South of Charleston, the AICW leaves the Ashely River and traverses a partially man-made, partially natural creek/canal known as both Wappoo Creek and Elliott Cut. To say that tidal currents boil through this passage is something akin to announcing that the sun it a little bit bright.
And, apparently the South Carolina DOT feels our on-the-water lives need even more spice, so one of the bridges crossing this passage carries a closed vertical clearance of 33 feet, and a restricted opening schedule. Below, Captain Ted Jones, former publisher of the late, great “Coastal Cruising” magazine, relates a short story about how commercial traffic can sometimes make these waters even more exciting!
We waited for half an hour for the Wapoo Creek bridgeâ€™s scheduled opening at 0900. Two tugs pushing construction barges were waiting on the other side, going north. When I heard them call, I told the bridge tender that we would allow them to pass through ahead of us, but in when the bridge opened they were so far back that I wasnâ€™t sure they were coming. We, and the sailboat waiting behind us, got through and out of the way well before the tug captains were ready to go through.