Healy Report: Mount Pleasant, SC to Beaufort, SC, AICW Statute Miles 465-536.5
Experienced cruisers, Jim and Peg Healy, continue to generously share their observations and advice as they make their way south for the winter. Thank you Jim and Peg! Fenwick Cut slices through a narrow neck of Fenwick Island and connects the Ashepoo River with the Stono, north of the infamous Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff, a Cruisers Net Problem Stretch.
Today is Saturday, 10/27/2018. Sanctuary and crew traveled 75 StM from Mount Pleasant, SC to Beaufort, SC. High tide in the region was right around 12h00.
The Dredge Tenacious is working at the northern entry to the Dawho River. The Dredge answers on VHF 13 and VHF 65. The Dredge DOES NOT monitor VHF 16, which was a severe surprise and consternation to a lot of pleasure craft today, who nevertheless continued valiantly to try to raise him on VHF 16. Approach the dredge slowly, and follow his directions. Don’t forget to thank him for his work, which of course is to our benefit!
We entered Watts Cut at the McKinley-Washington bridge at 11h30. The minimum we saw in the cut was 13.7′ at +7.7′ on the tide. That makes the control depth (13.7 – 7.7) = 6.0 ft at MLLW. We followed the visual center of the cut except I cut the corner at Green 135. DO NOT cut the corners. Where I was, I would have had a problem of the muddy sort at low tide.
We entered Fenwick Cut at about 12h30. The tide station at Edisto Beach was reporting +5.6′. We saw 12.4′ in the cut, so control depth was (12.4 – 5.6) = 6.8 ft. Southbound, we saw red lateral R162 on a piling. The chart shows a red R162A on a piling and a floating R162B. There is a piling there for R162A, but no dayboard is present. We did not see a floating Red nun there, either. Net is, come down the S. Edisto river, and turn into the center of the cut. There is shoaling along both shorelines, so don’t cut the corners. Line up and go through along the visual center.
The Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoff is in two halves. Southbound, we entered the northern half at 12h45, with the tide station in that cut showing +6.2. Depths were in the range of 17 feet, so I didn’t pay much attention there. The southern half was dredged in the spring of 2018. There was severe shoaling at the junction of the Cut with the Coosaw River. We cleared that area at 13h00, with the tide at +5.8. We saw 11.9′ depths in the visual center of the entrance between G164 and R185, so the control depth would be (11.9 – 5.8) = 6.1 ft. I guess I would say the spring dredging helped at the junction of the Coosaw river, but did not do much to otherwise deepen the southern half of the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cut. At least most boats don’t have to do the St. Helena Sound route at this time.
We’re just coming off full moon. We faced strong 2.5 kt ahead currents on and off all day, and particularly up-stream on the Coosaw River. That made for a tedious slog up the river. But at the divide at Brickyard Creek on the Beaufort River, we picked up speed and did very well for those last 8 miles into Beaufort. These strong flood and ebb currents will affect slow boats.
Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary, currently at Charlotte Harbor, Punta Gorda, FL
Monk 36 Hull #132