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 bridge’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 wasn’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.