Calabash Creek lies to the north of the Waterway, just south of the SC/NC state line. This anchorage can get very crowded during the busy season, but if you can find a spot, there are two fine seafood restaurants accessible just upstream by dinghy.
Please note the Navigation Alert linked below indicating the possibility of shoaling at the intersection of the Waterway and Calabash Creek. Also, we have personally sounded, and other cruisers have reported, as little as 4 feet entering Calabash Creek during MLW.
We attempted this anchorage on 10/6/2012 and found the entrance shallow at mid-tide and with one vessel in the anchorage, did not feel comfortable with minimal swing room for our 44′ sailboat and 5′ draft. The water here shallows up quickly.
Capt. Pat Carter
I anchored at Calabash on 10/09/2012. I entered near high tide and saw nothing under 10 feet. I stayed close to the ICW R2, and well off the Calabash Creek R2 as I had reported several years ago. When leaving, it was just past low tide, and I read nothing under 7′. I’m 38′ and draw 5.5′. I will point out that another boat in the anchorage anchored too close to shore and found himself lying on his side in the morning. I anchored in 9′ and had no problem.
We have been traveling the waterway for 10 years and ALWAYS stop in Calabash Creek for the night. Our boat is at least 43′ long and draws 6′. We have never had a problem anchoring there, even with 6-8 other boats. The trick is to stay out of channel, as the head boats coming out of Calabash at all hours of the day and night, must get through safely. They won’t hesitate to let you know if you get too close for comfort. You need to know exactly what the tide is doing and plan your anchoring depth accordingly. The Seafood Hut is our favorite restaurant; we never miss our dinner of shrimp and flounder (yum yum).
Cap’n Norman and Admiral Barbara
s/v Blown Away
I’ve always (4 times at least) gone the other way to the Little River Inlet and anchored near marker #18. It’s always worked well for us with only another boat there on occasion. It is important to be out of the channel, since the gambling boats head out that inlet.
Capt. Bob Clemons