138583. Our thanks to John and Sue for this detailed narrative of their recent trip upriver to Conway. The upper portion of the Waccamaw River departs the Waterway at statute mile 375.
To hopefully complement Sanctuary’s posting, we just finished going to Conway and made the following notes. One can take these and mark the Healy’s maps, and add milage to them. the distances are not off more than a tenth at each junction: From ICW MM 375 just south of ICW marker “27A”:
This is the last posting on any web sites that I have seen with any detail. We traveled this river this week and it is still a beautiful trip and well worth the extra time. It is even more beautiful than the lower Waccamaw. First, the Corps of Engineers have removed all markers above “R4”, and as such, there are a few spots that are confusing as to where to turn. Lastly, different postings on various web states the distance to downtown Conway anywhere from 12 to 16 miles without stating whether they are nautical or statute miles. Reset your odometer to “0” for the following information. We use statute miles. From “G1”, the entrance marker, it is 14.3 miles to the last bridge (you do not want to go under that in a larger boat) and about 14 miles to the marina entrance basin. Just as Sanctuary recommends, go to the bridge to dock since it is an easy walk to town. The two floating docks are in decent shape, but the cleats are still a little loose, but there is no traffic or winds to bother you and if there was a huge blow, there are alternatives to tie up soundly – easy. The electric is still there but still no water. Call the marina for space (room for a 60’ boat at each dock, maybe longer). Also, repeating, when going into a curve, stay to the outside where the water is deeper. We entered at dead low tide (on purpose) so as to make better notes. The NOAA charts that end just above “R4” are accurate. We saw 11-13’ at “G1” and then before the first curve, 7.9’. After the first curve, it deepened to 9.0’ Just prior to the second curve, briefly 5.9’, but we were too much inside on the curve. Coming back down, we had over 7.5’. Hug “R2”. First curve after “R2” was 8.3’. From here you will see depths well over 20’ in places. Just prior to “G3”, which is 1.9 miles in, 6.5’ and quickly deepens to 30’. MM 2.1 you’ll see many stumps on the RDB, but 8.1 feet as charted. MM 3.0 (“R4”) stay left at these intersections. MM 4.3, there are power lines that we do not know the height, but any motor boat will have no problems, but sailboats may (this statement applies to all power lines mentioned). They all appear to be well over 45′, but who knows. MM 4.7 at a private dock, make a left turn (it’s not obvious). MM 5.2 shallows to 8.6’ briefly. At MM 5.9, make a sharp left. MM 6.1, there are some nice homes to see, watch your wake. MM 6.9, favor RDB (starboard) for deeper water (7.5’, otherwise 6.0’). MM 7.6 some more homes. MM 9.4 is interesting. There is an upside down arrow sign that has the word “only” upside down on it. Do not think this sign is upside down, it’s not. Whoever put it up, obviously did not have the correct sign. Make a sharp left here (yes, to port). If you go right, you hit bottom (we know – LOL). MM 10.0, another left turn where there is yet another upside down “only” sign. MM 10.4-11.0, shallows to 7.4’ (this is where the river gets a little wider, so it makes sense the water would be shallower). MM 11.1 favor RDB where you get over 11’. Center is as low as 5.2’. MM 11.6, turn left. MM 12.1 is 6.6’ and there might be a very interesting river boat moored there. MM12.3, turn left at homes and docks. MM 13.2, overhead power lines. As you get to a high bridge, you are entering Conway. From here on in, it is no wake. You will see to your left the entrance to the marina basin around MM 13.9. Go past this to the floating docks on your left. They are obvious, just before the bridge. Call the marina for docking, but if no answer, don’t panic. If you are there just for a few hours, docking is free. The river walk is beautiful, and many great places to eat and shop. See the college (Coastal Carolina) – it is also very nice. One could easily stay here for a few days, so if the weather is not so good, and you have stopped at Georgetown enough, then this is the place for you. It takes about 2.5 hours (max) to do the river one way on a trawler.
Sue and John Winter on Just Relax (MTOA, Golden Loopers, AIWA members)