Monthly Archives: November 2018

We made it…one of our favorite stops

11/5/18
Charleston SC
Charleston Maritime Center
Position: 32 47.345N, 079 55.464W
Posted by Bill

The trip from Georgetown to Charleston requires special planning skills if you travel the ICW. First you have to go through McClellanville which has a nasty shoal stretch for about 3 miles…depths reported as low as 2 feet. Then there is a shoal stretch for a couple of miles along Isle of Palms, with depths reported at 3.5 feet. Then you have to get through the Ben Sawyer swing bridge, which has restricted openings on the weekends. Finally you need to arrive at any Charleston marina at slack tide (no current for you land lubbers). The ebb currents in Charleston rivers can run faster than 3.5 knots, which makes it impossible to dock a boat like ours. Our boat draws 5 feet, so we needed to time all of these factors in our passage making. We left Georgetown on the 3rd during an ebb tide. That meant we would have favorable current down Winyah Bay until we hit the ICW entrance. None of us had notes that told us if the current in the ICW would be favorable or unfavorable from the entrance to McClellanville and we figured it would best to err on the unfavorable side to calculate the timing into the shoals there. That meant we needed to be underway around 8 AM. We were, and the current was mostly favorable all the way to McClellanville (note to self…take better notes), so we took the last hour or two very slowly, arriving just after low tide. When we got to McClellanville there were already 4 boats aground through the shoal area, so we idled the boats for about an hour until we could get through. Because of the factors for the next day, we decided to get closer to Isle of Palms than originally planned and stopped at a new to us anchorage, Whiteside Creek. We anchored in position: 32 52.387N, 079 42.984W. It turned out to be a great anchorage and we all got together for dinner on Steel Away.

Whiteside Creek:
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We were about 10 miles from the shoals along Isle of Palms, and again not remembering what the currents would do, we took the worse scenario, forcing us to leave at sun up. We arrived at the shoals and the swing bridge much earlier than planned which made both of them uneventful, but now had to wait 3 hours for slack tide to get into the marina. We decided to anchor across the river from the Maritime Center just off Patriots Point and just wait for the slack tide. While anchored, several large container ships slid by us…damn they are intimidating when you are this close!

Early morning motoring:
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Big boys!:
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We got into our slips at 12:13 and hit the town of Charleston. If you follow the blog you know this is one of our favorite cities in the US and we always have a good time. We will be here a few days enjoying the city.

We broke our land based ties

11/1/18
Georgetown SC
Position: 33 21.958N, 079 17.405W
Posted by Bill

We departed on 10/30 and made a short run 35 statute miles to Calabash Creek at the Little River Inlet. We were a little late getting started as one of the boats had a starting issue. We all convened on the problem and eventually found a lose wire, and off we went. We anchored at position: 33 52.357N, 078 34.203W. It is a small anchorage and we discovered 2 boats there when we arrived. I proceeded to anchor next to a large Fleming, and immediately the guy comes out on deck and says “I have 60’ of anchor chain out. You shouldn’t anchor there because your too close to the channel, among other things.” For those of you that are not cruisers, it is good practice to discuss how much chain everyone around you has out because you will swing with current and wind and want to swing without hitting anyone around you, which is much more likely if one boat has a larger or smaller swing radius than the others. Now we have anchored in Calabash Creek several times and I have records of where we have anchored, so I am aware of the channel and what spots are safe. So I ask Mr Flemming “I am not in danger of swinging in the channel, but what ‘other things’ am I too close too?” He says “well…you are too close to me.” I am about 2 ½ boat lengths from this guy, and I am thinking about all of the anchorages in the Florida Keys and Bahamas where we have been right on top of other boats, which is very normal in crowded anchorages, and I’m thinking this guy must be new to this. I was going to ignore him and settle in where we were, but I thought…there is another spot over there that would be ok and I wouldn’t have this guy chewing on my ass all night, so we move. He suggested we go further up river, which I DID ignore. We thought about taking cocktails over to his boat and imposing happy hour along with an uncomfortable conversation, but hey, this is our first night…let’s just chill. We certainly could have talked about how you don’t come into an anchorage and take a spot that leaves multiple other spots unusable for someone else, which he did, and how the courteous thing to do is select a spot that allows as many boats as possible room to some in. He obviously didn’t want to share.

On the 31st, we picked up Kurt and Sharon on Steel Away, motored past the flood stricken area of Socastee (what a mess it still is…those poor people), through the Waccamaw River (one of my favorite stretches of the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway), and up Thoroughfare Creek to an anchorage called The Hill. We anchored in position: 33 30.905N, 079 0869W. As always, the anchorage was delightful. We all went ashore, let the dogs run, and took a dinghy ride through the canals until the sun set.

All of us at The Hill:
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Island Bound anchored at the Hill:
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We departed the next day and road the Waccamaw River to Georgetown. Along the way we awarded an Ass Captain Award to a boat called The Big W. We weren’t sure if the W stood for “wanker” or “weeney” or “wake”. If you are familiar with the blog, you know of the Ass Captain Award, inspired from the movie Office Space, where asshole behavior earned the label Ass Clown. We adapted it to cruising and boating asshole behavior…thus Ass Captain. This guy passed us with a huge wake, never calling on the radio to request a pass. The wake his us so bad that it rearranged the interior of our boat. Stuff went flying everywhere, even off of our secured “bar”. He must have done it to everyone ahead of us because we could hear people on the radio screaming at the asshole most of the day. We decided to stay another day here in Georgetown as there is heavy weather hitting tomorrow’s anchorage near Isle of Palms, and that anchorage is very exposed to bad weather. We will just chill and enjoy the shore line of Georgetown with bars and restaurants.