Don’t Even Think About Anchoring In The Charted “Oxbow” Off the AICW/Dawho River (Statute Mile 500) – Captains Mark and Diana Report
Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 08-15-2012
I 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!
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